There have been a lot of firsts on the plot this week, most notably for our first Pea harvest, which was much anticipated. We have three Pea beds (planted at intervals to hopefully ensure a steady supply through the summer !), and we took about half the Peas from the largest bed. Unfortunately about a third of what we picked had been munched by caterpillars. It was so frustrating to pop open each pod only to find a smaller hungrier interloper had got there first. Nevertheless, we managed to get ample for our needs, and took them straight home for supper. I’ve since read that these caterpillars are the larvae of Pea Moth, which lay their eggs on Pea plants when they are in flower. When the caterpillars hatch, they bury into the Pea pods and feast on the Peas. Next year we’ll need to consider the best preventative methods to ensure we don’t have to share our crop. This includes planting either early or late to avoid the Pea Moth period or covering the crop with horticultural fleece.
We also got around to picking our first Lettuces (we have rather a lot, but this hot weather is calling for lots of salads right now so no complaints !) and they were happily free from crawlies. Our Shallots and second lot of Onions were also ready for lifting this week, and are now happily soaking up the sunshine and drying out before we store / pickle them. In the garden, our Potatoes and Carrots are growing well, and the Tomatoes and Cape Gooseberries have begun to fruit. Despite the struggle for water in this unexpected British heat wave, everything on the allotment is looking fairly healthy and is coming on well. Even our tyre of ‘soft veg’ which we held out little hope for (after multiple unsuccessful sowings) has begun to grow its first Courgettes this week – a true testament to perseverance !