Have We Missed Summer?

The weather has turned back to April – showers and some sun, and not terrifically warm. It’s messing up the cricket as well…..You could argue it’s ‘good growing weather’ – though unhelpful for being in the garden becasue of the showers.

However, work has carried on in the garden although a lot of the time has been spent on hedge cutting and flower planting in the other part of the garden.

All the courgettes and cucumber are growing ok – except for the plants which I bought (one is a squash) which are still very feeble. The plant in a growbag close to the greenhouse seem to be getting on better than those in the ‘protected’ raised bed.

Courgette & cucumber in growbag

Courgette & cucumber in growbag

Contrast with:

Courgettes, cucumber & squash in covered bed

Courgettes, cucumber & squash in covered bed

Meanwhile the broad beans are all flowering and the lower flowers have already produced tiny beans. The climbing beans are a mixed story, one of the two is already a couple of feet up its cane, the other is still producing a growing tip. A day or so ago I planted two of the ones from the greenhouse against the other two canes of the ‘tepee’, one of the is ok but the other is looking rather sad at the moment. However, I have two plant in reserve so not a problem. The other french bean plants are just getting into their stride now so won’t be too long before they start flowering.

Broad beans in full flower

Broad beans in full flower (nearest ones are dwarf Sutton)

All the tomatoes, both in and out of the greenhouse are looking a lot happier now and coming on well – the greenhouse plants are in full  flower now and even the ‘bush’ tomatoes outside the greenhouse have started growing now. The first pepper plant I bought is in flower in the greenhouse as well.

Greenhouse tomatoes

Greenhouse tomatoes in flower

The peas look like they may be about to flower, and I really need to sow a few more to make up another row so the peas continue to be available once the first row is producing. A row of beetroot in the bed closest to the greenhouse is just starting to show, whereas a whole set of carrot seed in a tall container sown at the same time is not showing any shoots.

The salad crops outside the kitchen are coming on ok and may be available by the time the salad in the container is over – some of the plants are in flower now, so not much longer. Some rocket and a few lettuces in the bed close to the greenhouse are still a week or so away from being used.

Wildlife – well another squirrel has been taken for a holiday and I’m still having to scare off pigeons every day as well. The blackbirds are probably feeding a second brood as they are very active looking for food. A couple of house-sparrows were having a bath in the same container this morning, and that’s the first time I’ve seen two together this year, number have really declined and it isn’t our fault as the nest sites in the eaves are still available and not occupied by bumble bees this year as far as I can see. Also, we’ve had plenty of greenfinches but the nijer seed has been untouched virtually as no goldfinches have been around for some time now – no idea why. The robin has of course been making an appearance whenever I’ve been gardening just to see if I’ve uncovered any juicy morsels.

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