Picking and Protecting. 28th July 2017

The potatoes have been a real success this year. We only planted out one plot whereas last year we planted two, yet the yield this year has equaled last years pickings. The potatoes apart from the ones that were caught by the fork digging them up, have hardly got a blemish on them. The variety is ‘Kestrel’ and they really are slug resistant. They are also delicious tasting potatoes ideal for eating freshly boiled when new and for baking and chips later in the year. We will grow them again.

The kale plants I overwintered have not stopped producing but the plants are coming to the end of their days and are looking a little sad with yellowing leaves. I planted out more seeds a few months ago and the little plants were duly planted out and covered with netting. They are however now looking very poorly. The butterflies have managed to get in the netting so the hatched little caterpillars have had a feast before we realised.

The plants also seem to have been ravaged by what I think is a little beetle as the leaves are full of tiny round holes. We have a lot of rape growing in fields around us and there is a little black beetle which lives on it and I think looks for a new home once the rape seeds have set. I’m going to plant out some more seeds in a plastic ring in the back garden and cover it with fleece then over winter the plants in the garden. It’s what we did last year and the plants which stayed small all winter were the ones we planted out this spring and they have produced really well. I think we have now learnt that trying to grow summer kale is a lot of work and best avoided.

On a lighter note we are more than self sufficient in vegetables at the moment and my fridge is overflowing. We have green beans, courgettes, chard, kale, beetroot, onions, celery, landcress, purslane, lettuce, rhubarb and raspberries so no complaints.