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Archive for June, 2008

Thanks for the slug

There he was, all cozy under the nasturtium pot. I couldn’t bring myself to execute the unsuspecting beastie, so I chucked him behind the shed. No doubt he/she/it will set about breeding a horde of mad orange slimers and I’ll live to regret that moment of generosity.

I don’t understand how the plants could have grown so much in the 2 days I was away. The sweetcorn and Mexican midget tomatoes in particular seem to have doubled in height. There are 2 courgettes, runner beans all over the place, the beetroot, lettuce and spring onion seeds have germinated – and yet there is still not one solitary tomato on the tumbling tom plants!

Oh yes, and the potatoes have some shoots showing.

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Would be nice. It’s still too windy for comfort. Still, things are moving. The first courgette flower is out today. Flowers all over the tomatoes. Mexican sour gherkins climbing despite the wind trying to dislodge them. Peppers and chilli busy producing lots of flowers too, and the strawberries. So I guess I shouldn’t complain. Especially given that this time last year everything was suffering from too much rain. But my poor runner beans are still taking a beating, lots of bruised and shredded leaves.

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This morning it was still too windy to move the plants back to their proper places, but by mid afternoon I risked it. The runner beans are not happy…….

lots of very bruised and battered leaves, but they still have plenty of flowers.

We picked broad beans yesterday and they were pretty good. Plenty of flavour and very tender. Worth all the hassle of moving them around, and plenty more still growing.

I finally got the last of the tomato plants potted on into decent sized containers, now it’s just the last of the ground cherry to go.

I forgot to mention that we planted some maincrop potatoes a few days ago. Way too late by all accounts and they had been sprouting like crazy but hey, it’s worth a try. J brought them back from Ireland but they are in fact Scottish and I can’t remember the name. It seemed a shame not to at least give them a chance at growing. Had to put some in the good ol’ compost bags and then a few in an old plastic container. We shall see………

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Summer? Ha! Gale force wind ripping through the garden all day (still going strong with no sign of weakening) I don’t call that summer weather. I’ve spent the day moving plants into what little shelter can be found in our windtrap of a back yard. The runner beans look like they’ve had enough, I can’t believe there are any flowers left on them. However, although everything looks…. um… windswept, the only real casualty has been a couple of branches broken off a flowering shrub in the front garden. So I guess we’re lucky really. Mind you, if it carries on much longer there will be damage, plants can only take so much.

I’ve tied up all the tomatoes because even the ones at the very back of the summer house were getting flattened. Luckily the Mexican Sour Gherkins had all managed to grab hold of some support and have been clinging on for dear life as the hanging baskets swing and sway.

Apart from all that excitement I’ve been planting spring onions and more lettuce mix, and the last 6 Mexican Sour Gherkins are now settled. There are 2 at each end of the tomato bed (one pair are in a container, the others are actually in the bed), with netting to climb up. I’m hoping they reach the roof and spread out a little. The last 2 are mid-bed also with some netting. They are rather overshadowed by the Romas but I think they’ll cope. The Garden Sunshine peppers are also rehomed – 2 in the container with the 2 Mex. S. Gherkins, and 4 in another container which is sheltering from the wind at the moment, then I’ll have to make space for it somewhere in the summer house.

All in all quite a busy day.

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Yep tomorrow I plan to try a few broad beans. They have produced a nice crop against all the odds and I’m looking forward to a tasty meal. Next year I will know where not to put them, and how much support they need so hopefully they will do even better.

There are another couple of strawberries ready too, and lots more on the way. Still no sign of any tumbling toms though … grumble grumble…….

I planted a few beetroot today, couldn’t resist the packet of seeds at half price in a sale. They are a small variety so should do ok.

It’s been raining pretty much all day and I’ve been out buying compost etc so that I can have another mammoth planting session tomorrow. The shortage of pots is going to mean a lot of colourful containers appearing as I drag out plastic storage boxes from the garage and convert them to house peppers and tomatoes.

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Bit late but here are the pics of the home made pot thingys. I planted some ground cherries in these, but I also have a lot of silybum and a mini aubergine growing quite happily (so far) in some I made earlier. Ah and the remaining 4 melon plants too.

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Having watched River Cottage Spring on Wednesday, I cooked and ate the broad bean tops that I pinched out yesterday. They were indeed delicious, nicer than spinach and I recommend them.

Today I’ve been potting on the silybum and ground cherry plants. I’ve run short of containers so decided to experiment with making pots out of old compost bags. I have found that I can make 2 out of a medium sized bag and so far they seem to be fairly sturdy. Will take some pics tomorrow.

The roma tomatoes are growing like crazy now they’re settled into the new bed. I planted some marigolds with them today to keep them company. The Mexican midget tomatoes are also growing well in some new pots. Still no toms on the tumbling toms though, more flowers than you could shake a stick at, but no actual tomatoes.

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