The good and the bad, no ugly

Hampton Court Flower Show was a really good day out, though a bit light on the veggies – and my swag bag at the end of the day was full of tayberries and herbs, but my goodness it was hot! In my ever-changing plans for the plot, these are going at the bottom on wires to provide something of a wind screen. I could do with something similar for the top of the plot too, so my planting perhaps needs a bit of a rethink.

The tomatoes in the caves have gone a bit beserk. I forgot about side shoots, having only grown bush varieties before, and they are now taking over the cave in a thuggish manner. The 100s&1000s are starting to fruit – I’ve lifted the trailing branches to go over a pipe I’ve rigged up in the cave and which I will make a bit ‘gentler’ on the branches heat-wise with some off-cut insulation piping I’ve got laying around. Aphids are having a small party in each of the caves, and I will be determinedly squashing them tonight.

The Kabocha squash has taken one look at its new home and given up the ghost, but the BNS so far seems to be quite happy. Likewise one of the gherkins has decided it’s all too difficult and vanished, but fortunately I have over-sown and have replacements – though I am not entirely sure that they are gherkins….!

I’ve spotted vine weevils on the strawberries, which are showing no signs of finishing and are throwing up new sets of flowers – I’m not quite sure what to do about that, whether to nematode later in the year, or whether to leave it and see. The people at Blackmoors suggested that the goosegog might be being attacked by weevils, and that bush is in with the strawbs too.

And either a pigeon or something else heavy has snapped the branches of my biggest blackcurrant. It’s my own fault for leaving them out in the open, but they’d been left alone for so long I stupidly thought they would be ok.

I had a fantastic weekend away with family in the New Forest (I’d love to live somewhere with wild ponies), but a combination of hot weather and abysmal traffic on the M3 means that I had no time to get further with the planting/digging. It’s getting really frustrating and I am worried these plants will never get in the ground. I did harvest some beetroot though – the touchstone gold is so sweet, it was absolutely delicious sliced raw with some olive oil and lemon.

Edit to add: all the Charlotte potatoes look like they might be developing some disease – the leaves are mottled with brown spots and yellowing though I can’t see any lesions on the stems. I’ve pulled all the haulms out for the bag charlottes and will see what I have tonight – right now I reckon they can stand a day in the dry soil. None of the charlottes have flowered and the plants are very small. Might pull the rest of the ones in the bed, just to see if I can stop it spreading to the Desiree. My neighbour has a few with what might be blackleg, but appears to be leaving them in place. 

Categories: Diary 2013

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