Sunday 23 June 2013

Gardening part 4: Infestations and irritations

As promised, faithful readers, a weekly gardening update; the fast paced, thrills and spills of garden alarums and excursions brought to you by your intrepid and muddied correspondent. This week has blown by with  force ten gales, ensuring that any radishes not buried deep would be lifted out of the ground and rained down on unsuspecting passers-by many feet below. Still, at least no little creepy crawly plant munchy critters could get up here in this wind?


Before I get on to the murders and planned murders, here is a round up of the progress so far:

  • Carrots and beetroot. Despite the rudeness of the flatmate 'is that grass or carrots?' remark, the carrots are coming through finally, with the beetroots happily turning themselves pink with effort. Granted the 'rows' do look like they were sowed by a gardener under the influence of Pimms. Oh
  • Broccoli. Really happy with this. A few more weeks and I think I will be planting them out properly in rows. I have a enough for an entire field of them. I don't care, I like the stuff
  • Broad beans have got flowers on them and will require better, higher sticks. I will get some bamboo or something tomorrow. Dwarf beans resemble the famous Mr Bunbury and cannot decide whether to live or die. As long as they don't explode, we'll be fine...
  • Lettuce - needs eating 
  • Radishes. As you can see they are proudly displaying their nice red roots, begging to be put into a salad. See above... As I discovered on Thursday, the greenery is quite prickly and the roots nicely peppery
  • Sprouts. Will be done by Christmas, am sure
  • Cauliflowers. Will report on these in a mo
  • Peas. Alarmingly out of control and being affected by the wind. We need a beach windbreak for the poor little things
  • The fruit bushes. I need to check the soil for the blueberry, it really doesn't seem happy, probably because of the lack of acidity in the soil. I haven't researched whether you can just add a bit of vinegar to the watering can as yet
  • Rhubarb. I have a small sprout of tiny green. So cute *cries a bit*
  • Garlic. Two of the stalks have taken, again wind issues with these
The stuff in the green house is also coming along nicely, with several onions emerging, the lettuce needing more light and the home grown peppers and chillies all doing well.

Imagine my horror when I did my morning drills with the plants and discovered the one accidental shop bought pepper plant covered in aphids! I quickly did a search and found that you could nuke them with chilli sauce and liquid detergent in water. To be fair I did doubt this method as it had a vague whiff of Paracelcian weaponsalve - to cure chilli with chilli. However whatever the alchemy, this solution had the little so-and-sos running for the hills. I then rinsed the plant and waited to see if any more appeared. This morning, there were only a couple and so I repeated the administration of Scary Solution.

Tonight we did our rounds and I discovered more mighty munchers on the cauliflowers. They are obviously some kind of brassica loving leaf miner so I shall have a word with the nice people at Dyas tomorrow when I pick up some sticks. 

The daily visits to the roof has made us appreciate the wonder of the weather around us, tonight we had rainbows and the pinkest clouds I've ever seen. The city looked stunning. What a wonderful way to end a weekend of loveliness. 

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