Sunday, June 29, 2014


Rain at last

This weekend finally saw some decent rainfall (why always on the weekend?). I went down on Saturday, under a little light drizzle, and managed to pull up a few potatoes, pick peas and courgettes and trim and tie in the tomatoes that are already getting unwieldy. Some of them have small fruit on them! Cool!!!


25 June

We are in the middle of a very puzzling dry spell. Of course that is good news for humans that want to sit outside drinking mojitos and getting tanned but bad news for a veg garden. So it's been water + mulch for the last fortnight. Some things hate it - the lettuce have gone AWOL. But surprisingly the garden is still thriving. Picking our first courgettes - they are very early this year. The spuds have been wonderful. i pulled up the first rows of belle de Fontenay and they have been replaced with two butternut plants and a row of some unidentified brassica which may be broccoli or caulis. The achocha is finally liking its sunny spot and has started to climb its stakes. I like its pretty light green colour and fine tendrils. The beans are doing well. The runners are about 20cm high and starting to twine around their supports and the French beans will be flowering soon, good, beans before our holidays. More carrots, turnips, beets, lettuce have been sown, tricky in this hot weather. The tomatoes are getting very big and I have the first baby fruit (again very early) and plenty of flowers. The peppers next to them also are doing well and are close to flowering. Afraid that the broad beans were heavily affected by rust and aphids so I ripped them out, added fresh compost and sowed some beans and peas in their place. Now I need to get cracking on some swiss chard plants and buy in leeks and brussel sprouts which failed from seed for me, as usual. The grapevine also needs tying in.

Monday, June 09, 2014


New potatoes

I am not sure there is any crop as magical as potatoes. You put a potato in the ground and three months later - it has turned itself into 7 or 8 potatoes! There is also the fun of digging round to see where the spuds have actually grown. The Belle de Fontenay planted between the last week of February and the first ten days of March are ready. The crop is even better than last year perhaps because we had a lot of rain but some bright patches too. They are sweet and delicious. I even had again some purple Vitelottes come up. I sowed those once two seasons ago and yet they still seem to keep growing!I tidied up the ones still growing, taking off old leaves, weeding and spraying wit Bordeaux mixture. I realised why I was not getting more artichokes. The plant has been infested with aphids! Grrr how annoying. I have tried washing them off with a spray of water, see how that goes. The broad beans too have been particularly affected and I took out 3 plants which were infested.they are also harbouring some kind of fungus, The leaves have turned a bronze colour. I took them out, fertilised and sowed some climbing beans in their place. The leeks have not worked again so I will have to go get some plants. I will not sow them again, it's a waste of time and space and seed. The courgettes are looking great, they are in flower already. The accocha is still fairly small but it has grown and is putting out tendrils, so I put in some pea sticks to help it climb. The tomatoes are very sturdy and I tied them in and mulched as best I could. This weekend we have eaten - lettuce, baby leaves, chives, rosemary and mint, the first snow peas, some broad beans and a few strawberries and more rhubarb (the best crop ever). The weather has been very warm but with some night rains and this seems to make the plants thrive. Soon we will be harvesting gooseberries and red currants and the garlic will probably be ready in a week. On holidays recently I saw something very unusual - a field of artichokes! Pics to follow...

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