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» What are you harvesting today?
by freebird Yesterday at 1:59 pm

» The September garden
by FloBear 21st September 2017, 8:59 pm

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by Dandelion 15th September 2017, 9:29 pm

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» Greek "oily" green beans
by Ploshkin 18th August 2017, 7:33 pm

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» The Polytunnel
by freebird 8th August 2017, 10:44 pm

» What are you preserving today?
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» More mead ...
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What are you harvesting today?

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default Re: What are you harvesting today?

Post by FloBear on 14th August 2017, 10:23 am

No thanks, Dandelion. I didn't plant any this year but a few self-sown have popped up. No idea what they'll turn out like but I do, at last, have one female flower after almost giving up.
I think it's been a good year, on the whole, for produce that comes from flowers, freebird, though your conditions were probably a bit different from mine. But I'm sure your no-dig regime has contributed too - as well as perhaps, a new found enthusiasm?
I picked a brand new ultra fresh French bean for Lulu the parrot, cut it into three parrot-sized pieces and the little baggage threw them all on the floor!

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Post by Dandelion on 15th August 2017, 7:52 pm

FloBear wrote:I picked a brand new ultra fresh French bean for Lulu the parrot, cut it into three parrot-sized pieces and the little baggage threw them all on the floor!
Very Happy

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 15th August 2017, 8:55 pm

I came back from the polytunnel laden with tomatoes, of every size, yet more courgettes, French beans and strawberries, carrots and my first two sweetcorn cobs.
I've had cauliflower from the garden, it's very tasty but the heads are very small and also a cabbage. I'm in to the Arran Pilot spuds now which don't seem to have attracted the slugs as much as the Rocket had.
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Post by Chilli-head on 15th August 2017, 10:17 pm

Oh dear. Lots of things are very behind here. There was a period in spring when stuff just sat there without much progress. The exceptions are the green beans (which went in later) , tomatoes and alliums of all sorts. Well I suppose the squashes are rampant too. But the bad news is that my chillies afe few and still green. I do have some Jamaica Yellow which look promising though - here's hoping for an Indian summer Crying or Very sad
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Post by Dandelion on 17th August 2017, 8:14 pm

My tomatoes have been rather underwhelming this year. The taste has been OK, the skins fairly thin, but the fruit has been small and not very plentiful. The plants also stretched more than normal.I'm wondering if it's because I had to put shading fabric up early this year because of the high temperatures in the greenhouse. I'm also less than enthusiastic about the solid tomato feed pellets I tried - you push two into each pot and they are supposed to break down gradually and feed the plant throughout the season, but I don't think they've done a very good job.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 17th August 2017, 10:11 pm

Well Beth Alpha has finally started to produce. I have at least 5 cucumbers in various stages of maturity, but it seems to be her swan song. The leaves are suddenly badly wilted, as if from lack of water, and won't revive. She's certainly a bit of a prima Donna.
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Post by Chilli-head on 17th August 2017, 10:16 pm

Dandelion wrote:I'm wondering if it's because I had to put shading fabric up early this year because of the high temperatures in the greenhouse.

Now. I've often puzzled about this. I have never used any form of shading fabric on my greenhouse at all. Occasionally things get a little scorched at the edges, but I regard it a worthwhile trade off for more ripening energy ! The thing that really puzzles me is when I see green netting sold for shading. I would think this a no-no. Many plants are sensitive to green light, it causing them to race upwards. It's a competition mechanism - green light is probably reflected from other, competing plants. Some commercial growers of indoor potted plants use magenta filters to counter this tendancy, allowing the plants to be packed closer into the glasshouse without getting "drawn".

I'm not sure what has gone on in my greenhouse this year. Things just didn't move earlier on in spring and have a lot of catching up to do.
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Post by freebird on 18th August 2017, 9:28 am

Your stance on shading, CH, is in line with Charles Dowding's (organic no-dig guy). His opinion is that it is not the sun that causes the problem, but lack of ventilation.

I do have some opening on every side of my greenhouse, and this year have not renewed the shading, although there was some residual white 'Cool glass' from last year. I can't say that no shading has created any problems.
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Post by Ploshkin on 18th August 2017, 11:55 am

Interesting because I was thinking that I've got my best ever tomato crop this year and with the decent weather earlier it was over 40° nearly every day. However I had the double doors at both ends permanently open so ventilation was good.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th August 2017, 4:27 pm

Hmmm, food for thought... bigthink
It's that time of year to think "Next year I will...", so I may re-think shading (especially as it is the green netting sort!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 25th August 2017, 1:29 pm

Apples. A bit early maybe, but I just ate a Bloody Ploughman for lunch (!) and it was rather nice. Most years it has been less successful - unripe until they get pecked, wasp eaten or fall off the tree bruised. The weather must have suited it this year. Hopefully this bodes well for cider making later on.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th August 2017, 9:32 pm

Sweetcorn & more sweetcorn, another melon (I had been thinking that the rest weren't going to ripen as there has been no sun for most of this month) and I have a serious tomato problem - far too many! I always grew 12 plants in growbags in the greenhouse but I am going to have to rethink the numbers as they plants probably produce 3 or 4 times the fruit in the polytunnel and much bigger too. I've had some good Romanesco cauliflower - they have done much better than the standard caulis. I only bought some plants because most of my germination failed and there were no ordinary cauli plants to be had. I may well grow them again as they seem to have done much better.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th August 2017, 10:56 pm

I tried a couple of Beauty of Kent apples yesterday for a crumble - a bit earlier than I would normally pick them, but the pips were a good brown colour, and the apples cooked well (and tasted lovely!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by FloBear on 29th August 2017, 10:01 am

Lost almost all my Black Russians toms to blight. Save three and Mr Bear decided to chop one of them up as a treat for Daisy the chicken! Saved a couple of bowlfuls of a small orange variey. May have to give up tomatoes for a few years.
Cucumbers are growing well, nicer than supermarket ones though not as tasty as other varieties I've had. French beans also doing well, can't keep up with them and they're getting quite bulgy. Lulu the parrot likes to peel off the pod and find the bean inside.
Can't keep up with James Grieve apples, most are going into the compost or rotting for the butterflies. Lane's Prince Albert are nearly ready so a lot of prepping for the freezer is imminent.
A few pears have fallen off so I picked one and have kept it over the w/e. Will try it later to see if I can catch the 10-second ripening window!
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Post by freebird on 29th August 2017, 2:00 pm

Do you have a greenhouse Flo? I haven't had a problem with blight since I started growing my plants in the greenhouse.

Plenty of apples here too. Been eating an early, Red Sleeves, for a few weeks now. Another early on a very old tree (1940s?) called Maidstone Favourite - gorgeous tasting, but keep no more than a couple of days before losing texture. Best enjoyed straight off the tree, deep red and sun-warmed.

Still harvesting courgettes, chillies, peppers, tomatoes & runner beans. Cucumbers all came at once. Everbearer strawberries trickling on, giving enough for my breakfast cereal. Autumn raspberries just starting up.Sweetcorn done and dusted, plants taken up and shredded.
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Post by Chilli-head on 29th August 2017, 2:40 pm

We finally got some sweetcorn at the weekend ! Went round to the lotty by bike and rushed it back and onto the barbecue. Delicious ! A good fill of what cobs there are cobs too, but they are few. Partly because we have fewer plants this year because of poor germination and wind damage early on.

I also picked some tomatilloes, and made tomatillo and chipotle salsa - pretty smug I felt, as I used home grown garlic, tomatilloes and home grown and smoked chipotle chillies. Only other ingredients were a pinch of salt and a little sugar to take the edge of the toatillo zestyness. It was a bit hot though, only I was willing to eat it !

Also picked beans (of course), cucumbers fro mthe outdoor plants, tomatoes for making passata - we now have a batch of deep red and one of orange. The red has San Marzano, Red pear and some Rosella, a very small dark coloured cherry type that splits far too easily. The yellow is Amish Gold and Golden Crown, another cherry that splits less but has a very strange taste, far too sweet for us. I think I'll use the latter for a Mexican style chicken dish, and add a bit of lime to sharpen it up.

I do this year have 3 red cherry type tomatoes, probably Gardener's delight but not sure, growing outdoors. So far, no blight. By far the best cherry, long full trusses that are ripening steadily and not splitting too much. Best of all, the seed came for free from an electronic parts company I deal with at work who shower you with gifts if you request some sample parts. I also have some nasturtium seeds from them too. A peculiar incentive, I wonder how many other of their customers find the seeds useful ?
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Post by Ploshkin on 1st September 2017, 9:39 pm

We're on daily sweetcorn here, I had my first red chilli today and have had a butternut squash (a little bit early but fine for a veg curry).  My strawberries behaved differently this year as they produced loads of runners but I picked off a big bowlful of tiny alpine sized ones with the most intense flavour and pureed them for a strawberry cheesecake which was delicious.
I am going to have to rethink my growing next year as I have far more beans, tomatoes and courgettes than I can cope with though the courgettes are all off one plant, I haven't even looked at the 2 plants in the garden.
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Post by FloBear on 2nd September 2017, 1:53 pm

To answer Freebird, yes I do have a greenhouse and have grown tomatoes in it before. I even have self-watering pots. It seems a waste to grows toms in there when they grow, or rather grew, perfectly well outside. I suppose if it's the only way to get my own crop, I might as well use it as I haven't grown anything in there for the past couple of years.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd September 2017, 6:40 pm

Did I say I had a tomato problem - not the same as yours Flobear. I've just picked 8 1/2 lbs of tomatoes just from the cherry & medium sized ones. I'd send some down on the train for you if I could.
I did take a picture of my tomato crop but the hosting thing is demanding a password again so can't post it at the mo.
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Post by FloBear on 2nd September 2017, 8:44 pm

I had brilliant tomato crops until the blight set in. The Black Russians were great chunky things and I had plans for relishes, chutneys and sauces. I rescued about 4 of them and Mr Bear decided that 2 of them would make a nice treat for Daisy the chicken!
Had a bowlful or two of sweet little orange coloured ones too so a better crop than last year when I ended up with one solitary fruit!
I love the thought of tomatoes travelling by themselves on the train!
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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd September 2017, 9:01 pm

When I was travelling in Greece, on Naxos in fact, tomatoes seemed to travel by bus. I was using the bus to get around, and the driver would often stop in a village and pick up some produce left out for him, and drop it off elsewhere. A lot of tomatoes travelled this way. Very green really, since the bus is going round anyway.

The biggest glut I have are those little gem squash. Loads of grapefruit sized squash from two plants. They just need to be stuffed with chilli Very Happy
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Post by Dandelion on 2nd September 2017, 10:28 pm

Ploshkin wrote:
I am going to have to rethink my growing next year as I have far more beans, tomatoes and courgettes than I can cope with though the courgettes are all off one plant, I haven't even looked at the 2 plants in the garden.

My thoughts entirely! I'm going to try to grow fewer tomato plants next year, and plan the beans so that the French beans and runners don't all appear at the same time. I haven't done at all well with courgettes over the past couple of years, so three plants this year was a bit of an insurance policy, but has provided us with far too many courgettes! The apple trees are looking laden too, and I've been given a large bag od windfall Worcesters, so we won't go short. It just seems to have been a very fruitful year.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 6th September 2017, 5:49 pm

Now, this is weird.
I've harvested my first Mr Fearns of the season today.  They've been left to grow quite big because I've had so many other beans to pick.

Since I've been growing them I've wondered why they're called purple podded when they have green pods.  I thought it perhaps referred to the beans inside which are purple.  As I was picking today I realised that I was picking purple pods.  They've got greenish smudges on them but they are definitely purple.  I hadn't realised before that they are flat pods too though I think when I've let them get big they've gone fat rather than flat.  So I'm a bit puzzled why they seem to be different - I haven't got seeds mixed up with anything else as they were the only beans  I saved seed from last year.
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Post by FloBear on 6th September 2017, 5:56 pm

Very mysterious. Could it be anything to do with temperature? We've had some hot times - even in Wales, I believe!
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Post by Dandelion on 7th September 2017, 10:10 pm

Ploshkin wrote:Now, this is weird.
I've harvested my first Mr Fearns of the season today.  They've been left to grow quite big because I've had so many other beans to pick.

Since I've been growing them I've wondered why they're called purple podded when they have green pods.  I thought it perhaps referred to the beans inside which are purple.  As I was picking today I realised that I was picking purple pods.  They've got greenish smudges on them but they are definitely purple.  I hadn't realised before that they are flat pods too though I think when I've let them get big they've gone fat rather than flat.  So I'm a bit puzzled why they seem to be different - I haven't got seeds mixed up with anything else as they were the only beans  I saved seed from last year.

Can you remember what colour the seeds were when you sowed them? If they were glossy black then they were Mr fearns. But whet you're describing sound more like Kew Blue beans - mottled dull pink seeds, and pods as you have described. I wonder if I labelled some wrongly, as I grow both varieties...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th September 2017, 10:39 am

Ah ha, I think the memory (or lack of it in this case) is at play here. Why did I think I would remember which end of the row were Kew Blue and which end were Mr Fearn's? The other end of the row does have green pods coming. (My Mr F seeds were ones I saved from last year) I did the same with my Tut peas and sugar snaps and had to wait until the pods were there before I could tell which was which.

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