8th September, 2008

In the last entry I was critical of the potatoes. Well, I've dug up some more of the Lady Balfour and I'm quite happy with the yields. The slug damage is not so bad and there is a bit of scab. The scab is due to dry soil and alkali conditions which can both be cured by adding compost. I may have contributed to the alkali conditions by liming the ground the previous season; that may have been a mistake. Perhaps I should have checked the soil pH to begin with.

Anyway, I don't think the soil is too dry at the moment! There has been a lot of rain and the river nearby has flooded again. The wet weather is the best friend of blight but the tomatoes and potatoes have not succumbed (yet) although some of the plants are dying back.

But the potatoes underneath are alright.

The rain has also not been kind to the blackberries. Most appear to have rotted on the plant. There are more coming but the weather forecast doesn't look favourable.

I have picked around 40 apples to make cider with; they are softening up in the garage. I still haven't worked out how to pulp them yet; I'm thinking of fitting a hover mower blade to a drill and blending them in a bucket. Could be interesting. I have made the press though.

I suppose the wet weather is good for the plants, the pumpkin is putting on a lot of leaf but I fear it is all too late. It's the same situation for the squashes. The picture below show the pumpkin plant and to the left is the flat leaf parsley which is growing well.

The rain has prevented me getting out into the garden and I've taken my eye off the kohlrabi which I sowed to get a late harvest. The picture below shows how brassicas in general are very quickly eaten. I'm not sure what did this damage as I couldn't find any caterpillars. I really should have put some mesh over them when they were planted out. I think I'll get an edible vegetable out of it despite the munching.

I have a lot of beetroot so I decided to make some borscht. I wasn't sure I'd like beetroot soup but it was very tasty. It includes onion and carrot plus some red wine vinegar which gives it a nice tang. I'll make some more but I'll be the only one eating it, the family aren't too keen on beetroot. All the more for me!

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