9 July 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - Cucumbers, Chillies and an Odd-shaped Pepper

Hi everyone,

It's been another summery week with plenty to do.

Monday - cool and cloudy to start then sunny and windy in the afternoon. I pulled up the radishes that had gone to seed and sowed more, plus little gem and coriander. Planted out the next batch of fennel and pulled more shallots and put them in the greenhouse to dry. Now...when  I checked the greenhouse yesterday evening I could've sworn there were no cucumbers, chillies or red tomatoes!

I tweeted a pic of the flower growing from what I thought was ornamental grass and the RHS tweeted back to say it is a hemerocallis day lily, probably black magic.

Tuesday - started cloudy then sunny at times. The pond water is looking clearer and the fish were livelier today...and hungry. Not much done apart from tying up the cucumbers and watering the veg and the greenhouse. After reeling the hose out and back in I found this fella on the drum...it must've been dizzy!
Wednesday - a hot and sunny day, unfortunately I was working! I had the pond pump on all night and the level was down by about 3-4 inches so I had to top it up. Him indoors is going to check the pump again. It could just be evaporation of water as it goes round the system. When I came home I picked lettuce, spring onions, peas and a carrot for my salad and gave the garden and greenhouse a good soaking. The ladybird poppies I planted are doing well
Thursday - hot and sunny again. I earthed up some of the potatoes as I could see some spuds above the surface which is surprising considering how deep I planted them. The fish were sluggish this morning, maybe they were having a lie in. Anyway, they soon perked up and were all over the food. The cottage garden is filling out

and the carrots and parsnips have put on a spurt

Friday - sunny and breezy today and quite pleasant. I started on the pruning and deadheading of the early flowering perennials and hopefully they will flower again. I picked what I think is probably the last of the first batch of courgettes, the second lot are thriving
and pulled more onions for drying. That's all the yellow moon shallots up now. There's just a few union troy left in the garden - I will grow these again as they've done well
As I walked towards the pond to feed the fish I saw them scoot across the pond to the 'dining area' before I reached it. How do they know?? The radishes I sowed on Monday are already coming through
I picked more peas today, not so keen on the sugar snaps as they are stringy so I won't grow those again but the others are very tasty. There has been a lot of bird activity over the past couple of days, mainly sparrows and blackbirds, and this evening there was a sparrowfest on the feeders.
Saturday - another scorcher but we do need some rain...overnight would be good. A busy-ish day today. I started by trimming back the sweet peas and cutting off the seed pods - I heard somewhere this encourages more blooms - then I cleaned and re-filled the bird feeders and topped up the bird table. Not sure what's eating the food on that as it disappears quickly, but I know the pigeons and magpies can't get on it. I planted out more peas and emptied out the last bag of Charlottes...again just under a 1lb so not bad I suppose and they are incredibly delicious
So far that's nearly 4lb from 4 spuds grown in small bags. There are still two Charlotte plants in the veg garden so it will be interesting to see if they produce more. I trimmed the tomatoes and tied up more of the cucumbers.

razzmatazz chillies

and peppers that have their own shape agenda
Sunday - another hottie, the temperature in the greenhouse at 10am was 27C 80F. I sowed spring onions and radish icicle white, moved a geranium growing out of the path into one of the beds and planted four apricot kernels - let's see if I can get as good a result with them as I did with the lemon seeds. I was going to mow the lawn but it's too hot and dry, it's already got brown patches. I tidied up the roses and sweet peas on the back fence
I don't know where the white sweet peas have come from, all the rest are red and mauve
I dug up the first of the Duke of York spuds that are growing in one of the veg patches. There was just under 2lb
and the nitrogen from the potato plants has broken down the clay...yessss!!
The curry plant (which is now at the top of the garden) is in full flower
and this lavatera has appeared in the flower bed beside the greenhouse, I didn't plant it but it's pretty
The only job left to do now is give the garden a jolly good soaking.
Well that took forever, the ground was parched. Watched the Countryfile weather this evening and we're in for sunshine and possible some showers this week and it's going to be slightly cooler. No complaints there. Have a good week and catch up next weekend.
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