A bit of a switch in the weather. A whole day of light drizzle which carried on into the night followed the next morning by thick fog which held the damp. The afternoon was overcast and cool, quite pleasant after the scorching we’ve had which the forecasters claim to be coming back.
Aubergines & Tomatoes
Over in the greenhouse the aubergines are swelling fast and the Ailsa Craig tomatoes ripening. I know you can get all sorts of aubergines but I’m happy to stick with the good old standard Black Beauty. They are rather lovely with their glossy black skin and green caps.
Ailsa Craig have been around for donkey’s years too, and with good reason. A proper tomato; versatile they’re great on a sandwich, in a salad and fried or grilled with a meal. True, Ailsa Craig do have a tendency to greenback but the variant Craigella avoids that problem whilst keeping the size and sharp flavour of the parent.
Pak Choi & Rain
I planted out some Pak Choi I’d started in modules. Unlike most of the maincrop cabbage family they don’t take too well to transplanting and are usually direct sown. I thought I’d see if they’d take to this method which is more convenient.
When I planted them, the soil’s surface was quite wet from the rain. I think we’ve had about 15 mm which isn’t much but it’s enough to refresh the grass in the fields and soften baked soils. A couple of inches down though and the soil was bone dry. If we don’t get a decent amount of rain soon I can see a hosepipe ban in Wales being on the cards.
Parsley & Cabbage
Spent a couple of hours in the potting shed. Sowed some more parsley into modules to follow on the first lot and then pricked out some cabbage (Hispi) seedlings into modules. If they all take I’ll have 18 to plant out. The bulk of those will end up in the hens though.
The next job was to prick out a load of lettuce. I’d sown a pack of mixed seed so various varieties. Planted into 18 modules to bring on and then plant outside for full head lettuce. I’ve got a couple of troughs, Val used to have them for patio flowers but they’re a bit tatty now, still serviceable though. The plants went in those at 2 inch spacings and will provide baby leaves for cutting.
I’ve got a feeling that by the time these lettuce are ready we’ll be moaning about how unseasonably cold it is and the rain will be battering us. It’s one of the things I love about gardening, it ties you into the seasons and the weather. You realise how we’re part of something much bigger and must bend with nature.