Hurry up and ripen up!

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I spied these beauties in the garden last night, can’t wait for them to ripen up. There’ll be tomato salads all round; get the mozzarella and basil out! 

Also, massive excitement for me as my squash seems to be getting bigger everyday. I can’t even remember which type of squash it is as the first ones got eaten/squashed so I planted these as a last ditch attempt and they’ve finally done really well. One plant is smaller than the other – they might be different types but the baby plants forming all look the same – yellow and round. I think you’re meant to put the fruits on straw to stop them from rotting where they touch the ground so will look into that as I have no intention of losing them now.

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Must find time to do some more planning for a quick autumn crop and what will over-winter. Maybe a job for the long weekend, that and freezing the last of the blackberries on the garden for a guaranteed autumn full of pies, crumbles and booze experiments.

And finally, Mabel says ‘Hi’. A proper lady as always.

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Small scale sowing

Space is quite limited in our little first floor flat so I try and keep as many seeds going on my allocated ‘seed table’ as possible at once. I think each time I plant I keep that old gardeners mantra in my head of ‘one for the slugs, one for the pigeon and one for me’ but all three always come up, I don’t like throwing away healthy plants and I end up with three times as many as I planned for! 

As soon as they go outside and in the ground for some veg I’d generally plant a back up row to be used both in case the seedlings are eaten and also to get some follow-on cropping. It’s always good to have peas and beans that just keep going and going through the summer crop – plus my first lots of beans were sown too early and ended up far too straggly before I got around to putting them in the ground so they might struggle when it comes to production.

Anyway, these last two weeks I’ve been keeping the full size tomatoes inside (Tumbling Toms are already out) also two types of chilli (Serrano and Jalapeno), started nasturtiums and marigolds for companion planting (hopefully this weekend or next they’ll be big enough to get out) and cauliflower. I also have back up courgettes (two have been pulled up/trampled from the first batch) second batch broad beans, and second batch peas, first batch borlotti beans, back up sweetcorn (heaven knows what that’s going to do in such a shady spot) and three more Pumpkin Rouge as my Sweet Dumpling has survived being out, but not the Marina di Chioggia – another mysterious disappearance. 

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I really need to put the courgettes and squash into their own pots now so I can get the lid back on the propagator and give the beans the warmth they need – that’s the trouble with getting 6 different things on one propagator – they all come up at different speeds! But generally it’s warm enough in this room and everything’s definitely germinated so hopefully will catch up soon. 

Next to do: Dig another bed in the garden. Plant out tomatoes. Get beetroot, kale and parsnips in. Move chickens so they don’t get too muddy (again).