11 September 2016

Dorset Garden Diary - And What Would You Like With Your Tomatoes

Evening everyone,

Hope you've had a good week in the garden. I'm still reaping what I've sown (in abundance) and it's time to start the autumnal jobs.

Monday - Misty and damp this morning. I cut back the leaves on the indoor and outdoor tomatoes to speed up ripening and cut the tops down to the top trugs as advised by Monty Don on Gardeners' World. He also said to water azaleas well this month as they are developing their buds. I pulled up two of the cucumber plants that are no longer producing, a small cucumber is forming on the other plant but whether it will actually evolve into a cucumber we'll have to see. To date I've picked 23 cucumbers. I also pulled up the outdoor gherkin plants as they are not doing anything now. I'll do the same with the greenhouse gherkins at the weekend. The squash had loads of flowers on it but, yet again, the small fruits have died. Just can't seem to grow them. I moved the hebe from it's pot in the gravel garden to the bed near the back trellis and it fits well there (second from right).
The photinia (I think. No, don't think it is. I'll have to check) next to the hebe is developing it's red winter foliage
The geese flew over the wrong way this morning. I don't mean they were flying backwards, I mean they were flying away from the bird reservoir and not towards it. Maybe they were beginning their migration.

Tuesday - I didn't have time for gardening today as I was working but I did feed the greenhouse plants. I think that will be the last feed this year. The late planted cucumber plants have plenty of tiny flowers on them but I don't think they'll come to anything. The late planted peas also have flowers on

Wednesday - a foggy start (definitely autumnal) then the sun broke through and we had a hot and sunny day. I bought some extra-strength weedkiller for the roots embedded in the garden by the new fence and for the brambles that are unfortunately thriving at the moment. I doubled the recommended strength as I want quick results. I planted the forsythia, buddleia and ground cover hypericum. It looks a bit bare at the moment but I have more ground cover plants arriving over the next month and both trees will grow to around 10ft over the next few years

Whilst I was digging over the bed I unearthed this slug - definitely a case of who ate all the pies!

There are gangs of sparrows in and out of the garden all day rummaging around in the flower and veg beds. Picked more tomatoes
that brings the tally to 12lbs so far. There are still plenty to ripen

Thursday -  today was very windy and warm, the temperature reached 72F in the greenhouse mid afternoon. I moved the small red-leaved grass from the cottage garden as the flowers were suffocating it. It's now been relocated near the cauldron pond

Picked runner beans (not been a good crop - could be the weather, could be the type of bean), pears that were ready
and picked and cooked beetroot. This pear was on the grass, I'm presuming a squirrel is the guilty party.

I pulled out a small piece of oxygenating plant from the main pond and put it in the cauldron pond to see if it will take. I heard a woodpecker here today for the first time.

Friday -  overcast and drizzly and humid. I went to pick blackberries. They are not a good crop this year. Over half of them had gone mouldy in the humid weather. I picked a few but by the evening they had also started to go mouldy - so no jam this year.

I cut back one of the hebe's that was looking sorry for itself and took softwood cuttings. I re-potted the mini buddleia cutting into a holding pot until I can decide where it's going. A blackbird was drinking out of the cauldron pond this afternoon. I dug up and potted three swiss chard which will, apparently, grow through the winter in the greenhouse

This is the root of one - I wish the carrots were that long and straight!

Pic of the miscanthus grass in the late evening sun (cottage garden)
and the delphinium black knight is flowering again

Saturday - drizzly, misty and rain all morning so not much done today but at least I didn't have to water the garden.
Sunday - sunny and warm with just a tinge of autumn in the air - perfect day. Picked the last of the sweet peas
Pulled up the fennel as it had gone to seed
re-potted the samphire
And...just to prove me wrong...the greenhouse gherkins are growing again
and the cucumber that I said probably wouldn't come to anything...
has! Welcome cucumber no. 24. I picked another pound of tomatoes and there's still plenty more to pick next week
I went for a walk into town this morning and on the way back spotted this (either a shag or a gannet) warming it's wings in the sun
This is my first parsnip of the season. The root was so deep I fell backwards when it snapped pulling it out but at least it's bigger and straighter than the carrots!
And talking of carrots...meet tai-chi carrot
Well, that's it for this week. I watched the Countryfile weather for the week but still not sure what's happening. Could be dry, could be rain, could be thunder. The only positive is that it's going to be unseasonably hot. Enjoy your gardening week and catch up next Sunday.
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