1 Sep 2010

Catching up…


Well, here we are again… I hadn't realised that I'd been away so long, the weeks have just slipped by.  (Did anyone notice?)  I wish I could say that I'd been enjoying myself on holiday somewhere warm - but, no. Truth is that the deluge of rain … day after soggy day … coupled with very strong winds was wreaking havoc in my little vegetable garden and I had to devise various Heath Robinson structures to stop everything keeling over.

My poor beans had been happily climbing up a ridge-tent-shaped frame of bamboo poles - but I'd forgotten to pinch out the growing tip. Gradually it became a tad top heavy and started to lean ever-so-slightly.  The problem was made worse as continuous rain softened the soil and the wind pushed it over as if the frame was being pulled from one end.  I had to duck underneath to get by!  All very well until someone gets hurt and one stick was, by now, at eye-poking level.

While figuring out a solution to the bean problem, the wind kept blowing and then I found my beautiful super-tall sunflowers had succumbed and collapsed across my fruit trees and crash landed on the potatoes.  The roots were ripped up but because I found them not long after, I was able to firm them back into the soil and start hoping for recovery… but that ol' wind kept blowing.


Time for some urgent action.  A hazel wigwam was dismantled and the branches used to pin the sunnies against the wall.  Hmm, gooood thinking. 

The beans, though, were slightly more problematic: I'd tried tensioning the frame with some ties, like pitching a tent.  That worked for a while but the wind got stronger and stretched the ties.  It was Leigh who found the solution: a small team of us dragged a very heavy builder's bag over to the veg patch as ballast and anchored the bean frame to that.  Looks ugly as hell but - hey - it works!  Should get a few more beans before the end of the summer.  And what have I learned from all this?  Next year, I'm going to grow my beans up a very sturdy wigwam!  (and pinch out the growing tip)

Elsewhere everything is a bit wind-bashed but surviving:  I'm getting some lovely carrots with excellent flavour…  (all that rain must have done them good)


The beetroot is getting awesomely large…

The bees are still visiting the last of the lavender…


And what I thought were wonderfully chic black chilli peppers are, in fact, turning a vile colour I can only describe as blorange.  Fingers crossed for improvements on that front…

4 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about the damage caused by the wind. Our weather hasn't really been too bad at all. Brilliant carrots. I wish I could grow some half the size, I'll give it a go again next year but I'm not holding my breath.

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  2. Hi Jo! I've had the best luck with my carrots, onions, beans and beetroot. I grew the carrots inbetween the onions and I've either been lucky or that bit of companion planting put paid to carrot root fly! The carrots, btw, were Amsterdam 3. The flavour is out of this world!

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  3. Wow I'm so jealous over your carrots and beetroots - they're huge! I'm going to try the variety of carrots you used!

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  4. Hi Mandy, Thank you, but I'm not sure with beetroot if huge is good! But I am always interested in which varieties other growers use as there's such a choice available! So, for the curious, the carrots were a selection of Amsterdam 3–Sprint (Mr Fothergills) and Royal Chantenay (BBC DigIn free seeds).

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