Tis the season of Holidays and Harvests. Though right now it feels like a proper summer time the last few weeks have presented a few challenges for the humble gardener.
The heavy rain has set back quite a few of my crops thanks to a lack of substantial sunlight and humid conditions. Most serious, and sadly a more frequently recurring problem, is the appearance of the dreaded blight.
This year the weather has had a particular effect on my beloved Tomatoes in the form of the dreaded Blight. Blight is a fungal disease which affects leaves of both tomatoes and potatoes and if left untreated will pass on to the tubers or fruit. The only way to keep the disease away is with good garden hygiene and husbandry, remove leaves that show signs (dark brown blotches surrounded by a paler yellow patch) and bin them don’t compost! If you have to remove the whole plant you will also need to either move the crop elsewhere for a few years or replace the soil they were in.
Elsewhere things are slow growth wise. Both the aforementioned sunlight problem and an abundance of slugs has resulted in poor cropping, particularly with beans and salads. Thankfully some crops can still be sown, especially with the sun still shining. If you have a good root around your local garden will still find some little gems to grow. American Land Cress is a firm favourite of mine, having grown up near the watercress beds of Hampshire and other plants can be sown for Autumn and Spring cropping. Rainbow Swiss Chard gives a great display and there is still time to plant late French Beans.
All in all there is still plenty to do and look forward to, the main thing is not to be discouraged by set backs!
Next Month I’ll be talking about planning the winter and trying something different.