Tuesday, 16 July 2013

2013 - The Year of The Summer

 After 3 years of summers with torrential rains and little sun, this year is finally shaping up to be dry and sunny, pure bliss from a gardening perspective.  Weeds stay away, blight does not make an appearance and the grass grows more slowly, so I am enjoying the lovely weather.  It seems the woodpigeons are too.  After sampling my pea seedlings a few weeks ago, I protected them until it was time to set up the stakes and supports, thinking the peas were now too big to be gobbled up.  I was so, so wrong - above is what they should have looked like...
 ... this picture shows some of the plants 24 hours later!  Fortunately not all were eaten, so I have put the netting back on and the woodpigeons have now moved on to the next door plot and are eating his blackcurrants.  Better his than mine.
 I have thinned the apples, removing the small ones which hadn't already dropped and lightening overcrowded branches, particularly the tips of branches.
 For the first time in 3 years I have a decent crop of beetroot -actually they are bigger than this now, as it is so dry I have started a watering rotation and these plants had a drenching yesterday, putting on a lot of growth overnight.
 Likewise the spinach and chard has doubled in size, again a good crop looms.
 I have started picking the ripest redcurrants, these are also under netting due to the woodpigeons.
 And here are the peas a few days after I put the netting on, making a good recovery though I think the ones at the top of the row are done for.  Still, I watered them today and live in hope.
 The broad beans are filling out nicely, very late but they will be very welcome when they're ready.
 And I've had the first small crop from my new strawberry plants.  These are now getting a regular drenching at the roots to keep them going.
 I finally weeded the parsnip bed, once the plants were big enough.  They have germinated quite well in two loose rows.  Surprisingly, there are also some spinach plants mixed in, which must be a result of the spinach plants which went to seed in the bed behind last year.  I never look a gift horse in the mouth, so have left these in.
 The cabbage have sadly been affected by cabbage root fly, but it seems to be confined to one small section so we have removed all the plants and put them on the general waste pile some distance away.  The lettuce is doing well, now is a great time for salads.
And after a slow start, my resowings of courgettes and marrows have come up.  These plants are also getting  regular drenching at the roots.

All in all, the summer is shaping up well and I'm enjoying the weather.  Hope it's good where you are too!
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