Mixed Bag.

The detection of sawfly larvae in April with vigilance, then hardly any sawfly in May, I became complacent thinking “no more sawfly this year!” At the beginning of this month when there was a lot of rain, I didn’t check frequently. I knew they were munching on currant leaves and I couldn’t reach a number of them. When the rain had stopped and I was able to put the washing out – I saw the damage was done. Stems stripped of leaves. Popped out today, and the gooseberries are ripening.
The birds have free access to the soft fruit in the garden – I don’t mind, as some of the fruit is unreachable. I prefer birds to eat the fruit than those pesky molluscs that leave slime trails all over the place. A young female blackbird is the main culprit. Although some red currants are ripe, I haven’t picked any yet.
Three Little Raspberries are we
At the plot, more peas were harvested (and mainly eaten there!). Broad beans have been harvestable, though the leaves are now quite badly infected with chocolate spot. Blackfly although present on some of the plants, isn’t widespread. I had sprayed earlier with insecticidal soap, plus there are a load of ladybirds around.
The first calabrese was cut! It survived the slugs/cabbage root fly/cabbage white fly/cabbage white caterpillars to give a relatively decent size head.
Also harvested one turnip! Don’t know why just harvested one, when there are others…
A couple of carrots and a potato plant were pulled.
However, the spring planted garlic didn’t look too healthy.
Somewhere under there, is garlic. I don’t know if this is white rot as it seems to start more at the top of the bulb. Also, we’ve had rather a lot of rain. I don’t think the rust helps matters either. Under the soil and layer of skin – the garlic looks fine.
Not all the bulbs are affected. I tried to guess which ones would be “damaged” but couldn’t tell – some stems were thin but showed no sign of “fur”. Also, the soil was clinging to the affected ones – drainage?
These 2 purplette spring onion things look nice. The rest of the sowing succumbed to slugs/snails or something – perhaps 6ft+ weeder?


Blackleg again

Another potato plant has succumbed to blackleg. On harvesting, there were only a few useable potatoes.
Harvested over 3lb of broad beans, when shelled only weigh 10oz. These were from those only slightly affected with chocolate spot. The broadies below haven’t yet set pod, but I’ll give them a chance.
Harvested peas too. Tasty, and some made it to the freezer. I can devour peas in a trice.
Spotted a tayberry ripening.
Found some spots on the leaves of kohl rabi. Any ideas?
On the whole, the allotment looks good. The blue sheet covers the sand pit, but contains water so the birdies can have a bath/drink. The one blackbird scared off a sparrow as it wanted to bathe alone.

Greenhouse and Windowsill update

Windowsill is filling up again with various peppers (hot/sweet) and aubergines, plus lemon grass having been potted on. Already spotted a few pepper flowers open and have been at them with a small paintbrush. There are a few green aphids on some of the plants, but I have a butterwort (from Morrisons so probably incorrectly labelled as Pinguicula weser) that I have been “feeding” the aphids to.
In the greenhouse, the tomatoes are coming along nicely. Spotted a few more fruit set, but when will the first tomato be ripe?
I probably have far too many tomatoes. My mistake was fearing for the worst and sowing replacements of one variety, but the first sowing had actually germinated and done well. Oops. Still, managed to take a few across to my mum’s to look after. All the tomatoes are “heritage” ones. The one variety has very droopy curled leaves.

There are tomatillo plants as well. First time growing those. Also currently living in the greenhouse (well! its an extension from the shed with corrugated roof and “upper” sides) are some heritage kale destined for the garden.


One of the sowings of broad beans, Red Epicure is looking a bit sad – it has blackfly on, though I did spot a couple of ladybirds, plus it is suffering from chocolate spot. No flowers have set and am just wondering to cut my losses – the chocolate spot is affecting the higher leaves and will no doubt spread including onto any pods that set. I have other broad bean sowings in the plot that look better – may have touch of blackfly and/or a less severe infection of the spot. The overwintered lot of beans that had chocolate spot – the affected pods were small and wilted – they wouldn’t have produced a harvest. Do I run the risk of not having any, or cutting my losses and using the space for something else?

Elsewhere, the eggs that I found and photographed on the gooseberries in the last post, I have found some more similar eggs on hazelnut leaves – perhaps they weren’t sawflies. Will leave these to “hatch” – perhaps they are ladybirds.

The beginning of June – garden update

It seems such a long time ago this year since the first wave of gooseberry sawfly larvae munched through some gooseberry leaves. Every time I put the laundry out to dry, I would have a quick look for the sawflies and I spotted some eggs underneath one of the gooseberry leaves.
sawfly eggs?
Today, I hung the washing out and noticed some holes in the currant leaves. The sawfly larvae are back, but this time just concentrating on the currants. I squashed as many as I could, though there are some I can’t reach (well, serves me right for planting too many currant bushes in a small space and not understanding pruning!). The tell-tale evidence of the presence of these caterpillar-like leaf-munchers is the little balls of “poo” that fall onto the lower leaves.
Still, the netting that protected them in previous years from birds was removed last year as birds still managed to get through. I have seen the birds, mainly song thrushes sitting in the bushes, so maybe they’ll eat a few larvae for me. The currants are ripening nicely.
currants ripening
I think the gooseberries have a touch of mildew, so I removed the affected fruits. Luckily, not many have been affected.
mildew on goosegogs
Elsewhere round the garden, there are lots of ladybirds and ladybird larvae (which my son calls “baby ladybirds”).
In the greenhouse, the tomatoes are doing well. On Friday, I spotted some fruit. This one is Salt Spring Sunrise,which is an early variety. Wonder when it will be ready….
first tomato set

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