This is a great start to summer! And I’ve a copy of Joy Larkom’s ‘Grow your own vegetables’ to read through too.
There have been a few changes at the plot – Him Indoors has been organising me so the space looks a lot tidier and the grass is mostly trimmed down to lawn levels. After an immense amount of effort & clangy noise I’ve got through the hardcore road to the earth below, so the green bed can be dug. It’s 12ft x 4ft, so a proper chunk of digging. All the stones are finding a new home in the hedge next to the plot….
I think the terracing is working – the beds appear to be draining well at the minute, and they are on what was previously very stagnant and boggy ground. Though digging in summer won’t really show if it’s totally sorted. I’ve nearly done all the digging I can, the ground is setting like concrete.
I’ve dug up the yellowing Desiree and planted BNS in its place – hopefully whatever was wrong won’t transfer to the squash. And lots of soapy water has been applied to all things with heaving populations of green or black aphids, so hopefully that’s them held at bay for a week or so! Where’s my ladybird army?!
The second culticave is up and already full of cape gooseberries, tomatoes and chillies as overspill from the first. I can see why having a polytunnel or a greenhouse is so helpful and also so addictive! I need to rig something up to support the tomatoes a bit better as they are trailing a bit more than I’d want. The mesh doors mean that the caves aren’t as warm as they could be, but on the plus side there is absolutely no condensation.
The broad beans were harvested today – I got a carrier bag full of big pods, and I’ll be busy freezing them tomorrow evening. This is the first time I have had anything approaching a glut of anything – I’m really pleased with how much I got from the 27 plants. Definitely doing that again, and possibly with a nifty second sowing to extend the cropping, though with such an early sowing I had hardly any blackfly at all.
The bean bed has been redug and planted up with cucumbers, chicory, a couple of poppies and various squash – some lovely and sturdy (potimarron, autumn crown) and some that are quite frankly probably too spindly (burgess, queen, harlequin). If they survive I will be impressed.
I was really surprised at how compacted the bed was already – I had to jump on the spade to get it through the earth, and this is supposed to be one of the better beds! The soil was very dry underneath too, so my watering might need rethinking. This was in the heat of the day, and with country dancing commentary from the local rec to some bad tweedly & tinny folk music which drowned out 6Music (‘heel, toe, heel, toe, now swing your partner, that’s it boys and girls…!’)
I found a newt in the soil, or at least I think it was a newt – it had a brown body and an orange tummy and played dead very realistically. It’s been rehomed near a pond, as I’m sure it will be happier there.
The chillies are starting to come through. There are flowers on the jalapeno, lemon drop and chenzo – the habanero is a little further behind. One of the chenzo F2s has purple flowers and what looks like purple upright chillies forming. The flowers on a standard chenzo are white, so I assume this one has reverted to one of the parents. I will be interested to see what comes of it.
My lovely neighbour has fixed my hose. I’ve never owned one before, it didn’t come with instructions and so I’ve been carting more cans of water than my back would like..He set it all up – and my back is really really grateful!
Pics below of progress, and of the other half of the plot which I am dreading tackling. There be dragons!
Categories: Diary 2013