Thursday, 1 September 2011

Indian Summer

The weather has been fantastic here all day today. And what have we been up to? Just the day for picking potatoes for our enjoyment and I've got an aching back to prove it.

We grew a type called 'Desiree' this year. Normally it's a battle to keep potato blight at bay which can create havoc and destroy a whole crop in a matter of days. Because of the dry, cloudy summer, thankfully it didn't happen this year. We did cut the top foliage off as a precaution two or three weeks ago. What happens is that the foliage yellows. Brown speckles appear on the leaves. They then go slushy and the potatoes rot in the ground. So hopefully we have enough spuds now to keep us going (and a few to give away as well), until the new potatoes come again the end of next May.
We planted a row of swedes next to the hedge. I tried something new this year by starting them off in plugs last April -
As in this sort of thing - (although the veggies in this picture are actually carrots (Ronda), same idea. Good really. What you do is sow the seed in the individual cells, tweak out any extra seedlings and then when you've got a good root ball, plant them out in prepared ground - no thinning - easy to weed.
Lifted the onions at the same time. They look a bit small but I didn't plant them until May which is a bit late as they should have been in the ground in March, but the local garden centre had the sets on offer for 10p per net just to shift them, so not a bad return for my money. (Too cheap to leave there). I shall probably use the smaller ones for pickling.
And if this wasn't enough, I've been up the apple tree, picking apples. This variety is called 'James Grieve', They are not much of a keeper, but just right to eat now, if you can beat the wasps.
I hate that horrible musty taste you sometimes get on supermarket bought apples. Nothing like that on these. A bit marked and odd shapes they may be, but to me this is how food should really taste. What do you think?


  1. Wow, what a haul of spuds Molly, they look great. I love digging up spuds, it's like digging for buried treasure.

    So nice to have fresh fruit and veg from the garden. We are just deciding what to put where in our garden for SUmmer

    Thanks for popping by over at mine and welcome to Spetember,

    Claire :}

  2. Absolutely, Molly; those supermarket products with their perfect shape and look have all the taste bred out of them.

    I've been doing some gardening as well. I've noticed mildew on some of my roses, it's been far too dry.

  3. Nothing like potatoes you dig yourself.

  4. Molly, what a bountiful harvest you have. I just had tomatoes and half of them did not make it. Instead of going on vacation, I should have stayed home and kept an eye on them - not. We have a farmer up the street from us and he supplies us with all our veggies. I am glad to give him our business as he has come on hard times.

    Enjoy the spuds.

  5. What a great crop you have Molly - Yes, i just love digging spuds - you are never quite sure what each plant is going to reveal.

  6. I've just pulled my onions too. I only grow reds and they've been wonderful this year. Our biggest crop, however, has been the Butternuts.... if you know anyone....

    I used to have a neighbour who said he would never eat an apple if it didn't contain a worm. It was the only way he knew of confirming that it hadn't been sprayed. A bit extreme, but I know how he felt.

  7. Awesome crop, Molly. You should be very pleased.

    I resisted a main crop of potatoes this year. The last Desiree crop was a blighted washout so have just stuck with the earlies (which I'm still digging up!)

  8. Claire - thanks for dropping in too - September - Spring in Oz - busy time for you now.

    Friko - some of our ground is rock hard this year

    Delores - too true

    Arleen - your holiday definitely has the edge on staying at home to look after your toms. good to have access to nice fresh veggies up the road.

    Sue - yes it's very dependant on weather conditions
    Cro - I've never grown butternuts or tasted them - they sound good so might give them a go next year

    Chris - yes on the whole its not been too bad. I think we just hit it lucky that we didn't get blight this year. Everywhere is just bone dry though

  9. What gorgeous, healthy bounty! Please be careful picking those apples!

  10. What a beautiful garden, I'm so envious! It was hot here, but let's face it, I'm too lazy and my thumb ain't that green. I really wish I had the gift like you do. I love the apples!

  11. Nothing like harvesting your own crops - our pots have done well and are dug up and in the garage - the beans have cropped well but the raspberries are not quite as productive - I love your pics - everything looks so wholesome - take care both of you xx

  12. Amy - my first garden was a patch of nettles. Yanked them out one day and sowed a packet of flower seeds. Don't know how, but they grew. I was hooked.