Thursday, August 09, 2007

Garden update

I am still on the lookout for blight as it has struck many of the surrounding gardens in my area, resulting in disappointed gardeners. I am keeping the doors of the polytunnel open at night so that air can circulate as much as possible and have heavily pruned the vines leaving just the green tomatoes exposed to the sunlight. Higher up, there are still some leaves where the last fruits are forming. Hopefully this will save the crop this year.
We pulled the onions out of the ground yesterday for 2 reasons: it is dry at the moment and they stand a better chance of drying off in the polytunnel heat and secondly, we need the bed for the broccoli plants.

The daily round includes spotting white cabbage fly larvae and squashing a variety of caterpillars ( or else no broccoli next year). I garden as organically as possible and have never been very good at growing cabbages. This year I am stepping up vigilance and dealing with the larvae before they become hairy caterpillars. On the back of the leaves, white spots become small colonies of yellow dots and then progress to very small caterpillars. Might show you tomorrow through a magnifying glass if I spot any more. If left to their own growth process you will find spikes of cabbage skeletons in your garden. Slugs also are out to attack cabbages in my garden but they leave trails and if that is not enough...the pigeons like to peck at them too. Do they stand a chance I wonder? Still ever hopeful of cabbages this winter.

The last seedlings in the cabbage family will get planted this weekend, hispi cabbage being a spring cabbage which will live in the polytunnel beds over winter, and mizuna and mibuna salad which will provide some greenery over the winter season.

I am three quarters through my planting plan now and if I have got it right, the beds will be full of greenery over winter instead of lying barren. The empty ones will be filled with green manure.

The tsar plums are on standby, a few more sunny days and they will be ripe for picking and preserving.


Willow said...

the polytunnel sounds like a great growing help. Do you grow veggies all winter?

Downshiftingpath said...

The polytunnel extends the seasons both ends for us. Right now, the strawberries that were beaten off by the cold in May are showing signs of growth again so maybe we will have them in September. I grow salad crops in the polytunnel in winter and am about to try mizuna and mibuna this year which will work as a salad crop and stir fry vegetable as they belong to the cabbage family. Also spinach and mangetout overwinter in there.

Willow said...

Here in SoCal we don't need polytunnels because we can grow most anything all year,esp lettuces for salads. And where I live I don't have room for one. But when I lived in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) I always wanted one. Once there was a newspaper article about a restaurant that had its own polytunnel of lettuces for salads during the winter. Thanks for the response.