Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hot garden round-up

Hottest days since 2006 apparently! The last two days have been unbearably hot - the garden thermometer showing 31 C. The tomatoes in the greenhouse have been wilting despite watering twice a day. African violets on the window-sills in the house have got scorched with the sun. I've been out with the hose in the evening to keep the vegetables and salads going and the fruit trees. The apple trees are loaded with small fruit and are at risk if they don't get enough water. I think the last serious rain was two weeks ago and the ground is pretty dry.

Despite the dry weather the broad beans are doing well. We usually have a couple of meals from the top shoots, but this year, after one meal of  bean tops last week, and my advice in my blog post, the black fly have got in there probably boosted by the hot sunshine. Nasty little things and not worth bothering to clean the shoots. Don't think I'd enjoy them wondering if I was going to bite into a bunch of crunchy aphids (although I always say you can't be an organic gardener and a vegetarian!). The blackflies suck the goodness from the plant, especially the small developing beans, so I've given them a good spray with dilute washing-up liquid. They certainly squirmed a bit so hopefully there will be less today.

The French beans have been eaten by something - rabbits, pheasants? but the Runner beans are doing well with plenty of bright red flowers. The lettuces and rainbow chard are still going strong.

The marrows and courgettes and squashes are all doing well now after a shaky start. One of the bought-in courgette plants is producing lots of yellow courgettes so looking forward to tasting them when they are big enough.

We've had to abandon the redcurrants this year - the pigeons have been eating them green. So we've netted one row of blackcurrants and the pigeons have moved on the the second row of blackcurrants. Yesterday 12 pigeons flew up as I walked up the path. The gooseberries are great. We had a gooseberry meringue pie at the weekend and looking forward to gooseberry fool / pie / ice-cream......

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