UK Veg Gardeners

Now that we are into July, most peoples plots must be producing plenty of crops, surely?

Let's hear and see how your plot / garden is doing!

I have already had a good crop of Broad Beans, like these "Witkiem Manita".

And I have harvested about half of my 16 containers of potatoes. These beauties are "Charlotte", my all-time favourite variety:

I have started cropping chillis - albeit green ones for pickling:

Of course I have been cutting Lettuce more or less every day (haven't we all?). this one is "Tom Thumb".

I picked my first courgette of the year this week - it's a "Defender F1".

I also have lots of other veggies coming along too, such as onions, Runner Beans and cucumbers. Growing your own is just so rewarding sometimes...!

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Harvest in earnest now.  Tomatoes are slow ripening due to the cooling weather.  Summer will soon come to a halt.

Apparently we are supposed to be getting a really hot spell in August. The tomatoes would like that!

And the grapes.

Onions are almost ready for lifting. Amazingly I've only had two plants bolt this year. Some years almost a third of the crop ends up bolting.

A large proportion of my "Red Baron" onions bolted, but none of the "Sturon" ones. I think the difference is that the "Red Baron" sets hadn't been heat-treated. The best onions I have are some "Long Red Florence", grown from seed. They are just about ready for harvesting.

I'm currently growing hollhock seedlings, delphinium and digitalis, so I cant compete.

I am just not a good veggie grower yet. Raised beds may help, and a polytunnel would be good

but polytunnel is beyond my pocket and my imagination now. Sand, gravel and permeable membrane

for paths will be good!

I am inhibited by the lack of pleasure people perceive in the growing of veggies, but the obvious pleasure of

blossom and flowers. If my life depended on it, I would probably think otherwise.  Jeremy Corbyn is going to appoint

an Allotment Secretary instead of a DEFRA secretary, 'cos it is obviously better value.

Gareth, I would challenge people who claim "lack of pleasure in the growing of veggies"! What a tragedy for them.

It's true that pests can cause feelings of defeat and frustration, but if growing vegetables was easy, success wouldn't feel like such a victory. Flowers may provide a cheap fleeting thrill, but they could never bring me the satisfaction of harvesting mature vegetables grown from seed.

I don't consider myself a "good veggie grower" either, and I probably never will. However, as the soil in my garden lightens each year, and as I learn from my mistakes, I'll eventually find uses for the vegetables that grow well in my swampy conditions, so the balance of victories to defeats gradually improves. Reading posts on this site helps by reminding me I'm not the only one facing these obstacles. As for those who show off their vegetable mastery; let them gloat as they've probably earned it after years of battle with the bugs.

Hopefully you don't give up on vegetables - no matter what conditions you're dealing with. Flowers can complement vegetable growing in complex ways, so no one needs to chose only one or the other. We've all had hard years, and there's always another season around the corner offering new possibilities.

xx

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