The Village gardener – August

An enthusiastic amateurs tale of lockdown gardening

Well the start of July was a scorcher, when the weather is that hot gardening is one of the last jobs on my mind and keeping cool is the order of the day. The garden eventually breathed a sigh of relief when the rain started and, then the thunder and lightening – the hail was a step too far!!!

Anyway, read on to find out what we’re up to this month in the garden and allotment.

Veg patch and cold frames

Our sugar snap peas are at last producing lovely full pods of green crunchy freshness. The crop isn’t anywhere close to the yield we enjoyed last year – I think the colder weather earlier in the year has played it’s part. Unlike last year we still haven’t had to tie anything in, they seem to have found their own way upwards. The last row was nibbled by something – a lesson to me to always remember to replace the net after watering…

Our ‘Red Profusion’ tomatoes have completely taken over the palette cold frame and we have been forced to take emergency measures. It was surprisingly difficult to find information online on how many trusses a bush tomato should have. Eight was the number we agreed on and then followed what can only be described as a severe pruning. The tomatoes have started going red which is a first for any I have ever grown so this is positive. Their watering was in the hands of a neighbour for a week but all seems well. I’ll just keep removing any new flowers if they appear and am thankful for our plentiful basil which we will enjoy with the fruits of our labour.

Perhaps now is the time to talk a bit more about our homemade pallet greenhouse/coldframe. My husband was keen to make rather than buy a cold frame and due to current difficulties with the supply of wood, we looked at what might be going spare around the village. As luck would have it someone was just about to take a palette to the skip, so we quickly brought it home and the transformation began. We used a sheet of heavy duty polythene (from a well known DIY store) to create a front which could be rolled up or down depending on the weather. It’s brilliant and best of all cost under £8 to make.

Our unknown raspberry varieties are quickly taking over the veg plot and we have picked three crops to date. We made a wonderful raspberry sorbet from the first crop but the rest haven’t made it as far as the house and have been guzzles on the spot. I’ll soon face the same issue as last year – which should we prune?

The chili plants remain ‘stunted’ and have turned purple which was rather unexpected. Does anyone know if this is a thing?!

Wishing you and your garden a warm, but not too dry, August!

Thank you for reading and come back soon for an update.

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