We’ve been having a few Sungold tomatoes over the last week but today we’ve had our first cucumber from the greenhouse. It’s easy to forget that, not so long ago, salad crops were seasonal. Now we can enjoy salads, indeed any vegetable or fruit, at any time of the year.
But, and this might be the point, hasn’t being able to just have what we want when we want reduced the pleasure of that first cucumber or strawberry or new potato as their season arrived?
Old Onion Growing Method
You might recall we had a bit of a disaster with our onions and ended up planting sets quite late in the day. When I did this I tried an old gardening method, adding soot and salt to the soil prior to planting the onion sets.
Now it could be the weather, other nutrients in the soil, quality of the sets or possibly the soot and salt but none of the onions have bolted and the bulbs look far better than expected considering they were planted really late. But maybe those old gardeners knew what they were about.
Val lifted one onion, although they’ve not matured enough to store they’re usable. She asked me to trim off the leaves with my knife and I thought I’d taste a nibble. Oh Boy! Strong hardly begins to describe it. Cleared the sinuses and numbed the mouth. A pure onion version of vindaloo with a side dish of extra hot chilli peppers.
Best and Worst Heatwave Jobs
Best job in a heatwave, apart from sleeping in a hammock in the shade, was pulling superfluous lettuce seedlings from the modules. The module being thinned on the table under the shade of a parasol.
The worst job has to be anything in the greenhouse, or sauna as it’s more accurately called. The tomato seedlings I was given and wasn’t sure if they were worth saving have have actually recovered very nicely. They all got potted on (under the parasol) and then staked and positioned in the greenhouse.
Super Large ‘Grow Bags’
I’ve some large bags that hold about 100 litres of compost were set up in their wooden retaining frames in the border. 2 plum Roma plants each. To reduce evaporation I covered the centre with a folded compost bag.
Roma, which are bush tomatoes, grow into large plants and usually need more space (and compost) than staked tomatoes hence putting them into the super-large ‘grow-bag’. I still had two plants left though and these went into large pots. Not ideal but worth a shot.
Once the sun’s strength started to wane in the late afternoon I decided to do some mowing, beginning with strimming. The recently repaired the strimmer ran really well for a while and then died. This time it was carburettor. Apparently it’s to do with modern fuels being tough on them. And I thought petrol was and always had been petrol but the chap in the repair shop insists. Anyway, another bill forthcoming. This strimmer is turning out to have been a bad buy, a bit like a Friday afternoon car for those who remember British Leyland and wonderful vehicles like the Maestro.
Got the mower out anyway and made a start but went and hit a rock that had appeared from nowhere. I’d only just but a new blade on and it took a right bashing. Anyway the mower started vibrating so swapped back to the old blade only to notice a couple of bolt ends without nuts underneath which I assume vibrated off.
I found a couple of nuts and washers, repaired the beast and set off again but the engine seems a little loose despite my best efforts. So I think the safest is to take it into the shop next week and let the professionals check it over. Yet more expense! Better than doing some really serious damage to it, though.
It’s not my week for machinery. Being as it’s so dry I decided to water the raised beds using my tripod based impulse sprinkler. As I was adjusting the pan one of the control clips came off and I couldn’t find it in the long grass. So for the sake of a 10p part my £25 sprinkler is pretty useless. I’m cursed, I tell you.