July 2008



July 1st

 The start of a new month and a roasting hot day today.The shallots have split into seperate bulbs and are starting to grow quite well,the biggest being about golf ball sized.I'll harvest them when the foliage withers.


 I seem to have a pretty good crop of Blackcurrants develloping this year but the Gooseberrys ,although big are a bit sparse this time around.


 I've sown a second batch of peas (Hurst Greenshaft) which are now coming through and the spuds in the polytunnel are now almost finished,just in time for the ones outside to be ready.


 My triffid-like butternut squash are trailing everywhere and I'm hoping that some flowers will appear soon and then the fruit.I've decided to let a bit of the corriander goe to seed so I can collect it and use it so sow next years lot.


 On a non-veg note I noticed that my tadpoles in my little pond have turned into little froglets and are crawling about all over the place.They are really fascinating and when they mature dont half help to keep the slugs at bay.

 I must admit I was chuffed with the photos as I dont have a flashy camera and they are only tiny little things.



 July 8th

 The leeks which were transplanted last month have all rooted well and are growing,and I've finally got some pods on the pea plants.


 With all the torrential rain over the last week anything green is doing really well,picked my 1st Iceberg Lettuce (Saladin) and the Cos lettuces are really doing well.


 The climbing beans in the tunnel have now reached the middle and are really cropping well and my cucumber has a small fruit on it,they are an ugly variety but very tasty.


 My carrots are doing well,if a bit slow,but I don't seem to have any of the dreaded carrot fly ,probably because I always sow them in and amongst onions and garlic which can deter carrot fly as you can see in the pic.


 On the fruit side I picked a few gooseberrys and blackcurrants last night in the middle of a thunder storm.


 In the polytunnel the giant onion attempt is doing ok(ish) and the courgettes are going mad as usual.


 July 14th

 Well another week of solid rain and absolutely no sunshine at all !

 So anything green has flown along,the outside onions and garlic have nearly doubled in size,and the newly planted winter cabbages have grown about another 3 leaves in just one week.


 The courgettes plants are producing about 5-6 courgettes a week each and I now have a cucumber ready.


 The triffid like squash plant continues to take over part of my polytunnel,no sign of any fruit yet though, and I've decided to let some corriander go to seed so I can collect some to sow next year.


 The climbing french beans (Cobra) are producing masses of beans as usual and the tomato plants are eventually producing some fruit,whether they will ever ripen given this Summer so far is anyones guess.


 Over on the big onion attempt,things are moving along pretty slowly.


 July 20th

 Well another week's gone by and yet another week of constant rain and still no sunshine.

All this damp cool air has caused my courgette leaves to develop powdery mildew which can become rampant in such conditions.I've found a novel way of tackling it by spraying the plant with a 10% solution of skimmed milk and water which seems to be keeping it at bay,I't sounds a funny idea but it really does work,and since I started spraying  it has really reduced the spread of it.


 On a better note but a bit premature,some of my shallots are now ready,if a bit small so I pulled a few up washed the soil off them and spread them out in the polytunnel to try to dry them out so they'll store well.


The odd one has bolted and produced a flower head but even this is quite attractive.


 Pulled my 1st carrots too which is a relief as last year they were very poor and there seems no sign of carrot fly.

They're not fully grown yet but they'll do.

I really resisted the urge to water them earlier in the year when it was extremely dry which seems to have helped as they seem to have sent out a really deep tap root to search out the moisture.Last year I watered and they were all forked and really short rooted,so I'm never watering my carrots again !


 Well 2 minutes after digging my carrots another downpour came and I had to ditch them and shelter in my polytunnel.


 Still getting a constant supply of salad stuff and french beans.
There's probably a fivers worth below given the price of veg at the moment.!!



July 27th

Well another week of cold and rain until Saturday when it was 75f.

The Padrone peppers and bell peppers are starting to produce fruit,the Padrones seem to grow theirs upwardly.


Planted out some Rocket I sowed earlier.The thermometer shows the temperature midday on wednesday inside the polytunnel.Unbelievable.12 degrees C in mid Summer !!!


 The peas are growing amazingly with all the rain but are just about a week short of being fully ready.


 The Winter Cabbages are growing away well and the climbing beans are still producing masses of beans.


 My idiot proof flower garden is looking quite good at the moment too.


 Amazingly my red onions haven't bolted this year and are starting to bulb and the garlic I planted from last years saved crop is the biggest I've ever grown,so I hope the bulbs are too.


Pulled some more carrots and had a split one which next doors horse enjoyed.


 Over on the giant onion attempt things aren't growing brilliantly,but I should have some around the 4lb mark come September.


 Well that about wraps July up so I'll finish with a pic of my spuds,leeks and flowers.



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