Aug 22, 2011

July became August and now its nearly September!!!


I profusely apologise for not updating my blog as I should have done. Life gets in the way and before you know its months have passed. So without further ado, let’s bring you all up to date.

July has been and gone and by this time next week September will be knocking at the door. July and August is when the vegetable gardener can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of their labour. And I have certainly been doing that. A little too much though if I am honest as the weeds have been forever relentless. At the end of July we all went on a week’s camping holiday and so took a cool box full of my vegetables to see us through. By the end of the week we still had a lot left so they came back with us as they had stored well. August then came and your typical British summer was in full swing. Lots of cloud, little rain, hardly any sun but very humid. When there was sun though, it was very warm. Even now as we enter the last week of August, I’m clinging on to the hope that we’ll enjoy an Indian summer at some point over the next 5 weeks. To that end I have sown some extra seeds in the hope of even more harvests.

In my last update I said that the Lettuce bed was now empty and was to stay so until next year. Well as the weeds didn’t emerge, I got to thinking I could get more veg in there now. Not wanting just one more veg though, I have cleared some space from the onion bed leaving only a handful in the ground, and have dug up all of the remaining carrots from their bed. Those beds are now home to some Kohl Rabi, Turnips, Beetroot, and a couple more All Year Round Lettuces. I’ve crop rotated them so they are in the following beds:
·         Carrot Bed > Lettuces
·         Lettuce Bed > Beetroot
·         Onion Bed > Turnips & Kohl Rabi
I know most of them should have gone in last month at the latest, but that’s going by our seasonal weather that doesn’t seem to be very seasonal any more so I’ve taken a risk albeit a worthwhile one should that Indian summer show up!!!

Carrot Bed (top middle), Lettuce Bed (right), Onion Bed (bottom left)


You may remember I was growing some Charlotte Potatoes in a grow bag that I got for free from a magazine. Well they came out for that week’s holiday and they were lovely. Having read a tip on the grow your own magazine forums about what to do with the grow bag compost after the potatoes have come out, I’ve followed the tip that they can be used to grow perfect carrots for Christmas Day so that is what I have done. Autumn King Variety have gone in the grow bag and I have already thinned them out so to only have 8 or so carrots for the big day. Will be interesting to see how they get on.

Carrots in a Potato Grow Bag


The runner beans are now at their heaviest, so much so they are bending the bamboo support to near breaking point. I really need to start freezing them down!

Runner Beans Straining


The Broadbeans have been (no pun intended) and gone. I’ve left the roots in the ground so they replace the nitrogen. I’ve left the weed suppressant membrane in place even though it looks tacky as it will still do its job.

BroadBean roots left in the ground


The Brussels Sprouts on the other hand have been a disaster. Well I say that, they are still going strong but I fear they will not give us anything as I have not covered them up. What they are giving me though is a massive insight in to the insect world and how they live their short lives on just one sprout plant. Next year these babies will be getting the full cover treatment.

No idea what pest these are?

Or this one?

Obvious Cabbage White Caterpillar but no idea what egg's are next to it?


Elsewhere outside are the last of my Cabbages and the Parsnips for winter although again they are not looking too healthy although that’s just the leaves and its their root I am after so we shall see.

The leeks are doing well though which is good as they were one of the first seed’s I sowed and will be one of the last I will harvest.

Leeks


In to the greenhouse and the tomatoes are still going strong. I’ve had to tie their stems up on numerous occasions as the weight of the tomatoes have nearly caused a collapse but so far I have managed to keep them upright. And then there’s the peppers. Don’t know when I should be harvesting them so am keeping a daily watch on them and will hopefully start to enjoy their sweet flavours soon.

Tomatoes growing in gravity

Green Sweet Peppers

Yellow Sweet Peppers


And that’s it. I promise you won’t have to wait so long for the next update J Thanks for reading, have a great week.