In my last post I said we had a summer flu, well it is Covid. It’s ironic, we avoided the Covid whilst the pandemic was at it’s height and now it hardly gets a mention and we get it.
It’s been rough and although we’re quite a bit better now, we’re still not 100%. After a couple of hours my batteries are flat and the famous Covid brain fog is real. Or maybe it’s just me age. Regardless, the weather has hardly been encouraging us out, it’s more like October than August half the time. Oh well, such is life.
Apples v Pears
Earlier in the year both the apples and pears looked promising but the pear tree is down to about 3 fruits and they don’t look much cop. But, the apples are doing really well. It was always thus; win some, lose some.
The apples are all Welsh varieties from Ian Sturrock who’s just a few miles up the road from us in Bangor. He does supply mail order for those further away and many Welsh garden centres stock his trees.
Since these photos were taken, I’ve thinned the unknown apples and storm Betty has knocked most of the apples off the Bardsey and some off the Anglesey Pig’s Snout (Trwyn Mochyn).
We’ve got some rambling roses by a wall. They’re healthy and growing well despite a total lack of care by me. After planting they were just left to it. They’re far hardier than the more refined thoroughbreds.
At one time the government used to pay for rose hips which were used to make rose hip syrup that was given to children as a vitamin supplement. Later the delicious rose hip syrup was replaced with an orange based supplement, which didn’t taste particularly nice but was cheaper to produce.
Our roses flowered and now are laden with fat hips. Maybe we should make some syrup!
The birds will find masses of rowan berries on the trees to build them up for the lean winter. The hawthorns are heavy this year as well. It’s often said that this means the winter will be harsh. There’s often a lot of truth in these old wisdoms.
Son-in-law Gary kindly harvested a raised bed of potatoes for me. The bed is 10 x 4 feet and has produced a wheelbarrow full, maybe 40 kg which is a great result. They’re second earlies and should have been lifted some weeks ago but I wasn’t up to it with the Covid.
They’re a bit scabby, but that’s just a cosmetic problem. Scab always seems to be a problem here, just one of those things. Loads more to harvest still in the ground, more than planned by far!
Keeping a close eye on the tomatoes now. I’ve stopped them and they react by pushing out sideshoots which need removing. As leaves yellow or get mouldy I’m removing the whole leaf stem. This allows more air movement to help with moulds and more sunlight to ripen the green tomatoes.
The Gourmandia beef tomatoes are amazing. One was nearly 700 grams! Most are between 400 and 500 grams and the plants are heavily laden. Nicely flavoured but a little watery.
This is the last year I’ll grow Ailsa Craig. Not only are they very susceptible to greenback, the fast growth this year has caused a lot of splits Usually splitting is a sign of irregular watering but these have had very regular watering in wicking pots (Quadgrow) I think I’ll replace with Crimson Crush or maybe a black tomato as we love the black cherry tomatoes.
The French beans continue producing well. Picking beans is curious; being sure I’ve got the lot I sit down for a break and spot loads more to pick. Even with a sit down I got a bucket full in an hour. After preparation, that works out to 14 generous portions. We freeze our veggies in portions which is convenient when using them.
Courgettes, enough said!
Cucumbers are doing well in the polytunnel. I’ve noticed that cucumbers seem to do better in the tunnel than the greenhouse, they must prefer the environment in there.