Tuesday, 12 July 2011

July 2011 gardening update

Those of you not from around here should know- the weather this year has been about 50% crapper than it usually is. English weather never does what you want it to anyway, but this year has just been extra frustrating. A dry spring when we should have had rain, followed but a wet and cold June royally fucked over my garden. Everything has either been stunted by rain, or decimated by slugs.

My stunted sweetcorn is this year's success story- especially as it's growing in the new plot, and my new plots usually fail on their first season. But a lack of good sun at the right time means it's shorter than it should be. Hopefully we'll have a long summer and it'll get time to catch up to where it should be, I'd love to taste some fresh sweetcorn, it's supposed to be so sweet straight off the plant before the sugars turn to starch.

My poor poor sunflowers were hit really badly by slugs. To be honest, I've only really got two left. One of them is covered in black-fly (the black-fly get looked after by ants, who milk them like cows. It's freaky), and I don't really see the point in saving it. I wanted so badly to have a huge patch of sunflowers in our garden, but I think the shade might be a little too much for them. That's the price you pay for having mature trees in your garden.

Speaking of which, one of our apple trees has upped and died. It had been covered in ivy for a long time and probably got a little overwhelmed, or got an infection or something. I'm a bit bummed out about this, I used to climb the tree and eat the apples a lot as a kid, but maybe with the removal of this tree we'll get some more light into the garden.

The dying leaves were pretty but didn't really give me a clue as to what was killing the tree.

My two other vegetable plots (plot 2 pictured) are horribly empty. I had carrot and leek seedlings, salad sowed and started to grow and then the damp weather just caused a slug overload and subsequent sowings were dug to death by a fox or neighbourhood cats (probably our cat tbh). Plot 2 still has a couple of butternut squashes in it, which will hopefully avoid another slug attack and yeild something. Plot 1 could probably do with a break, having been in use near constantly since 2005, so I've got some green manure seeds I can sow in there.

Plot 3- the pollinator plot- is being overrun by wild strawberries and assorted weeds. But it looks like the lavender have finally taken hold and will hopefully fight back, along with the green thing (on the right), which name I have forgotten. There's another squash in there. The great thing about squashes is that if you grow too many, they're pretty easy to give away. I once took a pumpkin all the way to Aberystwyth, over 3 trains and the London Underground.

So that's my garden at the moment. It's not done so well this year, but that's what you get when you mix climate change with gardening 30 miles from where you're living. Hopefully next term I can find somewhere in London with a balcony or something where I can grow a few bits and bobs, and leave this huge garden to mum.

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