The main emphasis so far this month has been on harvesting. We’ve had the first ripe crystal apple cucumber (lovely delicate flavour, never had one before), the first yellow crookneck squash of the year, and the first vine tomato now (tasty, reliable Tigerella).
Strangely, we haven’t had a glut of anything yet. I could say that’s all down to sequential sowing and clever planting of different varieties, but that’s not the whole picture and it would be a massive fib to pretend otherwise. There’s…enough. A little bit of something different every day, lots of new flavours.
The climbing pumpkins are going crazy, and I think we might get a few nice fruits on them by November, if I can keep up with their need for feeding and watering. One of them has even climbed over the trellis on the back wall and gone sideways into a neighbour’s tree. I’ve offered to cut it back, but it looks like they’d rather have a few pumpkins instead – these are Sweet Dumpling squash and they’re supposed to be one of the most delicious types, so they’ve probably made a good choice there.
The Red Kuri winter squash vine tried to get into the garden on the other side too, but I decided enough was enough and docked the growing point. That’s made it throw off several side shoots, each potentially with a little pumpkin on them, so it might all turn out for the best. Who knows?
Meanwhile, not everything is growing strongly. That’s perfectly normal for any kitchen garden, there are always ups and downs, but it’s also a bit sad to see that my garlic plants are looking a bit the worse for wear and might be showing early signs of rust or some other disease. I’ll look it up properly later, and see if there’s anything that can be done.
The runner and French beans are hardly producing anything either, perhaps because they don’t set well in hotter weather. I’m getting three or so beans per day, which isn’t much use unless you’re doing some kind of mixed vegetable thingy for dinner. There’s still time for them to improve though, and the heat’s done wonders for most of the other plants so can’t complain.
Success stories (yes, there are a few)
The salads are all doing beautifully, helped by one or two overnight thunderstorms and semi-tropical downpours, and I’m going to sow a bit more rocket and chicory at the weekend, along with some more winter-friendly lettuce, to keep us fed at the end of this growing season and into next year.
The other thing I’ve been doing is ‘stopping’ the last cordon tomato plants, and removing one or two of their leaves to help them put more effort into growing and ripening their fruit. I’m really looking forward to scoffing some heirloom tomatoes before the end of the month.
How’s your GIY doing at the moment?