Saturday, 30 July 2016

Weeding, and more weeding

So many crops failed due to the earlier flood. One of the failures was the peas. The bed which had them in has now become a weed infested dirt pile. Time to dig out the weeds and fill the compost bins.
Turning this:

Into this:

But it's not just that bed. There are three others done as well. One of the beds has a very deep loose soil, so we're going to plant some Daikon radish in them now. In case you didn't know, Daikon is a traditional Japanese root vegetable. Normally planted midsummer (we're a little late) and harvested over winter. So hopefully we'll be pretty good with this.

But we didn't leave the plot empty handed.

The 2016 Courgette Tally:

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Summers here

Imagine that! The UK is actually having a summer. And boy is it a scorcher. At the moment the only thing that's happening at the plot is watering, watering and more watering.

Our Mediterranean Wild Flowers are really loving this weather though and are putting on quite a good show.

The Sweetcorn has started to flower. So we're going to be expecting corn soon.

And the Leeks are flowering, as are the Morning Glories.

Yes we're letting them flower so we can collect the seeds. The actual leeks themselves got slugified so they were not worth eating. But I suppose there is no harm in trying to harvest the seeds.

Meanwhile the Courgette mound is producing away.

There are still lots of tiddlers in amongst the foliage.

Which is not so bad, considering we keep taking them. (And a beetroot).

And finally we have a visitor back again. He's been missing for a good few weeks, but this morning when we came to water (nice and early before the place heated up) we could see a huge pile of earth that had been dug out. Yes, Mr Fox has decided to move back in.

Maybe he wants to live closer to our neighbour's chickens?
The 2016 Courgette Tally:

Sunday, 17 July 2016


Alas they are not on my plot.

Our neighbour has been building an awesome chicken pen over the past few weeks. The whole thing is cobbled together with scrounged parts. Pallet wood, a door that was thrown into a skip, roofing that was being taken off a building. It's been turned into a decent sized, fox proof, chicken run. And yesterday the chickens arrived.

They're still a little suspicious over their new environment. But they've been scratching and dust bathing so they are settling down.

Meanwhile on the plot, our front piece of the broken wheelbarrow is now in full flower.

We've grabbed a handful of Blueberries (before the pigeons do).

The tomatoes going slowly this year. Not sure whats up with them, but they are forming some. The courgettes are still rolling along with their usual vigour (see count below). And we've up-ended one of the potato bags.

The 2016 Courgette Tally:

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Potting on

So we're in the middle of the growing season at present. Not so bad, considering that what we're growing has reduced somewhat, considering recent events. But we do have some things which are doing really well.

The sweetcorn for example are nearly a metre tall.

And the Cape Gooseberries and Carrots are doing well. (You can just some of see the carrots at the back, whilst the other carrots are in separate pots.)

And the Blue Berry bushes are weighed down by the amount of fruit forming.

The Strawberries are coming in thick and fast now.

But we still have some stuff in the greenhouse that we've kept protected. Now it's getting pot-bound and needs potting on. So most of today was spent doing just that.

More Cape Gooseberries, Chinese Lanterns, Fox Gloves (grown from seed from last years flowers), Mint, Tomatoes, etc. We're getting rather crowded in the greenhouse these days. As such, we have asked the Committee for permission to build a second greenhouse.

The floods have necessitated a change in thinking and layouts. We want to re-build the flower bed, but make it easier to access and raised up. So we're planning on building a large 'U' shaped bed that's 3m long and 1.8m wide. This will extend from the leading edge of the current greenhouse, back to the boundary line. We'll have to dig up all the Daffodils, but they'll get re-planted in the new bed anyway. So thats one project for the autumn/winter.

Adding a second greenhouse, will add an indoor growing bed, where we can grow protected crops. We want to focus on things like Chillies and Pak Choi, which are often susceptible to damage outside. We'll have the two doorways facing each other, and move the table out of the first green house and use it in between the two as a work bench. I might build a simple lean-to shelter up the path side and up to the roof gable as protection.

But it's not all rosy... the flood followed by the warm weather has allowed the spores to take hold and re-introduced the dreaded BLIGHT.

I've now chopped all the foliage off the spud bags before it get too invasive. The spuds should still be OK though. Well at least I hope they are. The last lot were just blobs of mush in the ground. But the bags avoided the flood. Guess from now on, all of our spuds will be grown in bags.

The 2016 Courgette Tally:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Dead and more water

We are still dealing with the aftermath of the flood. The flowers are dead.

In fact the whole of the flower bed is looking decidedly sorry for itself.

And for more devastation, the bugs I caught at it a while back, did manage to lay a few eggs that have totally decimated the irises.

And then, to top it all, back home we have more water than the plot.

A burst water main has flooded the road about 100m away from the house. Guess it's just not my year for water related issues. :(

And good news? Well we have strawberries... and another courgette.

The 2016 Courgette Tally: