Thursday, 17 July 2008

Weeds 1 - Me Nil!

Week 30 – Tuesday, 15th July 2008

Popped down to the lottie with Mom to water the greenhouse – the Peacevine and Brandywine tomatoes are doing very well and have very well formed, big fruits – still green but I can almost taste them! Got a couple more Sungold tomatoes off the bush – yummy! One of the Red Brandywine has started ripening so should be ready by the end of the week when I visit again. The chilli plants are not doing well this year and I have suffered loads of slug damage. None of the aubergines (inside or out) have any formed fruit yet but there is a flower or two – so fingers crossed I might even get some fruit this year. The melons have also all been munched by the slugs so I will be taking my last, precious plant down to the lottie on Friday to plant out and spread lots of organic slug pellets about to give it a fighting chance.

I also managed to get all the shallots harvested. It seems a bit early this year but all the plants had died down already and the slugs were starting to move in for the kill. So I pulled a decent harvest and have arranged them on racks in the lottie shed to dry out. I have two types of shallots this year – a small, golden type, which Dave from work gave me (not sure of the variety) - which I will use to make up some pickled onions and another one that I bought from the Potato Day in Whitchurch – also the name escapes me. On looking back on my earlier notes I did not seem to make a note of the name. Tsk! Tsk! I really need to get my labelling skills up to scratch.

The Sturon onions that I planted are not that great and only about 8 decent size. The rest seem small and undeveloped so I have decided to leave the smaller ones in for the time being and harvest later just in case they put on a final growth spurt. Their leaves are still green so fingers crossed!

The sweet pea wigwam is still flowering its socks off and for the last 6 weeks we have been picking large bunches of flowers at least twice a week. I will start slowing down by the end of August to allow the plant to set seed for next year. The colours and smell have really been heavenly and I really must try and remember to take my camera down so that I can post some pictures here.

When I went to feed the French beans, to my amazement I found that there were actually about a pound of beans once picked. I had not really seen any major flower action there and the plants do not seem as strong as last year but the beans lower down seem to have made it. I gave all the beans a good feed of seaweed and made a note the bean frame and its environs need a major weeding. I also harvested some lovely beetroot and once home managed to pickle 3 pounds of beetroot and blanched the French beans for the freezer. Just enough to either add to a stew or serve as a vegetable side dish. I am however sure that I will be adding to them shortly.

The Yellow Mange Tout that I planted also had a very slow start but is now really going wild. I think that I will stop harvesting now and allow the plant to set seed so that I have enough for next year.

As I have not been down to the lottie that often or for long periods I am afraid that the weeds are winning 1 – 0 at the moment. We will be moving Mom and Jacquie this week-end so do not think that I will manage a visit to the lottie as well. Will rally the troops together and set a definite date for the weekend of 26th/27th July to wage war on the weeds and whip the lottie back into shape. All the potatoes will also need lifting and the sweet potatoes need to be put in as well.

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