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Who knows what the weather will bring on the plot in July ?

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default Who knows what the weather will bring on the plot in July ?

Post by Chilli-head on 2nd July 2017, 10:29 pm

Ok, I'm still stinging from the criticism of my thread title for June, I'm not sticking my neck out for July Laughing

It has been hot and sunny this weekend over here in the East.  I spent Saturday at the allotment, getting on top of weed control, and doing what will probably be some of the final sowings for this summer.  Another row of peas, and some oriental veg; Pak Choi and Chinese cabbage.  I've put these on the Hugel, which is in a damper and slightly more shady end of the plot in the hope of avoiding bolting.  The French beans on the side of the mound are now flowering, so hopefully I'll be picking those soon, the plans look pretty good.

Picked off 4lb of blackcurrants while I was there; some will need to be made into jam.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 16th August 2017, 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Who knows what the weather will bring on the plot in July ?

Post by freebird on 3rd July 2017, 5:41 pm

For the first time ever I have sowed seed into completely homemede compost. I sieved out some of the dalek compost, which had contained nothing but couch grass a few years ago. The ants nest I found in it had made some very fine planting mix - maybe a bit too fine, so mixed in equal volume with some spent compost from last year's greenhouse pots. That was also homemade compost.

The resulting mix seems really nice and drained beautifully. Only planted the seeds this afternoon (lettuce and salad leaves) so will have a wait now to see how effective it is as a seed starter.
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Post by freebird on 6th July 2017, 10:29 pm

Well they've germinated.
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Post by FloBear on 8th July 2017, 2:00 pm

Nice and quick!
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th July 2017, 8:41 pm

Things are a bit half hearted outside still.  I've resown carrots and some have germinated.  I've had to poke sugar snap peas in the many gaps in the row but beans seem to be coming now.  I don't really want beans too early as the polytunnel is producing pounds.
I think I've got a problem with my sweetcorn in the tunnel.  It's,starting to flower while the plants are still quite short and have no cobs formed yet. The tallest plant has shed a load of pollen already and there's nothing to pollinate.  A bit of googling suggests that temperatures have been too high - it has regularly been 42° in there with all the doors open.  I'm wondering if it's possible to bag the flower heads to catch the pollen and shake it out once there are silks.
My melons however are excitingly promising - I have 2 the size of ..... well, small melons and several more that appear to have been successfully pollinated.


Last edited by Ploshkin on 8th July 2017, 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typing nonsense)
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Post by freebird on 9th July 2017, 8:12 am

Ploshkin wrote:  I'm wondering if it's possible to bag the flower heads to catch the pollen and shake it out once there are silks.
Seems like it might be worth a try.

I've had two French bean plants suddenly die, just as the flowers were turning into beans. Maybe ants nest at the roots, maybe vine weevil.
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Post by Ploshkin on 12th July 2017, 12:19 pm

I'm pleased to see the first silks have appeared on the tallest sweetcorn plant. They suddenly sprung from nowhere so hopefully famine has been avoided. I was just measuring how big a piece of fleece I would need to bag a flower head when I noticed.
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default Re: Who knows what the weather will bring on the plot in July ?

Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2017, 5:16 pm

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic:



I've got two vines on a south facing wall (built by my own hand, of course ...).  Hopefully I'll get to the fruit before the blackbirds have them all.  If not, at least I can have dolmades !
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Post by Ploshkin on 13th July 2017, 7:48 pm

Ooh, will they be red or green?
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Post by Dandelion on 13th July 2017, 9:58 pm

...and are they to eat or for wine?

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Post by Dandelion on 13th July 2017, 10:02 pm

I managed to get my leeks planted out in the week, just in time for the rainy day on Tuesday. I used the wheelbarrow, tipping out the pot of leeks and soil into it, then using a hand fork to tease the plants out. I would definitely try this method again (especially as I now have a jaunty enviromesh 'hat' to keep the leek moths off while the leeks are growing in the large pot or bucket!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2017, 10:09 pm

They are white wine grapes. Scheurebe and Silvaner, I think. I have never had enough to make wine though, which is not surprising really as it takes about a vine per bottle. Or in the case of Sauternes, a vine per glass !

The juice is nice though, even without fermentation.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th July 2017, 9:42 pm

I've never had a chicken who liked tomatoes before. But Ginger escaped into the vegetable patch tonight, and was found looking guilty standing by one of the tomato plants, which had two almost-eaten fruit dangling from it!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by FloBear on 16th July 2017, 11:31 pm

Daisy, my one remaining chicken, loves tomatoes. And strawberries. I think she's attracted to the red.
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Post by Chilli-head on 17th July 2017, 4:49 pm

Tomatillo miscalculation:



There are five plants, which looks set to produce enough fruit for me to open a Mexican restaurant !
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Post by Dandelion on 17th July 2017, 9:42 pm

What do you do with tomatillos, and what do they taste like?

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Post by Chilli-head on 17th July 2017, 9:55 pm

Tomatillos are husked fruits looking like a cape gooseberry from the outside, but with a bigger, green, yellow or purple fruit within. Recipes often suggest tomatoes as a substitute, but they really have their own distinctive taste, and to my nose a hint of Edam cheese !

Used in Mexican salsa verde and other sauces, either fresh or blackened under the grill. I will hopefully make some sauce with some of them and Chipotle chillies (smoked jalapeño). Mmm.
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Post by Dandelion on 20th July 2017, 7:32 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Tomatillos are husked fruits looking like a cape gooseberry from the outside, but with a bigger, green, yellow or purple fruit within.   Recipes often suggest tomatoes as a substitute, but they really have their own distinctive taste, and to my nose a hint of Edam cheese !

Used in Mexican salsa verde and other sauces, either fresh or blackened under the grill.  I will hopefully make some sauce with some of them and Chipotle chillies (smoked jalapeño).  Mmm.

It all sounds very tasty!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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