Thursday, 22 June 2017

I went to the plot for a punnet of strawberries...

...and picked over three kilos!

The downside of the dry weather is that although the fruit look good, the taste of them is quite variable.  Some large, sweet and juicy, as an English strawberry should be, and some rather small, seedy with a strong, almost bitter flavour.  They might work for jam.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The rain of a few days ago has doubled the size of the weeds!

The plants are doing okay too, if a little small because of the earlier lack of rain.

 Plenty of strawberries though, some quite large, the watering I did has paid off.  There is about a kilo there, some for my sister, some for the freezer and some for my tea.

Out of a 9 feet long row of seeds ...2 parsnips!  I should be grateful, it could have been none.

Most of the sweetcorn are growing nicely.  Although that one in the middle looks as if it is not long for this world.

The withering on the blackcurrant bush is spreading so I can rule out frost damage. I read that they need to be watered during dry spells, which I haven't much, so I wonder if that could be the cause. I can't see any mould or mildew or any obvious pests so I have cut the withered branches off in the hopes of stopping whatever it is from spreading any further. The only two stalks left are new wood, which doesn't seem to be affected like the rest (so far) which were all on old wood. The remaining leaves had a lot of aphids so I washed them down with a mild detergent solution.

Lots of flowers on the broad beans.

The first sweet pea, can't make a bunch yet ..

The winter onions that have survived the basal mould have decided its time..

The flowery bit it looking pretty.

In the greenhouse at home...

...the tomatoes are looking promising...except...

...the dreaded Blossom End Rot...just the one so far on the overwintered Marmande tomatoes.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

I spoke too soon... it has rained incessantly for two days...  which is good for the garden but pretty miserable for everybody else!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The garden is still very dry.  This seems to be the pattern for the last few years.  There was a little rain here and there, but not enough to make very much difference.

So I got fed up waiting for rain to soften the ground and have planted out my courgettes and crown prince squash regardless.

The garlic has grown flower heads this year and I hear tell that the "scapes" are good to eat.  So I have cut them off and will give them a go for my dinner tonight.

Not sure how to cook them but I can't go wrong if I sautee them in butter.

The leeks that I planted too late last year are reaching a decent size but because it is their second year they have all thrown up flower spikes, so I have started to use them even though they aren't very big.

So far quite a lot of them, when I have dug them up have had baby leeks attached at the root.  They are about the size that leeks should be at this time so I have detached them as carefully as I can and replanted them.  Nothing lost if they don't survive.

Summary of the planting so far:

  • shallots, almost ready to harvest
  • peas, sprouting
  • turnip, beetroot and florence fennel seeds sown yesterday
  • sweet corn planted out
  • runner and french climbing beans planted out
  • broad bean tied in and supported although they are still small
  • sweet peas and cleome planted out
  • winter onions either going mouldy or maturing nicely
  • strawberries looking plentiful but still green
  • leeks and garlic as above mentioned
  • brussells' sprouts growing well between the garlic.
  • celeriac growing in among the leeks, I put them in the shade of the hedge because they like to be damp.
  • asparagus finished, two plants didn't show this year, so far anyway.
  • currant bushes looking well except for one side of the blackcurrants.
  • apples and pears all have fruit but are needing water.
  • potatoes are filling their boxes and bags up.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

I sowed a tray of verbena bonariensis in February and nothing happened so after a month of no-show they got shoved into a corner of the greenhouse and forgotten about.  Then, you guessed it, they started to grow and this is the result!

It always surprises me....

Verbena Bonariensis many plants you can get from one half seed tray of compost!  Another good thing, I used up lots of the small pots that have been cluttering up the garage since last year.

Now to see how many survive the operation.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The last three days have been really warm, a bit too hot for us northerners, we just aren't used to it.

A day for a little gentle weeding and hoeing in between sessions in the deckchair with a flask of coffee. I tried breaking up concrete-like soil with the azada so I could plant out the sweet corn, but gave myself a headache instead.

Sadly, the one thing that was very easy was pulling out some of the winter onions...

They had hardly any roots and bits of white mould around their bases.  I will take these home, salvage what I can and the rest will go into the rubbish bin rather than the compost heap.

The hugelkultur patch is looking very flowery.  It will look even nicer when all the poppies flower.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

There has been a good bit of rain since my last entry, but even so the bed in which I have chosen to put the cleome plants was still quite dry only an inch or two down.

I planted out the climbing beans and that bed was nice and damp because I had gone over it with the soil-miller just last week.

I just noticed that the winter onions are starting to bolt, especially the sets that I planted straight out.  No flower spikes on the sets that I grew on in modules before planting them out. Interesting!