Week 25

Since acquiring the plot back in January, this has been the longest period of time that I have not been able to get to the plot. Apart from post eye operation recovery, I am also having to work full time for holiday cover (I normally work 3 days a week). This was also the week after the hottest temperatures had been recorded in the UK at 40.3C. so I had no idea what to expect.

Saturday 23 July – forecast, sunny and temp of 23C, so an early start at the plot to access the ‘damage’ from the heat wave with no watering. Much to my surprise and relief the heat had had very little affect on the crops. I was more worried about the Squash in containers, but even these looked extremely healthy! There had been a few hours of light rain the day before and this might have been enough.

However, the weeds had gone made in the 2.5 weeks since I was able to do any weeding, so this was todays priority. My nemesis remains the Horse Tail and this is a constant job, trying to keep under control. The Brassica bed and the roots bed were thoroughly weeded, the bean bed will be done tomorrow when I lift the old peas and clear half the bed.

Managed a good crop this morning with a cabbage and loads of dwarf beans, runner beans and borlotti beans, plus an accidently pulled parsnip and a couple of small carrots. It was nice to be back on the plot again but there is still a lot of catch up work to do. So tomorrow will be clear and weed the bean bed and get the grass cut.

Sunday 24 July – whilst the sun was shining, it was a very windy day which helped keep the temperature down. I finished off weeding the bean bed after I had cleared away all the pea canes and dead plants. I had taken two good sized harvests off the peas, though may try a different variety next year. Another job that needed doing was to water the squash as they are in containers

Instead of cutting all the grass I decided to focus on the top end by the shed. There are two areas there where I want to lay down weed fabric but needed to clear these areas first. The first is at the back of the shed where the polytunnel will go and the second in front of the shed which will be the socialising area. Both areas were cleared and are now ready for the weed fabric.

I did, however, have a lovely surprise when I got back home. I am trying to grow dahlias this year for the first time and acquired four tubers back in the spring. As the weather warmed up I planted them out but was plagued by birds and slugs destroying them. Eventually, I won over and two of the 4 have grown and are producing buds. Well, the first dahlia come into flower today and it’s a beauty.

So that was the end of my restricted return to the plot post eye operation and severe heat wave. We are still forecasts for over a week of mid-20’s temperature and no sign of any real rain for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I must try and find time one evening to get up to the plot for watering. Next week is also an auspicious occasion, as it marks 6 months since I first started working on the plot.

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