Thursday, 23 August 2007

The sun has got his hat back from the cleaners, hip hip hip hooray!

It would seem the sun has not deserted us at all. No. It had just taken a short leave and now has returned, after the heavy rains, to help the little plants grow. All the little dandelions, docks,chick weeds,thistles and creeping grasses are doing very well. Apart from the resident jungle, the rest is coming back to life, albeit slowly. the runners don't know what's happening, they are drowning one day and dried out the next. Watering is helping but you find it tends to rain heavier on the days you watered them earlier.. The peppers, full of hope and anticipation, died. The slugs took advantage of the protection the plastic lean to gave from birds, along with the help from the pounding rain, and tucked into the exotic fare that used to be two sweet peppers and one chili.
The cabbages didn't fare much better, as a quick survey of the site tells me isn't an isolated case, the slugs and rain combining again to thwart the grower. The rain didn't come in cold though,bringing warmth with it and rapid growth to all the temperate weeds, the sweetcorn and the landcress. The moisture loving tender plants would have been abundant had the slimy ones left them alone. Tender by name and tender by taste one assumes.
The tomatoes really are bad this year, the damp and the hardness of the rain causing a rot from the stem up. The rain splashing back up, driving soil particles with it, brought a lot of brown rot and black stem disease. Once again, temperature, the usual threat, wasn't to blame but the warmth and the wet giving perfect breeding conditions for fungi and bacterial spores.
With saturated soil and humidity giving all our enemies free reign, I think this year may be written large as one of the worst. Not just for the crops, but for the fact we couldn't get on the land to work it either.
The weeds were hard enough to keep down when they were tiny, now they are near shoulder height with stems as thick as your arm, they are liable to fight back!

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