Wednesday, 31 July 2013

peas finished, old strawbs out

The peas and mangetout have finished.  I pulled off what pods there were and the plants are on the compost heap.  They have a pretty short season, I could have extended it by planting a second crop, but by that time I had filled the plot up with other things. I think next year I might not over-indulge in squashes and cucurbits, and maybe I will have room for more peas.

 The middle of the pea bed is still occupied by very tall cosmos which I put in with the peas when I ran out of space. They have gone really leggy to get some of the light between the pea plants.

The winter onion bed is now empty, the last few are drying in the garage.  They have been really good this year, well worth putting in even though onions are so cheap in the shops.  I have filled the bed up to the top with some soil improver that I kept back for the purpose.
I think this bed might take the Hispi cabbage which is sprouting nicely in the cold frame.  Because it is a small bed it should be easy to cover with netting.
 The cut flower bed has performed as I hoped, but a bigger variety of flowers would have been nice.  The cosmos (the white flowers) were good, but the oenothera....
wasn't a very good cut flower as its current open flowers are at the top of a tall spire, with the dying flowers lower down, so it looks a bit bedraggled most of the time.

The pumpkins and tomatillos in the hugelkultur bed at the back of the picture look nice and green and are growing well. The squashes are a bit crowded now in what seemed like loads of room when I put them in.  The book did say 3ft between plants but I didn't really believe it.

But the sweet peas have been, and still are magnificent this year, in both sight and smell.
All in all, the plot is looking good!

I took the old strawberry plants out today.  I felt a bit traitorous because they have performed well for me, but the next generation is doing a good job in the "new" bed, and I shouldn't anthropomorphise, they are only plants after all. I decided against keeping some of the newer plants from that bed, as there is plenty in the new bed and I don't want to start another strawberry bed somewhere else.

I picked 4lbs of gooseberries from MGG's plot as he was fed up with getting scratched and torn from picking.  My gooseberries died in the flood last year and my new plants are just babies yet and produced a total crop of two berries, so MGG kindly offered his surplus to me.. Well really, to anybody who was hard enough to brave the thorns. So after rubbing some Savlon onto my arms and hands I am going to make gooseberry jelly.

While I was weeding I came across this character...
A ladybird larva, I think.

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