Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Late July in the Vegetable Garden

 A lot happens in a month, including the birth and growth of these caterpillars, these are the cinnabar moth which is a pretty bright red moth.   It lays its eggs on ragweed, a wild plant poisonous to horses but delicious to cinnabar moth caterpillars.  I usually keep a couple of plants in corners of my plot just so I can watch these lovely creatures.

 A month ago these Alderman peas were only a few inches tall, having had their heads nipped off by woodpigeons.  In just a few weeks they have reached their full height...
 .,..well over a metre tall they are now obstructing the path.  Picked the first pods today, full of sweet fresh peas.  The second crop which is behind them is coming on too.
 It was a good year for strawberries, we have had pounds of them, the first full crop from the bed I planted up last year.
 Blackcurrants too have been abundant, the whitecurrants and redcurrants did not do so well as last year they had some kind of disease so I had to cut a lot of the wood out.  But they look healthy which is the main thing.

 The first pumpkin is now set, with more to come.  The marrows have completely failed this year, I suspect a bad batch of seed was responsible as they mostly failed to germinate and the couple that did are very poor specimens.
 At this time of year with everything growing fast, the problem you have is if you turn your back for a minute.  I left a couple of courgettes on the plant to fill out, but they filled out more than expected!  In the centre of the picture is a normal size vegetable, the monsters either side are what happens when you leave them too long!  A few of the onions in the drier part of the bed have died back so I took them up, but there are more for later in the year.
 And I have taken up the first of the potatoes, early maincrop Desiree.  Still have two more beds of potatoes, but they are still growing and will benefit from the rain which is due this weekend.
 These are the Desiree, a nice red potato.  Not as big as they can get due to the dry weather, but completely slug free which is nice.
This is a field of meadowsweet shining in the evening sun.  A plant used in medieval times to make rooms smell nice.
I forget the name of these flowers, but they grow wild in abundance round here, no attention required!  

We have had very dry and hot weather, rain to come which I am looking forward to as I hate watering the vegetables, so here's to a cool, wet weekend!