10th September, 2012

Well I spoke too soon.  I have  been on holiday which is always a risky thing to do when the veg are all coming into harvest.  First disaster was the aubergines which have all suffered from a very hot day it seems and dried out.  I came back to find some very sorry looking plants.  The maximum temperature had been 42C at one point.  I thought I would be OK as I had set up the automatic watering system, but I should have done that earlier to test whether it would be sufficient, clearly not.  The tomato and cucumber plants had similarly suffered although the peppers seem to be OK.

However, I was able to harvest some medium sized aubergines and made a nice moussaka and a ratatouille with them.  The tomatoes have been made into passata and of course used  for the aubergine meals.  There are plenty of cucumbers in the garden so it's not a complete loss.  One bonus is that I have a nice melon of a good size forming; can't wait for that.

One of my first jobs after the holiday was to harvest the spuds which I had left in the ground after the blight hit.  I wasn't expecting much as the tubers that I had harvested were split and not too big.  However, the yield is rather good after all.  I laid them out on a table to dry on a nice sunny and hot Sunday.
It was hard work made all the harder because each dig with the fork consisted of a huge and heavy lump of soil. Of course, as I forked the lumps to break them up then I stabbed a spud. So frustrating.  I haven't broken the lumps up but will leave that to the weather and if I have enough compost I'll mulch.

Second disaster is that the runner beans have gone past their best, I tried some for a meal and they are stringy.  I'm going to grow less next year since they are not a family favourite and will grow climbing French beans instead which have been delicious. There are plenty of them but they should have been picked mid holiday (about 2 weeks ago).

Third disaster, the weeds have thrived. The bottom bed which ironically is not so good at providing good veg being partly under a tree, is choked with them.
And the outdoor tomatoes have been poor, some of them got blight and the fruit won't ripen.  Last year I got loads.

The sweetcorn are nearly ready, although the cobs don't look that big, probably because it hasn't rained much and I haven't watered them (I was on holiday), but we'll wait and see, it's the taste that's important.

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