Planting teabags

Summer house
Where blogs are written

Welcome to the summerhouse dear readers, but do not fret, I am here of my own freewill and not by compulsion. I found that a steady stream of vegetables for the kitchen capped by making a delicious courgette and red pepper soup was sufficient to get me back in the good books. Note, no red roses required in this remedy !

I find that this is a great place for writing my blog.

Now for my garden:

Beans

Broad beans are more or less finished and  when removed I will replace with Autumn planting  Japanese onion sets, shallots and garlic. I sourced an offer of all three with a free bottle of onion fertiliser from Marshalls.  At the same time I ordered broad bean Aquadulce Claudia, an overwintering variety, for sowing in October to give an early crop of beans next year,

Dwarf french beans Castandel are not doing well, the crop being very poor. This is in contrast to the last two years when they were top performers. No doubt the poor Spring and Summer weather is the culprit.

Runner beans, it is too early to say how they will perform and they have reached the top of their wigwam but so far no beans to be seen despite having been in flower for a week or so.

Cabbage and Kale

Have done very well and are much larger than last year. So far the netting has stopped  the cabbage butterfly laying any eggs, hence no caterpillars. I use collars round the neck of my brassicas when planting out and this prevents attack by the cabbage root fly whose grubs devour the roots. I used to buy these but this year I made my own out of spare cardboard and they have worked well. I will mention this again with an image next Spring .

Courgettes

Are a success this year and while there is a pause in production just now I see many  courgettes starting to form and will ripen during the next few days. Frequent cutting of the courgettes before they grow big ensures a steady supply of tender and tasty courgettes.

Beetroot

Beetroot
Excellent this year

Boltardy has done exceptionally well this year and I am digging up large succulent roots which are much appreciated in the kitchen.

Fruit

Fig

Fruit on a tree
Growing nicely

Over the last four years, as per cultivation instructions, I grew my fig in a large pot but never had more than 3 figs in any year. Last winter, while the tree was dormant, I transplanted it in the open garden and it is fair to say it has flourished with eleven fruits this year.

Raspberries

Have finished fruiting so the fruit bearing canes of this year will be cut out at the base and the young growth tied to the supporting wires to fruit next year.

Strawberries

Did reasonably well but it is now time to cut off any dead leaves and remove any runners which bear the young plants. I might pin a few runners to the ground first of all to get them to root so I  have some more plants for next year.

In the Greenhouse.

Tomatoes

Sungold and Gardener’s Delight are ripening now, especially the former, providing a steady supply. Alicante is still being stubborn and staying green. During a recent visit to St Andrews Botanic Gardens I started chatting to a chap from Forfar who was bemoaning the slow ripening of his tomatoes, he had not picked a ripe one so far! He assured me he was going back home to hang bananas in his greenhouse to speed up ripening of his tomatoes!!! Now,  I have heard of people placing bananas in a bowl  to hasten ripening of other fruits but never in a greenhouse. I am convinced my tomatoes will ripen when they reach the correct stage of maturity. I think I will give his remedy a miss.

What is interesting is that those fed with my comfrey/nettle mixture are ripening faster than the others. This could turn out to be significant  as I would much rather have a smaller amount of ripe tomatoes than be left with a large amount of unripe fruit.

Pests.

Aphids

The garden still seems to be free from aphids. Although I did find a few black fly they were quickly squished and no others have taken their place.

Snails and Slugs

SnailThey have extracted their revenge, pass me the smelling salts!!! I had some salad crops growing in a container on top of my log store and I foolishly did not include them in my garden troubleshooting patrols as I knew they would not need watering. About four days later I looked and the tender green foliage had been stripped to the base, much too late now for my garlic spray!   I left my container and went back after dark and found the rascal shown in my picture polishing off the last of the greenery! Any guesses as to what happened to him? I should have known better than to neglect daily inspections but I will sow some more and pay more attention this time.

Other Matters

Teabag index UK

Experimental pack of teabags
My pack

My Teabag index kit arrived and it was with much excitement I selected 3 spots in my garden to bury my teabags. After planting my last sample I was firming the soil around the marker stick when my neighbour’s head popped over the wall. ” Now I’ve seen it all” he said “Why are you planting lollipop sticks in your grass Ian? You must be daft.”  “I’m not daft ” I replied, “I’m planting teabags here not lollipop sticks”. He raised his eyes to the heavens, gave a sigh and shook his head.

As he was walking away he turned and said ” By the way I notice a nasty smell around here sometimes, when I pass. It must be the drains and I think you should report it to the Council”. I just nodded, smiled and held my breath  as I gave the courgettes some of my comfrey/nettle mixture.

Comments

I apologise to any  readers who have tried to comment on my previous blogs but have been unable to do so. This was due to my settings being wrong but this has since been rectified and is working properly now.

On a similar vein an old friend of mine whose computer skills are limited told me how he enjoyed my blog but why did I have some words in blue? I explained that by clicking on the blue words he would be taken through to further information on that subject. He thought that  was a pretty good idea.

I am glad that we have both learned something new about the computer and blogging this week.

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments as it will now be easy to do.

Enjoy your gardening.

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