Fruity sauna

From smelling of garlic to whiffing of strawberries. The 5 tiers in the dehydrator took 1.5kg of strawberries and I left it running overnight. It was windy last night and Him Indoors shut the windows to stop the doors rattling. This morning the kitchen was a heady, fruity sauna!  I might have sliced the strawbs too thickly as the ‘end’ bits were still soft 12 hours later. However, when I came back from the morning’s watering session I noticed that there were quite a few gaps in the top tray and he was looking very shifty…They might need to go on the ever-expanding list of ‘stuff I need to hide so he doesn’t snaffle it all’.

I will need to dry a heck of a lot more to get a jar full – not sure that even my berries will produce enough for that, what with wanting to eat them fresh and make a few jars of strawberry and lavender jam. So far 6kg of berries from the plants, and I expect at least another 2kg before they are done for a while. I am also going to go through the plants and take out/compost the ones that are giving very small berries.

Red goosegogs are pretty much ready and I will be picking them on the weekend.

Courgette propagation has so far been a bit of a failure. The bagged male flowers have not opened yet – and yet there was an unbagged one I hadn’t spotted last night, wide open and full of bee. Pesky things! Getting the female/male flower timing seems to be trickier than I thought. I think I have managed one, with a slightly immature male flower.

I have put up my first ever runner bean frame too – my plot now looks like a proper plot! Hope I like the beans…I have memories of being made to eat horrible, tough, stringy things. I have gone for a line of poles supported at the top and with 2 crossed poles at either end. I only have 6 beans to go in after all, so I didn’t think it needed to be very intricate. Will post a photo soon.

I haven’t had the will power for more digging, and am slowly putting the plants from the cave into bigger pots. I got some flower buckets from the Morrisons near the office (8 for 99p) and need to drill holes in them before ensconcing Alan’s triffids in them.

Vegetableseeds.net sent me an email about their 50% sale, so that is an inordinate amount of seed on its way to me for not many pennies. I was out of broad bean, Marketmore cuke and pea seeds, and didn’t have any Sweet Dumpling left either. Seed crisis now averted. Phew.

PS Also found my very first spear of horsetail in the strawberries. It didn’t take long for it to get across the path.

PPS Morrisons made a mistake – turns out I had 11 buckets for 99p. The drill got through 5 before the battery gave up.

Also had a cunning thought re watermelons – forgot I have a giant cloche kicking about somewhere and that would be perfect for kickstarting 1 or 2 plants in the ground, plus a couple of aubergines in pots. That job’s next on the list!

Categories: Diary 2014