Another week in Garden 101 and what a week it’s been. The weather changed this week from stiflingly hot (30 degrees and above) to wet, windy and thundery! First, the wet – I’m so glad we’ve seen more rain this week, as it was becoming quite difficult to keep everything well-watered enough. I’ve mentioned before that I do all my watering by hand and while it’s excellent exercise, it can get a little tiresome.
Second, the wind – this is less good. I don’t have a glass greenhouse and use quite a flimsy plastic greenhouse – I know, I know, I’m the devil, but quite frankly, I didn’t have hundreds of pounds to spend. However, I have to say that mine won’t last another year as it’s largely being held together with tape. Earlier in the year, it was totally destroyed in the storms and this week has given it another battering. Sadly, that resulted in everything on the shelves being knocked onto the floor. Mr 101 enacted a swift temporary rescue, but I haven’t had the chance to go in and really put everything back in the right place, so that’s a bit of a mess. Fortunately, the peas, beans and sweetcorn all seem to have survived the wind on the vegetable patch!
Last, the thunder – no impact on the garden, but who doens’t love a good storm!
On Wednesday, I was bitten by something nasty while I was picking the gooseberries – I’m thinking maybe a horse fly as they’re pretty horrid and I’ve reacted badly to those in the past. I won’t force you to look at a photo, but the swelling is enormous. Enormous! Overall, it extends around eight inches down my arm and two thirds around it. I also found myself having an allergic reaction to it the following day, which is never fun but not overly unexpected given that I’m allergic to pretty much everything in the garden. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and last time I ended up with quite a significant infection, so I’m keeping an eye on it, but it finally seems to be going down.
In Garden 101, meanwhile, everything is still growing at an alarming rate and the fruit and veg look fab. The courgettes, strawberries, loganberries (if they are loganberries) and gooseberries have been the stars of the week. The peas are looking excellent and we’re about to hit the runner bean glut. The sweetcorn is looking very exciting, and we’re in for a lot (a lot!) of sprouts at Christmas this year.
I saw a brilliant video from Sarah Raven this week that I want to share with you here. It’s probably one of the most useful videos I’ve seen and covers different varieties male and female flowers and when to harvest, as well as some information about treating the leaves with chive tea. Although it’s ‘back to basics’ that’s all you really need sometimes and I certainly learnt a few things, especially about how big a courgette should be.
Overall, it’s been a picking, weeding and trying to keep on top of it sort of week. I still haven’t put up the new composter and I desperately need to give my roses another deadheading, but I’ll get there. I’m also planning on doing some soil Ph testing this week, which I’m sure I’ll share with you. As ever, I’m keep to promote a total lack of stress over your gardening – you should enjoy it rather than worrying about the overwhelming information that you’ll find on every plant.
Have a great week!