There went Summer?

Well, here we are a the middle of August, past halfway into the school hols, and summer hasn’t really been here – well not the ideal anyway. It’s been a typical British summer, a couple of days fine then rain then a day of sun then rain etc.

Which is more or less the story of our holiday, hence the break in posts. Before going away I had set up the ‘drip feed’ system I have used before and it mostly worked while we were away, so no big disasters in the greenhouse or other critical plants in pots and growbags. The plants in the garden, however, have suffered as there had been a spell of several days without rain I would guess. Three of the climbing bean plants are dead, and the courgettes are looking pretty,  as is the remaining cucumber plant (see below).

On the plus side, the tomatoes are just starting to ripen so we haven’t come back into an instant glut. Mind, it took a fair time to remove all the side shoots and so on from the plants – it’s amazing how fast they can grow. So the toms are just starting to ripen and I’ve harvested haalf-a-dozen or so today, some Ailsa Craig and some of the small varieties.

In the greenhouse, the pepper plants are ok and have produced a few peppers as well, but the aubergines although flowering like made show no signs of setting any fruit – don’t know why.

Apart from the courgettes and beans, the lettuce have survived ok, though obviously would have been bigger with more watering and the potato plants in the ground outside the greenhouse have died right back so I think will need digging up soon. The potatoes in the containers are still showing green stems so may be able to be left (they were kept watered by the drips but the ones in the ground weren’t).

Of course the weeds showed no desire to stop growing and I’ve ripped up loads around the courgettes, with lots more to go round the bean plants. The broad bean plants were completely dead and dry and so I’ve pulled them up now. The mangetout peas are looking to be on the way out – I harvested a container full yesterday and they have mostly been eaten now. There were loads of climbing beans to harvest, most of them rather bigger than they should be, but still no problem to eat – runner beans at the same stage would have been stringy.

The birds had pretty much scoffed all the food in the feeders I’d filled before going away so they had to be all refilled. It was very noticeable today that the long-tailed tits were back in numbers (finished breeding?) and I counted five on a fat feeder with two waiting to join in. The goldfinches were happy I’d refilled the nyjer seed container and the sparrows were soon back at the seed feeder as well.  Saw a dark coloured cat in the garden today, but switching the electronic repeller (it had been off while we were away) seemed to encourage it to vacate pretty quickly.

Courgette plants

Well at least one plant is fairly healthy.....

 

Tomatoes ripening

Tomatoes by the kitchen starting to ripen

 

Cucumber plant

The cucumber - struggling to survive!

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