Wednesday 2 August 2017

Benefitting from the rain

July was a poor month for gardeners in my part of the world - cool, dull, windy and until the end of the month, mostly dry. Over the last week or so we have had a couple of spells of very heavy rain, verging on the torrential. Despite a few problems with some plants (for instance the PSB) being beaten-down by this rain, I think in the main my garden has benefited from it. Some plants love a lot of moisture. I have certainly noticed my Runner Beans beginning to produce more pods, which will be very welcome.

Runner Beans "Scarlet Emperor"

Courgettes also like a lot of water. My single plant is continuing to pump out one fruit every 3 or 4 days, which suits us fine since we don't want a huge number of them.

Courgette "Defender F1" (this specimen is about 6" long)

 Even the hitherto reluctant "Diva" cucumber has got a fruit on it at last!

Cucumber "Diva"

The Radishes which I mentioned the other day as being very disappointing have rallied too, and I have managed to pick a big bunch of them. Perhaps they also needed the rain. Don't look too closely, because a fair few of them show plenty of signs of slugs having nibbled them!

Radishes "French Breakfast" and "Scarlet Globe"

A couple of days ago I lifted all my "Long Red Florence" onions, which made space for me to plant more Autumn salads. The bed now contains 12 Endives, 12 Radicchio and 24 mixed lettuces.

The conditions were ideal for planting these seedlings, because the soil was completely saturated, enabling the plants to get established quickly. They perked-up within just a few hours of being transplanted, when sometimes this can take a day or two.

I haven't had to water my potted tomato and chilli plants very much just recently. In fact I have been worried about the ripening tomatoes splitting, as sometimes happens after heavy rain. So far there have only been one or two casualties:

"Ailsa Craig" tomatoes - notice two of them have split.

I have picked some of the big "Marmonde" and "Grushkova" tomatoes for ripening off the plant. Not only will they be less likely to split, but also their removal will presumably encourage their parent plants to ripen some other fruit more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case.

Tomato "Marmonde"

Those 5 "Marmonde" weighed nearly 1.2kgs, with the biggest being over 250g.

Tomato "Grushkova"

The last thing I want to show off today is this - some ripe chillis:

Chilli "Cayenne"

The "Cayenne" chilli is one of the most dependable varieties, giving a decent crop most years. It is relatively mild as chillis go (about 30 - 50,000 SHUs), but this means it is very versatile in the kitchen - in other words you won't sear your taste-buds!

1 comment:

  1. July has been similar for us except no heavy rain. Just enough of the wet stuff to bring out the dastardly slugs.


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