Friday, 30 June 2017

Paddled again, boots and trousers soaked.  All the long weeds which I should have kept on top of are sopping and drape around the legs as I push through.  As soon as it dries a bit I will get the shears and strimmer at them.

Some things are looking good despite (or because of) the rain.

The remaining blackcurrant stems after my surgery on the bush, have super big berries, as if it is making up for the lack of stems.

The red and white currants were unaffected by whatever the blackcurrant had and are ripening nicely.

I didn't net the gooseberries this year and the pigeons have had nearly all the red ones.

The first baby courgette...

Some broad beans looking good..

other stems blackened, I think that might be black fly damage.

The sweet peas need picking but it is too wet to linger.  Besides, the flowers never seem to last long when picked in the wet.
Paddled through long wet grass and weeds to my strawberries.  Lots laid flat to the soil by the constant rain this past two, three days.  Lots of strawberries there but soggy and slug-ridden.  No strawberry jam this year.

Everything that needed water is looking perkier, everything that needed to be dry eg. strawberries, onions and shallots are looking dismal.

Hey ho! that's an english summer for you...its either too dry or too wet or too cold, there is always something to complain about.

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.