Monday Harvest – 21st Jan 2013

I harvested quite a few onions this week – this variety I bought as seedlings called “red onions”.  They are really mild and lovely in salads.

Red Onion

The rat issues with the tomatoes continue, although I experimenting with a few things at the moment which hopefully will work.  The rodents seem to have a preference for slicing tomatoes, which they have decimated, but they are leaving me the occasional cherry tomato.  The larger ones below are yellow boy – harvested early to try and avoid attack.


I continue to harvest lots of cucumbers and zucchini and made my 2nd batch of bread and butter pickles this week.

Cucumbers and other harvest

Also noteworthy in the above basket is this years first ripe chilli.  A cayenne from seed sown on the 30th June 2012.  The bulk of our chilli harvest is usually in March so I’m happy with the occasional one in January.

I was running low of potatoes so I dug around the side of the bed and found a few for dinner.


I’m not sure how good this years potatoes are going to be – it seems very late to be harvesting and I don’t think the plants are getting enough water.  I’ve been giving them some but we really need some rain.  2013 has been hot and dry thus far.  With this in mind I have been trying to keep the water up to the plants.  The silver beet is coping OK and I harvested my first crop from my new plants.


Also doing OK is the rocket which is living up to the ‘wild’ tag.  Part of my lawn has been overrun by sprawling plants – as a result I am eating a lot of it.

rocket and Beans

The beans in the basket are: Purple King, Windsor Long Pod, Majestic Butter and Beanette.  None of them are producing as well as they did last year but frankly I’m not sure what to attribute this to yet.  Perhaps I’ll see how they do for the rest of the season.

Mint & Basil

What is doing as well, if not better than last year is the basil.  I’m harvesting a lot each week and still the plants seem to get bigger and bigger.

Those were my main harvests this week, for more head over to Daphne’s and check out the other Harvest Monday posts.

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26 Responses to Monday Harvest – 21st Jan 2013

  1. What a nuisance about the rats!

    Maybe your beans were too dry and warm.

  2. Marisa says:

    I love red onion – yours look fantastic. Here we have enormous quantities of chillies but the cayennes (sown far more recently than yours) are still green. Terrible about the rats – maybe you need to borrow a cat for a short while, just to scare them off. While we are (so far) rat-free, every beautiful red tomato I’ve picked so far has some kind of insect living in it…

    • Liz says:

      What is it with tomatoes that makes them so problematic? Well actually I guess it kind of self evident isn;t it? – they are delicious after all. Most of my cayennes are still green – enjoyed a few tonight in curry – very nice they were too.

  3. Mark Willis says:

    Liz, it’s great to read about your harvests at a time when very little is coming out of my garden (it’s currently covered in snow) – it keeps me motivated, and looking forward to OUR Summertime. I reckon it’s time for you to escalate the war on rats: selective poison is required! (Or get a Terrier…)

    • Liz says:

      I have put down some poison some of which has been taken and some left – i am a bit reticent mainly because I don’t know where they live (and will go to die) and I would hate to think of something else eating a posioned rat.

  4. Chelsea says:

    Oooo I hate pesky nibblers. Haven’t had bad enough luck to get rats but every year a mouse manages to mow down at least one batch of seedlings. Love the tatties. I found some perfect little salad specimens while turning the compost last week. Scrubbed the dickens out them then had them in a tasty salad. Am keeping an eye out for the Kipfler potatoes you mentioned. My seed buying fingers are getting twitchy…

    • Liz says:

      I think they are a Dutch variety so I would have thought they would be available in the UK but perhaps not. The flavour is very similar to Pink Fir apple but they are quicker and less knobbly.

  5. It is brilliant to be able to look at all that delicious food and to know that you are enjoying such bounty! I am especially jealous of your bumper basil harvest… just think of all the pesto you can make. I hope your rat issues improve very soon.

  6. Sarah says:

    Seeing your basketful of wild rocket has reminded me that I need to order some more seed! Your family must be eating very well at the moment – lots of lovely produce to choose from.

    • Liz says:

      I am enjoying it I have to say, various members of the family are happier with some bits over others if you know what I mean. Why no one else really likes eggplant is beyond me…..

  7. alyse says:

    I have just got some wild rocket seed from the Italian Gardner. I have never grown it before but it looks so good in your harvest basket! Have you seen the rats? I found out on the weekend my problem was not rats but mice, I saw a mouse noshing on one of my lovely cherry tomatoes!

    • Liz says:

      Unfortunately I think I have both. I have seen rats and we have caught mice in traps in the house relatively recently. Also some of the damage seems to be caused by smaller animals than other bits.

  8. Daphne says:

    Beautiful harvests. I keep dreaming of summer again.

  9. mac says:

    Lovely and varied harvest, I’m inspired to start seeds again even though I won’t be home to care much for them this year.

  10. kitsapFG says:

    Rats seem to have good taste… they go for the the tastiest and biggest produce regularly. Have to give them credit for good taste.

    What a wonderful harvest week you had! The variety is lovely and I am totally jealous of all those summer veggies.

    • Liz says:

      Annoyingly discerning aren’t they? Still they do seem fond of Mars bars but it they don’t seem to be killing them though…..

  11. Michelle says:

    The rats are still at it, arrgh! Good luck, I hope some of your methods work. I did find that it helped to try as many methods as possible at the same time – keep the boogers on their toes. I wonder if it is the hot dry weather that is affecting your beans, I think that my beans always seem to do best when the weather is more on the mild side. But perhaps that’s because my beans always seem to get overrun with spider mites when the weather turns hot.

    • Liz says:

      I think you are right about them prefrring mild conditions – mine seem to have stopped setting beans at the moment and are perhaps waiting for kinder conditions.

  12. foodnstuff says:

    I’m pleased to see your butter beans are curly, too. Mine always curl, yet in the seed packet picture they’re always beautifully long and straight. It frustrates me no end, because I don’t know the reason. No problems with any other bean varieties.

    • Liz says:

      Last year my first round of butter beans were beautifully straight but after that they were all curled – I suspect they need exactly the right growing conditions to be straight and I happened to fluke it briefly last year. This year though – no such luck.

  13. Bek says:

    Nice harvest! My beans are also slow this year, maybe its just a bad year for beans… Good to see the rat is leaving you some produce.

  14. Nina says:

    Ditto re the beans! My plants look healthy but were slow to start flowering and even slower to produce beans.

    Do you freeze your pesto, Liz? Some say you shouldn’t due to the cheese and oil content. I reckon I’ll give it a go, though.

    I’m still harvesting from my potato bags. The volume of potatoes is increasing as time goes on but I’m not sure I’ll grow them like that again.

    • Liz says:

      I freeze it without the cheese in it and then add it to the dish later. It works well – I use a reasonable but not excessive amount of oil in mine.

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