Catching Up in Good Weather

A scorching weekend (by North Wales standards) which helped me catch up on some jobs although there’s still lots to do. At this time of year we’re running to stand still! Then, following the rule of British Summer, two fine days and a thunderstorm, Monday afternoon was thunder, lightning and cloudbursts.

I was in the potting shed when the first cloudburst came. The raindrops were huge and sounded like hail hitting the roof and glass of the shed. The next one arrived with claps of thunder whilst I was in the polytunnel, harvesting a few first earlies. The noise of the rain on the polytunnel skin was deafening, like being inside a drum. Fortunately it eased and I didn’t get too wet on the way back to the house.

Planting Gigantes and Borlotti Beans

Planting Gigantes and Borlotti Beans in Polytunnel

In the polytunnel the Borlotti and Gigantes bean plants are in. The French beans, Blue Lake, sown at the front and back of the centre bed. That’s all the beans for the polytunnel apart from some dwarf French beans, Roquencourt which will be OK outside but I might put some in late in the tunnel. Nearly forgot, runner beans – Lady Di – planted out around two teepees on the plot.

Planting Runner Beans

Planting Runner Beans


Strawberry on Plant

Strawberry on Plant, Ready to Pick

We’re getting strawberries now, even a few more than my grandson can snaffle. Can’t blame him, there are few things more delicious than a sun-warm, just-picked strawberry.

Strawberries in Need of Water

Strawberries in Need of Water – Happily they Survived.

Thermometer Reading 42.2 Max

Thermometer Reading 42.2 Max

We nearly lost some of the strawberries as they dried out. I’ve given myself a written warning! Seriously, when the temperature is up towards 40ºC in the tunnel it is critical to water at least daily, sometimes twice daily.

In the polytunnel centre bed the sweetcorn, Pot of Gold, are planted. Only a dozen out of 20 seeds were worth planting which is disappointing. More sweetcorn is chitting which will go out in the plot in about three weeks – all being well.

The brassicas that were left over when the brassica tunnels were planted went in outside the tunnel. The tunnels are more than sufficient for our needs but the extras won’t be wasted – assuming they survive the bunnies and butterflies. If they don’t, no harm done.

Squashes Sown

In the potting shed I’ve sown my squashes. Courgette Defender, Spaghetti Squash, Squash Uchiki Kuri, Squash Meruhen and pumpkin Atlantic Giant. I’d like to grow a big one for my grandson. It’s been 19 years since I last grew some giant pumpkins. The nieces and nephew I gave them to are all grown up now and I don’t think pumpkins feature in their Halloween now.

Parsnip Disaster

This year my parsnips have failed. I sowed about 4 seeds per degradable pot and held them at around 20ºC for a fortnight prior to planting out. This method has worked like a charm for me in the past but not this year.

I tried chitting some in the same way as I chit sweetcorn which works well for many people but not a sign of life. Maybe a duff batch of seed or they didn’t like the way I stored them or just bad luck. I’ve ordered fresh seed and will have one last try.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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