There is a certain sad feel to the farm at the moment, if feels like the growing season will end a little earlier this year, probably the result of the freaky weather early on. It will give us the chance to clear it nice and early and to close down properly for the winter, but it seems a bit of a let down.
So here is Augusts update.
Most of the squashes are pretty much finished. The courgettes continue to fruit but are nowhere near as prolific as they were. The winter squashes (pumpkin and butternut) are but picked now, a few remain on the plants to ripen. Heather has been removing the mildew affect leaves so they all look like they have had a extreme haircut, not many new leaves are replacing them now.
The parsnips have at least a foot of top growth, I had a dig around the top of one with my finger, it was about 35mm across, I've no idea how long. They have a way to go yet but its still too early. I'm just pleased with 2 full rows.
The carrots are doing well, not huge but very tasty. There is the mouse/slug damage I wrote about before but no sign of any carrot fly. Resistafly F1 are on the list for next year.
The fennel has been harvested, but not used yet and the celery is still growing, but not brilliantly. I think it needed a more regular water supply, the irrigation system I never finished! Its on the list for next year.
All the early spuds have been used. I dug up one plant of the main King Edwards, just to see how they were doing and because I was worried about blight after the tomato disaster.
They aren't very big yet, but there are no signs of blight and it yielded around 15 spuds, so if all goes well they could provide a very nice sized crop. I bought some small potato sacks so I could store and distribute them to family etc.
The spare squashes from Heathers are growing slowly but its too late in the year to expect anything from them.
The asparagus bed has a new frame, I just need to remove the old inner frame and top it up with manure and soil. As this frame is wider I think I'll add a few more crowns, maybe even grow them from seeds from the current plants.
I think we are now picking the last of the runner and French beans, there are no more flowers on the plants. I tried feeding them to stimulate a second round but it hasn't worked. They have produced a fair amount of crop as given the knock they took from wind and sunburn I'm not unhappy with them.
The Amethyst purple beans are still cropping nicely, no flowers any more but they just keep coming, the set rate on these has been amazing, they are definitely on the list for next year.
Our sole surviving tomato plant, a self seeder is doing ok and looking better after a feed, he has to carry the show now, so no pressure.
The courgette plants are still producing slowly.
The best thing in this bed currently are the leeks. All seem to have survived the transplanting and are doing well. I've seen some pics online of people already holding massive leeks, I think we are a way off that yet!
The brassica cage is stuffed. The summer PSB has finally decided its summer and sprouted. I however realised that I've put it at the back of the cage which will make picking it fun. The cage has done well keeping the pests out.
The cucumbers are coming to the end, another 3 or 4 max I think. I''ve been really pleased with these as they produced good sized fruits that kept well and didn't need peeling. On the list for next year.
The sweetcorn have done very well this year, way above the usual 1 per plant average, the cobs were a good size and very tasty. After the problems I had getting a full 2 dozen to actually grow they have come good.
My pumpkins are pretty much ready but as its still early I don't want to harvest them yet, I grew them for Halloween and they'll keep better on the plant than in my garage for 3 months. Just got to hope the mice and slugs don't find them.
The rainbow chard is producing plenty and I'm going to try and protect it better this winter to extend the season.
We have lettuce, turnips, beetroot and spring onions still happening in here, as well as some dormant radishes that have popped up now its cooled off a little.
The lost tomato plants have given more room and light to the cape gooseberries but while they have plenty of the paper cases there doesn't seem to be much of a berry in them. It was worth a try and I'll do them again next year as I suspect the cold snap early on has meant their growing season is too short this year.
The chillies are not tall but have a good few fruits, I leave the heat test to Heather but they aren't too bad.
The strawberries look pretty healthy, they didn't do well this year but with all runner being cut off regularly they will hopefully get a good start as strong plants next year.
My pallet store shed is finally nailed together. It will be used to store all the heavy stuff like bricks, slabs and chicken wire that make the plot look untidy but which don't really belong in the shed. It also provides height for the water butts to get a good head for the irrigation system next year.
I've still got the bed frames to do as part of the winter shut down, if I can get those done I'll be happy and we will be in a good place for next year
Happy Gardening Folks!