A touch of the blues…

are what most gardeners have been suffering over the past few weeks. The unseasonal, and unsettled, weather has meant that vegetable seed germination has often been poor, or even non-existent, and growth slow at best.

The ground has been soggy, or waterlogged, making it ideal for slugs and snails which I normally don’t have a problem with.  Plot neighbour Trevor kindly gave a courgette Nero di Milano which I planted out only to find that it had been reduced to this by the next day!

The tomatoes that I planted out a few weeks ago have hardly grown, and along with the rest that I planted out during the week aren’t looking too good.  In contrast the two indoor potted ones are doing well, and are over a foot high.

On a happier note the blackberries, raspberries and strawberries look like providing a bumper crop. The grape has bunches of fruit forming, although at this stage they’re little more than pin-head size.

Most of the flowers have fared much better as you’ve seen in the last few posts.  I was surprised to see that all the flowers on the oriental poppy had withstood the heavy rain and strong winds.

I was delighted to see some house sparrows flitting noisily around the site during the week, and one even made a fleeting visit to the plot when it momentarily perched on the runner bean canes.

On Wednesday morning I caught a glimpse of a fox on a nearby path then lost sight of it so waited to see if it would reappear.  I’d almost given up when much to my surprise it came through my broad bean plants then stopped when it realised that I was there, turned and headed away from me.

Apart from early tomorrow morning the forecast for the next few days is for calmer, sunnier and warmer weather which will hopefully help to cheer us all up.

Happy gardening!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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28 Responses to A touch of the blues…

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Well yes, you win some, lose some… The extra moisture has suited some things quite well actually. If only the damned wind would go down!

    • Flighty says:

      Mark you’re right of course but all the same… I agree as the flowers and soft fruit all look good. My plot is exposed so I don’t like the wind either.

  2. elaine says:

    I was looking at my blog posts for this time last year – I was moaning about the rain then – but the pictures I took showed that everything was much further ahead than this year. Hello Mr. Fox – nice to see you!

    • Flighty says:

      Elaine it’s interesting to look back like that. Most things are going to be late, if at all. Don’t tell anyone but that’s just what I say when I see him! xx

  3. Jo says:

    Your patience paid off with the fox, you got a good photo of him. The slugs are loving this rain, my mange tout and French beans have suffered a similar fate to that of your courgette plant.

    • Flighty says:

      Jo I’ve learnt the hard way that’s what you often need to get good photos. Aren’t they just and I’ve never seen so many, or such big, snails! xx

  4. Ellie says:

    I do empathize. Like Mark above, I would be willing to tolerate the rain if we didn’t have so much wind: the salt spray has burnt all the new foliage. I also discovered that although the strawberries looked like they were ripe from above, they had rotted where they were touching the ground – cue a mulch of straw. I really hope it brightens up – I can hardly blog for fear of endless moaning! x

  5. nikkipolani says:

    I just had a dream about foxes in close proximity and (in my dream) couldn’t figure out why you thought they were so elusive! Sorry about the vegs — hoping for a full recovery.

  6. no more gales please and all will be well…
    may our plantings recover from slugs and pigeons
    and what a beautiful fox!

    • Flighty says:

      Sylvan hello, and welcome. I agree with all you say. There is a resident fox family on the allotment site which generally are in good condition. xx

  7. The same has happened to one of my York Rise veg grower chums on her allotment – and she’s feeling jolly disheartened at the demise of her seedlings. So far I seem to be okay as I grew all mine in modules first. I’ve lost one dwarf pea and a fence fell on my spaghetti squash seedling, knocked over by the wind! I think it helps that things are still happening in my veg patch: I’ve had my caulis to harvest and now the broad beans are podding up nicely. If I was waiting for seeds to germinate or grow, I’d be feeling a bit Eeyore-ish by now. What a fabulous, cheerful sight your poppies are – amazing that they’ve lasted, you know what happened to mine! xx

    • Flighty says:

      Caro I think that it’s been especially problematical for anyone, like me, who sows directly in the ground. Mind you it has been a difficult year all round.
      Thanks, I’ve a few ordinary poppies growing as well which I hope will flower and last. It was a pity that yours succumbed as they did. xx

  8. annie_h says:

    I sympathise with you. I’ve just written a similar post, I think everyone is in the same boat this year, its been a tough one for us veg growers. The weather doesn’t really show any signs of settling down either. But some things are growing well. I’ve been up to my plot on a slug hunt tonight and it was lovely being there at dusk, just as I was leaving I was joined by a fox. First time I’ve seen one at the plot.

    • Flighty says:

      Annie thanks. As you say we’ve all suffered this year. Perhaps we’ll have a good late summer and a glorious autumn.
      Dawn and dusk are good times to do that, and for seeing wildlife such as foxes. xx

  9. Doris says:

    Glad that the weather seems to be improving and loved the picture of the fox. It looks nice and healthy.

  10. Yes, we all seem to be in the “same boat”….that’s a good expression,well – related to our weather too…!! One good side of all the rain is that we don’t have to water, but the strong winds have done some damage alright.I have been away all weekend at a daughter’s and was so amazed at the amount of growth in 3 days absence
    He is a good looking Mr. Fox, must be well fed.
    Here’s to a more pleasant July…!

    • Flighty says:

      Cath a good expression indeed! The trouble is most of the growth is grass and weeds.
      All these foxes are well fed by Lorna, a plot neighbour.
      Fingers crossed, and here’s hoping. xx

  11. Maggie says:

    The weather is looking up, hope you start seeing some improvements soon Flighty. x

  12. menhir says:

    It’s strange, bro-in-law appears to have a range of useful veggies coming up by contrast to your experiences. His cabbages and onions are looking alright. S-i-l’s salad leaves, brought on in the greenhouse are doing nicely, too. I got a taste of their radishes, those that were not spongy. Fresh but no bite would be my analysis. Hubby planted part grown salad leaves in a fish box, useful size and depth, and gives a little protection to the tender leaves. My only reservation is drainage, I’m not aware of any. In previous years I’ve planted the leaves, successfully, in gro-bags. It’ll be interesting to see how the new arrangement works.


    • Flighty says:

      Menhir I’m hoping that my onions and potatoes will be okay.
      I may well sow more seeds in the hope that the next few months are better.
      Fingers crossed that your salad leaves do well. xx

  13. wellywoman says:

    It has been difficult so far this year and sometimes so demoralising. Quite a few of my later flowering plants that need some dry and warm weather are looking particularly sickly at the moment and just not growing at all. It’s now too late to really do anything to replace them which is the most frustrating thing.

    • Flighty says:

      Welly it sure has, and people are already talking about next year. Sadly the lack of dry, warm weather has had such a noticeable, and adverse, effect on so many plants.
      I so agree with what you say in the last sentence. xx

  14. Liz says:

    Those poppies are remarkable for having withstood what appears to have been a miserable June for you.

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