Six on Saturday – On Sunday: 18 August 2019

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Because of the weather this last week (wet, mixed, mixed, showers, very wet) and working in the Community Garden on Saturday, things in the garden have been left to do their own thing.  This little fuchsia has been flowering away in a corner – and I didn’t notice.

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Similarly with the runner beans.  You look away for five minutes and they all appear.  I’ve been up the step ladder this afternoon and managed to pick a large colander’s worth.  All now blanched, cooled, dried and on a tray in the freezer overnight – to be bagged up tomorrow.

As I am unable to buy the chest freezer I am desperately in need of (due to no room at present), I can only cross my fingers and hope that the climbing beans are not as prolific as the runners!

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I’ve made a start on clearing the chard and radish, both of which have bolted. I’m not sure that I want to grow chard again. The few stems and leaves we had early in the season did not have much taste. Now the stems are thicker (probably due to thinning out) but the leaves have been attacked by caterpillars.  The radish were very poor. I would have thought all the rain we’ve had would have helped them grow fat, but no, so out they came.

This pot marigold is pretty, but was hidden by the chard.

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Out, too, with this rocket.  Now it’s flowered, the leaves have gone bitter.

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I spent a happy half-hour de-caterpillaring my brassicas.  I know, I thought, I’ll pick them off and put them in a plant-pot saucer and leave them out for the birds.  I didn’t know that they wouldn’t stay there.

If caterpillar racing ever became an olympic sport, I think mine would have won! They were up the sides of the saucer in seconds and crawling around the rim.  I filled it with water – and they started to swim.

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In the end, I threw caterpillars and water over the wall into next-door’s nettle patch.  Now I have visions of thirty caterpillars climbing back up the wall and peering over the top to make sure the coast in clear.

Hopefully, The Propagator and chums have lovely flowers to show for their Six on Saturdays  . . .

But I bet none of them have swimming caterpillars!


Fence Building at the Community Garden

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With an abundance of self-sown birch saplings on site, it didn’t take long to add the next stretch.  With the help of a hired petrol-driven auger, six more posts were put in place at a distance of seven feet between them (total 42 feet).


Once each of the three rails were nailed into place, it was time to get weaving.

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The original idea was to make the Community Garden rabbit-proof.  It’s never going to happen, so we’ve settled for making it as a boundary marker instead, and too keep the area private.

For once, the sun shone – too much – and two hours work moving wood around was more than enough for me, though much better than last week moving and lifting barrows of wet soil.

The Potato Diaries

While we are still working our way through the pots of Swift first early potatoes (we’ve eaten the potatoes from two pots, have one nearly empty, and one not touched), with Nicola (one pot) and Desiree (two pots) to follow, thoughts turn to planting up some bags so we have new potatoes for Christmas.

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I hadn’t thought of doing this (or that it was possible) until I read a post dated 7 August by Karen at Bramble Garden.  Thanks for the tip!

Varieties available today at my local garden centre are Nicola, Pentland Javelin, Matis Peer and Charlotte.  I decided to try Charlotte.

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At £2.99 for 9 tubers (around 33p each), I thought that was good value, even if the crop isn’t large. I can’t see me harvesting them in November though!!

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The image on the right suggests 3 tubers per potato bag, and I still have compost in my old green compost bin, plus topsoil from my shady border; and I’ll have room in my greenhouse – though maybe I’ll use old bubble-wrap or other insulation around the outside of the pots – and I’ll stand them in cat-litter trays (unused by cats) for watering.

Six on Saturday: 10 August 2019

All these images were taken a few days ago.  Friday here in North Wales was non-stop rain.  It’s good for the veg – I keep telling myself.

This morning was brighter and we’ve been at the Community Garden filling raised beds with horrible claggy topsoil that’s had a good soaking.  Thankfully we gave up at one o’clock – just in time for the winds to pick up and more rain to arrive.

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The lavender in the front sunny border has had a trim.  It was stopping me getting into my car!  I don’t want to take these flowers away as the bees still find them attractive, despite them fading.

Continue reading “Six on Saturday: 10 August 2019”

Beetroot : Part 2

Last month, I wrote about my problems growing beetroot.  This is their ‘journey’ from 23 April, when I bought some of them as seedling from the garden centre, through May when I sowed more seeds, to 4 August, as I ponder whether to ditch them and plant something else.

It appears that it makes no difference whether they are grown in a trough or in a raised bed, or whether they were bought in as seedlings (mixed) or sown direct into the ground (red).

And so to that great compost bin in the sky – there is no hope for these trough-grown beetroot – not a golf-ball among them, plenty of marbles though.  Perhaps another month would have done – or not!

I’ll leave the ones in the raised bed – for now.