Well, that was a little testing, was it not? Days and days of blistering heat and hardly a cloud in the sky, quite extraordinary, nature does know how to play with the mind. Of course it’s been wonderful if you had nothing to do and didn’t have a garden to watch over. The transition from winter to summer was actually rather special, with barely room for spring. The winter dragged and was wet and when the turn came all energy was devoted to leaf growth and as the heat increased this dense canopy of foliage generously passed all moisture back to the sky and widespread desiccation began. It will be very interesting to see how the harvest comes out. Some things have fared better than others, particularly early plantings were roots established well and were properly watered from day one. The business of watering in a radius away from the plant does extend root growth, lazy plants used to water just delivered at their bases have not done well.
Anyway a corner has been turned and at least for a day or two there is some moisture. There have been casualties, but what did we expect?
Now is the time to play, to pop in random seeds on the off chance. Things will grow and if we get a kind autumn we will see results. French Beans come quickly from seed as will the marrow family, most salad stuff will produce within weeks and the time is still good for spinach and spring cabbage. Be bold, be defiant and don’t be too distracted by the diseases and insect infestations brought on by the humidity. There are moulds and mildews on all sorts as well a multitude of chomping beasts. Whilst you can go on the attack with sprays, try spatial disruption……..a term that I made up. Basically pests and disease do well in cramped conditions, they breed and spread in overcrowded spaces. So thin out leaves, remove the most infected or damaged and create air movement through the crop. In a greenhouse water only at the end of the day and create maximum ventilation to lower humidity. Even consider removing some lower panels of glass. This will not necessarily totally cure but will ease the problem.
And finally if you fancy trying new potatoes for Christmas then get planting soon and be warned we are back around to winter pansies and bulbs again.