First I’ll share some pictures from last week, mainly some of the crops progresses.
My late sown in situ cucumbers are starting to fruit right on schedule.
The recently sowed French beans have started to germinate and there are signs of beetroot seedlings popping up as well but I forgot to take a picture.
Back to what I have been up to….
Over the gardening full weekend I started clearing some of the vege beds of spent plants such as the self sown opium poppies. I decided to harvest the seeds for the kitchen and out of the open pods I filled one jam jar and an empty herb bottle, (I’ll be putting the weights in my My Supermarket Savings post when next its updated). The pods will be kept for inexpensive Christmas decorations and when the unopened pods do open I’ll save those seeds for swapping and seed sowing.
I stopped short of completing this job as when I went to remove a lot of the over wintered plants I left to go to seed I found them to be filled with a host of beneficial insects, such as native seven spot ladybirds and other native ladybirds, all manner of differing hoverflies, other types of flying insects like bees and butterflies, spiders and there were many other beetles and bugs I wasn’t able to identify and I was loath to destroy their food source. So that job was left unfinished.
A big job that had been left undone for too long was the emptying of the compost bin of usable compost and the turning of the cooking stuff into the empty side. So after sifting the usable stuff of all the woody non rotted bits along with bits of bindweed root (I thought there was only a standard bucketful left but it turned out to be much more). It took longer than expected to sift the good stuff because the wind was really blowing and at one point the heavy lid blew shut onto the side of my face OUCH!!! Thankfully I did not get cut but I did retreated inside to ice the area and have a bite to eat. The bin was soon emptied and the cooking material was turned into the empty side. My husband offered to mow the lawn while I was doing this and so the grass clippings were added in layers to the turned green waste.
Over the weekend I got the opportunity to harvest some of the pictured produce I shared earlier. It was the first harvest of the runner beans, French beans, tomatoes (Galina, the larger of the two and Broad Ripple Yellow Current) and carrots. It was the last harvest of the mange tout peas of which I had left on the plants to long so I depodded the very mature pods and refrigerated the more tender lot.
There has not been much sightings of the foxes of late but the calling cards still litter the garden most mornings, eww!! They love hiding in the tall grass and bramble patch growing at the bottom of next door’s garden, here is a picture of one of their entrances.
There has all of a sudden been an explosion of native ladybug species to the garden, it went from no seven spots to numerous amounts mainly in the pumpkin and squash patch and also on the plants that have gone to seed such as over wintered chard and the whitefly infested brassicus plants. There has also been the arrival of other native ladybug species.
Here are pictures of some other mini beast I have photographed in the garden since my last posting.
The fennel flowers have been a buzz with a multitude of wasps.
Bumblebees gathering pollen in a squash flower.
Still the odd painted lady about this one was brand new looking, so it must be a new hatchling.
'Coreus marginatus' an adult Dock Bug.
My courgettes have given up two more jewels today and one of the plants are showing signs of powdery mildew which has started to really take hold with the recent wet nights we have been getting so yesterday I got myself some powdered milk to keep in the greenhouse. I mixed up a batch and diluted down 1:10 solution then after removing the worst infected leaves I watered it onto the plant and the surrounding soil. The picture I have shared will be the before picture I hope in a few days I would be able to see an improvement.
Last but not least here are some pictures of the flowers that have started to bloom in the garden over the last week or so.
More red poppies.
A repeat flowering of the geranium since it was cut back late spring after the first flush of flowers.
One of the tall sunflowers I planted next to the old apple tree is in flower, it's growth is quite stunted most likely due to too little water. But it is still very pretty.