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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