End of the month view – June 2012
Well June 2012 has officially been declared the wettest ever since records began in 1910. Who would have guessed! The continuous rain has brought out more slugs and snails than I have seen for a long while and this has done serious damage to the vegetable gardens. The Digger complains that on his allotment the Brassicas are being eaten and the cool temperatures have brought his Sweetcorn and Squashes to a standstill – not good for vegetables that like a long growing season. All his Peas have failed to appear. On the upside the Potatoes are flourishing, on the surface at least. Lets hope there is not a rain loving pest burrowing underground.
On my allotment I have already lost one of my outdoor Cucumbers, another looks very sick and the third is sulking and refusing to grow. I do not think I am going to see a yellow Cucumber this year. I have not grown this variety before so I am a tad annoyed.
The poor Courgettes are being nibbled to death. This plant is the worst affected out of the three. There may even be a Courgette shortage this year (I never thought I would ever write those words).
The French Beans are looking short on foliage while some plants were eaten before they started to climb up the canes. ‘Mr Fearn’s Purple Flowered’ (Heritage variety) on the left has suffered the worst, three plants have died. ‘Canadian’ (Heritage) in the centre is relatively unaffected and ‘Cosse Violette’ on the right has lost a single plant. None of them are growing with their usual vigour.
Surprisingly the Lettuce I planted out as large seedlings seems to have repelled all invaders. I like this variety – it is tough and stands for a long time without bolting.
Next to it is an Italian Chicory that we have not grown before. The plants were given to the Digger by an allotmenting neighbour who is Italian. Apparently the leaves can be eaten as usual but we are awaiting the central flowering stem which is picked in bud and lightly cooked or eaten raw in salads. Must check out some suitable recipes as they will have a bitter taste. I expect the slugs and snails were not too keen on the bitterness which is why the plants look pristine.
Luckily my climbing Snap Peas did come up and I have had the first flowers. Can’t wait for those tasty pea pods.
While the weather has caused mixed results in the allotment the garden borders are thriving – too bad it is too wet to sit outside and admire them :-)
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