Monday, 3 September 2018

courgette fear

Not a vintage gardening year for the kitchen.
The cold, wet and late spring turned immediately into the hottest summer on record. Our sandy soil was little more than dust.
And for me a knee replacement operation that took two months away.

So much didn't germinate, grow or thrive...

And, unlike our arable farming neighbours, we haven't done any supplementary watering. What was planted had to cope with what nature provided.

But, let's not dwell on the failures - apples, potatoes, tomatoes, beetroot, squash, courgettes and leeks have all done well..
Courgettes have been abundant. So much so that friends no longer make eye contact for fear that a courgette will be pressed on them. 'Are you sure one will do..?'
Our thanks go in part to our friend 'Poo Pete' who regularly delivers trailer loads of horse manure. This regular addition of manure as a surface mulch has improved our soils' ability to hold moisture as well as boosting fertility.

Trees have shown themselves to be surprisingly unaffected by dry weather with no evidence of drought stress. The heavy  spring rains must have played a part in this, boosting the water content of the soil down at deep root level.

Flowers in our meadows have been affected, as they have in the gardens. Flowers finished weeks early, denying insects access to pollen and nectar. There has been a limited range of butterfly species and only large white butterflies were abundant. Mysteriously, the honey bees have produced excellent amounts of honey - presumably from tree flowers?

Mum and dad bought our grandson half a dozen goldfish which we put into the Dragonfly Pond. This is a small pond built out of sleepers and not accessible to amphibians. The fish got busy and now we have more than six...


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