Moving into a tasty time with superb edible crops

.Onions growing strongly
.Onions growing strongly

At long last we can look over developing plants and anticipate the harvesting of more edible crops, a nice addition to the assorted salads, spinach and asparagus enjoyed of late.

This time next week, the first taste of early potatoes grown outdoors. Peas and broad beans are starting to form and we’ve already enjoyed the first strawberries of what is promising to be a good crop.

What a difference a few sunny days without that destructive wind can make to your perspective of how the season is going so far. Consensus amongst gardening friends and acquaintances is that the cold breeze has been as much to blame as frost for the late start to this season.

Alan R and Alan T were eagerly anticipating a late June taste of their potatoes – until the leaves were shredded by strong coastal winds. However, all is not lost, some top growth has survived and that should be enough to secure a depleted crop, albeit a little later than anticipated.

Several others have reported similar damage to a variety of crops at an early stage of development, where they’re planted in rows. Significantly, a block of three dozen sweet corn Swift in this garden have come through it all unscathed.

Planting them in a square formation is traditional because they are wind pollinated, and this encourages full cobs. The safety in numbers, grouped close together, clearly helps them stand up to a stiff breeze as well.

Should such winds become the norm we’ll have to go for sturdy, low-growing vegetables. Lettuce would certainly fit the bill. Two groups we’ve grown, red and green Salad Bowl, are ground-hugging and therefore carried on regardless.

Nearby there are mixed leaves of French and Italian lettuce, and it’s not just the range of colour and form that makes them interesting, they also bring a spicy peppery edge to the plate.

While the gale howled outside, plants in the greenhouse just cruised along. Tomatoes are growing on well in the border. They are planted in large pots which are sunk slightly into the organic-enriched substrate.

Initially, water is delivered into the pots, but once the roots have entered the border that too is watered to encourage their spread. Once the first truss of fruit has set the weekly feed of seaweed-based liquid is applied via the pots.