August 2008



 August 1st. 

Well another month and I'll start off with a complete disaster in the polytunnel.

I have had a massive explosion of Thrips.These are minute sap sucking insects barely visible to the naked eye,but in the last week everything growing in the tunnel is being ravaged by them.


Here you can see one of my healthy squash leaves on the left and on the right one being attacked by thrips.


 And just 5 days of damage,this is the effect !!! So I've been round and sprayed it completely with Derris to try to  control them from multiplying any further. 


 This is the damage done to the onion leaves and cucumber leaves,once again all this in less than one week !!


Nothing seems to be immune even the climbing french beans are being attacked too.


Well here is a picture of the little sods  in all their microscopic glory.

This is just the tip of the onion leaf so you can see how small but destructive they can be.

They just suck all the life out of the leaves so they can no longer photosynthesize properly and let other diseases and mould in as well.


Over on the big onion front my favourite has just decided to split for some reason so that one will be no good.

As you can see from the other photo the bulbs are ripening prematurely,whether this is a response to the Thrip damage I just don't know but they're not going to break any records this year.


So this one is my best hope this year,I've given it a good spraying to kill any bugs off and I'll have to resist watering too heavily so that it doesnt split like the other one.

 Right then that's all the bad news out of the way,now onto the successful stuff.


Despite being ravaged by the Thrips my cucumber is still producing well and the Squash has finally set a couple of fruit.So as long as I continue to keep the bugs in check things should be OK.


The peas are doing amazingly well,as are the Autumn and Winter cabbage and the second lot of peas.


The Rocket is growing quickly and the Shallots are drying out really well.


The first peas of many.Absolutely cracking !

So It's not all been a disaster.

August 4th

Well,a few more bits and pieces.


 I'm still getting some cracking carrots and seem to have avoided the dreaded carrot fly,managed to produce a foot long cucumber and despite the thrips the beans are still producing in abundance.


 Picked the first Rocket,considering how easy it seems to be to grow I can't understand why it's so expensive in the shops,It is just a cultivated weed after all.


 And despite the lack of sunshine this "Summer" I'm surprised how good the tomatoes are this year.

 Whether they'll ripen or not is a different matter !!

August 10th

Well another week and another 7 days of constant rain !!!!

 The lack of sunshine and cool temperatures isn't bringing anything on very quickly.


The leeks are growing,but only slowly,and at last the "normal" onions are starting to bulb up a bit.


My peppers too are only growing slowly and the sweet peas are getting a right drenching lately.


So that's about it at the moment,apart from the continued glut of peas,beans,courgettes and "ugly"cucumbers.

August 17th

Another week of rain,cold and STILL no sunshine.


Harvested the red onions and put them in the polytunnel to dry,as y0u can see the other onions outdoors are still growing strongly and should really be starting to topple over but due to the weather they probably think it's still Spring !!


My 1st peas have now finished but I do have a second batch growing which should be ready in a couple of weeks,and my cabbages have been attacked by cabbage white catterpillars,I've given them a spray wit Derris so that should stop the damage.


And amazingly given that there's been no sunshine the tomatoes are starting to ripen up and I managed to pick my 1st pepper.

August 24th

Not much to report this week.


My garlic is just about ready to pull and the leeks are doing OK.


The courgettes are still producing even though they are really suffering from powdery mildew and I'm starting to get loads of the Padrone Peppers,mind you I'm not sure what the fuss is about regarding them as I'm not a big fan.


Spent a good hour sorting out the well dried shallots but I managed to get about 7-8 lbs out of them.


The second lot of peas are starting to flower and I've had a go at growing some red spring onions for a change which should be ready soon.


My flowers are doing well despite the weather and this is the first time I've seen the view of the surrounding countryside in about a month due to mist and cloud in "Summer"..........

Anyway I should have some decent pics of the garlic next time and I'll be dressing the disappointing show onions soon.

August 25th

Well it was a Sunny day today for once so I couldn't resist pulling the Garlic.It was starting to yellow and the odd one was drooping over so I thought it was about ready.

Amazingly it was all in good nick and all of a similar size

As you can see the bulbs were a pretty good size considering the rubbish weather,so that proves you can grow garlic easily in North Yorkshire in a season with torrential rain and no sunshine,so for all those who think it's just for the warmer climate,here's the proof it's not and you can grow it anywhere in any conditions.

Now it's just a matter of leaving them in my polytunnel for a while to dry out,then they can be just stored at home in an airy dry place.

So all in all a good  garlic crop and especially as these were all from a few bulbs left over from last years crop,so I'll be doing the same next year if there are any left as they are really  a new strain of garlic now,which tollerates poorer weather.


 Starting to get loads of peppers since moving some of my plants into the polytunnel.

August 31st

Well the end of the wettest August on record,It's rained every single day except 2 !!!!!


My cabbages have been eaten alive by catterpillars so I decided to stop spraying and blast them with a hose pipe and then squash the little sods that had been washed off !

Found a sly courgette which I have decided to let grow as a marrow for next weeks show.


The squash plant that was hit by the thrips earlier has recovered and is really growing well and producing some small fruit,whether they will get to a decent size is a different matter.


Decided to dig all the disappointing big onions up which leaves the polytunnel a little empty now.


 Just the courgettes and squashes still growing.


Dressed the odd onion for next weeks local show.

Have a look at the Giant Onion bit for an explanation of how I tie them.

Well that's August done,apparently September is going to be an Indian Summer....Yeah Right !!



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