Turbo-charged plants

I’ve been away again, this time to the chilly Norfolk coast and leaving Mum in charge of the hose at the plot. In 4 days the good news is the:

  • sweetcorn has grown about 6 inches and I have a skinny cob or two with silks;
  • tomatoes have gone nuts – I rigged up some support in both caves for the 100s&1000s from insulation pipe but they’ve grown so much now you can hardly see it;
  • beetroot has suddenly jumped to tennis ball size;
  • chillies have grown in height and number of fruits – the jalapeno now has about 8 fruit set, the odd-looking F2 chenzo has at least 30 and the ‘true’ chenzo has around 15, but lots more blossom coming. The habaneros and lemon drops should be flowering pretty soon, and I need to repot the ones at home and try to find space in the caves for them;
  • golden purslane has recovered from the transplanting and has grown some more;
  • courgettes have taken off – the yellow ones in particular are definite overachievers, time to research more courgette recipes!

The less good news is the charlottes have only partially responded to a dose of epsom salts. And the invicta gooseberry in the bottom bed is still miserable. I’ve dug it up and put it in a large pot of new compost and it’s kill or cure time… The other invicta has sawfly – I picked off 2 caterpillars tonight and will hunt for more tomorrow as it’s in the same bed as the redcurrants. An alternate solution I’ve been offered to the weird leaf colouring on the redcurrants and gooseberry (brown edges, which increase in depth over time) is too much/little water. I’ll see whether a good soak or two sorts it out/kills it off.

The green bed is becoming a proper saga – the clay has set like concrete and there is a wide seam of hardcore from the old road/previous tenants that needs to be removed. I need to borrow Lionel’s mattock, but I have a sneaky suspicion that someone else has snaffled it.

The comfrey pipe is working well so far – I’ve about 100ml of black liquid from the first lot of leaves and have topped up the drainpipe with more leaves today. Smell free!

I’ve noticed my horseradish is making a bid for freedom through the bottom of its current pot and I have bought a bright blue trug-thing to move it into, with lots of compost and holes drilled in the side, not the bottom! (lesson learned!!)

Tomorrow Small Child and I are off to Mum’s to pick her mammoth crop of red and black currants, and the sour cherries. I have been told I am turning the redcurrants into jelly, so I had best spend some time looking at not-too-sweet recipes!

Categories: Diary 2013