Monday July 17th
Very hot day. Ran out of stored water so had to play with the hose tonight. Didn´t soak myself too badly this time, but did get a bit wet in places! Butts now nicely full again and everything in sight watered well, apart from the potatoes which I´m trying to leave in case the extra humidity promotes blight. I ought to go up one morning and do them. The second damaged dahlia stem can´t cope so had wilted - so pulled it and took the remains home. Hopefully the flower will open.
Ordered spring cabbage seeds, the same two varieties that I grew last season. This time I am going to grow the plants myself (and therefore get stronger ones used to local conditions).
Tuesday July 18th
Stupidly hot day. More watering, though back to doing the cucurbits and the beans. Got a handful of yellow French Beans, three courgettes (including the first yellow one), a tub of raspberries, a handful of blueberries and a punnet of baby potatoes. No sign of new carrots yet - bit worried that the seeds have washed down the bed, but can but wait and see. Pulled a few more radishes out of the parsnip bed (carefully!) and was pleased with the parsnip progress. Some of the romaine lettuces are starting to bolt so picked the worst one. Have a load of new lettuce salad bowl seedlings at home ready to go in, so they will have to come up tomorrow (or later in the week, given the scorching conditons at the moment).
Wednesday July 19th
Insanely hot. Couldn´t even bring myself to go up to water, the evening was so sticky.
Thursday July 20th
Up to lottie at 6.45am to do the watering. At least watering in the morning means that I can do things like tomatoes without worrying about the humidity levels overnight. Another courgette ready. And the soil-sown carrots are up! (Sown July 8th. So I expect the newest lot up about the 27th July). Went up again in the evening, and everything was as dry as a bone again already. Slightly cooler day thank goodness, but still things are growing like crazy. Picked quite a decent handful of blueberries. The Blue Jay is doing well, the others are definitely fading now, but then they´re ancient plants really - must be at least 12 years as they spent several being looked after by Dad, and were shipped up to the house when we bought it 8 years ago. Quite possibly we got them in 1990-1; I just know they came from Bridgemere Garden World and I can´t remember what varieties they are. Anyway, gave a handful to Marshall, and have never seen them disappear as fast! He then told me he used to pick them as a boy in Michigan, and he´s not had fresh ones for years... and didn´t realise they grew happily in tubs here. I think he might crack and get some.
On with the watering, and while doing the runners, spotted a couple of 6" beans that had set and grown without me noticing - very much a `where on earth did they appear from?´! Not grumbling - they´ll be few and far between until the weather cools and gets damper, so I shal enjoy them. Glad I planted so many of them now, though. Doubles my chances of getting some, and it´s definitely a poor bean year...
Got given a tub of raspberries by Maggie, who says she´s got more than she knows what to do with, and got home at a sane time for once.
Friday July 21st
After having blueberries in my thoughts, rang up the Dorset Blueberry Company and asked for advice on what to get to replace the two old bushes, and ended up having a lovely conversation with one of their expert growers on how to possibly rejuvenate the old ones as well. Oh dear - will have to get another of those large pots... have ordered a Bluegold and a Herbert. They are both complementary to Blue Jay (later season) for pollination, and Herbert is what they grow for Marks and Spencer as the flavour is so good. Bluegold is very heavy cropping and not too bad for flavour either, so I should do nicely with these. The lady also suggested mulching with pine bark to help the acidity. I´ve got to do something, as I´ve only got about 2 weeks more rainwater in the butt... unless I import some from the house butts.