The Saturday was lovely but I’d been up most of Friday night, something I’d eaten, so spent the day in bed feeling miserable. Whatever it was that got me, Val hadn’t eaten it so at least one of us enjoyed the day.
Sunday was wonderful, thunder and lightning with periods of heavy rain. As the lightning approached the ADSL link went down and I was offline as well – it’s terrible, no internet!
Monday was supposed to be better but the ground was sodden and we had yet more rain, if a lot lighter than Sunday. But it didn’t keep me away from the potting shed later in the day. I got my monthly newsletter out in the morning. I used to send this directly but as the volume got larger it became increasing hard to get it out and some ISPs marked it as spam because of the volume. The system I use now is managed by a firm called aweber and they handle everything. Subscriptions, unsubscribes, sending out is all done in the background so all I have to do is write it. Much better for everyone and nobody has accused me of spamming them, which was an annoying problem before. Aweber are really strict about ensuring people really want the email (it’s a double opt in system, technically) so their mail gets through because the ISPs know it’s not spam.
I’d started chitting some sweetcorn on Thursday and it had developed really well. In fact it had gone too far. When I chit sweetcorn, I just want to see a bit of the root popping out, maybe half an inch long. Already the root was nearly two inches long and the shoot was nearly an inch on some.
Out of 36 seeds, all but 3 had developed and I managed to break one more, so 32 went into 3″ pots. The chittings are incredibly delicate and need very (I mean VERY) careful handling.
Started off by sowing in pots again with a view to planting out in a couple of weeks. I’ve sowed two varieties, Enorma, which should match it’s name, and Celebration, which is saved seed from an NVS member who brought his spares to a meeting.
French Climbing Beans
I’ve got a part packet of Cobra and of Blue Lake but they’re way past their date. Still, they may be viable so I started chitting them as with the sweetcorn. The benefit of this is that I’ll know quickly if they’re any good and won’t have wasted time and compost sowing them.
If nothing has happened with them in a few days, I’ll force myself to open a new packet and sow fresh. The packets of seeds we buy usually contain far too many for the average grower
Squash & Pumpkins
Sowed a few pots with Jack O’Lantern pumpkins and butternut squash. Usually I’d push seeds from the established quality merchants because the cheapness of bargain seeds is often outweighed by poor results. With the squash, I’ve had best results with Wilko’s own brand. Better results than with the big boys seeds. No rule is absolute, especially in gardening.
Started off some Ormskirk Late and Elisa in modules. I only want about 3 plants of each eventually but sowed a couple or more seeds into 6 modules of each to allow for failure.
Tuesday was glorious, no other word for it. Hot sunshine with a bit of wind to take the edge off. The cats followed us into the garden and found themselves shady spots to watch the silly human shenanigans. The mower went down to its lowest cut, providing plenty of cuttings for the compost bin and we tidied up the lawn edges etc. Lawns always look so much better with tidy edges.
Helped Val to pot on some Hebes (a flowery bush thing, inedible but it keeps her happy). After an hour messing around trying to get one out of its pot, realised there was no option but to take a hammer to the pot. To say it was potbound is an understatement. With plastic pots there’s usually enough give to enable you to get the most potbound plant out but crocks are a different matter. Plastic pots are lighter as well, which makes a difference with the larger ones when you’re moving them around.
The base collapsed on the coldframe, I’m afraid the plywood has warped so when we moved it, it fell apart. A new base to be obtained.
The reason we moved it was to give me access to the main home greenhouse with the jet washer. The roof has green mould on it and looked unsightly so 20 minutes with the sprayer to clean it up.
Normally it’s pretty watertight but the jet wash at strange angles managed to soak the interior. Luckily the electrics didn’t go bang but my battery powered digital thermometer was dripping wet and showing a blank screen. I hope it dries out OK!!
Oops! & Borlotti Beans
Popped down to the plot in the evening where the lettuce seedlings were looking very sad. Dying of thirst and heatstroke. Gave them a good watering from the top and poured half an inch into the gravel tray. They might recover. Stupid of me to not pop down and water them in the morning.
The borlotti beans germinated well and are ready for planting. There was nothing to be seen on Thursday and now some are three inches high and their roots are trying to leave the base of the pots. That’s a job for Wednesday.