22nd September, 2008

Another cracking weekend weather wise, but perhaps it's all a bit too late. The sweetcorn is getting tough now and leaving it, in the hope the cobs would swell, didn't really work. They are still edible but you can tell they are not at their peak. Also something is eating the cobs on the plant, it has to be a squirrel.

So I dug up the Markies potatoes, deciding that further slug damage was likely. There was a good yield with about one third damaged, but not enough to throw away. The undamaged tubers were stored in a pillow case! Well, I don't have paper or Hessian sacks; it was an old-ish pillow case, honest. In the gap I dug in lots more compost, this is a prerequisite for any veg garden!

The courgettes just keep coming! But at least they are being eaten as courgettes and not marrows now.

The single aubergine was harvested and eaten in a cheesy pasta meal, delicious but very disappointing that I only got one this year. I think the poor yield is because the plants were kept too wet. The pots stood in trays so as to conserve water during hot spells. But of course we never had a hot spell, so the trays filled with water from the automatic watering system. I have to balance the flow to be enough for the tomatoes which are heavy drinkers, with the aubergines and sweet peppers. I learned from the GYO forum that aubergines don't like the soil being too moist which I think explains the lack of fruit. I also think I need to get them growing a month early; February/March rather than April.

I used the spent compost from the aubergine pots to fill up the carrot bucket, after picking the rest of the carrots which have not been a big success. There was no carrot fly but they never reached a size I expected. I think this may have been to erratic watering.

I don't have any pictures for this blog, but I do need to keep a record of the veg pics at the end of the season as it's interesting to see comparisons of progress through the year.

Instead of snapping away, I spent time doing other chores in the garden such as making paths around the fruit bushes and cutting the grass. The front lawn was looking good after the cut and then I transformed it in to a dishevelled mess by scarifying it. Fortunately, I have an electric scarifier, I don't think I would do it by hand! I filled up a compost bin with what was pulled out which is always useful; it's amazing that there is any grass left.

I pickled 6 jam jars of beetroot after I found a simple recipe that looked like it would be a sweet vinegar method. I don't much care for the straight pickled beetroot, I think the sweetness brings out the flavour. I tried some and it's perhaps a bit too sweet but maybe it will mature. I would have made more but I ran out of jars.

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