http://www.alittlebitofsunshine.co.uk/441495624

July 2022

 

18th July: Hot, Hotter, Hottest just about sums up this week, and the next few days too.  There is a difference between lounging on the beach under sunshade, cold drink to hand, and getting on with daily life out on the plots!!  However, getting on is what we are all doing, and harvests are coming

Thought you might like to see the Vegetabe Pakoras. Courgette, Potato and Onion (even though the Onions are scrawny they are the same as larger ones when sliced)

So here is this week's Harvest Monday, not bounteous, but enough to keep me going. Do check out the link at the end to see what others are bringing home, bot here and in other parts of the world

Courgettes are always welcome... stir fry and the above Vegetable Pakoras, and the first few Tomatoes from the polytunnel were luscious

There were far more French Beans than this; I've eaten them almost every day this week, but had forgotten to photograph any, so this is yesterday''s fairly small picking: not bad from only eight plants

The Spring Cabbage growing under the polytunnel staging really need to be eaten befpre they start developing flower stalks! This little one was a perefect size for a single serving

 This year I am growing more flowers for cutting, althugh it has proved a challenge to find space for them!  Here is this week's harvest

The Antirrhinums are a second picking from the plants in the polytunnel,the Globe Thistles (Echinops)are from a root cutting my daughter gave me two years ago, which is now an enormous plant and Pinks and a few Dahlias are here every Summer

Plums from the little tree in the garden will be going in the fruit bowl to just be eaten, as they are very sweet and juicy.

Plum Upside Down Cake was one of the offerings from the other Plums from the allotment site

 

Other harvests this week have included Lettuce, Rocket, Mizuna Loganberries, Celery and herbs

 

Out On The Plots This Week:

Mulching the Tomato bed seems to have been a good idea, and the water bottles make sure they get ater right down to their roots. You can se how much they have grown ina week, and some are now flowering, so although the crop will be later than usual due to my delayed start with sowing, it looks as though there may be something to pick fairly soon

I am making use of the shed to dry some herbs: Oregano and Lavender as testers have worked well, and so I shall bunch up more as it will be very useful in the Winter. 

As yet the Korean Liquorice Mint (really an Agastache) that I grow for tea-making, is a bit too small to harvest wholesale, but as soon as it is larger, it can join these in the roofspace, together with Peppermint

The Calabrese bed on #146 is now thickly muched with mineralised straw (Strulch) which will hopefully retain water in the soil as well as restrict weed growth. I've not used this before, so it will be interesting to compare it to other mulches I am using, such as composted maize stalks and grass cuttings

I think I have found a use for these huge Mugwort plants that have grown alongside the Runner Beans on #146. Hopefully I can show you next week

And the Carrots I sowed last week in the coldframe have germinated already, some advantage to the heat then!

I am delaying planting seedlings outside for a further week, in the hope that conditions cool off a bit. I am not sure they would survive at the moment, so Swede and Leeks  can sit under cover for a little longer

My woodchip pile has arrived! The plan,as I said last week, is to change the grass paths to woodchip, because keeping the edges trimmed is a long and tedious job, but if I don't keep up with it, weeds invade the growing areas.

One path is beaten down to mainly dry earth at the moment, so as soon as the weather is slightly cooler, I can make a start with that one. I have plenty of cardboard to put down underneath it, to make sure any weeds or grass have no light reaching them

In The Polytunnel This Week:

I have to work there very early in the morning, as it is unbearably hot by about 9:00 am. The Tomato plants are at last beginning to grow properly after their late start, and the French Beans in front of them are all the better for being staked up now, as the beans stay off the ground

The Florence Fennel sown last week has germinated already, in two nice neat rows. I shall leave them to grow on for a while before thinning them further if needed. I did sow them very thinly indeed, so they may be alright... we shall see

Multi-coloured Beetroot is now pricked out, alongside the staging, where it will get some shade at least. I hope it survives, as  it is not ideal conditions to transplant small seedlings at the moment. They were very crowded in their pot though, so had to risk it really. 

It is far too hot to sow Lettuce seeds as they won't germinate, so there may be a gap in Lettuce production later: at the moment there are plenty, but they will soon go to seed in the heat I think  

The early Sweetcorn has released its golden cloud of pollen from the male flowers, onto the female tassels lower down, so I hope there has been reasonably even pollination to give some full cobs in a few weeks' time

At Home This Week:

I am not cutting the grass until the heat wave is over, as leaving it longer slows evaporation from the soil, and by the time I ge back forwatering at the plots, it is far too hot to tackle pruning back brambles or cutting the hedge, so these are just having to wait

The Bonsais and Citrus trees are watered at least every other day, the new Fuchsias and big hanging basket daily, and the Rhododendrons and Camellias get a good soak once a week, as otherwise there will be few flowers next Spring

Even the houseplants are needing more water, and for now their Summer holiday in the garden is on hold: they'd fry out there!!

I have spent some time sorting the planting plan across both plots for next year, making sure at least three years are left before having vegetables from the same family back in a bed, and also taking into account space for crops that are planted out later, such as Winter Cabbages. So far it seems to work, but no doubt there will be something I hve forgotten, or something that at the moment I don't plan to grow but next year I might. Somewhata of  a moveable feast, but still worth doing

And yes, I have been making jam in these hotter anf hotter daays... six laarge jars of Plum Jam from the fruit my plot friend Alston provided, having climbed a tree in our site hedgerow to pick them. Half is for him... I'll not need six pounds myself for sure!!

While the large pan was out, I used the Gooseberries I froze a couple of weeks agao, to make two pounds of Gooseberry & Fennel Jam, which set  a little more solidly than I'd have liked, but it will be good as an accompaniment to cheese

This month's Jobs are:

In the garden:

1 Cut the Privet hedge along the back boundary (Check for bird nests)*

2. Clear the encroaching brambles (yet again) alongside the greenhouse*

3. Prune back the grape vine to its proper shape *

4. Remove the Bindweed from te bed alongside the garage

5. Cut the grass*

6. Take weeds out of the path

*delayed due to heat

On the Plot :

1.Cut the Hawthorn hedge back (check for bird nests.

2. Sow late Carrots and Beetroot in Coldframe

3. Transplant Spring Onions to second trough

4, Dig up all Early Potatoes and prep the bed and plant out Leeks*. Make a cover for the bed to keep off Onion fly and Leek moth

5, Summer prune of large Apple trees (Bramley and Lord Derby)

6, Stake outdoor Tomatoes, add bottles to aid watering and mulch bed

7. Mulch large Brassica bed

8. Prep second Garlic bed and plant out Swede*: leave space for Romanescu, and sow Japanese Greens* and Mooli*

9. Start prep of beds for Winter Cabbages and over-Wintering Cauliflowers

10. Make up Nettle feed for Brassicas

11. Ensure there are covers for these new Brassica plants to keep ff Pigeons and Butterlfies etc

12. At end of month turn compost heap and add more grass if needed

13. Mulch Calabrese bed on #146

14. Take Nettles out from around the pond and top up water level

In The Polytunnels:

1. Sow second crop of Spinach under staging, with Summer Radishes in front; sow Mizuna

2. Fix the holes with repair tape

3. Sow Winter Radish, Perpetual Spinach and Mustard Greens  and Florence Fennel

4. Pot on Okra and any remaining Chillies in Small pots

5. Stake and tie in Tomato plants. Fill centres of halo planters with compost. Feed weekly with Comfrey

6. Creates some space for a few late season Romanescu

7. Shake sweetcorn to pollinate

8, Prick out more Beetroot

9. Transplant Romanescu seedlings into 9cm pots

10. Tie up Dwarf French bean plants

 

And this is what it is like when you have been playing with your toys and can't take your furry coat off!!

I shall be back next week... will we have had any rain by then? Who knows!  Hope you are all staying cooler than Luna, and that your gardens are still alive

info@alittlebitofsunshine.co.uk

 Comments and suggestions are most welcome, and I shall reply as soon as I can

And if you'd like to know more about Harvest Monday, look at

www.ourhappyacres.com

 

11th July - Swifts are preparing to leave us again, with flocks of the screaming bout between the houses here. Thye have a very short Summer indeed! Summer here is still hot and dry, and so many of us are using time very early in the morning  to work outside , and then stay out of the heat during the middle of the day. It does make it difficult to get heavier work done though, in the time before it gets hot, as watering fills up a lot of the time!

Harvest Monday is full this week, starting with Carrots from the box in the new coldframe. These are a Nantes variety, that are very sweet and well flavoured

This is the last of the Beetroot for now, so might attempt some sort of pickle with some of them.... the rest will soon be eaten!

The Garlic harvest is excellent this year. You would expect Elephant Garlic (which is really part of the Leek branch of the family) o be large, bu this year it has excellent itself. It is nearly dry enough to store, and I can have my shed back!

FRom the "normal" Garlics, Kingslan has been by far the best, with laarge ulbs of decent sized spicy falvoured clves. I shall certainly be keeping some of this to plant in September!  Provence is pretty good too, with Solent Wigtht quite variable, but certaily good enough

The early Potatoes, all Casablanca, are up now and stored in a thick paper bag in the vegetable cupboard. Very good crop

And the seconds I have dug are Elfe, a new variety for me, which are long, yellow fleshed oval potatoes, which grow to a very good size.

(I'll show you the Kestrels next week.. two plants still left to harvest)

  • Casablanca

  • Elfe

Loganberries are luscious right now. I think the extra heat of the sun is ripening them fully, so ripe I an just eat them straight off the plant usually

 

Other crops this week have included French Beans, Lettuce, Rocket and Cabbage

Out On The Plots This Week:

The first early Potatoes are all out now. There were a few with Rat damage, but on the whole they were pretty good, with clean skins. growing under the grass clipping has worked quite well, and i ma left now with dried clumps that need a good soak before they can be incorporated into the surface of the soil, which is also as dry as a bone right now!  As this is where I intend to plant out the Leeks, it will have to be near thee top of the Jobs List

Second Earlies are clean too, and some are a very good size considering the dry conditions.

I have been asked what is growing outside right now, so here is a bit of a rundown, starting with  #145

MIan crop Potatoes are looking healthy, These are Sarpo vareties, which are blight resistant so should continue t grow for a couplf of months yet. Now that the second earlies are out, there is soi available for a bit of earthing up, which might encourage afew more tubers.

 The maincrop Potatoes are looking very healthy still. II give them a good soak once a week, and as they are blight resistant ones I'd like them to carry on growing as long as possible. They are only covered with grass, not earthed up, but now the second earlies are out I could us e a bit of soil ot earth them up a bit in the hope of a few extra tubers maybe

The big Brassica cage, which I showed you last week, has  a couple of Cavolo Nero, Purple Sproitng Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Late Calabrese, with space for Early Purple Sprouting  a little later, when it is large enough to transplant. This will be mulched over

And the Tomato bed now has a lovely deep mulch!

The outdoor Courgettes have remembered what they are there for, and there are lots of flowers on the Squash plants: I haven't checked to see if any are female though

The Bean wigwams are doing well.

The prevously-garlic bed will have Swede and Roamaescu in it, and the one that was supposed to have a crop of Onions will be cleared and covered, ready for Winter Cabbages. The Onioswere the poorest I have ever, ever grown!

In the new coldframe, I have sown more Carrots in the half of the box alreday harvest, after reshing the compost, more Beetroot are in the long wooden planter boxes and the next lot of Spring Onions, started off in modules, are planted in a long trough

Whilst over on #146, the red flowered Runner Beans are underway now

The second crop Peas have been massacred by a Rabbit, which clearly has  had a good feast. and the Broad Beans are looking a bit sad, so if they don't perk up next week I shall take them out, so I can then prep the soil for a different crop: could be Autumn garlic, so a good soak and covering it up will be the way forward I think 

The Calabrese plants have survived their move and ar shwoing signs of new growth 

And the solitary sunflower is now in bloom! As it is  avery shady spot I am not sure there will be be a huge display, but I am just glad of a flower really

And the Buddliea, that provides shade for the pond, is certainly "Butterfly ready" This one is from a cutting of a plant at St David's Cathedral many, many year agao, and it is a gloriously rich colour. It was irresistable

And these are some of the bargain basement PInks I bought recently, siting in the sunshine outside the shed, diluting  small of Garlic from within

The little pond is looking very overgrown, so a bit of tidying there is needed. It needs topping up every few days, but as birds and insects rely on it for a drink, and there is plenty that lives in the bottom, it is  essential. It doesn't have to be too tidy though, just get some of the nettles out of the way really

In The Polytunnel This Week:

I have taken to arriving at about 6:30 am, so that it is not to hot to work in the tunnel, and managed to get most plants potted on, and plenty of weeding done too. Florence Fennel is now sown., just on the edge of the letest sensible time for this. It  has not so far been a success story for me, so this year I have sown it slightly deeper, and far enough apart to not need transplanting, so maybe, jusy maybe, there wll be a crop this time around

The Sweetcorn however, has romped up to the eaves, and female flower tassels are appearing in the leaf bracts. Male flowers at the top look full of pollen, so I shall be giving the plants a gentel shake tomorrow to aid fertilisation

The second crop, right at the other end, is now 30cm tall, so hopefully it will do as well

Al the Courgette plants I have ever grown have been bush varieties, so I know the seeds I had were all just that, bush varieties. But from somewhere came this, a plant with a long stem... and lots or cousrgettes all along it!! I shall try to find some way of supporting this off the ground to keep the fruits dry, as sitting on wet compost will not do them any good

I don't know if it will grow more stems, or this one just get longer and longer.... we shall see!!

The Chilli plants have all moved up a pot size, and are looking fairly good. Fresh compost will invigorate them no doubt, and from now on they will have Comfrey feed once a week, along with the Tomatoes

The Okra plants certainly look better than last year's, and now they are in larger pots should continue to grow. I am being cautious not to over-pot them, and being up on the staging keeps them nice and warm too, especially their roots

Baby Red Cabbage plants for the Winter are potted on now. They will be staying under the netted are of the polytunnel until the weather is slightly coller, to allow their roots to settle in to their new space. Although they lok very unpromising , they will soon start to grow

The baby Savoy plants are now in deep troughs,  which hopefully will mean they don't dry out so quickly. There are far more than I need of course, but I shall easily find homes for the extras when it is time to plant them out in their final position

 

At Home This Week:

Tackled that Bindweed last Monday, and it filled a bag 1.5m by 0.75m, tightly packed. Whenever I see any more, out it comes!!

Almost finished the annual "haircut" for the dwarf Acer overhanging the path, and this afternoon will see the last section done. Always makes things look more spacious, and without the mats of BIndweed I have been able to stande the Citrus trees on the bed, which creates even more path space

Watering of course is essential to keep plants alive, especially those in tubs and pots and also to keep topping up the pond, the water level of which had dropped over the past week by a further 10 cm. The fish certainly appreciate some fresh cool water

This hot weather is making me rethink whereabouts in the garden to put that galvanised trough, as the water in that would soon heat up, and I doubt whether water plants would be particularly happy then! 

The grass is looking almost dead, but of course when it does eventually rain, will soon recover

I bought a replacement for the Sarracenia that died ... S.purpurea and it looks great on the kitchen windowsill, where it gets sunshine for a couple of hours. As there is no rainwater easily available, it has to sit in colled boiled water from the kettle for now: I must try to remember to bring some home from the water butts at the plot. Not sure I can squeeze any more plants onot this windowsill, and still leave space for Luna to sit anf view the world when I am out. I know Sarracenias are actually hardy, so I might have to consider somewhere outsde for them, ideally where I can still see them and they are safe from being munched by slugs or snails

This month's Jobs are:

In the garden:

1 Cut the Privet hedge along the back boundary (Check for bird nests)

2. Clear the encroaching brambles (yet again) alongside the greenhouse

3. Prune back the grape vine to its proper shape 

4. Remove the Bindweed from the bed alongside the garage

5. Cut the grasss

6. Take weeds out of the path

7. Prune back Acer overhanging path

On the Plot :

1.Cut the Hawthorn hedge back (check for bird nests. Sow late Carrots in box for coldframe

2. Sow late Carrots and Beetroot in Coldframe

3. Transplant Spring Onions to second trough

4, Dig up al Early Potatoes and prep the bed and plant out Leeks. Make a cover for the bed to keep off Onion fly and Leek moth

5, Summer prune of large Apple trees (Bramley and Lord Derby)

6, Stake outdoor Tomatoes, add bottles to aid watering and mulch bed

7. Mulch large Brassica bed

8. Prep second Garlic bed and plant out Swede: leave space for Romanescu, and sow Japanese Greens and Mooli

9. Start prep of beds for Winter Cabbages and over-Wintering Cauliflowers. Soak and cover

10. Make up Nettle feed for Brassicas

11. Ensure there are covers for these new Brassica plants to keep ff Pigeons and Butterlfies etc

12. At end of month turn compost heap and add more grass if needed

13. Dig up Second Early Potatoes

In The Polytunnels:

1. Sow second crop of Spinach under staging, with Summer Radishes in front; sow Mizuna

2. Fix the holes with repair tape

3. Sow Winter Radish, Perpetual Spinach, Florence Fennel and Mustard Greens

4. Pot on Okra and any remaining Chillies in Small pots; move large Chillie plants into pots the next size up

5. Stake and tie in Tomato plants. Fill centres of halo planters with compost. Feed weekly with Comfrey

6. Creates some space for a few late season Romanescu plants

7 Pot on Savoy Cabbage and Red Cabbage seedlings in deep trough

Feels like good progess down the list is being made,(Highlighted blue )and that plans for easier management over time are solidifying somewhat

Harvests are steady, and ones like Potatoes and Garlic, which are for longer tem use, are sound enough to stor...shame about the Onions. So many local growers are finding the same, so I am putting it down to weird weather conditons early on, and will have to buy Onions in the local market!

The hot weather looks relentless for the next few days at least, which makes if difficult to plant out small plants without providing some sort of shade cover form them until they gat establsihed, and of course soil prep is a real challenge. Not to worry, no two years are the same, and it is the unknown qunatity of each that makes it a real sens of achievement when some things grwo really well!

I shall be back next Monday, hot and tired like everyone else, but hopefully a little further forward

 

info@alittlebitofsunshine.co.uk

 Comments and suggestions are most welcome, and I shall reply as soon as I can

And if you'd like to know more about Harvest Monday, look at

www.ourhappyacres.com

4th July - By now in the year I anm usually harvesting courgettes from ut on the plot, and perhaps some Runner bEans, but this year harvest are very late, not just because I sowed them later, but the odd conditions we have had seem to mean lots of us here are well behind. As long as they do appear, it won't really matter all that much I guess

Even the occasional very heavy downpour hasn't been enough to really wet the soil, so watering continues as a priority, taking up much of the time that would usually be spent on other jobs. However, without this, there would be just dead plants!

 

Harvest Monday starts with a first, not just of the season, but first ever proper decent crop of dessert Cherries.  The massive "bought as dwarf" Cherry tree responded to threats of removing more of its lower branches with a whole lot of small green cherries, and I covered four of the branches with sleeves made of old net curtains, which protected them, early June onwards, from being eaten by birds. It was well worth this small effort, as you can see... a whole boxful of delicious juicy Cherries!! Guess who will be making more sleeves foe next year! These four are safely stored in one the drawers in the new shed too. My neighbour Theresa leant me a gadget that easily removes the stones, so some have gone not cakes and there is just about enough for a jar of jam too

I never realised the fruit was atually dark red when rrie, as none has ever got to that point before!

I completely forgot to take any photos of the Garlic harvest, which is currently residing in my new shed to dry. I always used to put it on a mesh rack under the shelter, which is of course no more, so when suddely faced with three lareg trays of Garlic, I couldn't think of anyhwere else dry to put it, so the new shed has a distinct odour of Garlic at the moment!

I'll post some photos as then you can see how good it is, unlike both Shallots and Onions, which have are disastrous for some reason. Oh well, every year is different"

Other harvests this week have been Loganberries, eaten as i picked them, Spring Onions, Sage, Thyme, Coriander and Celery, plus some Dwarf French Beans

Out On The Plots This Week:

I have been working hard to try to get new crops in the ground. Replacing one lot of Garlic are two types of Calabrese, 6 of each..aiming to extend the harvest like this.. and, out of the photo on the edge of the bed  and not under the netting, are some Bells orf Ireland plants, which I have grown from seed. I have a few more to find homes for too, so will be looking round for spaces to plant these in.

 

The earliest Calabrese is planted in the big Brassica cage, alongside the Brussels Sprouts, which are looking extremely good so far. And further along are some plants I believed, at the time, to be Kale. They are so obviously Purple Sprouting Broccoli! All thsi time I had thought I had forgotten to sow PSB, and have been looking out for some plants to buy, with little success, but in fact it was Kale seeds that are still in their packet. Not too late to sow some either!

The Early PSB will just about squeeze in the cage towards the middle, so all should be well there at least

PS The mesh looks huge in the photo... the holes are in fact more like 3mm across, and it keeps the butterflies out just nicely

 

The idea of having a broader range of flowers to cut is working well, with Dahlias, Antirrhinums, Feverfew and the new Achillea making up this week's bunch. These sat neck deep in water overnight so I can put them in a vase later today

 

In the giant coldframe, now of course covered by netting, the last sowing of Beetroot can be made in the deep planters, once some extra compost has been added, and the last sowing of Spring Onions is ready to go in the long trough, with more Carrots in a second polystyrene box. I have compost ready now to fill these

The Kiwi Berry plant is now climbing the trellis quite quickly. When I weeded the bulb bath, where it is planted, I realised half the rootball was exposed, so I added more compost. I might have to top up the level across the whole bath soon, to make sure the bulbs are properly covered

I am not sure how many years I shall need to wait to have some fruit on this. I shall train it carefully so the stems are well spaced, so that when the fruit does eventually develop, it will not be within a congested tangle of branches

Been having a bit of an assessment of the soft fruit this week, and have come to the conclusion that taking out bushes that are well past their best abd replacing them with more modern varieties is perhaps the best way forward. I have Summer Raspberries that only produce tiny fruit, Blackcurrants that are fairly small and very sharp, to many Redcurrant bushes, which are aslo inaccessible, unproductive Gooseberry bushes and the Josta Berry, whilst it fruits well, needs a good prune back into shape. And then on the fence I have an extremely prickly Tayberry, which always causes me damage when I am attempting to pick the fruit, so that could go and be replaced with a second Loganberry , which will be thornless and easy to train as well. If I tackle it a bit at a time, rather than expecting to get it all done in one day, it should be OK

Right now however, sorting out the second of the Garlic beds is a priority, followed by digging up the rest of the Early Potatoes so that Leeks can be planted there as soon as possible. They are quite small still, especially the ones scissored off by a Pheasant, but they will grow much more quickly in the open ground

 On our site, we are planning to hold a composting workshop in the early Autumn, and to show that compost an be made without any sort of bin at all, with help from plot neighbour Gary, we constructed a pile of mixed green waste, weeds, straw, shredded paper, grass clippings etc, soaked it well and covered it with  black plasic. When it cools down, we'll give it a bit of a mix up, add more grass clippings if needed ,and get the composting process underway at speed again.  Be intesting to see how much it shrinks in volume over the next couple of months

In The Polytunnel This Week:

The Swede plants, which I thought had given up the ghost when I potted them on, quite some time ago, have decided to actually grow!! They don't look fabulous, but are just about large enough to be transplanted into the open ground now. The second Garlic bed is the next to tackle, so they can go in there, and maybe even survive the move!

 

 

The Chilli plants are thriving, with the larger ones now in full flower, with fruts forming. The "baby" ones have a bit of growing to do, but they will soon catch up

I haven't grown nearly so many this year, and am keeping them in pots up on the staging rather than in the soil, as this is warmer for them. So far, so good!

  • Korean Pickling

  • Aleppo

  • Cayenne

  • Sweet Banana

It also gives some useful space partly underneath the staging, which I hadn't really anticipated, so am probably not yet making the best use of it. So far Beetroot, , Spinach, Lettuce, Radishes and Spring Cabbage have done well. A couple of Winter Cabbbages perhaps, to see how they go, as well as more Spinach and some Mizuna and Pak Choi

Having taken out a fair few of those self sown Celery plants, there is now space to sow Winter Radishes, Perpetual Spinach and Mustard Greens, in the next week or two

At Home This Week:

 I have done very litle in the garden this week, although a new job has become apparent: pulling out the Bindweed!!!!  It has covered the Clematis plant and is now encroaching on the Roses, so it is time for action before it gets any further, or starts dropping seed all over the place. This certainly has grown very quickly. Even though the Bees like the flowers,the plant is so damaging to its neighbours, it will have to go, and so I shall start on it this afternoon. Sorry, Bees!

PUllig it out once wonlt get rid of it, but if I take out the stems regularly, the plants won't be able to photosynthsise and eventually weaken. I'll hang onot the thought when I am wrestling with it...

My bargain basement Fuchsia plants are thriving outside the back door, where they get the morning sun

This month's Jobs are:

In the garden:

1 Cut the Privet hedge along the back boundary (Check for bird nests)

2. Clear the encroaching brambles (yet again) alongside the greenhouse

3. Prune back the grape vine to its proper shape 

4. Remove the Bindweed from te bed alongside the garage

5. Cut the grasss

6. Take weeds out of the path

On the Plot :

1.Cut the Hawthorn hedge back (check for bird nests. Sow late Carrots in box for coldframe

2. Sow late Carrots and Beetroot in Coldframe

3. Transplant Spring Onions to second trough

4, Dig up al Early Potatoes and prep the bed and plant out Leeks. Make a cover for the bed to keep off Onion fly and Leek moth

5, Summer prune of large Apple trees (Bramley and Lord Derby)

6, Stake outdoor Tomatoes, add bottles to aid watering and mulch bed

7. Mulch large Brassica bed

8. Prep second Garlic bed and plant out Swede: leave space for Romanescu, and sow Japanese Greens and Mooli

9. Start prep of beds for Winter Cabbages and over-Wintering Cauliflowers

10. Make up Nettle feed for Brassicas

11. Ensure there are covers for these new Brassica plants to keep ff Pigeons and Butterlfies etc

12. At end of month turn compost heap and add more grass if needed

In The Polytunnels:

1. Sow second crop of Spinach under staging, with Summer Radishes in front; sow Mizuna

2. Fix the holes with repair tape

3. Sow Winter Radish, Perpetual Spinach and Mustard Greens

4. Pot on Okra and any remaining Chillies in Small pots

5. Stake and tie in Tomato plants. Fill centres of halo planters with compost. Feed weekly with Comfrey

6. Creates some space for a few late season Romanescu plants

The monthly job list doesn't seem too daunting now, and it feels as though on the plots and in the polytunnel things are more under control. The big  jobs are in the garden at home, so perhaps i can get these done a bit at a time

Hope your crops are coming on well and Beans and courgettes are at least flowering. I shall be back next week, with photos of the Garlic harvest to share

info@alittlebitofsunshine.co.uk

 Comments and suggestions are most welcome, and I shall reply as soon as I can

And if you'd like to know more about Harvest Monday, look at

www.ourhappyacres.com