Saturday, June 26, 2010

A lot of firsts...

So much to tell. The warm weather has really spurred the plants into action. I may have to edit myself down a bit...

The first raspberry - lots more to come but the first one is always the best. It's amazing that I only looked at it yesterday and it wasn't quite ready yet. Today it didn't last that long - it went straight from the cane into my mouth. So sweet and delicious!

The first pumpkin flowers - not sure if they'll do anything since I'm not sure they'll get pollinated. The tendrils are reaching out and are starting to grow up the chainlink fence, underneath the beans which have suddenly decided to climb up the poles.

The patty pan squash plants have filled out and I can see the first flower buds forming. The herb corner is awash with oregano, thyme, fennel, sage and parsley. There is even some mint - where's the Pimm's?!?

The tomatoes are getting stocky, rather than high. Even the ones that didn't start off underneath cloches have kept pace. Not sure that is good or bad but at least they all have lots of flowers.

The cucumbers are refusing to wind themselves around the poles or string but I'll keep at them. They are round cucumbers anyway so it doesn't really matter, except that they will take up less space if they are growing up rather than out.

And I have ended up with a bucketful of mixed leaf salad! Wish me luck, I will be munching my way through this and another row over the next few weeks - every day...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June rains

The warmth and the recent rains have really moved the garden on from its pitiful initial state. Still not great but getting better. The cucumbers especially appear to enjoy this kind of weather and have had a growth spurt.

The rows of carrots, salad leaves and beetroot are also doing well, surviving the onslaught of slugs. I noticed that a cat has started digging around a bit (or is that foxes?), and on the other bed some stray potatoes are coming through. Still, suddenly I can recognise what the seedlings are supposed to be - and tell them apart from the weeds. Note to self: more weeding needed.

The patty pan squashes are filling out and are complemented by two self-sown ones. The "volunteers" may actually turn out to be be courgettes, or they may be patty pan. Time will tell which is kind of exciting. I have been finding lots of self-sown tomatoes, too - surprising, given how cold it was over the winter. There are some beans now, mixed results on those since as soon as they break through the soil they have their buds chewed off by slugs. Not the most promising year for beans, I have to say.

I am the proudest of my tomatoes and my raspberries. Tomatoes are nicely showing flower buds and are growing at an amazing speed. The raspberries have set fruit and I am hoping for at least one cake out of them (and plenty for the freezer).

Other fruits are doing well, too - I have three (!) gooseberries - ok for the first year and considering the plants came from Lidl - and a few greengages - not as much as last year but it goes in swings and roundabouts anyway. I hope the weather stays like this (sorry folks!) for another couple of weeks and then I am ok with it turning drier.