Late Summer Harvest…

We have just been away for two weeks and arrived back last night.  After unpacking the car and getting the kids into bed, I couldn’t hold out any longer on going to inspect the vegetable patch.  Oh, OK, actually I pretty much dashed over there as soon as we opened the car door for a quick peek.

It was as I expected, despite quite a lot of rain, a large amount of the garden has gone past it’s best.  In some cases (the cucumbers, squash and courgettes) have suffered badly from powdery mildew and sadly most of the tomatoes have early blight and have definitely given up the will.  I trashed quite a few plants, saving any crops that I could.  The greenhouse is now stuffed with green tomatoes, some will ripen if left for a few days, others are destined for chutney later in the week.

The 100’s & 1000’s tomato plants (of which I have 2) have produced masses of little tomatoes, mostly about the size of a Malteser.  I have stripped one, trimmed and cleaned the fruit, which I will freeze later tonight.  The second plant is still OK, so I’ve left it be and given it a good water and feed.

We still have plenty of corn to eat, I cooked some this afternoon as a little treat.  I am amazed that my oldest (5 years old) loves it as he wont eat the tinned or frozen kind, to the point that the dinner ladies at his school know not to serve him the pasta or fish pie, if it has hidden corn inside.  In my mind it proves how different fresh corn on the cob tastes, the sweetness and crunch are amazing and it’s definitely worth giving up the space.

I decided to remove the melons and bring them indoors, hopefully they will ripen in the sun (we took two on holiday to Yorkshire with us and they did just that).  Sadly the leaves were so badly damaged with mildew I didn’t see much benefit to leaving them outside.  We have a similar problem with the squash, I would normally bring it into the greenhouse anyway around late summer, to ripen and harden ready for storing for the Winter, something I will do in the coming days.

Still cropping in the garden are kale, beetroot, spring onions, barlotto beans, alpine strawberries, french beans (just a few, planted as an afterthought a while ago), salad (although new seed will be sown for the Winter next week), sweet corn and blackberries.  I plan to give the garden a general clear out and start getting the next wave of crops on the go over the next week or so, here’s hoping for decent weather 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Late Summer Harvest…

  1. Hi Beth, Hope that you had a lovely holiday and your garden was glad to see you back! Shame that your tomatoes were hit with blight, hope that you still get a good amount ripening, and lots of lovely green tomato chutney. Our pumpkins have terrible powdery mildew – hardly any leaves left now that haven’t disintegrated – and it’s starting to spread to the neighbouring squashes. It’s a relief to know that you would bring them in soon anyway to ripen and harden off the vine, I suspect we’ll have quite a few sheltering in the greenhouse soon as the plants give up the ghost… Sara x

    • Hi Sara, powdery mildew does make rather a mess of the garden doesn’t it? Last year I sprayed with a milk/water solution which worked well (obviously need to do it before the mildew arrives or as soon as the first appears) but I got fed-up trying to keep all the leaves covered in the end and just resigned myself to it. Last year I brought the squash/pumpkin in early September to dry and that worked fine, you just need to leave a bit of stem either side so it dries without any rot getting into the fruit. Bethx

      • I tried the milk/water solution a couple of times myself when the patches of mildew arrived, but it didn’t seem to have much effect. Perhaps I needed more persistence! At least the fruit should be salvageable, which is good news! We’ve heard that leaving a t-bar stem is the thing to do when cutting them off… S x

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