Friday 23 July 2010

It's Typical

I go on a holiday for a fortnight later on today. How typical is it that my tomatoes are just starting to ripen? I've got a couple which are already on their way to being red, but not red enough to pick them yet, and many more at the same stage as these, which I'm sure will be ripening before my return. These are Tigerella which are a stripy tomato. Although I like to try different tomatoes every year, I always grow these and Gardener's Delight, a cherry variety, along side them.

This week has seen the first of the second early potato containers emptied. This year I chose International Kidney as my second early. This is the same potato as those grown on Jersey and sold under the name of Jersey Royal, however, only those grown on the island are allowed to be called this, all others are known as International Kidney. I got a great harvest from one container, with many quite large sized potatoes.

We've had some miserable weather this week, quite a bit of rain, though lots of it has been at night. I'm happy to say that the sun is out today, just in time for the start of our holiday. The kids finished school yesterday, today is a teacher training day, and hubby is finishing work early, so we're able to get off early. We're having a week in (hopefully) sunny Devon followed by a week in Somerset, so I hope this sunshine continues. See you all in a fortnight.

Monday 19 July 2010


I love this time of year when the lilies are in bloom, they are one of my favourite flowers. I have had this particular lily in a pot for about four years now, it's quite neglected yet it still keeps on flowering. I know the lily I have in another container is Stargazer, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of this one. I noticed a lily beetle on the leaves the other day, it was swiftly despatched. I see lots of lily beetles at the allotment but this is the first time I've seen one in the garden, it seems they're becoming more common.

I'm enjoying lots of spring onions at the moment. I planted up a whole container of them earlier on in the season and now I'm reaping the reward. I love spring onion with cheese in a sandwich, I know what's for lunch today.

The beans are just starting to flower, they should be ready to pick when I return from my holiday.

Wednesday 14 July 2010


The first of the peas have been picked. They don't seem to have done as well as in previous years, I assume it's because of the dry weather we've been experiencing. There was only enough ready for one meal, but there are lots more pods filling up so hopefully we'll get a bigger batch at the next picking. These are Onward which I grow every year, I think I might have a change next year.

At long last we've had a proper downpour, I can't remember the last one we had. The allotment will be really glad of it, as will the grass which is looking very pale and dried out.

We go on holiday at the end of next week so at the moment I'm trying to get the garden and allotment sorted out ready for our departure. I'm harvesting whatever I can so nothing goes to waste.

Thursday 8 July 2010

An Unexpected Visitor

We were on our way to the local gala on Sunday when I noticed something moving in the road. It turned out to be this little guy, well, he wasn't actually that little, more the size of a large tortoise. He's a red eared terrapin. We started knocking on doors asking if anyone had lost him, looked for notices in shop windows for anyone missing their pet and asked at the local vet's with no luck, so he's now gone to live with someone who hubby knows who keeps other terrapins. Many people bought these terrapins as tiny pets when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a big TV hit without knowing that they quickly grow to quite a size and can bite. Many were then dumped which has caused problems for wildlife. I'm sure he'll be happy in his new home.

I had high hopes this year of getting more than the measly one cherry which we got last year from our tree. There was lots of blossom on the tree at the beginning of the year but I think it must have suffered the same fate as the blueberries in the late frost. The result was only five cherries which were happily growing but one by one they have all disappeared, I suspect birds have taken them, so there isn't even one cherry to harvest this year.

I have noticed on some blogs that some people are now picking ripe tomatoes. My plants are only just starting to produce small fruits but they're a long way off from being ripe. I thought I must be behind this year so I checked back on my blog posts from last year and it seems that I was at exactly the same position with the tomatoes last year. Blogs are so useful for keeping this kind of information.

Friday 2 July 2010

Keeping It Native

This Meadow Cranesbill is flowering non stop at the moment. It's a gorgeous colour and as you can see there are many more buds yet to open. It was planted last year in my wildlife border. I used a number of native plants in the border in order to attract beneficial insects to the garden. Native wildlife is best adapted to native plants for food and shelter, so by adding native plants to your garden you will attract more wildlife. I have seen an increase in the varieties, as well as the number of bees and butterflies visiting the garden since last year so the border has worked well. If you would like to know which other plants were used, they are all listed in my post from April last year.

We've had three full trugs of strawberries so far this week, that equates to about fifteen pounds. There will be more to pick today too. I can see that we're going to have to make some jam in order to use them all up. We had a treat on Wednesday evening and melted a bar of chocolate, in to which we dipped some strawberries, delicious but naughty.

There'll be no sweetcorn for us this year. I never planted them out as they seemed to go yellow and stopped growing. Last year's were a disaster too. They were planted out but only grew to about a foot high. I'm wondering now if it's to do with growing them in toilet roll inners. Last year was the first time I'd done this, and they'd always grown well in previous years. I think next year I'll try growing them in plantpots as I have done previously without any problems and see how I go.

My second cucumber is now ready for taking from the plant and there are four courgettes on one plant which will also be ready for harvesting. More tomatoes are growing, and the beans are climbing their wigwams. The early potatoes are being harvested from their containers, and the ones planted at the allotment should be ready. Even the onions and shallots which were planted really late seem to be coming on ok, though I haven't grown them before so I can't really tell if they're doing well or not. On the other hand, the leeks and squash are still waiting to go out, there's nowhere dug over for them yet. Most of the brassicas wilted and died. This happened last year too, I just can't seem to grow them from seed, though a few seem to have made it. The weeds aren't just threatening to take over anymore, they're actually doing it. I really must spend more time down there.
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