Tomato Glut Comin’ On

Here we go – the tomatoes are ripening, just a few at the moment but many are close, just turning orange. I suspect many will be ripe soon and based on previous performance lots will be ready a once – I can see a batch of tomato sauce (for pasta) being prepared soon….

Ripening tomatoes in greenhouse

Ripening tomatoes in greenhouse

Meanwhile there are many dwarf and climbing beans ready – we’ve been working through a batch harvested last Sunday and I can see there are plenty more ready, together with a load of mangetout peas. It wouldn’t be a problem, I’d simply freeze the excess, but we haven’t eaten all the frozen ones from last year yet! Seems wrong to start putting this years crop into the freezer before finishing off all the old ones.

Elsewhere the broad beans have just about finished, and very strangely many of the pods I picked last weekend were empty of beans, although they looked as if they had beans in them. I’ve had the odd pod like that before but never as many as I’ve found this year. Can’t really see any sign of disease so I don’t know what has been going on. I’m still harvesting carrots as well.

Recent harvest of beans & carrots

Recent harvest of beans & carrots

The courgettes have been producing male flowers like mad – very pretty bu not much use, I think there is one courgette starting on one plant though – next thing there will be a glut of courgettes…..

Courgette flowers

Courgette flowers – but no courgettes yet…

We do have at least one cucumber coming on – so we won’t need to buy any for a while hopefully.

There is a cucumber in there

There is a cucumber in there

Haven’t had to buy much lettuce recently either as the ‘cut ‘n come again’ leaves are producing enough to keep us going (though the rocket is now flowering).

Cut 'n come again salad leaves

Cut ‘n come again salad leaves

I harvested around a dozen garlic roots the other day – now hanging up to dry and this year they are quite substantial so we won’t be buying any garlic for a while I suspect. They are now hanging up and ‘curing’ in the outhouse.

On the non-crop side, I have now dug in the ‘summer green compost’ on the raise bed after chopping it up as much as possible with shears.

The fruit harvesting, especially the raspberries is now in full swing. There are about 1lb of raspberries in the fridge currently picked over the last couple of days, mostly from the new canes – and there are plenty more to come.

Raspberries ripening

Raspberries ripening

I’ve had a few strawberries from the new ‘climbing’ plants as well, and there are plenty ripening.

I picked several pounds of blackcurrants last weekend, and there are several bushes to deal with yet – they are in the fridge currently awaiting a decision.

Some of the blackcurrants waiting to be picked

Some of the blackcurrants waiting to be picked

A disappointment is the blueberries – plenty were ripening around 10 days ago – but the birds got to them first! I’ve moved the containers now in the hope that the new position (near the greenhouse) is less bird friendly/

To cap it all, the brambles are ready I notice – however, picking them is something that will have to wait until the evening as it is way too hot to be on a stepladder by the hedge picking them just now – we are in a period of temperatures over 25degC at the moment….

Also, this year is a year for the damsons at the bottom of the garden (they only seem to fruit well around 1 year in 5) and they are clearly ripening just now

Weather

As I’ve mentioned, we’ve had a period of sunny days now, only interrupted by some stormy showers last week – it’s meant that I’ve used the hosepipe a few times over the period – especially as some of the perennials I’ve planted recently still need to get themselves well rooted and wilt very quickly it it’s dry and hot for more than a couple of days.

Wildlife

Notwithstanding the sunny weather, there are plenty of froglets and toadlets as well as full grown frogs & toads so every time I start weeding in the flower are I seem to be disturbing several. There are more frogs and toads making use of the growbags both inside and outside the greenhouse this year – so whenever I water they will jump out looking slightly cross to be disturbed. Amazingly ss well a mouse appeared in the greenhouse the other day, very unusual in the summer (quickly taken care of though).

Greenhouse toad

Greenhouse toad

The buddleias are fully in flower at the moment and plenty of peacock butterflies on them, hopefully some of them are from the caterpillars on the nettles – also, the teasel flowers are very popular with bumble bees just now.

Not too many birds visiting the feeders though, but thankfully no squirrels just now (unless they are around before I get up of course).

Photos added later (too hot just now to go out with the camera!)

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