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Anyone else having similar trouble to us with runner beans this year? A couple of weeks ago they were literally covered with open flowers, however almost everyone fell off unfertilised. The same thing has just happened again. The upper parts of the plants were covered in flowers and after the deluges we’ve had in the last few days there are no flowers left. It’s not been like this in 25 years. I have never seen so few bees (honey or bumble) in our garden. Does anyone else think that bee numbers might be much lower this year?

Carol

Mine haven't even got as far as flowering yet :(

I've been growing vegetables for about 25 years and this is the worst year I can remember. Some things are still doing well, but an awful lot aren't.

James
 
Are those kiwi fruit, fian?
In the first photo in the background towards me there is tomato, red beet, eggplant and lettuce.
In the second from the background are the beans and peppers with the greenhouse on one side.
And yes, the third photo corresponds to the kiwis, below them is where I removed the photos from.
 
ine haven't even got as far as flowering yet :(

I've been growing vegetables for about 25 years and this is the worst year I can remember. Some things are still doing well, but an awful lot aren't.
Strangely my beans got off to a great start and the plants are strong and healthy, whereas usually by this stage I’m having to water nearly every night, but they would be setting some fruit. The dwarf beans have produced a small first picking. By comparison potato and chard harvest have been massive so far - so much bigger than usual.

The losers have been the herbaceous flowers. They are only just starting to bloom, probably a month or so later than I’d expect. Until the last couple of weeks, there has been very little forage available for bees in my garden. What a year of odd weather!
 
Looks delicious. Would you be prepared to share the recipe, please 😋
Apples and sugar on the stove - stewing. After apples get mushy - add some walnuts and cinnamon. Crusty part I would have to ask my mother which one. This one is old recipe, I am better in eating it :)
Sorry I didn't reply earlier, but got new employment and I am more concentrated about that..
 
Lifted all my Charlotte potatoes today, before blight has a chance to get to them. There were a few monsters.

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James
 
I grow Charlottes - but I find they are best eaten soon after they are lifted - I've not had a lot of luck storing them for any length of time - 2/3 weeks I find before they start to deteriorate. Either you have a secret or you are going to be eating a lot of potatoes !
 
That looks like a fabulous crop James. We had some whoppas too when we lifted ours last weekend.

We had a happy accident storing early potatoes last year (charlottes and one other variety possibly Kestrel). Due to a number of non-growing issues, we didn’t lift some of them until late summer/autumn. They were grown in very large pots (1m dia). The shores died back and we left the compost to get really dry. They lasted and lasted without problems. We still had some at Christmas. I guess it’s akin to supermarkets selling new pots out of season that have been dug at the right time, but stored in almost dry compost.
 
That looks like a fabulous crop James. We had some whoppas too when we lifted ours last weekend.

We had a happy accident storing early potatoes last year (charlottes and one other variety possibly Kestrel). Due to a number of non-growing issues, we didn’t lift some of them until late summer/autumn. They were grown in very large pots (1m dia). The shores died back and we left the compost to get really dry. They lasted and lasted without problems. We still had some at Christmas. I guess it’s akin to supermarkets selling new pots out of season that have been dug at the right time, but stored in almost dry compost.
That’s how we store ours. In the buckets they grew in, moved into the polytunnel
 
I grow Charlottes - but I find they are best eaten soon after they are lifted - I've not had a lot of luck storing them for any length of time - 2/3 weeks I find before they start to deteriorate. Either you have a secret or you are going to be eating a lot of potatoes !

I've roughly "graded" them and the small ones will get eaten as salad potatoes fairly soon. The larger ones we'll use for things like chips, which they're actually surprisingly good for. University term finished a few weeks back and we have the in-laws too, so we have a full house for the next few months and between the six of us it's not hard to get through quite a lot of potatoes even without having them for every meal :D

James
 
We have had a cracking crop of Charlottes too but never had any problem storing them. Dark and cool
 
Almost finished picking the early peas, Kelvdon Wonder. Close to 13Lb - 5.9 kg. Just started to pick the "maincrop" Hurst Green Shaft 6lb plus and loads still to pick, I grew the early peas in one of the raised beds. I have put a 12 oz jar of honey in the middle to give a size reference.
 

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My late Dad owned a factory in 1952 in Dublin which made beautiful mahogany lavatory seats. Unfortunately it was just at the point in history when the world moved to making plastic seats and as they were so cheap the business had to close. Dad then made his living turning wooden bowls which ended up for sale in a large department store in Dublin, He often described the lavatory seat period as the bottom dropping out of the market!
SWMBO and I had a pleasant wooden toilet seat experience in Botswana about 15 years ago. Meant to be a small-group safari but there were only four guests. We moved camp every couple of days. The 'boys' would pitch our tent which included an attached screened en-suite area open to the sky. Within that they dug a hole upon which they placed a genuine Armitage Shanks porcelain toilet bowl complete with wooden seat. Maybe the seat was made by your Dad? SWMBO was mighty pleased....
 
I've been at work today, but meanwhile my wife has picked 7kg of blackcurrants and 2kg of gooseberries, giving up on the latter when she got bored of being attacked by the thorns.

James
 
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