Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Mixed Harvest

A mixed harvest, says it all really. As we approach the end of July and crops begin to ripen what has worked this year and what hasn't becomes apparent.
The Red Duke of York (first earlies) did really badly both in the ground, at two golf ball sized potatoes per plant, and in the potatoe bin, where they did slightly better. The Charlotte did considerably better. From the potatoe bin I got nearly 3lb of slightly larger than golf ball sized potatoes, but up on the allotment, the two plants I've so far dug have yield about 4 lbs of potatoes each ranging in size from golf balls to double tennis ball size (ie put two tennis balls side by side).
The single main crop maris which I stuck at the end of the row yielded fewer but larger potatoes, about the same weight though.
My first early Maris Peer have also yielded about 3lb per plant of slightly larger than tennis ball size, not bad considering this is the first year this ground has been productive. A testament to how hungry my soil is, is that the Maris were trench planted into a mix of horse manure and sawdust covered with newspaper, 70% of which has gone in the 16 weeks since I planted.
My peas have been disappointing, and my runner beans are yet to do anything substantial, despite the ones I grew for my mother-in-law having now virtually finished, ever though they went in over 6 weeks later.
My chinese cabbage was a sort of success although most of it bolted, which is what is happening to my lettuce, at the allotment, currently. The lettuce in the milk cartons is doing far batter and I'm very pleased with the results. Of the three varieties I'm currently growing the Webbs do best followed by the little gem, and lastly the rusty. Also after a poor start the carrots have picked up and are a match for the ones in the "Carrot Barrow" and the pots.
The tomatoes have all reached the greenhouse roof and I have a number of trusses set but no ripe fruit as yet from these, although I've had a couple of handfuls from the tumbler in the hanging baskets. The cucumbers continue to produce in batches, so we get 5 or six ripe over a period of two days then have to wait a week for the next batch. The peppers continue to grow but there's no sign of either flowers or fruit.