End of June update

We’re at the end of June and the garden is looking OK. The vegetables are beginning to deliver with Sugar Snap Peas, Broad Beans and French Beans adding to the Lettuce and Radishes that we’ve been harvesting for a while. Nothing in “glut” volumes yet but the courgettes, cucumbers & French Beans look like they’re going to overrun us shortly.

I’ve learnt a couple of things. Cabbages are probably not something worthwhile growing. I’ve put some in the raised beds and a couple in the polytunnel. All ate growing well but they’ve shaded the beds around them making it impossible for anything to grow next to them. On a “square foot” gardening scheme, they take up four square feet. If I try them next year, I’ll have to look for some small cabbages and see if I can find things that are less space hungry. I know there are small cabbages (I’ve tried Primo in the past) but because I only want four or six cabbages, growing them from seed seemed a bit too much effort and I’ve never seen them in the garden centres as plants

The other thing I’ve learned is growing things densely requires you to be much more vigilant about bugs & beasts. My beetroot and swiss chard have been attacked by leaf minor. Normally I don’t think that would matter but because they were close together both crops have had all the leaves attacked and the crop is struggling to recover. Were I growing in more space, I feel that it would have had less of an impact.

The lettuce are doing well and keeping us in salad leaves. However, getting seeds to germinate is becoming more of a problem and getting them to grow well afterwards similarly difficult. Its possible that we’re going to have a gap if I can’t get more successful. There’s a similar problem with the radishes, made worse by the fact that the cabbages, carrots and lettuces are shading the square foot garden sections I allocated to radishes.

Tomatoes are beginning to look like the first will ripen shortly but I’m afraid they seem to have gone a bit wild this year. I normally don’t trim off off the sideshoots (my feeling is that multiple sideshoots lead to a bigger overall crop even if they don’t get as big or ripen so early but this year the plants seem to have “forked” and generated lots of sideshoots which I haven’t dealt with so the greenhouses are looking a bit jungly (even now). There are plenty of tomatoes setting so I’ll see how it goes. I know I need to have a go with the secateurs to take off some of the lower leaves but I usually leave that until they’re starting to go yellow. I also need to start thinking about feeding them regularly

That’s about all.

Update again soon.