Monday 1 July 2013

Gardening part 5: Plague, famine, pestilence and peas!

Here is this week's Gardening with Clare. I am pleased to report that the weather is finally co-operating; the joint witchy nose twitching, sacrificial radishes and downright screaming at the elements has been rewarded. The sun has come out and the hurricanes have died away so my poor little plants have been given a fighting chance.

Bloom' luvverly!
That was obviously before I ravished the radishes. They were starting to get a bit big so I unearthed them, had a minor tussle with the wickies that had set up home and chopped the remains into a lettuce salad. So that is one successful crop dispatched. You know, I'm sure it would have been quicker and cheaper to pop to the supermarket...

Anyway the growing stars of the show this week have definitely been the peas and the broccoli seedlings. The peas are now toddling and reaching up their little tendrils to latch on to the pea plant. So at the weekend, we constructed a tent like structure with strings and sticks to give them a little support. This evening I've been going around asking them nicely to stretch up to reach the structure and assisting the curly bits of vine to cling. V thought I was being cruel but I think they need encouragement. 

The bed of broccoli seedlings are definitely nearing the planting out stage. I've no idea how I'm going to do this but will give it some thought at the weekend. The other brassica are also very strong, although inexplicably, one of the cauliflower plants is almost dead. There doesn't seem to be any recurrence of the leaf mining bugs from last week; too scared to return after I lobbed them off the roof. Other successful seedlings which may eventually be ready to go upstairs are the onions. 

My love of bees is quite well known so it was exciting and gratifying to spot a bumble bee paying an evening visit to the flowering broad bean plants. Nice to know that we are contributing to the local ecology. There are also yellow flowers forming on the dwarf beans so I hope to see bees on them too. I also saw a ladybird on the gooseberry bush but all these friendly visitors are welcome! Unlike the mystery radish munchers.

One thing I still need to so is to check how to make my blueberry bush happier; there is definitely wiltage which is quite sad. However the stalky blackcurrant has taken and is making friends with the rogue lettuce underneath. Even the carrots have discovered the beetroot next door and seem relatively keen to come out to play. Who knows, one of these days we may get a full meal from our roof garden. In the meantime, we'll just stay on our diet...

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