Cucumber Success, Sweet Potatoes, Savoys

The weather here has been great, sunny and warm. As a gardener it is compulsory to moan about the weather, so it’s too hot in the afternoon and too dry. This means time spent watering that could be spent on other things – like melting under the parasol. Still, better than watching the rain pour down from indoors.

Talking of watering, there’s a little video I made on the topic here: Watering the Plot Efficiently for Better Plants

Hawthorne is common around here and they’re all showing heavy blossom.

The Hawthorne trees are fabulous this year, covered in blossom which will mean a heavy load of berries for the birds later. Good job too, more people are planting trees so there are more birds about. The difference since we came here a dozen years ago is very noticeable, which is actually quite a short time for trees.

The way things are going, this is going to be the year of the fruit. The currants are loaded and swelling, the tayberries looking very promising and the blackberries are loaded with blossom, too.


Look upon my cucumbers and tremble mortals!

2 Carmen Cucumbers on plant

Carmen Cucumber plant growing in the Quadgrow in the Eden Greenhouse

The first sown cucumbers caught some disease so I bought a plant from our favourite garden centre, Tyddyn Sachau. The variety is Carmen which is a brilliant cucumber and it’s doing well in the Quadgrow. The first photo was taken 5 days prior to harvest, can’t believe how quickly they swelled.

Unlike many garden centres and every supermarket or DIY shed I’ve come across, Tyddyn Sachau produces and sells excellent quality plants. The only problem I’ve had was some aphids hiding on the underside of aubergine leaves.

I prefer starting from seed but it’s great to have a backup supply when things go wrong.

Harvested Cucumbers – 5 days later

Savoy Cabbages

Ormskirk Seedlings

I seem to have gone a bit OTT with savoys.. again. 20 seedlings which will be ready to be planted out in a week or so. They’re an old variety, Ormskirk, but a good one. They form tasty, solid balls and stand well through to March. We’ve not had a harsh winter for a while but by all accounts they are extremely hardy.

More Strawberries

Strawberries in Polytunnel

Yet more strawberries

It’s been getting pretty hot in the polytunnel, peaked at 37ºC the other day and the weather is getting hotter. The strawberries seem happy with it, we’re getting flush after flush. They are watered thoroughly every day and fed weekly with S-Chelate 12 Star.

I mix this by adding 4 scoops to my 10 litre can and then decant into a large jug to pour into the strawberries’ hanging baskets. Each basket gets about 1½ litres of solution.

I’m afraid we’re being a bit piggy with strawberries and cream or ice cream as dessert. If we start to get fed up with them – it is possible! – we’ll freeze some to make jam with when the weather is cooler.

Sweet Potatoes

I last grew sweet potatoes in 2019 and the results were pretty poor. I didn’t plan on growing them again but Suttons had an offer so I thought “Why not try again?” and bought 6 plug plants. The plugs were potted on into 10 cm pots and the roots are just starting to circle now so planted out in the polytunnel.

Sweet Potatoes planted out

In an attempt to get a respectable crop this time, added potato fertiliser along with some slow release fertiliser to the soil. The soil was then forked to open it and compost layered on top. I’ll give liquid feeds as well later in the year.

Last time the sweet potatoes produced a lot of foliage which rooted and then formed little tubers. This time I’ll be running foliage up the trellis I’ve set up so the energies go to form a smaller number of bigger tubers. Thanks to Tim Inman for that tip

The variety, Beauregard, is less day length sensitive than other varieties so they continue growing for longer. I can’t recall the variety I grew last time. Check back in September when hopefully we’ll have a good harvest.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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