Friday, 5 June 2015

Out there

That's what the weather is this spring. It's June and temperatures are still hovering around the 12C mark. On Wednesday, it was sunny, not windy for once and a hot 13C so we decided to go for the big plant out. The crammed conditions in the conservatory and greenhouse didn't help our aphid plague, which is still on-going despite repeated spraying. Now a lot of the plants are out there, in the veg garden, and things are a bit more manageable inside.

We went from:
Before the big exodus
Crammed conditions
 To this:
Pepper and melon corner
Tomato and cucumber corner, with a few herb and cabbage seedlings
Luckily, inside the plants are making great progess, lots of tomatoes and little cucumbers, and the chillies are starting to flower.

Not long till the first cuke
Chilli flower
Meanwhile, outside I'm trying out a few different growing spots. The outdoor cucumbers have been planted next to the polytunnel frame, since we're not going to get a cover this year. The plan is to level the site properly in the winter and then get the cover for next spring. Let's see if the cucumbers will climb up or sprawl at the bottom.

The cucumbers have been framed
The tomatillos, apart from three plants, have found a new home in the old playground, in the bit where the summer raspberries were devastated last spring before we surrounded it with windbreak fabric. The good thing is that the site's already fairly well protected from the wind and there are lots of posts and chicken wire that supports can be tied to.

Tomatillos in their new home
The veg garden is filling up at last. The three sisters bed (squashes, sweetcorn and beans - squashes to provide a ground mulch, beans to support the sweetcorn by climbing up it) has been planted and, luckily, all our squashes just fit the allocated space.
Three sisters bed, even if you can only see one
The courgettes, celeriacs and fennels are also out and about, and Jim's just digging the final bit of the main veg garden.

Fennel seedling, now outside. Another one that wants a hot summer, sigh.
Still digging

Over in the middle paddock, the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes are coming on. Soon it will be time to earth up the tatties. I'm beginning to appreciate tubers and root vegetables, they don't suffer so much in the wind and rain.

Tatties and Jerusalem artichokes

The freshly mown bottom paddock, with the fruit bushes we planted in April
On Monday, we had a nice little gourmet dinner while a storm was raging outside - our first artichokes of the year! And delicious they were.

Scottish artichokes, yum, yum, yum
The main casualty of this latest gale were the broad beans, which had already suffered a bit of cat wrestling damage beforehand. Just as well I sowed lots this year. Luckily, this beauty only decided to open up the day after.

Last year, the poppy flowers only lasted three days since they were in such an exposed spot and were simply blown away. I moved them this winter, and they seem to have taken to their new position. Let's see how long the flowers last this year. The next gale is coming through tomorrow...


  1. Well, you are ahead of us though not much weatherwise (+12 at daytime and +4-8 at night here). Most of our squashes and tomatillos are out but only a few sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet peppers and chillies planted in the greenhouses and the rest still waiting; all Brassicas waiting...

    Your onions look fine! Ours are about 3 cm high...

    1. Those are the overwintering onions, the sets I planted this spring are only half that size. Summer has finally arrived here. We earthed up the potatoes today. Just found out that because it's an El Nino year the summer temperatures are expected to be lower than normal here. Not a good year to try the sweet corn! Let's hope our friendly high sticks around a while.