It’s all go right now for green-fingered

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So much is happening in the garden at present that you really cannot take your eye off the ball for more than a day.

The pods of peas and beans are fattening up, spinach and salad crops are on the daily menu, blackbirds are inspecting the fruit, and weeds are springing up everywhere.

I’ve never known the greenhouse plants demand so much water.

Me, complaining? Certainly not, I love it all. If only these long days could continue.

It’s the edible plants that are demanding time right now. Our runner beans (Firestorm) have reached the top of their wigwam, are bristling with flowers and some embryo pods have set. Our broad beans are even further ahead.

It’s some years since we’ve grown Aquadulce, and I’d forgotten how vigorous it can be in relation to our normal dwarf choice, the Sutton.

It’s just as well that tall canes were offered because, thanks to a rich organic soil, the plants have almost reached eye-level, and it’s time to pinch out the tops. This is primarily to concentrate growth into the developing pods, but it also eliminates black aphid colonies, which favour the soft tip of the plant.

The Early Onward pea is so reliable whatever the weather, and our harvesting will begin in a day or two.

After a slow start in growth, courgette plants are offering abundant fruits.

Our ideal length for cutting is 10cm. If you allow them to reach 15cm, they’re on the fast track to becoming marrows.

I’m trying two different varieties this year, the green Sure Thing and One Ball, which is a round yellow type.

There are two enjoyable phases every year when you have an asparagus bed.

The first begins around mid-April when delicious early spears surface. This marks the beginning of a harvest that continues until mid-June. That’s when we stop picking and allow every emerging shoot to continue growing. So strong is this surge that canes are required for support, but these eventually vanish under the mass of fern-like foliage that becomes a significant ornamental feature throughout summer.

All of these plants are fun to grow, but they demand sufficient moisture to support the swelling of various edible parts. When any top growth is drooping because of drought, offering water is only a quick-fix. You need to address the underlying problem. Build up the soil organic content in autumn and follow that with surface mulch before a new season gets under way.

We’ve waited two years for the delphinium Galahad to develop, but this week it is in full bloom, and don’t the bumblebees love it. Standing at 1.5m tall, it is just the right height for a photograph — if you have the time!