Thursday, 18 September 2008

Oh Blight!

The dreadful rain we have been having has brought on the dreaded blight we gardeners fear.

I have never experienced it before on my tomatoes, so I felt really deflated as I pulled up my four tomato plants, which were still burgeoning with fruit yet to ripe. Last week I was saying how yummy and successful my sweetcorn were and when I went to pick some last night, I witnessed a sorry site. The top thirds of the corns had been nibbled by I suspect earwigs and the rest of the cobs were a soggy mess. Into the compost bin they went.
This weekend we have had glorious sunshine for a welcome change. I had forgotten how wonderful the sun feels on your skin. I have cut back many of the leaves from the squashes, so that the fruit has chance to ripen in the sun. I'm not sure how long the sun will last, so I will make the most of it while it's here.
I have started to pull up some carrots, which are so carroty, surprisingly. I ate them raw, dipped in humus, yum. My sandy soil suits carrots and I am able to pull them up as needed. They also tasted absolutely delicious in the casserole we had for tea on Sunday.
Another success story are my raspberries. I have enough to make some jam and I am adding them to my porridge for breakfast. I have also made individual apple and raspberry crumbles last week, I have definitely got my monies worth from the my raspberry canes.

Monday, 8 September 2008

I'm In The Garden

Well I would be if it would just stop raining!

I did manage to get out yesterday and weed my paved area with a fab new tool I have purchased for the job.

I am still picking my tomatoes, they are so juicy and sweet and I have started to pick my sweetcorn. If you have never picked sweetcorn, popped straight into boiling water and eaten after 8 mins, then you are missing a treat. I have never tasted sweetcorn so sweet, it's marvelous, quite unlike anything you can buy in the shops and they are so easy to grow.

My butternut squashes are coming on very slowly. We just haven't had the sun and humidity this year and so they are very small. I hope they can grow and ripen off enough before the frosts. I was rather worried about them because the flowers were dropping off before the fruits had set so I decided to join the BBC Gardening message board, allotment talk, where you can ask questions about growing vegetables and people reply with answers. It's fantastic and a wonderful source of knowledge to tap into. I have sown some more cut and come again lettuce, together with spinach and pak choi. These can be picked as baby leaves if I can get to them before blumin slugs. I put down some organic slug pellets but unfortunately our cat Boots likes the taste. I heard him crunching them and tried to shoo him off but he wasn't very happy with me. It says on the packaging that they are safe for cats but I don't think they are supposed to be eaten and enjoyed!

I was rather disappointed to learn that my favourite gardener and presenter of Gardeners' World
Carol Klein was passed over in favour of Toby Buckland as the new presenter of Gardeners' World. I absolutely love Carol's passion for gardening and would have liked to have seen a woman take the leading role for a change and especially someone with all that knowledge and enthusiasm. I can't say I am a fan of Toby's, he seems a bit wet for me but I will reserve judgement until I see him in action. I just wish that every time a Golf or a Snooker tournament was on, that GW wouldn't have to take a back seat. We gardeners shouldn't have to make way for such trivia!


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