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Not Another Bank Holiday Post

Well !! how many excuses can I make for another fortnight of not posting anything on my blog. About as many as the amount of times I've heard the phrase "typical bank holiday weather again". Well if you believe that phrase then global warming etc doesn't exist. Actually since my last post I've enjoyed most of the past two weeks working down the plot doing a multitude of things, the main one this time of the year being harvesting of course. Prepping the various vegetables for freezing has taken up many hours and my freezer is almost full at the moment.
French Beans for the Freexer
French Beans Prepped For The Freezer
  With several family members visiting and staying over, 2 different repairs carried out to my car, a couple of days spent organizing and attending a car boot sale, and of course avoiding the wind, frequent rain showers and thunderous downpours, I have still managed not to lose the plot.

Car Rear Screen Needs Repairing
Car Repairs Needed
 Incidentally, just to emphasize the state of the British Summer weather conditions here in Somerset, a recent t.v. news item (10 minutes ago) indicated that the Somerset Levels are currently having rain water pumped off them again. Many farmers in the area have been unable to produce any silage this year and indeed have been given free silage from other sources to help their stocks through the coming Winter.

When I first started this blog, one of its purposes was to help me keep a record of sowing, planting, successes and failures down my plot, well I've not yet achieved that goal in any logical sequence yet, especially this year. As my memory is worse than ever these days, the following report on what I've been up to down the plot is not in any particular order. Over the past few weeks harvesting has been fairly hectic, especially lifting Potatoes from the still wet clay. I achieved a total of 3 x 25 Kg bags of Potatoes from my early crop, which I would class as an average yield. About 1 and a half rows of plants were affected by flooding of my 2nd plot in April. So far my main crop have been good, with 7 rows still to be lifted. My Runner beans (Enorma & Scarlet Emperor) finally started to produce a good crop by the last week of July. Since then I have been picking between 8 & 12 lbs every couple of days since. Cobra, my climbing French beans are also cropping well now, with a third picking due tomorrow, weather permitting. I have made 2 picks of my 2nd crop of Peas in the past week amounting to 10 lbs after shelling. My Parsnips have all been lifted, prepared for the freezer, eaten and some given to family members. I lifted my last 2 rows of Onions a few days ago, which are currently drying out on the ground, down the plot, in the rain? My first 2 sowings of Onions are languishing in my greenhouse and have dried out well. I expected these Onions not to store well, but so far so good. Lettuce and Spring onions are still growing well and the 2nd & 3rd sowing of Carrots are superb with no signs of Carrot fly. Despite the relatively wet spells of weather my Pumpkins and Cucumbers are now doing very well. The sowing of Pumpkins into barrels will be given a miss in future as they are tending to dry out the soil/compost mix in the barrels too quickly, despite frequent rain showers. Brussels sprouts have done well this year. At present they are being subjected to attack from 4 different types of Caterpillars, so my first job on each visit to the plot is to check each plant and remove any. My Swedes have benefited from the cooler moist conditions this year but are not yet ready for harvesting. On the downside 2 of my Tomato plants, which were looking excellent a week ago have developed blight and will be disposed of tomorrow. I have 6 more which still look healthy with a back up of more in my greenhouse. I currently have oodles of grapes growing, some of which have actually started to ripen recently. More prolonged sunshine will be required to complete the ripening process before too long.
Last week I decided to clear all of the "Brambles" I had growing at the bottom of my main plot, on the drainage bank. They were cut back along with a host of Nettles and Docks leaving the roots to be removed, sometime this week. Over the past couple of weeks, due to sunshine/rain showers, grass and weeds have been thriving. All the areas of my plots which are devoid of crops have been thoroughly hoed and weeded. One of this weeks projects will be to sow green manure after my Potato crop to check any further weed growth. Last Friday I decided it was time to remove all of my 3 year old Strawberry plants, from the bed on my main plot, and replace them with new "runners". This bed is probably the dampest area on either plot, so as each plant was removed, the soil was weeded and well turned, breaking the clumps of soil as I progressed across the bed. By mid afternoon on Friday drizzly rain set in (good weather, seeing as our area was subject to a yellow weather warning on Friday), so I packed up for the day. I continued work on the Strawberry bed on Saturday in between a few rain showers, until a torrential, thunderous downpour stopped play. Yesterday the weather was dry but overcast as usual, although the rain held off, enabling me to complete 2 thirds of the work on the Strawberry bed, with over 30 new plants in place. Hopefully the rest of the bed will be fully planted up by tomorrow night.
3 Year Old Strawberry Plants Removed
First 2 Strawberry Plants Removed
Rain Clouds
More Rain Clouds Over the Plots

Going Home Rain Stopped Play
Going Home Rain Stopped Play
 Had a lie in this morning and it rained for most of the rest of the day.

There's always tomorrow!!



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