Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Flaming June?

 I can't remember a spring as cold as this one, the cold wind has made gardening into a subtle form of torture. While the temperatures are now recovering a little, it is still cool for the time of year.  Some flowers are out - my red poppy ... 
 ... and the self-seeding endemic yellow poppy.
 On the vegetable plot, the potatoes are finally getting going.
 These loganberries have been in for 15 years, until last year they showed no sign of life at all.  Last year they put out a lot of shoots, and this year there are a lot of flowers, so I am hoping for a good crop.  If you're not familiar with them, they are a hybrid berry, a long berry which looks similar to a long raspberry, but they retain their core like a blackberry.
 The strawberries are flowering very well now so we will have fruit in July.
 While the apples have set well, the late cold seems to have pruned the plum fruit rather badly, so not many of those this year.  We got a hard frost at a crucial time.
This year has been a good one to study the effects of the variable temperatures on planting.  Above is the lettuce planted just a couple of weeks ago.


 This is the same variety planted over 6 weeks ago under a cloche.  It's smaller and the leaves are thicker.  You can also see smaller seedlings around it - these were planted at the same time but did not germinate until more recently.  So early planting does not necessarily guarantee good results.
 The weather has not just been cold, it has also been windy and I think it is the cold wind which has done this damage to the garlic.  I've never seen this before, as it has also been very wet, they certainly weren't suffering from dryness.  The new centre leaves are perfectly green so this has to be wind damage.
 Germination has been patchy for many plants - there should be 2 rows of peas here but in fact we only have 2/3 and 1/4 of a row. These were the first to be planted and this germination is very poor, the worst I've ever had for this variety (Alderman).   The second sowing has done a little better, but there is a very staggered germination there too.
 The cold has really held back growth - these broad beans are rather small for this time of year.  Some of the seeds failed and I had to resow in the gaps.  They are now flowering but they're tiny.

 While the beetroot germination was a little patchy, I do have some good plants surprisingly.  Beetroot suffer in the wet, so I put them in the driest bed under a cloche and this has ensured germination.  They are now starting to grow on.

A nest of wrens fledged today, with a bunch of them behind the shed.  Here's one of the fledglings sitting on  a pruning which I helpfully left for them!
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