Sunday 24th July 2022 – It’s been a busy month!

Sorry for not being in touch for a while, but the last month what with one thing and another. I’ve been out in my garden little and often, but that’s generally just been me tying in and side shooting my tomatoes, weeding, pruning, harvesting, planting out various flower plants and the obligatory watering of everything. I’ve been grabbing the odd 30 minutes I’ve had before I go to work, and then a little time after work while the dinner is cooking. The weekends have been full on with one thing and another and Mark and I were a way for one weekend as well. I’m working on a few Saturday’s, just as a temporary measure to get someone garden tidy before they sell it as well. I’m fully booked all week so that was the only option.

But this Sunday was all mine! Just ringing in the morning and then as much time in the garden as I wanted. The ground is very dry, we’re in serious need of some rain, we had some fine drizzle this morning but that’ll evaporate now the sun is out. I’ve taken the outlet pipe out the washing machine so the water syphons into a very large bucket so that goes on the garden as well. If push comes to shove then I’ll syphon out the bath water, but that’s a big trek through the house with watering cans so isn’t easy.

So back to everything I did on Sunday…I did stop for a couple of ice lollies on the way…..

I cut down the potatoes. The leaves are starting to turn from green to yellow so they’re nearly finished growing. I’ll be digging them up as and when we need them now.

We also seem to have a couple of small wild bunnies in the garden again. They’re from the field at the back and have made it into the garden. I’m not sure exactly how they go it, but I suspect it’s at the very back of the garden behind the chicken house. Hopefully I can encourage them to go back the way they got in. I do have a couple of humane traps so when, or if I catch them then I can release them back where they came from. Yes I know that some of you are going to say they’re vermin and should be taken to a vet and have them put to sleep, but I’m just putting them back where they originated from. We live in the country, I mean really in the country, so it’s something we have to live with. Out here we live along side nature, and don’t try and fight it because we won’t win.

Now because I was in the garden, the chickens feel that they should be allowed out in their extra piece of run. Fair enough I suppose, mummy’s out playing so they should as well. Now Sunday was fairly hot still, not as hot as earlier in the week when we reached 38 degrees where we live. And yes I did work and yes I’m slightly crazy. I was fine thought, I put a cold wet flannel on my head under my cap and a cold wet towel round my neck and the ends down my t shirt. I have to admit I did look rather fetching. I finished at 3pm both days as where I was working they were all very concerned about me. Still when I got home I went out in my garden to do a little weeding.

The chickens got so excited to be in their extra run they hurried out and started to dust bathe. They soon realised it was a little too hot for them in the sun, so promptly hurried back inside their run and in the shade. When the shade finally came over their extended run they went back out to play.

My onion tops have started to flop over so that means they need to be harvested. So that was the first job for the day.

They should pull up very easily, but if you’re worried about pulling them up, then just use a trowel to encourage them out the soil. Once they are all up, you can either lay them on the soil for a few weeks and let the sun start to dry them out, or if you have room in your greenhouse put them in there, or even in a garage or shed would be perfect. Just make sure you lay them in a single layer and there is space between them. If they are too close the air can’t get around them and dry their outer skins off. Check weekly and if any are going soft then use immediately. This year I’m drying mine on top of my brassica cage. We’re not due any rain for the next couple of weeks so they should be fine. They’re all good decent sizes this year, all grown from seed and the variety is called “Globo”. I’ve grown these for several years and they don’t disappoint. If you’re going to store you onions in a hessian sack over winter then I would suggest drying your onions for at least 6 weeks.

Then it was on to my garlic. Again the tops have all gone brown and these are a little further down in the soil than the onions were, so a trowel is definitely needed to harvest these.

Here’s a little video I did a few years ago about harvesting garlic which I hope you find helpful…..

So this year, just like my onions I’m drying them on the top of my other brassica cage. Because I sowed them in the autumn of last year they had a very long growing season and turned out really well. So we’ve got lots of decent sized bulbs to keep us going. I’ve just got the last few bulbs from last year to use up and then I’ll start on this years ones. I won’t plait them as I can’t be bothered, so will just tie them together with some string and hang them in a frost free place and cut off the bulbs as and when we need them.

For the rest of the day I just did some weeding. I’m systematically going through all the beds. I’ve now done 2 of the large beds, just the other 2 large beds and the small ones to go.

I also planted out a few spare plants I have in my greenhouses and made sure that the tomatoes had been side shooted and were tied in properly.

Here’s a little video I made a few years back with information about side shooting …….

Just before I finished for the day I went round the garden to harvest various veggies for dinner. I am very please to say that the only thing on our plates for dinner that evening that I couldn’t grow were the sausages. Believe me if I could grow sausages I would. So in the mixed roasted veggies consisted of: onion, garlic, carrots, beetroot, courgette, potatoes and chard. The olive oil was from my parents olive trees. It was yummy!

Hope you’re having a wonderful harvest and please share lots of picture of your achievements.

Take care xxxxx

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3 Responses to Sunday 24th July 2022 – It’s been a busy month!

  1. Paul Greenwood says:

    I am surprised you worked on those hot days but well done you.
    It must be because you are young and fit.

    You could always make Rabbit sausages. X

  2. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire, ha, yeah, to be 48 again. Gardens here in Nebraska are struggling. The year started cold and dry; then it became wet; then it became very hot and dry. We are in a 10 day stretch of temperature of 95F to 100F (35C to 38C) with no relief or rain in sight. I’m watering every day but it’s just not the same as a good soaker rain. Tomatoes are green and not ripening. Some cherry tomatoes are producing but none of sandwich size tomatoes. My potatoes look like they might be doing ok and the onions are ready for harvest. Ha, the strawberries are trying to put on another harvest. What’s up with that? The year is so weird.

    Have a great day in the garden. May your harvest be abundant; your tomatoes be without cracks; and your gardens beds be weedless.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

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