The weather has changed. It’s still warm, not hot and we have rain. Today, 16th August, the rain held off until we had finished our coffee break.
After weeks of dry weather, gardening in the rain is a novelty, ‘though maybe not quite the amount of precipitation we had today. However, jobs need doing and produce picked.
It’s been such a mixed year so far; the weather and pests are blamed. But there are successes. This sunflower appeared, growing on it’s own in a polytunnel and is certainly doing it’s own thing. The stem is 6cms thick. There’s one flower at present but there are more buds.
Weeding of course continues, here amongst leek plants which have required covered protection.
Basil as usual is growing well, as are the tomatillo.
And the take-home boxes are pleasingly filling up.
Still no rain. Unbelievable.
Frequent picking of the sweet peas is ensuring a continuous supply.
After a shaky, nibbled start (mentioned in May), the climbing beans have revived and are in full flower with some fairly lengthy pods.
There are still strawberries to be picked but of the mainly smaller, jam-making size.
It’s the first year for worcesterberries at DCF; one bush is producing well with berries ripening. Hopefully by next year, the smaller bushes will have caught up.
Garlic has been dug up, onions shared and the other take-home boxes, are colourful – and nutritious.
We’re still waiting for rain…
The “picking season” is well underway, meaning a lot of hands are needed, for strawberries, currants, gooseberries, broad beans and, only added to the boxes after the photos were taken, lettuces, cucumbers, peas, calendulas and sweet peas.
A cool, windy day warmed up but rain is really needed, hence much time is spent watering by hand and using the sprinkler.
Strawberries are ready for picking and red currants are nearly ripe.
Potatoes are hoed up and weeding continues, as here among the onions.
Recently planted sweetcorn and courgettes look to be established.
Enviromesh is protecting many crops but has been removed from the climbing beans to aid pollination as they are in flower.
And after all the numerous other jobs, there’s the reward – the “take home” box.
One word sums it up,
so only time to grab one shot.
The take-home box. It’s so good to see the fruit of one’s labours.
and a beautiful day, ‘though hopefully the forecast rain will materialise overnight as the ground and plants really need it.
As mentioned in the last post, it’s not so great on the “chewed plant” front, with the top shoots of many of the climbing and dwarf bean seedlings having been eaten presumably by rabbits, maybe also wood pigeons. Hence netting has been draped over to offer some protection.
A continuous priority is weeding, as here among the onions.
Tomato plants and cucumbers are flourishing in the polytunnels, while cabbages, started under cover, are being transplanted outside. And outdoors, gooseberries are looking promising.
and the start of a forecasted few days of “sunshine”.
So the sweet peas were planted outside, under cane wigwams which were then protected for a couple of weeks with fleece to hamper unwanted nibbling – evident in the missing tops of many of the onion shoots.
The outdoor sown broad beans are really catching up with those grown in a polytunnel, all being in flower.
Home started cucumber plants look healthy and await planting in a polytunnel.
And among the many springtime jobs, posts were erected for the climbing beans’ framework.
26th April, a breeze (coldish wind), not that ideal for rolling mypex but patches covered over the winter, need to be exposed prior to adding manure and rotovation.
Jobs done included the erection of pea supports prior to sowing and that continuous task of weeding; typically weeds continue their onward progress of growing quicker than the specifically sown veg seeds.
Coolish night temperatures mean it’s not wise to transfer eg sweetcorn outdoors, while protected under cover the peas and broad beans are making good progress.
Fingers crossed for the sweet peas to be planted out next week and more fingers crossed the seedlings will not be eaten… please.
A week later and initially indoor jobs were favoured due to the bitter wind. Leaves continued to be harvested, while timber and screweyes were fixed to add support for future tomato plants.
However the wind dropped and it was pleasantly warmer in the sun while carrying out repairs, improvements to the watering system and outdoor veg picked – broccoli, kale, etc.