31st August, 2010

The rain has returned and we take our family holiday. Typical. We went to the Forest of Dean which is very nice and it would have been lovely if it was sunny! I don't know how people can do camping in that weather.


Still not sown any winter lettuce.


My dad gave me some spring cabbage.


Potatoes: all dug up since the soil was softer due to the rain.
Dwarf and runner beans
Sweetcorn: deliciously sweet and large cobs too.
Raspberries, blackberries and plums: the plums are fantastic.

The spring sown onions have dried out nicely.

Inside the greenhouse, everything looks lush but it's been a bit of a failure. There are no melons, the aubergines are only just showing fruit and most of the peppers have not fruited. The chillis seem to be late too, but I'm not so worried about them as I still have plenty that I dried from last year.

This is a green pepper forming on the smallest plant. I think the problem is due to low light levels under the greenhouse shelving.

Another disappointment, the butternut squash just doesn't seem to have taken off, there should be a lot more leafy growth.

The swiss chard and purple sprouting broccoli are growing quickly under their protective netting. They will soon outgrow it so it will have to come off but by then there shouldn't be any white butterflies anymore. In the spring I should be able to use the veg cage that is currently covering the sprouts since I should have eaten them by then.

The runner beans and Borlotti beans have produced lots of beans. I did water them a lot during the dry spell and they had a good mulching when they were planted.

A general view of the side bed.

I have been sieving the shreddings from the Leylandii hedge to remove the twiggy stuff. The result is a lovely soft, black compost which breaks up the heavy clay soil giving it a wonderful open structure with good moisture retention. Maybe I have found the solution to my soil problem. I did the same to my regular compost with equally pleasing results. The twiggy stuff got returned to the compost bins and will get mixed with the green stuff.

2nd August, 2010

The dry period continues. There has been some rain which has been just enough to keep the veg in reasonable condition.


No sowing, I forgot to sow some rocket.


Turnips: we make a lovely vegetarian chilli with these.
Lettuce, beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, and spring onions for salads
Potatoes: the first of the Kestrel were dug up and taste great with no signs of slug damage. I think I'll stick with this variety.


Swiss chard.

I have continued to chop down and shred the Leylandii hedge which has taken some time. Fortunately the veg need little maintenance now with just the mandatory weeding.

The greenhouse tomatoes are forming nicely. They should be gardener's delight variety but the trusses have only a few fruit on them. Last year there were up to 50 per truss. I'll have to check the seed packets.

The aubergines are starting to flower.

I may actually get some red outdoor tomatoes this year; the hot weather has kept the blight away.

There will be some good pumpkins too. I've got about 3 per plant and I must remember to pinch them out to prevent any more developing.


Lots of apples this year, the branches are bending under the weight.

I cut the old leaves off the strawberries and cut the runners back to one plantlet. I think this is the last year for these plants , then I'll replace them with the new ones.

This is my attempt at growing Pringles. Actually, it's my attempt to get long white celery stalks.

The sweetcorn is nearly ready. I could and should have grown twice as many plants in the same area. The field down the road has them spaced much closer together.