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The Vegetable Patch

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Keefly Bantam, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Offside

    Offside Impact Sub

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    I disconected my " mist system " in the greenhouse , seemed to work for a while . I'll have a go with the ladybirds though .
     
  2. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    This one's for more than just plums; I started doing it because of the glut of pears... It's by a Mary Meredith, from Woman & Home magazine -- so must date back to the 70s. It's good as a regular jam, and excellent with dishes such as fried rice, curries, roasted or fried chicken/turkey, roast pork.

    - - -

    Orchard Jam (pear / apple / plum)

    1 lb each of the fruits, with apples and pears peeled, cored, and sliced (or cut into small chunks), plums halved and stoned

    Add to the prepared fruit the juice of 1 lemon and a piece of bruised root ginger, and 1/4 pint water

    Simmer 20-30 minutes

    Add 2 lbs sugar and stir til fully dissolved

    Bring to a rapid boil, and boil til setting stage reached (recipe says 3 minutes, but mine usually takes longer)

    Let jam sit off-heat a minute or two, then pour into sterilised jars (I use Mason jars of various sizes), and store in a cool dry place

    (recipe says approximate yield 3 1/2 lbs)
    - - - - -

    Experimentation needed, given that lemons don't have standard amounts of juice in them...same thing with how big a chunk of ginger you want to include.

    Once a jar is opened, it's better to keep it in the fridge -- I've found that mould starts growing easily on this jam if opened jars are kept in a cupboard. (If mould does form, skim it off and re-boil contents of jar for 1 minute before re-potting.)

    RCB
     
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  3. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    Strawberries have flourished in their protected enclosure; 6 quarts already gathered, more ready to be picked later today. Some have become jam, the rest, desserts. About 50 parsnips have sprouted, and the peanuts have come up as well. And the rabbit has returned after a spell away, but so far is keeping to grass.

    RCB
     
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  4. Tennesseebantam

    Tennesseebantam Important Player
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    Just out of interest @River_City_Bantam@River_City_Bantam , how long is the growing season up there, and when can you usually get on with planting?
     
  5. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    We're in zone 7a (used to be 6b but got upgraded some decades ago). Planting varies quite a bit -- but not necessarily because of the weather. The first seeds get sown in early April, usually. Last year was a cool spring, and I was working on the house, so didn't get the veggie seeds into the ground until 8th May. This year was a miserable damp spring, but I got the next renovations done earlier; the first radish, carrot, and lettuce seeds were sown 4th April, though parsnips and beans were sown in May, and peanuts were the last, just at the start of June. First frost is usually around the middle of October, so it is a nice long season.

    The Welsh (aka Japanese bunching) onions are always the first harvest of a year; I note that last year I had the first ones on 14th April, this year it was the 9th April. They're already dying back now, but will send up a new set of stalks later in the summer.

    RCB
     
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  6. trevor

    trevor Squad Player
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    You can easily buy them as either grown adults or in Larvae form, The are very effective as long as they stay
     
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  7. trevor

    trevor Squad Player
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    Bad news! The cherries are starting to ripen and go red, The birds are already vying for position on the fence waiting for the moment
     
  8. trevor

    trevor Squad Player
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    Fecking birds!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. River_City_Bantam

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    Mine have been queueing up for the raspberries...but as I've already picked some 16 quarts of the things, I don't even mind! Sparrows and finches perch on the canes, robins and grackles generally jump up from the ground to get at the low-hanging berries. I expect the local cardinals have had there share too, but haven't actually seen any in the patch.

    I noticed that some of the berries had white patches on them, where the drupelets hadn't developed, and wondered if there was some disease attacking the canes. Nope. White Drupelet Disorder: if it suddenly gets very hot and sunny, the raspberries won't develop properly, I've learnt. It went, here, from reasonable mid-20s temperatures, to mid-30s for an extended spell, with minimal clouds and less rain. All one can do is i) water from overhead at the hottest parts of the day, and ii) shade the berries somehow. I ended up doing both, using some bedsheets tied together for the shade and just draping them over the canes from mid-morning through to evening. It worked -- the disorder diminished greatly.

    Started gathering the blackcurrants today. The bush has been extremely productive -- 3 quarts gathered, and I guess there's at least another 3-4 quarts still on the bush. I still have blackcurrant jam from last season, so this year there will be jelly-making. Might have to make my own Ribena as well.

    Meanwhile, the other veggies and herbs have been good as well, though the parsley keeps getting eaten by the rabbit before I get at it! So far, it has been an excellent year for garden produce.

    RCB
     
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  10. Tennesseebantam

    Tennesseebantam Important Player
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    so far I have got 5 or 6 Cherokee Purple tomatoes! Despite the odd name, these are fantastically tasty heirloom tomatoes.
    Not done anything else with garden though this summer, were expecting to come to Europe for 4 weeks and it never happened and then to put the cap on it all, pool got a leak near bottom of steps, patched it, refilled the pool and the patch didn't hold. 5.5K for a new liner, will be put in late next month. So pool is now a frog nursery. And in these temperatures, it is a pain in the arse not being able to fall in and cool down. Going to try put some taties in in Sept, see if they can grow before frosts set in.
     
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  11. Allotment Bantam

    Allotment Bantam Squad Player
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    Thought I would share this picture of my first beefsteak tomato of the year. Not huge but a decent size.
    I chose it because of the name. Mr. Novak.
    So far doing better than our number 9.
     

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  12. Bantamspaul

    Bantamspaul Impact Sub

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    Hi all
    Having a pretty good year so far though our parsnips have failed probably as the seeds were old as we have had a glit every other year.
    Currently have 3 types of tomatoes plus cucumbers and various chillis in the greenhouse. The sungold toms have started to be ready so eating them daily for a couple of weeks now.
    Outside we have more cucumbers and tomatoes plus 2nd early spuds which are almost ready plus main crop. Red and white onions almost done too. Others ready: courgettes and French beans plus we have been enjoying carrots, beetroot, chard, spring onions and lettuces for weeks now. We have borlotti and runner beans nearly there too and we have leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbages, kale and brussels for later. We also have various berries but no trees at the allotment though we do have apples in the garden.
    Photos from 11 July 20200711_172647.jpg 20200711_172619.jpg 20200711_172614.jpg 20200710_175832.jpg 20200710_175802.jpg
     
  13. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    After the raspberries outdid themselves, the blackcurrant did its best too -- the one bush gave almost 9 lbs of fruit! 5 1/2lbs became jam, and 3lbs became jelly. The next year will be the year of eating blackcurrant preserves.

    The lettuce is just about done, but it is a real wonder that any is still edible this late in the summer. The carrots are good, but mostly still on the small side. I've started lifting the onions; some are still in the ground but the bulk are now drying on trays -- plenty of sunshine these past few days for them, but rains forecast for the next 3 days, so I've had to put them under cover. Beans are getting a second wind, after a break of a week or so. The parsnips are coming along nicely.

    I've no idea how the peanuts are doing -- there are blossoms, at least, so hopefully there will be nuts in the future...

    RCB
     
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  14. Bantamspaul

    Bantamspaul Impact Sub

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    2 day nightmare down the allotment. Very heavy winds caused chaos bringing down all 3 of my bean canes and drawing hundreds (not exaggerating) of slugs and snails. Weather calmer today so we will see what we can salvage. Picked as many as possible in the wind and rain yesterday so not exactly short but very disappointed. Most plots took a kicking sadly.
     
  15. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    New season, new veggies!

    The Welsh onions have, as usual, been the first garden produce of the year -- had some on the 9th April again. Chives will soon be ready too.

    I decided last year to keep some parsnips in the ground over the winter, just to see what happens; pulled a few in about January, and they were good; pulled the remainder over the past few weeks, and they have been excellent. Today had the last, roasted, with a nice roast beef. Keeping them in the ground really does make them sweeter.

    A bit late with planting this year, but the weather promises to be decent later on in the week, so should get the first seeds in.

    The usual battles with rabbits have started up as well -- my wild strawberries were growing nicely, and then most of the leaves and shoots just disappeared! I expect they'll recover, but now I have to start with the chicken-wire fences around everything. There are enough hawks flying around, but I suppose there are more rabbits than even they can eat...

    RCB
     
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  16. Bantamspaul

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    Hot weather has turned the 2 cucumber plants at the end of the greenhouse into triffids 20210719_162102.jpg

    This was early June:
    20210619_115139.jpg
     
  17. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    The Day of the Cucumbers... I might try them next year, but there's a slight problem -- production would almost certainly outstrip eating capabilities!

    It's been a busy time at RCB Towers, with all the berries coming in to join other produce. But I now have a pantry filled to overflowing with pots of blackcurrant jam and jelly, gooseberry jam, raspberry jam and jelly, rhubarb & ginger jam, and strawberry jam. Everything is about a week earlier this year than usual; even apricots are now in season, so bought a big basket of those and just finished turning them into jam. Now a bit of a rest until the freestone peaches come in, for making spiced peaches, and then my pears, for my own brown sauce along with orchard jam.

    It's also been a weird year for the garden, presumably due to the weather. All the above-ground crops -- berries, beans, lettuces, herbs, Welsh onions -- have been excellent, while the root crops have been very poor indeed -- only a couple of radishes were edible, very few parsnips sprouted despite fresh seeds, the Spanish onions have remained very small, and I don't yet know about the carrots.

    Still, the berries have more than made up for any shortcomings in other areas.

    RCB
     
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  18. Skyebantam

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    Needs a bump. How’s everyone’s marrows, doing?
     
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  19. Clity

    Clity Fringe Player

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    My jostaberrys are coming along nicely as well as my gooseberrys. strawberrys i planted last year are flowering like mad. I have not planted any annuals this year as my landlord has put the house up for sale. Bout time i bought my own place but kind of feel its the worse time to take the plunge. Needless to say I have nothing in terms veg this year which is a big shame. If I can get a big garden in my new place im going to practice some permaculture techniques and see where it takes me over the years to come.
     
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  20. River_City_Bantam

    River_City_Bantam Squad Player
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    Bit of a slow start over here this year, as March and April were cool. But the Welsh onions came in first as always; ready to eat by 16th April. The chives are nice; the rhubarb has provided several tarts already. Oregano is growing like a weed; I've already harvested some by the simple method of digging up entire plants... The gooseberry is looking more like a proper bush this year, and seems to have a fair amount of berries coming; the blackcurrant is thriving and threatening to again overwhelm me with blackcurrants. The strawberries are also blooming away; I've made a new "cage" for them from 2x2s and chicken wire, to keep out the rabbit(s). Now I have to make some "lids" to stop the birds from getting at the berries... And this year I actually have some straw to put down around the plants; hopefully that will improve the crop. The raspberries are mostly doing well -- the types (Heritage, Willamette, Meeker) I want to do well are, and the type I'm less fussy about (Latham) will be adequate.

    Seeds and onion sets went in late, but the onions are growing nicely, and the lettuces and radishes are coming up. Carrots, parsnips, and beans have been sown, but are not yet above ground.

    The rabbit(s) had a good go at destroying my new blueberry bushes, but now that they are fenced in, they might just survive after all. New leaves are appearing, at least, on the surviving branches, and each has a new shoot coming up from the roots.

    So far, so good.

    RCB
     
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