July 2009.

 

                                                                            

  

July 4th.

Well,into July now and the hottest weather I can remember for ages.

                         

It seems to be a bumper year for all fruit,I spent over an hour picking about 2 lbs of Blackcurrants and got eaten alive by midges for the privilege.

Once the peas start to fill up they'll be amazing too judging by the amount of pods there seem to be.

                         

The cabbages are really growing in their protective net covers,however I did spot a few catterpillars on one,but they weren't the Cabbage White ones they were pure light green ones.

God knows what flying intruder they came from but they must be small to get through 10mm mesh ??

Big onions doing well,see the other bit if you're interested.

                   

So, after the scorching weather of late It's starting to look more like a forest than a Veg plot.

July 11th.

Well with all the cracking weather lately,this week's been a bumper harvest.

                         

Picked a few Beetroot and 7 lbs of Gooseberries !!!

                         

The climbing french beans ,variety Cobra have now started to produce loads of beans.They are the best french bean I've ever come across,even if you leave them to get a bit big they are still tender and completely stringless.

                         

Some of the peppers are almost ready which is ridiculously early but maybe I may even end up with some turning red.

The dwarf chilli plants are looking good and have reached their final size as they are a self determinate bush variety and are about the size of a football.

By the looks of the amount of flowers they will produce literally hundreds of small chillies right on the outside of the plant,so they should be a pretty interesting looking plant in a while.

                                          

Dug the 1st potatoes from outside and I'm really chuffed with the 1st Carrots.

I resisted watering them whatsoever during the hot dry weather and they've just sent a deeper root out in search of moisture and hence a longer carrot.

Don't be put off from growing carrots if you have a heavy soil,mine's pretty heavy and clayey but if you can really work the soil well you can grow them with some success.

                         

The Shallots are doing really well this year after last years pathetic specemins and are about golf ball sized.

Decided it was time to harvest the Corriander.

What I do is to cut it all down at about 4" from the base just before it starts to flower,then strip all the leaves off and freeze it all in small plastic bags.

It freezes really well and this way you can have "fresh-ish" Corriander all year round.

And also the chopped off plants grow back too.

                         

Over on the Cabbage front the Minocole ones are really starting to heart up but the red ones are a bit behind.

I should have made the netted cloches a bit wider as the leaves are touching the sides so the odd butterfly may just be able to secrete the odd egg on the edge.

               

The tomatoes are doing really well and I have 8 trusses on the plants !!

I did sow the seed a bit too early this year but it has meant that I have an extended season.

                         

My second lot of peas have been riddled with holes.

On closer inspection I found a load of half inch lime green caterpillars lurking,I have no idea what sort they are but I know they aren't the dreaded pea moth as they are tiny cream ones which attack the pods and peas themselves.

I've looked all over to find out what sort they are but I just don't know.Anyway I reluctantly gave them a good old spraying so tomorrow they should all be ex-caterpillars,whatever sort they were.

                  

So,It's been the best growing season I can remember so far,things seem to be a good 3 weeks earlier than last year.This is what I picked tonight.Cracking !!.

July19th.

Well,not much happening other than the torrential rain....3 inches in the last two days.

Still harvesting Courgettes,beans,peas,lettuce,gooseberries by the bucketfull..

                         

My cabbages are growing really well except for the Red ones which have been battered by catterpillars as the protective nets weren't big enough and the outer leaves were touching the sides,which gave the butterflies the chance to lay their eggs on the outer leaves.

Mind you,the red cabbages are enormous,getting on for 3 feet wide,and the netted cloches only 2ft 6"...I think I'll just dig 'em up and put it down to experience.

Shallots are pretty huge too.

                         

Finally,late as aways,my spring onions are ready for pulling.

They seem to take for ever to grow,don't be fooled into thinking they are are a fast crop like radishes,because they really aren't.

                         

Had a scrat about to see how the Garlic's doing and It's doing OK,about golf ball sized and still a good month to grow.

So my unorthodox way of planting Garlic in late March ,early April seems to be working again.

Dug my mouldy big onion up too,it was 22" in circumference and weighed an amazing 6lb 6 oz !!!

Still got half a dozen healthy ones nearly as big growing so maybe I may get a real monster.See my Giant Onion bit to keep up to date with the progress.

                    rude carrot

Finally,I pulled a carrot up which was almost anatomically proportionally identical to me,but my feet aren't as thin.

July 24th.

I can't believe how quickly the Peppers have grown.

                         

Just about ready now,if a bit small,but as I have getting on for 50 fruit on 5 plants I may as well start eating 'em.

                         

Same with the chillies,must have been all the hot humid weather that speeded them up.

                         

The second and third batch of lettuce is about ready now so I'd better sow my fourth lot and hope for some decent weather in September.

Pulled some gigantic spring onions tonight,they took an age to grow but now they are just going mad.

                         

The idiot proof flowers are going well and I've just found some pretty smart blue ones,don't have a clue what they are though.

                         

If you want to grow an enormous Courgette plant no matter how bad the weather is then get a poytunnel.

Every year it's the same,gigantic and produces a good dozen fruit each week.

Finally the red onions are starting to bulb.

             

Over on the tomato front,I have the same plants in the tunnel and at home in a lean-to with a clear roof.

The polytunnel ones are really wierd,virtually no leaves but masses of fruit,the ones at home aren't ripe yet due to the lack of sunlight but are over 8 feet tall with over 10 trusses on each plant.

                         

Decided to get some free strawberry plants from the runners off this years plants.

I just push the leaf on the runner slightly under the surface of a pot and then hold it down with some wire.

Then once the runner sends out some roots and starts growing for itself I just cut the stalk from the parent and that's it,free plants.

                   

Anyhow here's tonights crop.

I don't know about getting 5-a-day,more like 25-a-day. My bowels must be literally sparkling inside.!!

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That's it for this week folks..

Thanks a lot for looking.

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