Friday 21 July 2017

Some of what's growing and a suspicion

It's funny as when I started sowing the seeds early in 2017, I couldn't imagine them germinating.  Then when they germinated I couldn't imagine them being decent size seedlings and then when I moved them to their final resting place I couldn't imagine them filling the planting distance!  Well they grew, and filled it plus more....I did try, but I've planted some things too close again!
In the polytunnel we have a beef tomato plant to compare to growth with one in the greenhouse.  There was no noticeable difference.  There's swiss chard, spinach and tomatillos in the below picture, all which I would recommend growing the polytunnel again.

The cucumbers don't seem to be thriving in there.  The watermelon has done very well in the pot it has been in the greenhouse, so now there is a space, I've planted it in the polytunnel.

The last of the kale which did marvellously in here.  I've taken the rest out as the outside kale plants have caught up now.  Again, kale to get an early harvest is worth doing in the polytunnel.
I've put a couple of pepper plants that were later than the others in where to kale was and marigolds are blooming on the edges now.

My goodness the courgette and patty pans are leafing up quickly.

Oh der, I don't even like cabbage as much as this would suggest I do!  Truth be told, I labelled them up wrong and thought these were caulis.....go on, have a laugh at my expense, I am!  Looks like a freeing session and coleslaw making is on the cards this weekend.  They've grown without any fuss though.  Durham early variety - I like no fuss plants!
A little idea I had for some of the many pumpkin seeds I had was to grow the smaller fruiting ones in containers and grow up instead of across.  These guys are coming on great due to the rain we've had no doubt, so this weekend they'll be getting tied up so they don't snap under their own weight.
The runner beans are also no fuss.  These are scarlet emperor variety and so pretty!  I've some preserving recipes waiting for these guys!  The nasturtiums are doing their job as they are covered in black flies.

Another bush that is coming on by the day is this cape gooseberry - literally growing by the day.  It might even need to go in the ground this year and not next like I was planning.

Another plant I couldn't imagine taking up much room when I planted them as tiny green, flimsy leaves were the sweetcorn.  Well they sure like this soil as once they took hold, they shot up!
They're in with some pumpkins which are just thugs.  They at sprawling wherever they want without a care in the world.  I love it!

Controversially I am growing tomatoes and potatoes in the same bed.  Now this goes against some recommendations but on a website I use for a lot of research, it said to grow them together for a number of reasons, so I am trying it outside.  I've taken up the second early potatoes which I am really pleased with and will definitely use next year (British Queen) and I've planted tomatoes (and peppers) in their place. 
There is still one row of spuds to come up and the back section is sunflowers and more tomatoes with catch crop of spinach in there.
The sunflowers are reaching amazing heights - I'm in for sizing guide - I'm 5'6 (and a half ;) )

Considering how many tomato plants I have, I'm not getting anywhere near the amount in the greenhouse that I thought I would.  Disappointing results here so far.  I've had a couple of kilos but I have loads of plants!  Still the best thing you will taste though.
Now something that isn't doing too well.  My broad beans have done dreadfully this year.  At first I thought it was just one of those things and maybe the new beds with rotted muck in were too rich for them.  Then I noticed other beds doing it but again, they'd had muck added at some point.  I've made this picture larger so you can look above the nasturtiums and see the curl on the leaf.  The beans are all knarled and shrivelled too.  I asked about and the consensus was weed killer which I said it can't be as we don't use it.
The my sunflowers, which were reaching for the skies with bright yellow blooms, started to die.  One down right died overnight.  Weird I thought, definitely something wrong with the soil.  I was gutted.  Steven not so much as after last years broad bean harvest he didn't want to see another one again :D.

The leaves have done the same as the broad beans, shrivelled and died after being 100% healthy.
Hmm....I walked round my plots and started to wonder.  Is it possible that we've had drift from the farmer's pesticide?  Last year I got caught out when they sprayed and it knocked me so ill that I needed to go to bed.  Are my sunflowers and beans suffering the same fate?  Does anyone know what else it could be?
Black fly for the beans, would they make the leaves curl?
The peas that I have sown in the same soil are sprouting up and the farmer won't be spraying now I don't think (harvest),so hopefully we will have some late peas too.
I've lots more to share, but I'll do that another day.  Happy Friday!


  1. I read another blog called marks veg plot he had terrible problems with compost he bought in from some where and it had weed killed plants in it or something like that and all of his plants had leaf curl.

    Maybe worth looking at his summer periods 2014 and 2015

    1. Thank you for this, very helpful and kind of you to take the time to look that up x

  2. Oh man. Yeah... a few years ago in the US all of the gardening magazines were running articles about gardens being contaminated with weed killers through cow and horse manure. Somehow the spray survives even being eaten by the animal and being composted. The main symptons were that the plant leaves looked burnt and curled. The worst part is the farmers providing the manure had absolutely no clue at the time. Sure hope this is not the case here :(

    1. Well the muck we use is ours so I know it is ok, but the spray from drift when the farmers are spraying the fields I am worried about - I've been looking up how to get a lab test done. I hope not too, what would I do!??! :( xx

  3. I know you are quite a bit further north but my outdoor tomatoes, Outdoor Girl (an out of fashion variety) always do prolifically well. Yesterday I picked 7 kg which at this very moment are being turned in to spicy chutney. They may be worth a try next year as well as the polytunnel ones.

    1. Thank you for this Philip, funny you mention Outdoor girl as another blog I follow recommended them but I sowed them too late so next year I will be trying for sure. Thank you

  4. Apart from the possible issue with the broad beans your efforts are just fantastic, chic! Cabbages look fab. Lol!! Are cape gooseberries much different to ordinary gooseberries? I look forward to seeing how our toms are when we get back as not had one red one yet but tonnes of them are fruiting, and if the ones outside do better than those inside the Poly House.x

    1. Hiya Lou, I'll let you know on the cape gooseberries but yes I believe they are fairly different and have a paper casing? Missing you on your hols! X

  5. I don't like the sound of getting sprayed with pesticide from the farmer YUK! Especially when you don't use it yourself. I'm so jealous of your cabbages. If I planted 10 cabbages tomorrow, the entire cabbage white population of butterflies would head straight to Essex to eat them ! I hope you get to the bottom of wahts caused it.

    1. I remember talking to Caroline about it from The House Hoarder blog at the time as it knocked me so ill that I had To go to bed. You made me laugh about the cabbage white population! It's so sad though to see things we've put hearts and soul into demolished for one reason or another. Thank you

  6. Aphids will make the leaves curl ... but if you uncurl them and have a look, they will be very evident.
    If the manure is from your livestock, is all their forage definitely free and clear as well?
    Because it's back ...

    1. That link is worrying, thank you for sharing. There's no aphids.
      Re the livestock, that's a good point as we buy our hay in. Thank you

  7. i really likes your blog and You have shared the whole concept really well. and Very beautifully soulful read! thanks for sharing.


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