Friday, July 27, 2012


Heat wave!

After the sodden months of April, May and June, and most of July, we have had 5 days of scorching weather! Very bad for the poor sprouts and cabbages and leeks that I planted out! For the first time I have been watering!
So, at the moment we are eating: beetroot, baby leaves, yellow baby pattypan squash, French and runner beans, new potatoes. Another cauliflower is almost ready. There are quite a few peppers on the plants but none are ripe as yet which is a bit of a bummer, hope they are not all ready during my hols! I will take off the green ones and let new ones develop I think.
The onions have been harvested and are now drying ready for storage. Not so many planted as last year but a nice little harvest nevertheless. 
There are others already packed into net bags, as they were already pretty much dry.
The garden is still a little overgrown but on the weekend I shall make a bit of an effort to hoe to tidy up before we are off on holidays.

Monday, July 23, 2012


July - first sun

Yep end of July and finally a litlle sunshine. It has been an incredibly bad season. All the tomatoes have needed ripping out due to blight and some potatoes were affected and have been cut back, for harvesting as quickly as possible.
The peas rapidly succombed to some kind of rot and I have now removed them. It didn't seem to affect the runner beans.
On the whole, things are slower. But there are some positives:
I harvested my first cauliflower! All Year Round, Sown on March 12 so that makes...19 weeks. Huummm that's quite long. I have now sown some Candid charm type which apparently take only half that. Still, I was quite pleased.
We are currently eating: french and runner beans, lettuce, baby leaf, beetroot (YES!), artichokes, mint and raspberries, as well as the spuds of course.
Harvested the onions, quite a few good kilos there.
And I have sowed: more french beans, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, mizuna, some parsnips (don't know if that will work), Autumn King carrots, planted out the leeks,  and the brussel sprouts (which have been a bit attacked by slugs :-(

Monday, July 02, 2012


July and it's still raining

If somewhat rather more sparsely. The weather is quite terrible for this time of year. Cool, except for patches of on-off heat, and frequent showers.
Horrible for urban humans but not so bad for plants. Well, some, like the aubergines and various squashes are really displeased, but with a little sun they may pick up. The strawberries too are very poor but I can't tell if they are just being eaten by slugs or rodents or they just aren't getting pollinated... The poor old gooseberries, attacked by sawfly caterpillars which I have been squashing between gloved fingers, did give me 1.5 kilos of berries but in their usual ungrateful way, scratched the bejesus out of me in the process. The rhubarb is the best ever, although I find the stalks a little thin, there are so many of them. I got a good 8 or 10 stalks. Jam making this week!
I continue harvesting spuds: the yield is excellent, I suspect the high rainfall is responsible. So far no disease... but a little sun would be welcome. They have been fairly invaded by nasturtiums: I was worried this would deprive them of goodness, but on the contrary it seems to have kept the ground cool and fresh.
The onions continue to flourish: I have started folding some over so they start to ripen up for harvesting.
The runner beans are flowering, beautiful scarlet blossoms. Soon our first beans will be there for picking! They will run on from the peas: we have had a few meals of them, a big bag is in the fridge but I think we will get only one more picking out of them. I have left a few overly ripe ones to dry on the vine for seed. The Alderman were good as always, however I was also impressed by the Champion of England, which gave very big pods.
I planted out PSB and swiss chard: I need to keep sowing cabbages and later lettuces. The red butterheads are doing very well so far. And I think we may get some beetroot this year! they seem to be swelling nicely so I must remember to keep them well watered (if Mother Nature doesn't do it for me!).
As Sod's Law is always around, I damaged one of the cucumber plants that was actually growing. I seized it in the wrong place and broke off the tip. Have to see if it will develop side shoots or if it is buggered, Oh well, I planted 4 new ones out, but cukes will be late coming this year!
Tomatoes: a few fruit swelling well, and loads of flowers. However they need a prune, a hoe and a feed as well as tying up again.
The plant of the month is definitely mizuna: this lovely Oriental salad green is excellent, prolific, and tasty. Much more successful than Chinese cabbage (but which I will try again a little later, being a glutton for punishment). We continue to eat several handfuls a week, and it grows faster than I can cut it... Luckily, as the rocket went straight to flower rather annoyingly.

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