Monday, 19 September 2016

Ha! It would, wouldn't it!

Giant Squash (yes it is called that!)
       As is the way of things as soon as I post that the drought is starting to cause real concern it rains and the right sort of rain too. Steady and gentle and lots of it! About twenty four hours worth. A few of the water butts filled up so that shows how much rain fell. Everything is the better for it. Mind you it has increased the activity of the feathered fiends.
    On the animal front the rams are now more interested in the ewes than eating! The ewes are as hungry as ever. The chickens are being chickens and egg laying is not so sporadic as it was. Still not as many as I would like. New birds coming in next week so two or three of our current hens will have to go.
   In the poly tunnel somehow the tomatoes are hanging in there and I am still picking Gardeners Delight, Millefleur, Black Crimea and one or two Ethel Watkins best. The crop has been better than I feared although the end is in sight. More beetroot has been planted out along with some autumn/winter lettuce plants bought from the local market. The jalapeno peppers continue to produce well and they are hot I am told.
   In the outside garden I have managed by hook or crook to get some haricot buerre. Two pickings made at least another to go. With this rain maybe more. It will depend on the temperature. The winter cabbage has picked up although the original planting out has been demolished by the chickens. Summer cabbage (what summer cabbage?) is likely to produce enough for one meal. The autumn cauliflowers look sad but who knows! Swedes are swelling and again with the rain the parsnips should be ok. Hope so as they did really look good at one point. I continue to surprise myself with the Touchon carrots. They are large! I do not think  have ever had such a good crop of carrots. The autumn sowing is pathetic with very few germinating. Seed germination has been a real problem this year. The courgettes are coming to an end, both round and straight. They have done well. The aubergines has been a disaster. Butternut and buttercup squash looks good, least there will be some. As you can see from the photo the Giant squash is giant! The apple crop this year despite a lot of promise in the spring is very disappointing. The drought and then insects has destroyed most of the apples that set. I noticed too that the blackbirds are taking an interest in the grapes!
   As I write this there are clouds in the sky and it is cool. Fingers crossed that the average day temperature will remain above ten degrees centigrade. That will give the grass a chance to grow. It should do for a few more weeks.

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