It's a good year for beans! They were a bit slow to get going, but now everyone seems to have plenty.
Beans need plenty of water to fatten the crop, so ensure to water at least every other day if there is no rain, or not much.
You must also pick them frequently or they go to seed and stop producing. Look carefully, they hide amongst the leaves and you think you've found them all, but you have only to miss one for that plant to stop production. We all have a turn of looking just to make sure!
If you have a glut then you can freeze them: wash, trim and slice and plunge into a pan of boiling water for a minute. Then plunge into cold water to rapidly cool, then place in bags in the freezer. They cook up from frozen in minutes.
Onions are ready when the tops are brown and bent over. At this point you can gently lift them from the soil and leave them on the surface a few days to dry out before storing them. We use old net bags and hang them in the garage. They store well.
Carrots may be ready now, watch out for them going to seed as then you won't be able to use them as they go very tough. Definitely look over the crop and start thinning them out if you haven't already.
Tomatoes are ripening up nicely now. Hopefully you haven't suffered from blight due to spells of damp weather! Keep watering them as the fruit forms, especially if they are in pots or under cover. The more you water, the better the crop.
If you have a glut, look up GAPs recipes for making tomato sauces that you can freeze.
Keep an eye out on the back of the leaves for clumps of yellow butterfly eggs and remove them before they hatch.
Kale you can pick leaves as you need them and they will keep coming.
Again, there has been a good crop this year. A very versatile plant, good sliced thinly and fried, added to quiches, soups, or even make cakes (like my chocolate cake here!) Keep picking and watering and feed fortnightly as they are very hungry plants.
My squashes haven't done very well at all as they took a bashing in the wet windy weather soon after they were planted, so are only just bearing fruit which won't have time to ripen now. But I will try again next year. I have got marrows coming though.
Once the leeks in the nursery bed are pencil thickness you can plant them on. Make a whole 2 in. across and 6 in. deep and drop the leek into it, having carefully dug it up with a fork. Water it in, but don't back fill the whole. The leek will grow to fill it (well, that's the idea, it's our first time and we are watching what happens!)
Should be ready to pick now as you need them. Take the largest. You don't want to let them get too woody and spoil.
Our apples haven't done well at all, which is a shame as we hoped to use some for juicing. The Bramleys have done a little better. If you have got a good crop, then enjoy, use the fallers too.
Again you could cook and then freeze for use in winter puddings.
Meantime we've enjoyed our crop of strawberries and raspberries, which both did well, and are just picking the last of the blueberries. We had eleven figs on our fig tree (pot contained) which is the most we have ever had. We have planted successional lettuce and spring onions so are enjoying those.
All in all it has really boosted our limited diet and we are starting to feel the lessening on the grocery bill as we don't need to buy so much veg. at the moment, which is great as it's top quality produce, and better than we buy anyway - better than we can afford!
It's been very hard work keeping on top of the allotment and garden, but a little here and a little there gets us by. It's not weed free, but it's certainly not weed infested and we've only done occasional hoeing sessions. Our dig free method has done us proud again!