12th June, 2012

How come a month has passed since my last entry?  Well, my parents visited one weekend and then there were some swimming galas for the kids and of course the inclement weather. So not much time for getting the garden in shape.  However, I have had some time at home with the half term break and managed to get fairly well up to date.

Checking back on my last posting, there has been a good amount of growth. 

First thing I noticed was how much the broad beans have grown and I shall be picking some this coming weekend.  This picture shows the beans in the background of the middle bed with the spuds in front of them.  I've earthed up the spuds when the soil was damp as it was very lumpy during the brief dry spell. to the left in the other bed you can see the stakes to support the tomatoes.

 The bases of the kohlrabi are beginning to swell.

And the peas are flowering.

I laid down straw for the strawberries, looks like a good crop this year. Although I did replace six with new young plants because the existing ones were distorted and produce odd shaped fruit; is that due to a virus?
The black and redcurrants have grown very well too.  Behind them I transplanted two summer fruiting raspberries from the bottom of the garden where it was too shady and the never produced much fruit and because I had opened up the space by removing some of the hedge, it seemed a good spot for them.
The asparagus has been very disappointing.  It was knocked back by a cold spell and then it got badly infested with asparagus beetle, so I cut off the effected spears and sprayed with a bug killer. I don't think I'll be eating much of it this year and anyway it seems as if the beetle has come back.  I notice that when the spears are handled the beetles drop off quickly and then disappear into the soil.  I have to admire them for that as well as their beautiful markings.  But could you just leave my asparagus alone please?
In the greenhouse, I have potted up five tomatoes (Gardener's delight) into their final pots along with three guest plants that were given to me but of unknown variety; they look strong and healthy so I couldn't bring myself to throw them out.  The rest of the tomatoes (Tigerella and Cristal) have been planted outside and tied to stakes.
The aubergines and peppers have also been potted into their final pots and look very vigorous on the greenhouse shelves.  I'm growing six of each along with some chillis, cucumbers (for outside) and melons.  I haven't really got space for the melons but I couldn't help myself and the seed needed to be used up.

On the lower shelf there are chillis, French beans and runner beans.  I'm also trying climbing French beans for the first time this year.

I have a lot of spare plants such as tomatoes, basil, parsley, courgettes that I am taking to work for a plant sale and swap. Also, a small allotment bed has been dug at work as part of a green initiative; there are about twenty of us who are involved.  We spent several lunch times removing stones and rubble after the work's gardener had removed the turf, rotavated it and dug in some compost which he makes on site;  I'm glad he did the initial digging, that's hard work. The beds have all been planted up and sown with seeds which just goes to show how eager we all are to make it a success.  I'm not sure how the produce (if we get any) is going to be divided between us.  I'm providing some spare raspberry canes and strawberries for the fruit bed. 

Finally, we have come to realise that our conservatory is only good for growing cacti. It gets too hot and dry and have managed to kill a peach and a lemon tree.  So I did an internet search for a local cactus nursery and as luck would have it there is one in Matlock, just up the road.  It's called Abbey Brook Cactus and has the national collections of several cacti species and is well worth a visit even though only two of the glasshouses are open to view.  So we visited the first weekend we could and dragged my parents along who were visiting. There were many in flower and we bought about 10 small plants one of which is flowering. Actually, my mum bought them for us which was very generous; thanks Mum!  My parents want to visit again as they would like more too but didn't want to buy any as they were worried they might damage them on the train journey home, so next time they want to drive up and fill their boot with spiny lovelies. 

We'll be going back before the visit again, we can't wait that long.

No comments: