The kitchen garden here is lush and leafy, and I’ve even had to cut one or two things back before they took over. The plants have had a second wind, and some of the previously disappointing crops have sprung into action. I’m looking forward to some proper helpings of fine French beans, and maybe a tromboncino courgette or two.
One of the red pumpkins has escaped over the garden wall and into the great outdoors, so I’ve tried to tie that back in as well as I can so it doesn’t attract too many passers by. By the time I noticed it, it was too big to pull back through the trellis. Oops. Hopefully it will make it though the next few weeks.
The other type of pumpkin is behaving even more badly, and it looks like my neighbours will be getting a bumper crop of them in their tree. Fortunately they only make mini sized pumpkins, so the tree shouldn’t get weighed down – and they are supposed to be one of the most delicious pumpkins you can grow in the UK (RHS top ten Award of Garden Merit). I’ll be stricter with the tying-in next time I grow them, they’re little monsters.
Keeping on top of the pickings has proved a little tricky, and I’ve missed a yellow crookneck squash turning into just pips and rind, and just about got away with cutting a few cucumbers very late in the game. The problem is that this can switch the plants off from being productive, so I’m making more of an effort to check when I water in the mornings now.
Looking to next season
I forgot to sow some of my brassica modules under insect mesh, and of course those enterprising cabbage white butterflies found them. Haven’t lost any of the seedlings completely, but I’m picking off caterpillars all over the place and am definitely not going to make that stupid mistake again.
Might sow one or two more modules before the end of the summer season too: chicory, oriental greens, maybe some more kale or spinach. Under the mesh, of course. There’s a gap they can safely go into, because my last set of lettuce sowings didn’t germinate (I was pushing my luck and am not surprised).
The state of the annual budget
I bought liquid multi-purpose feed and tomato food a couple of months ago in a nearby poundshop, bringing the total spend up to £48.09 for the year – both of those are nearly running out now. Fortunately a very kind person has given me some chicken manure pellets to try out, so they’ve been used as a free and great quality top dressing for the courgettes and pumpkins. Might be able to eke out the general liquid feed until the end of the season because of that.
Meanwhile, I will have to repurchase some tomato feed which will leave less than £1 in the budget until the end of December. Thinking about it, that should be fine – I have enough seeds and plants to get to the end of the year, plus half a bag of compost, and I’m pretty good at improvising. If I’m really stuck then I’ll try bartering, or offering my gardening services in return for tomato feed.
Will work for potash. That has a nice ring to it.
How is your Grow It Yourself doing? Any top tips or success stories?