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Some tomatoes have formed and are basking in the sun, and the marigolds have burst open. As the Sweetpeas give off their heady scent across the plot, they provide a sweet background for an evening of light work down on the plot.
As well as other plot holders coming over to help out our Plotters, we have also had some other visitors just recently to Dianas cabbages! These guests are less welcome, some Large White butterfly caterpillers. Diana is lucky enough to have a small army of troops on her plot protecting her crop – Apanteles glomeratus. This is a type of fly that is a parasite of certain caterpillers that have set up home on her cabbage plants. This is a great example of natural control. Other visitors that have passed by include Commas and Holly Blue butterflies, all to be included in Simons’ butterfly survey.
Musseratts chickpea crop is starting to form. She tells me that they will be ready soon. I can’t wait until the pods burst open.
|Ken helping Mr and Mrs Gupta|
Janat has not only been busy preparing another plot for Musserrat so she can grow more stuff, he has also cleared the brambles from under the trees and lifted the canopy providing a peaceful area to sit and have a picnic.
Simon has been battling with the heat digging a trench for his leeks this week. He would usually grow them on the flat by dibbing holes and dropping the plantlets in, but this time he thought he’d try out the old fashioned way. As he was digging out his final “spit”, he turned to me and declared that he wouldn’t be doing it like this again. As he mopped the sweat from his brow, he noted that it was an awful lot of hard work and he suspects that he will more than likely achieve the same results as dibbed in leeks!
We are about to sow some crops for the autumn/winter, and have a think about what we would like to sow next spring. I think we should definitely go with a Lobjoits lettuce next season, as I hear this is a Slough variety, and stands well in dry weather. Just what we need if the weather is going to continue like this. Some of our plotters will be putting their plot down to “green manure”, while others are keen to plough on with further sowings of hardier crops which we will be doing during the coming weeks.
Allison Wragg is the Community Food Gardener for the SEEDS Trust (funded through SHAPE by The Big Lottery Fund)