Friday, 6 August 2021

Garden Diary August

Just thought I would do a garden update. Some successes and other failures, and oddly quite different from the year before.

The broad beans, which gave me such trouble last year, are black fly free, and producing nice big pods, and the runner beans and peas also seem to be going better. Only a few runners so far, but plenty of flowers.

Courgettes are also doing really well, and I really can't eat them quickly enough. I have decided to look at last year's courgette lemom drizzle cake recipe. I am also really hopeful for the black kale below, although not quite sure when I should start picking it.

I picked all the red currants, and made a single pot of red currant and raspberry jelly. I then cleared out the freezer of all of last year's raspberries and blackberries, and made more pots of jelly. The raspberries seem to be over, but my husband says we got a small second crop in the autumn last year. But all the wild blackberry bushes are covered in flowers, so look hopeful for later.

This year the sunflowers were doing great, and then a few days ago we had a very windy night, with Storm Evert, and I lost quite a few. This years are called Russian Giant, and are really tall, but I might have been safer with the smaller ones I grew last year. But the sweet peas that are grown from seeds saved from last year, and lovely healthy plants, but without a single flower. Will have to start from fresh next year. We also tried saving other seeds, and the ones that completely failed were the french beans. I guess while I am on failures I should mention the carrots. Last year they were great, but this year very sparse.

In the polytunnel this year we have tomatoes, cucumbers and various peppers coming along. One type of tomato seemed to be getting blossom rot, going brown at the base, so I have tried an organic feed with calcium, which is what the internet tells me will stop this. This year we planted the lettuce indoors in a big tray, and did much better, and also have some pak choi growing. Only one of the loofah plants that my sister gave me seeds for has survived. I keep watering it and hoping.

Have I missed anything else? There are some other plants that are coming along: squash, pumpkins, and sweetcorn. Something has eaten the tops of the jerusalem artichokes, but we are hopeful that the roots underground will still be okay. At one point we thought a rabbit had got into the vegetable plot, but then caught the dog carefully eating pea pods, so are not now sure who was the culprit. The dog is also partial to a gooseberry and raspberry if she can get them.

Courgettes, apples and sweetcorn

Also the orchard is not as thriving as last year. I think there must have been wind or a frost at blossom time, as we have had no plums, and only a handful of cherries which we left for the birds. One or two of the apple trees are doing well, but I don't think it will be the bumper crop that we had last year. I don't think we will be making as much cider, but I have my eyes on some of the elderberry bushes, blackberry bushes and sloes, and it may have to be wine or gin this year.

Bit of a messy view of the plot. 

Still plenty of time left to join in Ginx Woolly Linx Party for August.


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