It’s a while since I posted a plot update.  In general, more is growing than is dying! There is a steady stream of harvest both edibles and floriferous.  My neighbours have been happy to help manage the gluts of lettuce and cucumbers.

The view from the main path shows how growth has accelerated, creating a rather shaggy look.  The sweet pea have mildew and greenfly, so I’m spraying with Vitax’s organic potion.  Ordinarily, I’d pull them up but they are promised to a friend’s wedding in mid August, so I’ll be spraying, feeding and pleading in addition to cutting.

The blueberries are doing really well and put on lots of lush new growth.  They seem much happier with the larger cage and regular waterings of rain water.

The raspberries (Joan J) are coming in to fruit.  Not enough (yet) to fill a bowl but enough to munch on and share with Billy!

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The greenhouse is hosting the Cafe au Lait dahlias which are required for friend’s wedding.  They are getting regular motivational chats as well as water and feed – flowers required on 24th August!  The late chrysanths are also in the greenhouse; I intend to move them to the polytunnel once the sweetcorn is finished.  I’ve kept two zinnias in the greenhouse to see if there is any difference in growth, bloom size etc.  The bubble wrap has been doing a good job in diffusing the strong sunlight.

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Over in the polytunnel, there is a ‘jungly’ atmosphere – caused entirely by my over-planting.  I’ll be hoicking out the courgettes and squash plants.  The french beans have stopped producing and although a second flush is on the way, I plan to sow another 6 plants to replace the row.  That will extend the season and give me french beans for early autumn and more space to move around the tunnel.  Note yet more dahlias…

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Billy taste tested a cob a few days ago and we agree it needs a week or two to fully ripen BUT picking sweetcorn in July or early August will be a novelty.  I think next year, eight plants will be sufficient.

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Staying in the polytunnel, I’m very pleased with the tomato crop.  Alicante and Sungold have been producing for a few weeks and the beefsteak ‘big boy’ is ripening.  The first time I’ve managed to get a ripe beefsteak tomato before October.  That said, I do have two Marmandes in pots with ripening fruit, so perhaps it the hot, dry weather.

In other exciting polytunnel news, I have two melons! Stop that sniggering in the back row…

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Back outside, the view from the wendy shed end is pleasing.  Note the growing collection of hydrangeas in the foreground.

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And now for a quick inspection of the cutting patches:

I haven’t cut any of the calendula; I like the luminous glow they add to the path edge.  I’m eagerly waiting for the ammi, should be any day now.  I love the zinnias with their crazy colours.  I’m less in the love with the hollyhock, they are taking up far too much space but the bees love them, so I’ll re-home them at the top of the plot later in the year.  The outdoor dahlias have perked up, these are karma chocolate types, with the Bishop of Llandaff keeping on eye on things at the far end.  How do I get longer stalks on the dahlias?  There is also a row of euphorbia oblongata, which is a great vase filler but the sap is vicious – worse than chilli juice.  Note to self, keep fingers away from eyes, even after washing hands…

and finally, today’s harvest

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That’s me, what about your growing: what’s going well, what will you do differently next year and what do you still need to learn?

Happy growing

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