Gardening Blog – That’s Enough Rain for Now
Did I really write ‘this week’s rain was such a treat’ in early June? I guess it was a treat at the time, but a day or so of sun would be very welcome now!
Everything on the allotment looks a bit ragged and nibbled. Even the nasturtiums I planted along the paths have been reduced to a collection of stalks. We could do with more thrushes and hedgehogs to help out with the slugs and snails.
An army of slugs is working its way through the lettuces I planted in the raised bed at home. I’ve noticed in previous gardens that the first year of planting in a new raised bed is trouble-free. By the middle of the second season, they’ve found their way in and seem to cause more damage than in the open garden. I’m trying a new approach – planting more than they can possibly eat. I’m winning, but only just.
Recently, I’ve been away from Henley more than I would choose. Nothing I’ve planted has had the attention it deserves – and it shows. It’s fortunate that Nature is so forgiving. The pea plants on the allotment might look very straggly and unhealthy, but they’re producing long pods of delicious peas.
The broad beans have nearly finished cropping. Lack of time meant that I didn’t plant as many as usual. This year, that was the wrong decision. For the first time ever, they’ve been completely free of black fly. I’ve no idea why. It’s probably a combination of planting timing, weather conditions and the large number of ladybirds that were around early in the season. But that’s the magic of growing food. Every year is different – and perhaps that’s what keeps us interested.
Tips from the allotments:
- Sow the last batch of beetroot ready for autumn picking
- Sow cabbages for spring
- Sow kale, salad leaves and the last batch of peas and French beans
- Transplant leeks
- Pinch out the tops of climbing beans
- Pinch out the growing tip of tomatoes once five trusses have formed
- Keep weeding
The wet is even affecting flowers. The growth of roses and especially perennials like delphiniums is so soft that the flowers are drooping and rotting before they can be enjoyed. Flowering shrubs are also producing so much growth that the flower buds are obscured before they open.
I mow the grass at every rare opportunity.
I don’t have an allotment but interesting to finally read one of your articles! Keith