Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Strawberries in June

The strawberries have started to ripen! The problem is keeping them away from the pests! If they are not subjected to an assault from below from woodlice and slugs, then the birds will have a go! The biggest predator by far however, is my dog Buddy! I caught him red-handed - or red-pawed! grrr The redcurrants just keep coming year after year. The redcurrant bush is underneath the Bramley tree and in quite a bit of shade. They are quite fiddly to pick and prepare and quite acid to taste. Not my favourite fruit but they make a useful addition to the summer pudding!
This iceberg lettuce is amazing. Normally I wouldn't touch an iceberg lettuce bought from a supermarket or in a salad - they do nothing for me. Home grown iceberg lettuce is another kettle of fish altogether. This is crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. Still battling the slugs though!
I grew these spring onions 'White Lisbon' from seed. Planted the seed in bunches in small modules then planted them out. I grew them in bunches spaced apart, and I pick them in bunches. I had forgotten how wonderfully hot and pungent freshly grown spring onions are! phew!
This New Zealand spinach has been planted out now. It is quite a tender, succulent plant and does well in a dry, sun-baked spot. Apparently it creeps and spreads over the ground. So far it is doing OK, but we need a bit more sun here to get it going, I think.
The gooseberries 'Invicta' are plentiful this year. Mine need to be thinned out now. Gooseberries are one fruit that you can eat, even at this size! I am going out to thin the gooseberries to enable them to grow big. The thinnings can certainly be used in a pie or crumble. Yum!
There is nothing quite like a gooseberry crumble!

14 Comments:

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

I'm looking at you fruit with real envy, Matron. Last year I had bumper crops with all the rain we had. This year so many plants have been devastated with pest attacks. The greenfly killed off all the leaves on my blackcurrants and the leaves on my plum and pear trees all curled up. I treated them as soon as I noticed but by then it was too late.

I have had a few strawberries though from a couple of plants I kept in the greenhouse - too high up for four legged pirates to reach :)

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Buddy has good taste! When I was a kid one of our dogs used to get into the fruit cage and eat raspberries. You've guessed it - I was the one who was blamed and no-one would believe me until Mum actually watched the dog suck a ripe fruit off the husk, leaving husk & stalk on the cane as "evidence".

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Ooo - I've spotted some raspberries there too!

Isn't it an exciting time of year?! We picked the first Strawberry on 3rd June. Gariguette - woooooo! what a flavour!

Celia

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger islandgardener said...

Thanks for sharing the photos of your garden -- especially the fruit! I tend not to plant fruit in my garden, but recently, I have bought some melon (gris de Rennes) and some watermelon seedlings that I need to get in the ground.

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Everything looks delicious! I've been keeping an eye on our strawberries too, hoping we get to them before the slugs. I've got red currants too, I agree they do need some help to taste really good, but I like that they grow under the cedar tree and the berries look pretty.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Bilbo - the same happened to me! Our dog Emma would find her way underneath the netting over the raspberries and carefully take off the ripe raspberries leaving the middle still on the plant! I would get the blame. It must be a worldwide doggy conspiracy!

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Oh bless you - and Emma too! At 8 years old I was in serious "do-dos". First for stealing the fruit and secondly for not telling the truth when confronted with the evidence at the bottom of the plant. I could have kissed that dog when Mum caught her at it! Irritatingly, I don't remember getting an apology from the adults . . .

 
At 2:56 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

I am seriously going to have to look into growing gooseberries. You are the second person I know to sing their praises. Probably a good first step would be to find someone with a gooseberry plant and try them first ot make sure I like them!

 
At 3:27 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Interesting to see iceberg lettuce growing, I have never seen one in plant form before. It forms a beautiful plant. I like iceberg even with its bad rap.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Liz said...

Currants are a pain to pick. I just prune off the whole branch then pick them in the comfort of my home. Works perfectly to harvest and tidy up the plant at the same time. I'm a lazy grower with things like this - can you tell?

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger EB said...

I think I'm going to print this lot out and show it to my fruit and veg, to give them the idea... But then again you didn't trundle off on holiday for 2 weeks and leave them to it, did you? Hmmm...

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Curmudgeon said...

Diva Dog is a big fan of purple carrots. LOL!

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Liz, that's a great idea! I'll definitely do that!
EB - you know, I think the veggie patch would do just fine if I just left it to nature! I just love to fiddle and water all the time.

 
At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Amber said...

I know of a way we get rid of slugs in the US. use a shallow dish or pan and fill with beer, cold or hot does not matter and place near the plants that are being attacked the slugs go in drink till they can't move and drown. may take more than one dish if you have many plants I'd say one dish to 2 or 3 plants. Good luck,

 

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