Friday 3 July 2015

Early July Update

July came in very dramatically here in the UK. 30th June and 1st July were both very hot days - especially Wednesday 1st July, which was a record-breaker. Here in Fleet the temperature reached over 35C. This is in stark contrast to the generally cold, dull, windy weather of which we have had so much this year. Our poor plants will be even further confused!

My chillis will enjoy the extra heat though. Many of them are producing flowers now, like this "Brazilian Starfish":

The Broad Beans are maturing rapidly, and I have picked a few batches. These ones are "Imperial Green Longpod", whose beans are bright green.

The Runner Beans have mostly reached the tops of their canes, and are now producing flowers, so hopefully I will be harvesting beans before the end of this month.

Lots of the tomato plants are setting fruit now. This one is "Maskotka".

I am very anxious about my tomatoes this year, after last year's disaster with the contaminated compost. So far everything looks OK, except for the fact that many of the upper leaves are tightly curled inwards. I attribute this to weather conditions, but I may be wrong. Several of my gardening contacts have reported the same issue.

I have lifted quite a few of my potatoes, which has freed-up a few pots, enabling me to plant the remaining Sarpo seed potato tubers. They are very keen to catch up with their siblings and popped up through the compost in just a few days. This one is "Kifli".

The successional sowing of Lettuces is going well still. We have eaten several of the mature ones, and more seedlings are awaiting their turn to be planted whenever a space become available.

I had a look at the Carrots and Beetroot, but neither of them is ready yet. They are doing fine, but I just need to be patient.

I have lots of flowers in bloom now. The Hydrangea is colouring-up very rapidly and is going to be a deep pink this year:

Elsewhere, the "Summer" colours are beginning to appear. My "Flighty's Favourites" Calendulas are already putting on an impressive display. Last Autumn I scattered some of their seeds into the borders, so I have some there as well as in pots:




This is one of the French Marigolds that I bought on Fleet market.

Tagetes, French Marigold.

The first flowers are opening on the Coreopsis and red Geranium too:

Not very impressive just yet, but once they get going these plants will soon be covered in flowers.

This is another one I am eagerly awaiting -- Dahlia "Bishop of Llandaff", whose first bud is just showing a bit of red.

As you can see therefore, the garden is filling-out very rapidly!


  1. Buds are just starting to appear on my dahlias now too, no sign of any colour on them yet though.

  2. It's all or nothing isn't it? Things are growing rapidly here now too.

  3. Well we haven't reached those dizzy heights but it has warmed up at last.
    I see such a contrast with your veggies to my little pathetic specimens. It's always a challenge and surprise when something actually comes to fruition.
    Stay cool and enjoy your weekend.

  4. Looks like things are going well in your garden. After a period of cooler, wet weather, we are now into hot and dry. But not 35C hot; more like high 20's hot, which is definitely more bearable.

  5. Hi Mark,
    The Tagetes, French Marigold is supposed to be a particularly good companion to tomato plants. Planting them close to the tomatoes is supposed to attract white fly to them rather than the tomatoes so I’ve planted one at the base of all my outside tomatoes and a couple with the greenhouse ones...also lovely to use the marigold petals in cooking-I use them in a salmon papillote and in bread for instance plus of course tossing them over salads with other flowers. They are also fed by people to their chickens to make their eggs have yolks a deeper orange/yellow in colour!!

  6. That's a very pretty mix of calendula blossoms. I grew some for the first time in this garden last year and it appears that they may like it here since I've found a few volunteers popping up here and there. My tomatoes had some of that curly foliage at one point but they seemed to grow out ok, I think you may be correct about it being weather related, it was extra cool here too and now that's it's warmed up the tomatoes are growing like crazy.

  7. Are your potaties growing in the same mixture as the tomatoes?

    1. No. The potatoes are in exclusively the composted stable manure. The tomatoes are in a mix of that and the Jack's Magic. Potatoes are fine, which makes me think that the Jack's Magic is the culprit in respect of the plant distortion.

  8. That hydrangea is really pretty. Usually they are blue around here as our soil is naturally acid.


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