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Hot July down at 12A!


By balcony


Hot July down at 12A!

What a scorcher of a month we had this year! It’s been years since we last had such a hot spell in July!(Since July 2006 in fact!) At first, with the cold spring, it seemed like we were going to have another fizzer (Austral slang a person or thing that disappoints, fails to succeed, etc.) summer, like last year’s, instead of the sizzler we all hope for. Fortunately it turned out to be the latter rather than the former!

Lettuces ‘Little Gem’:

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ ready to be picked:

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ inside the runner bean frame:

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ now bolting! A close up look:

The Lettuces in the 1st & 3rd picture are in the same bed!

A few days later here is where they ended up:

This year I thought I had planned my sowings very well but I didn’t count on such a cold spring nor such a hot summer! So they ALL came together at practically the same time & I had a tremendous glut!

I took a couple of bagfuls into church & on my Facebook page I said that if anybody wanted any to drop me a line but only one of my brothers did so. He came round to pick up some for one of his sons & his girlfriend. My wife & I were eating one a day each – but you can only eat so many! Lots of Lettuces from this bed & the one under the runner bean frame ended up making compost! ;-((

Beetroot ‘Baby Solis’ & ‘Chioggia’ being picked:

This year was a VERY good year for Beetroot! I don’t remember having had one single plant go to seed/bolt! Just the exact opposite of last year when I hardly got any at all to eat! It made no difference whether they were transplanted – as the great majority were – or sown directly into the ground. I also had some of ‘Bolthardy’. They all gave great results! I even sowed a couple more packets on Gerry’s plot after I lifted his onions & the ground had been bare for a few weeks.

However I was very disappointed with ‘Chioggia’! It was supposed to have pink & white rings but all I ended up with were paler red Beetroots – without pink & white rings! I had 3 plantings on my plot which I thought I’d labelled correctly, but after the first harvesting I thought perhaps I’d mistakenly labelled ‘Baby Solis’ for ‘Chioggia’. When the 2nd batch was harvested & they were the same I thought “This is rather odd but let’s see how the last batch I put in on my plot turn out”. These were planted under the runner bean frame but not a single pink or white ring in sight!

I’d made a last sowing, this time on Gerry’s plot & directly in the ground & the packet was placed at the top of the row. When I harvested them I thought this time they must have pink & white rings – but no, they were just a paler red, not even pink!

I’d bought the seeds precisely because of this novelty!

Broadbeans ‘Aquadulce’

Plants growing very well on my plot:

Broadbeans ‘Aquadulce’ just harvested:

More, a few days later:

I had a very good crop of Broadbeans ‘Aquadulce’. I picked so many that I have frozen them & will be using them little by little over the coming months!

Leek seedlings ‘Musselburgh’:

These seedling Leeks grew very quickly & by the end of the month were ready to be moved:

Leeks from 2012 with flowers & lots & lots of bees!:

Bees seem to go mad over the flower heads of all types of Alliums! Gerry planted some type of perennial onions just outside of the greenhouse door on his allotment a few years ago when my wife & I were visiting our family in Spain. These grow & flower every year & they are covered in bees every year!

Onions ‘Sturon’ from sets:

These really did do very well this year! I’m very pleased with the results from just one single bag of sets.

Here, at the end of the month, they are beginning to fall over. In just a few weeks time they will be harvested.

After such a rainy summer during 2012 I found I had enormous onions. Before then I’d always been unsure about how to water them. I’d asked for advice & what I got was confusing; some say they water them when they plant them & don’t give them a drop more all summer, others said they watered theirs like the rest of their veg.

This year I decided I’d water them frequently & I’m glad I did as the result speaks for itself! I’ll put a couple of photos in my blog for August.

Pinto beans at the top of the plot are now flowering:

These beans were sown in the 2nd bed at the top of my plot at the beginning of June & within 6-7 weeks were flowering! I’d never sown them so early before.

Here are the same Pinto beans now climbing & flowering:

These beans don’t grow very high but these have grown taller than any others I’ve grown before.

New Potatoes ‘Rocket’:

Although I planted the seed potatoes very early this year, (middle of February), they came through at practically the same time as others planted later.

Potatoes ‘Rocket’, which are growing in the last bed on my plot, are now being harvested:

I’d harvested the first few at the beginning of the month but this year I started harvesting as I needed them instead of digging them all up the same day as I’d done in previous years!

Even so I now have several carrier bags of potatoes now at home from a sowing of a few more earlies & some maincrop. We should have enough potatoes to last us through to about Easter next year!

Strawberries just picked from the 1st bed at the top of my plot:

Here they are at home on the scales:

A few weeks later I also got a lot from the bed at the bottom of my plot:

I’m ending this long, (& long overdue!) blog on this bright note of the summer days now over for this year!

Till my next blog on August, happy gardening to all my readers!

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very bountiful harvest there...

good fruit/veg gardening blog....

from janeplant...

ps-the grandchildren and i managed three raspberry each this year from raspberry bush...which were delicious...

3 Oct, 2013


Well done .. lots of wonderful produce there :o)

4 Oct, 2013


Only one word for it Balcony and thats Great..... well little gem lettuce....

4 Oct, 2013


Thank you for your comments!:-))

Only 3 Raspberries each, Jane? Just one cane alone generally produces many more fruits than that! Or are there a dozen of you???

You say "very bountiful harvest there..." but they were ongoing pickings - not really a harvest!

Thanks very much, TT! :-))

Hollyeves, thanks ever so much for your vote of confidence! :-)) As I explain above all the different plants came together at more or less the same time - in spite of my planning for succession! There were at least 3 different plantings, at different times & a couple of weeks at least between sowings - no little avail! It was a crying ;-(( shame to have to put them on the compost heap! But neither my wife nor I were able to eat so many! Ant way next year I'll make sure I sow less seeds to start with, that should go some way to reducing a possible glut as well.

Snoopdog, the 'Labels' are empty (obviously!) 1lt milk bottles with a hole pierced in the lids to take a cane. I opened the labels along the glue line & turned them inside out & stuck them with sellotape. I wrote the name of the plant variety & the date of planting out on the labels before covering them with sellotape again. This stopped them getting wet but did nothing to stop the writing being bleached away by the sun. China pencils are supposed to avoid this problem being waxlike.

5 Oct, 2013


I got the idea from seeing people put up milk bottles on canes to frighten away the birds. They move around & make a little noise when there is a little wind. I thought at the same time they could serve as markers & that's what I did last year. This year I left the caps on & made a hole in them to push a cane through. I wrapped the label around the bottle, inside out, & wrote the crop name & date of planting then put clear tape around it. It did very well to protect against the rain but useless for protection from the sun's bleaching effect!

8 Oct, 2013


Well done Balcony, love your blog.....

11 Oct, 2013


Well done and those strawberries 'taste' sorry; look very juicy! Yummy. God blessed you with a bumper harvest there.

14 Oct, 2013


I quite agree with you, He certainly did!

15 Oct, 2013


It's nice to see someone else growing their own produce Balcony and a jolly good crop to , we've had very good results with Aquadulce Broad beans in fact we have grown almost exactly the same varieties of fruit and veg as you this year we have stopped growing huge quantities of lettuce and have been growing an assortment of 'cut and come again 'types instead ,each variety is ready at different stages ... BTW I picked a couple of autumn Raspberries today :o)

11 Nov, 2013


Nice to hear that you have grown almost the same varieties of vegetables as I have! Hope yours did as well as mine!

As for picking your FIRST Autumn Raspberries I was gorging myself on them for many weeks till we had the constant rain of the last few weeks! We have had the heaviest crop I've seen in the 4 years I've been helping Gerry on his allotments! In fact we couldn't pick them fast enough & they have ended up rotting on the canes! :-((

Even on my own plot, 12A, I got lots of BIG berries that came from suckers growing into my plot from next door's! He didn't even bother to pick any from his plants & they have all rotted on the canes! Can't say the same for my side though!!! I scoffed them as soon as they were ripe enough to eat!

I'm going to let them grow on my side but any that grow in the paths will be dug up & put in one of the beds.

Funny that should happen as when I took over my plot 2 years ago it had several beds of Raspberries all growing together which hadn't been pruned in years. I dug them all up & threw them away. Now I'm growing my neighbour's! LOL!

13 Nov, 2013

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