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default The neglected August garden

Post by Chilli-head on 14th August 2018, 10:19 am

Well, I almost neglected to start the thread, as well as neglecting my own garden, partly because of my absence.  Also, the neglect comes from having more or less given up this year.  The combination of having other pressures on my time due to the Aged P's, and the absurd weather - we were hoping for the rain to stop long enough to sow something up to May, then praying for rain to come back in June/July. Here in the East I'm in what is already the driest part of the country, so some things have been a disaster.  No brassica at all, just didn't grow.  Carrots, very few emerged despite repeated sowings.  Spring sown onions are perhaps OK for pickling, and the beans are all stunted.

But as ever, some things are doing OK - the hot climate plants; squash & sweetcorn seem to be finding water some how.  And I did get some peas, although apparently the commercial crops are well down. And my vines - covered in grapes.  I'll have to press them and either drink it as juice, or make wine.  Strangely, the quince is doing well too, despite the claim that they need loads of water.  Perhaps the rains in April/May were enough.

Other things that failed - mangetout, for example, I've given up on and put in some late sowing salads.  There is a prospect of a warm autumn allegedly, so maybe this is the time to fill any empty spaces with a late crop, or at least a green manure ?


Last edited by Chilli-head on 11th September 2018, 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Jaded Green on 14th August 2018, 3:28 pm

I've neglected my garden as usual, (Mr JG is the gardener) but I have just noticed a raspberry today. I planted the canes a few years ago and I can't remember whether they are early or late!
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Post by FloBear on 15th August 2018, 8:23 am

My autumn raspberries are starting to ripen, JG, so maybe you have an Autumn variety. Or just late summer ones ;-)
I have kept going with the fruit and veg and had some reasonable crops, mostly over now. The butternut squash plants are currently trying to scramble up the honeysuckle that clothes the fence!
Now the weather has become more reasonable, I can plant out some plants that have been confined to pots in the shade since I bought them. I fear that one of the Epimediums hasn't survived, though.
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Post by Ploshkin on 15th August 2018, 12:45 pm

My garden has been pretty much left to its own devices this year and has survived remarkably well.  The dry weather gave me a good opportunity to weed the flower area early on and the flowers have been lovely - I haven't watered at all.  I think that it makes the roots go deeper in search of water and they get into bits of untouched soil with more nutrients.
Outside  I've only done 3 beds, one early potatoes which are a bit small because of the dry weather, one beans which were quite late going in but doing ok and one brassica which are looking really good now that there is some rain.  I only watered the beds once during the hot weather.  The polytunnel has produced phenomenal crops this year in part due, I think, to the unintentional molasses feeding.  The French beans have got the better of me, I couldn't keep up with picking them.  I have a huge crop of sweet peppers, the extreme heat seems to have suited them.  Melons were super sweet and gorgeous and we've just started on the sweetcorn.  The only failure / non starter I've really had is lettuce, it was just too hot for them.  They either didn't germinate or shrivelled up.
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th August 2018, 6:20 pm

Busy afternoon at the allotment. Re-felted the shed roof and fitted guttering and a downpipe to the water butt I acquired. I know that, for this year at least, this is rather closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but if this weather pattern continues it may help. Just need to repair the fence now.

To get to the back of the shed I had to "prune" a few trees, which will add a little to my log pile, and hopefully supply next year's pea sticks.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th August 2018, 10:10 pm

Like Ploshkin, I have more-or-less left the garden to its own devices this year too: Mr D has done sterling work keeping a few targeted fruit and veg watered and harvested (which he says he has enjoyed doing). I was quite proud of one border, which I had decided to grow more flowers in to help with pollination. There were a lot of foxgloves and a globe thistle (grown from seed in the seed swap pack), some Sweet Williams and a lot of self-seeded nasturtiums. The border looked stunning for about a month, with very little water, and made me feel better about not being able to get out there and do much. (By the time I was able to sit by the bed and do some gentle weeding, the nasturtiums had succumbed to the heat and blackfly, but came up easily leaving the bed a bit tidier.) By the look of it, I should be OK for foxgloves next year, as the soil is literally carpeted with seedlings!

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Post by freebird on 19th August 2018, 10:27 am

It's been a difficult year in the garden, both from a weather standpoint and also because I have been so stupidly busy. And yet my garden crops have largely been good, the weeding minimal. For a couple of plots, the second season of no-dig and mulching, and my goodness it shows. The sweetcorn, in one of those plots, is a good 2 feet higher than ever before, even though the same variety. Usually my runner beans get to the top of their 8 foot canes, and then flop about a little bit. This year they are all the way to the ground again. Fabulour french beans and sugar snaps.

If I hadn't been doing the no-dig thing, I would have given up this year as it would have been too difficult to continue. As it is, I am about to start sowing my winter salads, which will take the place of the French beans in due course.
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