Sony have kindly returned my camera, fixed, so time for an update.
The poor summer weather continues of course, but the season moves on. I’ve unearthed the last of the potatoes at the weekend (I only grow second earlies – Charlotte – as storing maincrops is just too much trouble, and invites problems with blight) and the peas are coming to an end (this just plain simple bad planning – though the runner beans are beginning to crop so that doesn’t really matter much. I’ll soon to have too many to use, and will need to think about switching the freezer on again!)
The fruit crop this year is mixed – one lone plum is ready to be picked the other tree had none, while the two pears haven’t yielded even a single fruit. The brambles (those that I haven’t yet managed to kill) have a supply of insipid fruit, as always not worth picking, which is why I’m trying to get rid of them! The self seeded raspberries at least have some taste.
The apple trees are doing better. The house was built on the site of an old orchard (it’s on nineteenth century maps) and some of the trees were left. They were probably mature when the house was built, they’re definitely getting old and a couple have died since I moved here. Cropping is erratic, but usually at least two or three of the trees will have a reasonable crop. The birds get much of them, as they grow too high to be reached without climbing into the tree, which I’m not about to do!
I planted a small hazel tree when I moved here – its grown somewhat since (and was heavily pruned earlier this year). I’ve not noticed any in earlier years but, this year we have some nuts (I think filberts, but cannot remember the species now so can’t be sure.) I need to keep an eye on them to have a chance of harvesting them when ripe, though the local squirrels will probably make a claim on them before they’re really ready. I can hope …
The tomatoes are doing well both outdoors and in the greenhouse, though the outdoor ones are beginning to look a little tattered, as I’ve had to remove quite a few of the leaves as they’ve succumbed to some infection (and I’ve lost some of the fruits too. I’ve had sufficient ripe tomatoes from the sungold plants to keep me supplied, and there are still plenty more to come, if the weather doesn’t turn colder too fast.
The pink brandywine plants have been less successful so far. I’ve removed most of the tomatoes from the outdoor plants as they were showing signs of beginning to rot.
The first fruit set in the greenhouse is finally beginning to ripen. It is about 10cm in diameter – much larger than the Sungold tomatoes (which are about 2 to 3 cm). But then, it needs to be in order to get a worthwhile crop – the plants have much fewer tomatoes setting so the size has to make up for it. It’s supposed to have superb flavour too – that remains to be seen!
The courgettes are still providing an ample crop – I’ve unearthed three of them and put them in the compost heap – I’ll plant fewer next year!
There are a few a flowers too, though that hasn’t been a priority this year (there were some spring flowers too – but they’re gone now). I’ll try to add more next year, maybe!