There’s still more to come in harvest

A bumper crop of raspberries. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
A bumper crop of raspberries. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Tomato leaves, especially the lower ones, are beginning to show their age.

If you haven’t already done so, remove them to encourage maximum light and air penetration. The crop is set by now, and with regular watering-feeding it will gradually ripen.

I continue decimating leaves going into September until there are few left on each plant.

Eventually, any green tomatoes remaining, and not being used for chutney, are spread out on the greenhouse staging with newspaper underneath and a banana for company. The ethylene gas it releases helps ensure that even the smallest green fruit will ripen.

A bumper raspberry harvest has been stored in the deep freeze, and intermittent rain is bringing the curtain down on summer cropping.

It is easy to see which canes have borne the fruit so there’s no better time to prune them down to ground level.

This will allow the pale-stemmed young canes to grow further and ripen before winter arrives, in preparation for next year’s crop.

But we’re not finished with fresh raspberry picking yet. The autumn fruiting varieties are gearing up and should be ready for mid-September.

It’s amazing how, after pruning to the ground in January this year, the canes have already grown to eye-level and are eager to perform.

The supply of spinach leaves seems never-ending, and plump cobs of sweet corn have appeared on the menu.

Most prolific though are the five courgette plants. The idea is to keep cutting for kitchen and stop any turning into giant marrows before September. That’s when we allow two plants to run riot and stuffed marrow suddenly appears at table.