Archive for July, 2013

Hot and bothered… but loving it

Mixed allotment vegetablesMost things are a little small and stunted so far – obviously because of the heatwave. I’d need to be doing two hours watering at the allotment every day to keep up with it. I can’t.

Wow, but this hot weather is stunning. 32C is warm pretty much anywhere, but in the UK it feels like a blast furnace. Two years of rain and 100% cloud cover weakens one’s tolerance for heat.

But please note: I am NOT complaining. Oh no. I’m loving, loving, loving it.

Bring it on. More! More!

Posted on 20th July 2013
Under: Cucurbits, Potatoes, Roots | Comments Off on Hot and bothered… but loving it

Last orders: Cauliflower!

young cauliflowers under netsFinally grew some cauliflower seedlings and got them out under nets. Phew.

I had massive difficulties with cauliflowers this year. Lost two sowings – both damped off inexplicably. I did the same things at the same time and in the same way I do them every year. But no joy.

These have just enough time to head before the weather closes down. But it will be a close call.

Posted on 9th July 2013
Under: Brassicas | 2 Comments »

Here comes the sun


After three summers of truly shite weather, the UK is finally seeing some sunshine. It’s 26C (hot by our standards) and it’s predicted to last for at least a week.

Can you imagine? A WHOLE BLOODY WEEK!!

I enjoyed an hour at my allotment last night doing some desultory weeding and watering, but mostly just marvelling at the simple pleasure of feeling the evening sun on my back and watching a slow, late sunset.

As a Californian colleague once told me, the best bit about living in the UK is seeing how overjoyed – how genuinely, riotously happy – everyone is made by a few days of clear weather. “If only it took so little to make most people delirious.”

I guess you have to be British to really understand that.

Posted on 5th July 2013
Under: Summer, Weather | 2 Comments »

First strawberry crop

StrawberriesWell, here’s my first strawberry crop. Never grown soft fruit before.

I thought it would be a lot of aggro – and so it has largely proved. Strawberries are a bugger because of a) the runners they produce in late summer, and b) the difficulty of keeping them weed free. It’s not been easy.

Has it been worth it? Well, almost. We’ve had four plastic pots full so far, with the promise of at least as much again. In the shops that would be about £40 worth.

So yes, it’s financially worth it. But the labour and the nettle stings (I never did get rid of them all) have been tiresome. Raspberries are easier.

Will I grow them again? Probably. Hate giving things up once I’ve started.

Posted on 4th July 2013
Under: Strawberries | 1 Comment »