We have had some miserable, wet and cloudy days this week, but there has also been some beautiful sunny days where I have managed to sit for a while and watch the world go by. I’ve noticed on these warm days the birds have sung beautifully, as if they are making the most of the final days of summer.
A couple of time this week in my garden I have spotted a frog. I don’t know if it is the same frog but it is very welcome in my garden as they love to eat slugs and snails. I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo of it but below is a good photo of a frog I spotted at my allotment, waiting to pounce on a snail:
This week in my garden I have started to ‘thin out’ the winter salads that I sowed a couple of weeks ago. I used a pair of scissors again to chop off the seedlings that I didn’t want as this helps to stop any root disturbance on the remaining seedlings:
Also in my garden I took the tops off my main crop potatoes (as the foliage had died off)…
….and I then dug some of them up:
These are a late variety called ‘Desiree’ which I have grown for a number of years. I have found over the years that these potatoes don’t suffer so much slug damage as other varieties and they have a particularly good drought resistance if we have a dry summer and they always give me a good harvest….so I think they are a good main crop to grow.
‘Desiree’ potatoes are also a good all rounder in the kitchen, as they are great for mashing, roasting, chipping, baking and boiling too.
Unfortunately though I noticed that a few of my potatoes are suffering from ‘Scab’:
“Scab can be caused by dry conditions when the tubers are forming and it is worse in alkaline soil. Therefore if you are going to be liming your soil to increase the Ph level to avoid club root, this is best done after you have grown potatoes in rotation with your other crops”.
I do know my soil is very alkaline, so this is probably the reason for the scab on my potatoes, however I will just peel them and they will be fine to eat so I am not worried.
This week I also cleared away my french beans as they have finished producing:
I didn’t keep any of the seeds as I wasn’t really impressed with this variety, however I forgot to write down the name of variety. Next year I will go back to growing a variety called ‘Maxi’ as they produce lovely thin, stringless beans with the advantage that the beans are grown above the foliage so they are easy to pick.
The weather has certainly been strange this year and plants have been getting confused. I saw on Gardeners World last week that Monty Don has Foxgloves in flower, which usually flower in Spring. I have found my Primroses are in flower too….I wonder what will happen to them in Spring?
This year I have grown two different tomato varieties outside. ‘Outdoor Girl’ has been producing tomatoes for weeks now, but this has always been an early variety which I grow to produce a good harvest before the dreaded ‘blight’ hits…. this is something I haven’t seen this year thankfully.
I have also grown a variety outdoors this year called ‘Moneymaker’. They have produced lots of big tomatoes which are yet to ripen….I am keeping my fingers crossed they all do, but I am finally seeing the odd one begin to turn red:
I must say that over all, my outdoor tomatoes have produced a far bigger harvest than my greenhouse tomatoes, which I think is due to the cold, dull weather we had in April, May, June and July.
The patty pan plant that surprised me and began growing a month ago from a seed I had given up on, is now growing a couple of patty pans….if it doesn’t turn cold maybe I will have one or two to harvest?
I am still waiting desparately for my sweetcorn to be ready. You know it is ready to be picked when the tassells turn brown and a milky liquid comes out of the kernals when you press a nail into one……unfortunately the liquid is still clear in mine So we will have to wait a bit longer yet:
This week’s harvest:
I am still astounded with the amount I have grown this year in my small back garden, though I am convinced that I can fine tune this and grow more next year. One advantage of growing things in every inch of ground is there is certainly less weeding to do, which is a big advantage to me!
This week I thought it may be easier to show photos of what I have harvested:
So you can see why I am so pleased with my new kitchen garden.
This week in the home:
I made passata again using my home grown tomatoes and froze it ready to use in the winter:
I also froze the parsley, again so I can use it during the winter months for garlic bread and parsley sauce. I just cut the leaves off, wash them and put them in a freezer bag. When they are frozen they crumble easily in the bag:
I made some more of my ‘vinegar spray’ which I use in my kitchen as a multipurpose antibacterial cleaner. I make it by adding a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil to white distilled vinegar and it is as good as any antibacterial kitchen cleaner that you can buy and it is an awful lot cheaper too:
Mr Thrift has continued to find some really good ‘whoopsies’ this week and it has meant that I haven’t made any homemade bread. Some of the bread he has found has been reduced to just 9p……so we couldn’t resist it!
Finally, since I decorated our front room I have been looking in charity shops for things to make the room more homely. One thing I have been trying very hard to find is a cupboard to match the darkwood TV cabinet we have….and this week I found one:
It cost me just £40 and I was really pleased with my find….until I got it home and realised that we have a little gas pipe in the alcove where I wanted it to go, so it didn’t fit.
So I had to saw a bit off the side praying it wouldn’t look too bad.
In my shed I still had a bit of dark woodstain that I used on my mirror years ago, so I used this to darken the wood that I had cut so it wasn’t so noticable…..and I am really pleased with the result (thank goodness):
Now I just need to keep looking for a few pictures for the walls and we need to buy a new carpet (when we can afford it).
Well that’s it for this week. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.
I will be back next Friday as usual. Have a good week!