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Now we are nearly through June & harvesting has begun!


By balcony


Now we are nearly through June & harvesting has begun!

I’ve already harvested the first Potatoes & Strawberries of the year this month, as well as Lettuces & Broadbeans!

I’ve been able to finish off the Lettuces ‘Little Gem’ planted in the greenhouse border as well as those that were left over from that planting at the end of February & were planted outside under a dwarf apple tree in front of the GH.

There are more to be harvested from my allotment, Plot 12A, I planted them between the two rows of bamboo canes that make up my bean frame. They will have been harvested long before the runner/green beans block out much of the light.

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ inside bean frame:

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ just harvested & cleaned up at home:

I also sowed some more seed of the same Lettuce,(May). I accidently had 2 packets of seeds as I thought the 1st had been lost & bought a 2nd. The 1st turned up on the GH bench, under a tray of seedlings! As each packet has 1,000s of seeds I won’t need to buy any more this summer!


Talking about sowing seeds, I sowed some Beetroot ‘Detroit 2’, in the GH, in March, which I planted out on my plot in early May – at the same time as the Lettuces. I also sowed some Beetroot ‘Cylindra’, a few days ago, (June) in the narrow bed alongside the bean frame.

Beetroot ‘Cylindra’ just sown in bed No.3:

Never grown this type before, only the round ones. I’d added spent compost from my balcony in this bed to lighten up the soil while making it more water retaining. I’d sowed the seeds of Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ here a week or so earlier but there was still space to spare for some more seeds. This will be the first time I’ve grown cylindrical Beetroots as till now they have always been the round ones. I’ll report back on the results in a few month’s time.


In the middle of March I planted out my early Potatoes ‘’Rocket’ & ‘Pentland Javelin’ & repeated the same mistake as other years of planting them too close together!

1st Early Potatoes ‘Rocket’ being sown:

The spacing between plants in the same row isn’t too bad but I plant the rows too close together resulting in a mess once the plants really get going as I can’t get to them properly to earth/hill them up! I put in 3 rows where I now realize I should have only put in two! A mistake I’ve made previous years! Perhaps I ought to put up a sign to remind me next year to only plant two rows of seed potatoes in each bed!

I’d ‘chitted’ (sprouted) a bag of seed potatoes ‘Rocket’ which were planted out at the same time as ‘Pentland Javelin’ which were not ‘chitted’. In fact I bought them only the day before planting them out.

All the potatoes were sown in the same bed which I’d dug horse manure into a few days earlier. Potatoes being the only rootcrop that doesn’t mind growing in freshly manured ground.

Just 2 weeks ago (10th June) I dug up all the ‘Rocket’ potatoes, there was only one row of them almost the width of the allotment. I ended up with quite a decent crop as well.

Potatoes ‘Rocket’ after harvesting:


I also sowed some Leeks ‘Musselbourgh’ & ‘Red’ Onion seeds (from my daughter) in Gerry’s GH, to go in my plot, during March. These germinated very well & have since been planted out on my allotment.


During March I also lifted the Parsnips that had been in the ground all winter as well as lots of Leeks.

Parsnips just harvested now in greenhouse:

I put them in the GH to dry off a little for a couple of days.


Leeks Musselbourgh just lifted:

I was very pleased with the amount of Leeks I got this winter. I harvested them every couple of weeks.

Near the end of March I planted up a bed of Onion sets ‘Stuttgarter’ as well as a row of Garlic cloves.

Onion sets ‘Stuttgarter’ just sown:

A month before I’d planted out some Onion sets ‘Setton’:

Garlic cloves just sown:

I planted out a bed of these same Onion sets in Gerry’s 1/2 allotment.

In early May I sowed a 2nd packet of Broadbeans as the 1st packet sown in February gave me only 3 plants – one of which I hoed away! They are called ‘Sutton’ & are a dwarf variety. Most of these seem to have germinated & are now making nice plants.

Broad beans ‘Sutton’ just germinating:

The 2 plants from the earlier sowing are flowering. This week I’ve picked some of the pods.
May was a very busy month for me because I also planted out lots of Runner bean seeds on the bean frame, most of these were mixed seeds from last year. Some were black seeds, some speckled, some white & also a packet of ‘Scarlet Emperor’ I’d bought.

Runner bean seeds saved from 2013:

Runner beans germinating:

Beetroot ‘Detroit 2’ seedlings inside bean frame:

Beetroot ‘Detroit 2’ in Bed No.4 (bean frame):

What a difference 14 days make!


During May I also planted out 2 beds of Tomato plants; one, ’Gardener’s Delight’ (a particular favourite of mine!), the other, ‘Sunstream’, a small, plum shaped fruit whose seeds I’d saved from some tomatoes my wife bought during the winter. I liked the taste of them & saved some seeds. These germinated very well in the GH, as did the others.

Tomatoes ’Gardener’s Delight’ just planted out:

Tomato ‘Sunstream’ just planted out:


On my plot I also sowed some Carrot ‘Purple Haze’ seed from my daughter. Never grown purple carrots before!:

I also sowed a few Sunflower seeds she gave me as well. These are in the middle of the narrow bed alongside the beanframe.

I didn’t know when I sowed the Sunflowers that they were a dwarf type! Now they are shading out the Purple Haze Carrot seedlings!


At the far end of this bed I planted out the pots of Pansies, Daffs & Crocuses that had been growing on our balcony railings. The Pansies are doing very well & have flowered a lot. They add a welcome note of colour!

Just this week a light pink Hyacinth has begun to flower!!! I’ve never, ever heard of a Hyacinth flowering in the middle of June before!!!

Well that just about resumes what I’ve done on my allotment, Plot 12A, over the last few months!

Be back next month with more news on Gerry’s plots!

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Well done ... you work hard and I can see excellent results :o)

27 Jun, 2014


All that hard work paid off, lots of scrumptious veggies there. :O)

27 Jun, 2014


You are a real market gardner Balcony!, all your vegetables look so healthy and fresh, keep up the good work ;0))

27 Jun, 2014


very impressive and what a bountiful harvest, that is a lot of hard work you have done!

27 Jun, 2014


A wonderful harvest already. Do you sell it? You'll never eat all that lettuce yourself! Planting them as a catch crop has really worked well hasn't it? I haven't grown Rocket - what are they like cooked? Would like to try another variety next year - might go back to Casablanca.

27 Jun, 2014


Very good Brian. Wish more people could grow a few
vegetables. These carrots selling for £1 in supermarkets
must be grown in chemicalised land, and sprayed, as not a sign of carrot fly.
They may fool all of the people all of the time, but not us !

28 Jun, 2014


It must be hard work but worth it when you get such a good harvest :)

1 Jul, 2014


Thank you all for your replies! :-)) Sorry I haven't been back to answer your questions but I've been busy with the allotments! Can't have it both ways - grow the veg & spend time writing about them! If I don't spend time sowing weeding, harvesting, etc. there'd be nothing to write about!!!

TT, thank you for your encouraging comments! :-))

SD, I dug the Parsnips up & left them for a few days to dry off in the GH. Being cool & having little sun I thought it would be the ideal place till I could clean the soil off the roots & cut off the tops & the ends of the roots. Which I did after a few days. Glad you liked my idea of putting the Lettuces inside the bean frame to act as a catch crop. I harvested the last of them just a few days ago. They were just beginning to bolt so I couldn't leave them in the ground any longer. I also gave Gerry a dozen or so when it was his birthday a couple of weeks ago! I've also harvested the Beetroots that were growing there as well! They turned out to be bigger than I expected! :-)) The leaves had hidden them so I didn't realize how big they'd got.

Thank you, PP! I grow the veg without much difficulty but in no way could I be considered a "market gardener"! I've picked lettuces & beetroots & even finished harvesting my new potatoes! I don't have any more potatoes as I've not planted Main Crop spuds this year.

MB: You are so kind with your remarks! :-)) It is a lot of hard work but if you enjoy your work it doesn't seem like work any more!

SG: My Early Potatoes 'Rocket' do very well & are very early - I've harvested & we've eaten most of them already! I don't have many varieties to compare them with as I've only grow about 3 or 4 different varieties & every year I've grown 'Rocket' which has always been earlier than the others.

'Rocket' has firm, yellowish flesh which fry & boil well. They are not bad as roast potatoes either. A good all rounder I'd say.

DB: As Brian hasn't posted any comments on this blog I can only think you are confusing him with me! If you want to use my name then it's David, or just use my avatar name, Balcony, I don't mind which you use.

I've never experienced Carrot Fly on my carrots & I've done nothing at all that could "discourage them"! Until I decided to spray my tomatoes with a fungicide a few days ago I've never used any chemicals on my plot. Then I only decided to do it as the potatoes our plots are being attacked by Early Blight this year & my tomatoes are in danger.

Thank you Hywel but as I said above when you enjoy your work it no longer seems to be work!

5 Jul, 2014


I enjoyed your "veggie" blog; Little Gem is the only lettuce I grow now I love the sweet crunchy flavour; I used to grow Lollo Rosso, mainly because the were big and looked good, but after a few years came to terms with the fact that i didn't much like their rather bitter taste!

I have harvested my Charlotte potatoes and also the garlic and onions, they are now drying off, ready to be "strung-up" ready for storing. In the soil now available, after harvesting, I have sewn a late crop of spring onions and and French beans.

I lost control of my garden when I was away on holiday a few weeks ago but I am catching-up; today I shall dead-head the roses and cut out the side-shoots on my
wine grapes.


22 Jul, 2014


Thanks for the info on Rocket David. I can recommend Casablanca for similar reasons. I will give Rocket a try next year.

22 Jul, 2014


Hi Davids - from another David!

I'm pleased you found my "veggie" blog enjoyable I try to make them interesting & I find people's feedback helpful :-))

I read with interest your 2 blogs on grapes & wine making. On the allotments field where I have my plot there is a guy who grows grapes & turns them into wine. I've no idea how good (or bad!) it maybe but he says he manages to get several bottles a year out of them. His wife has never said anything about his wine just that they like to make different kinds of wine from the produce of their allotments, they have two.

I have only grown 'Little Gem' lettuces this year & we ended up with a glut of them once again this year! No matter how I try to get a succession of crops it never happens as I plan them & we go through gaps & gluts!

@Stera, I'm afraid I made a mistake when describing the colour of the flesh of my potato 'Rocket'! They are in fact a very white colour with no yellow or cream in them whatsoever. What caused me to write "yellowish flesh" I've no idea! That is more the description of 'Pentland Javelin' so perhaps while writing about the potatoes I confused the two of them in my mind! (An "elderly" moment???

23 Jul, 2014


Well I don't care about the colour as long as the texture and flavour are good! (My life's one long elderly moment these days...)

23 Jul, 2014

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