The rain held off for our ‘Bank Holiday BBQ’ and we’ve seen some scorching weather towards the end of the week – certainly time for Pimm’s!
Our lavender is flowering and just waiting for the bees to discover it and the strawberries are starting to ripen – enough for a couple a day at the moment. Note to self: watch for runners from the favourite strawberry plants (probably the plants that produce the biggest fruit), rest the ends of the runners on to small pots of compost and hold them in place with a bent piece of wire. Soon the runner will take root and a new plant starts to become established. When you are certain that the new plant is independent, the ‘cord’ can be cut!
Other signs that summer is here is seeing our baby orchard fruit forming. Here you can see the pears taking shape. The tree is only a few years old and we’ve had some problems in the past. Initially, the leaves would ‘twist’ then show a rust-like infection which revealed ‘spores’ on the underside. The fruits would drop prematurely and last year we got one solitary undersized pear as a harvest! After online research, we decided to used nematodes in the autumn and have applied 3-4 Winter Washes, all organic treatments, to try to help the tree overcome these infections. We are watching the tree every few days and so far, so good… watch this space!
We’re a little bit concerned that we’re behind with the seedlings – the garden centres are now selling ‘teenage’ plants – which are certainly more advanced than ours. Here you can see four varieties of tomatoes (in the apple crate) with four varieties of squash against the wall each side. Other plants include chillies and peppers, which are hardening off nicely but should really be under glass for the flowers before the fruit. Note to self: I MUST sort out the cold frame… it needs clearing out, hooks & chains to hold the top frames fully open, painting the window frames, compost dug in, and finally nematodes to stop the slugs.
When that’s all done, we can plant in the aubergines (currently seeking refuge in the conservatory) and pop in some peppers.
All the seeds are sown
I think we’ve now sown all the seeds. The Brassica Bed has nifty twig markers identifying the hidden rows of underground promise (Baby Corn, Savoy Cabbage, Khol Rabi, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Romenesco Cauliflower and more). We must be the only gardeners that got out the horticultural fleece in June, hopefully with good reason; it should protect the baby seedlings, keeping them warm & moist (a bit like a green house) and predominantly, should stop the cats from using our freshly dug bed as a litter tray!
Back in the conservatory, we’ve got cucumbers that have germinated – I think we’ll try some outside this year, climbing up a fence? and courgettes in the propagator – hopefully they’ll catch up to give us bumper crop for the Pick and Pickle Day in September – I think Cumin & Courgette would maker a great Asian pickle, mmmm, I’ll work on a recipe…
Coming up this week, we’ve got the next steps of Plan Bee, we’re testing some new recipes and, as usual, we’re living life to the full!