Tuesday, August 21, 2007

There's something almost statuesque

About lettuces that are bolting.
it's alive!

I could blame the neighbours, who were supposed to be keeping an eye on the watering whilst we were away. But that would be unfair. These started to go before then, and the fault's entirely my own. I find it all too easy to forget that the rain falling endlessly past my window is bouncing off the plastic of the polytunnel, leaving everything inside as parched as the Atacama.

Gardening this year's been a bit of a trial, what with the complete lack of sunshine since April's heatwave. My chillies are a sad disappointment, with barely any flowers formed let alone fruit. The potato tyres worked up until a point, that point being when I covered up the growing haulms just before the sun went away. The poor wee things struggled to carry on growing, but it took them a fair few weeks to put on the kind of leaf I would normally expect in a couple of days. Then, just as they were getting used to the climate, the blight hit them. I'd have cut them back then, but the sheep in Cae Newydd beat me to it.
at least the nasturtiums are going well

If we get any tatws at all, they're going to be very small. Still, nice for salads.

Of the other things growing, the sweetcorn isn't ready yet, which is late. Peas and beans are doing well and it looks like we might have a bumper crop of sprouts for christmas, if the mealy bugs don't get them like the last time. Fruit's been a disaster, with the exception of a good crop of raspberries from the new canes. Strawberries just go rotten before they've even ripened in this weather. Bah.

We're still waiting for our tomatoes to turn red, hopefully before the blight destroys all the leaves. And the cucumber is for once producing just enough for me to eat, rather than a glut that I can't even give away. It's just a pity that I had to cut half the plant out to get rid of the rot that's the only thing happy in this humid clime.

Then there's the lettuce, which I always get wrong. Actually, the rocket's done all right, though it's going to seed a bit now. Good strong mustard flavour, but the leaves are a bit tough. It's the Cos that I just can't seem to grow properly. I try successional planting, but the early ones are stunted and the later just catch up with them. One minute it's a couple of leaves with no real heart, the next a green-fingered interpretation of the space shuttle leaving Canaveral.

Thunderbirds are go

The Horse Doctor, being from West Scotland, refuses to eat anything remotely healthy like salad, so I don't know why I bother, really.



Anonymous norby said...

Don't feel bad James, here in the Midwestern US we should have literally tons of beautiful sweet corn. Well, we have some, but it's far from beautiful. The horribly, horribly dry weather we've had all summer has made the corn awful. The sad part is it doesn't taste much better than it looks.

August 21, 2007 8:20 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

I think we've had all your rain this year, norby. But right now the sun is shining and all is well with the world.

Except for the lack of sweet corn of course. And if George W gets his way, there won't be any to eat (slathered in butter, mmm) at all - it'll all be turned into bio-ethanol.

August 22, 2007 8:53 am  
Anonymous norby said...

It's finally started to rain here. Two months too late, but we'll take what we can get.

Everyone was all about bio-ethanol for a long time, now they're saying it isn't the answer, but I haven't heard their new brilliant solution.

Except for George of course, it usually takes him a while to catch up.

August 22, 2007 3:06 pm  

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