Sunday, 12 July 2015

When will it warm up?

We are now mid July and the weather still hasn't warmed up much.
Okay, we might have had one day of 26C and a couple of days of around 20C, but we are now back to struggling to get over 15C.
I'm probably the last one to complain about the weather; I quite like wind and storm and snow and dislike any temperatures over 22C, but when trying to grow your own fruit and vegetables, a little bit of sunshine is much appreciated.

Everything is just so slow this year.
The elderflower has just started flowering, the gooseberries are not ripe yet (not for another two weeks I think!), the strawberries are now beginning to ripen and the cabbages... well let's just forget about those.
I don't think we'll be making sauerkraut this year.

The kapucijners (a Dutch pea variety which you dry and then eat with bacon bits and piccalilli in the cold winter months) are doing reasonably well.

They've got lovely purple flowers which the bees and bumblebees love and after pollination the pods are also dark purple. They then form peas inside and when you leave them on the plant to dry out, you can pod them and store for use in winter.

I moved the pumpkins (Uchiki Kuri) outside, using the old herb rack from the shop. Now that's what I would call recycling!
They are okay, I suppose, but one night the temperature went down to 4.5C.
Luckily it was forecast, so we put some protection around these tender plants.

The cabbages are one sad bunch. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, or whether it's just been too wet and cold. My first lot of white cabbages, all but 3 died. Then we bought red cabbage plants in Holland and took them with us, but all of them wilted away within a week. Last week we bought more white cabbage plants in the hope we might be able to make sauerkraut after all, but they too are still not looking too healthy. The Brussels sprouts are doing fine now, but they were also a sad bunch when I planted them out in early May. I covered them with a poly tunnel for about 2 months, until they were too big and now they've got buckets around them to protect them from the wind. But they are looking healthy enough, so fingers crossed, we'll be eating sprouts this winter.

Let's just hope the weather warms up eventually, so that my gooseberries and other fruit can ripen, the French beans can come out from under the poly tunnel and the pumpkins grow nice and big.

But that's all we can do: HOPE....