The vegetable garden is looking nice and full now and we continue to harvest crops bit by bit and I hope you have been enjoying the fruits of your labour. The blackcurrants have been good this year although I did notice the new shoots have aphid inhabitants, so I continue to treat with soapy water. It may be that the shoots need to be cut back if too much damage has been done. I have been trying to think innovatively about what to do with the blackcurrants. My sweet tooth has led me to making ice cream, which is a popular dessert in our house, in fact so popular that we would probably benefit from an ice cream making machine and save a bunch of cash! I have managed to find a recipe that does not require such a machine or hours of churning by hand. You can see the recipe by following link below.
I have had a battle in the greenhouse this year with mildew on the courgette and cucumber plants. From experience I would have harvested some of each crop by now but alas I have harvested none. This can feel disheartening, but nature does have its way and gardening can teach valuable lessons. It is time fix the problem and I think the problem is my untidiness. I have tested methods such as spraying the leaves and leaving the door open to circulate air, but the ineffectiveness leads me to clear out the greenhouse, cleaning it and its contents. Although a fairly big job, due to the amount of pots, bags, BBQ coal and various other things that have been left in there I know that the overall outcome will mean less clutter and further circulation of purer air and inevitably a clean slate to keep on top of.
Clearing out the greenhouse has enabled me to create room for seed planting. I have in previous blogs discussed what can be planted around now to take us through to winter. We chose to plant kohl rabi, fennel, swiss chard and some more kale. There are also some Christmas cropping potatoes to be planted in a container once we have sourced some more soil. It is apparent to me now that gardening is here to teach vital organisation skills including time management and tidiness, both of which I struggle with but hopefully I am improving on!
If you have courgettes growing in pots like myself then you may have noticed that a courgette may grow but then turn yellow and die off. Please do not be disheartened if this does happen because there is an easy fix. The yellowing can be because of a magnesium deficiency and is treated using a feed containing magnesium or by adding a small amount of Epson salts to the plants water for a day. Just a teaspoon of Epson salts is enough when diluted in eight litres of water and fed to a few plants.
Sadly, this week we said goodbye to Mavis. He was a joy to have as a pet but not what we were after in a bird. On the brighter side we have a new addition to the flock. Introducing Crystal. She is most definitely she and is a light Sussex breed. Although shy at first Crystal seems to be fitting in quite well and is getting used to free ranging in the garden. The chickens have been re-establishing the pecking order and currently it looks like Belle wants to be the boss.
We still eagerly await the first egg which we anticipate sometime over the coming few weeks.