Monday, July 10, 2017

The July Garden

As I´m sure all of you who have grown potatoes knew, I´ve spent the last few weeks picking potato beetles off the plants every morning.  Oh, and now they have blight too.  So I´ve cut down the foliage on the most obvious cases and crossing my fingers for the rest.  I dug some up, starting with those closest to the tomatoes, so the beetles wouldn´t migrate, and managed to spear 90% with the garden fork.  Very few potatoes, but quite large.

The tomatoes now have actual tomatoes, and blight.  It´s so discouraging.  Today it´s raining, but tomorrow I go in search of copper sulfate, I guess.  Have read some people have success with aspirin in water, but more as a preventative.

The peas were burnt by the heatwave in June, so they came out and broad beans are in their place.  They took forever to grow, didn´t produce very much, and the peas were just OK, so I shall have to find another variety.

The cucumbers all appear to have identical leaves and flowers, so now I have to figure out how to attach them to their trellis.

Courgette/zucchinni have appeared.  Peppers are coming along. 

The squash are happily producing flowers and vines.  Now keeping an eye out for mildew.

Newbie observation - everything seems to need staking or structures.  Peppers, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers.  I spend a lot of time tying things to other things.

We´ve been eating the new potatoes, bush beans, lettuce, onions and carrots.  The blueberries are ripening 6 at a time, so I´m freezing them for future processing.

Good year for flowers, though the usual blackspot.  Molineux and Comtesse.  Great marigolds this year.

I have a jar of walnuts in brine.  Struck out on malt vinegar at the Corte Ingles in Coruña, so will have to order online.

Taa daa - the finished patio - a vast improvement.


  1. The new patio looks great. I would never plant tomato's near potatoes, if one gets blight so will the other. I'm guessing that you mean Colorado beetle when you refer to potato beetle, we found that stinging nettle tea sprayed on the plants worked wonders, it's not the beetles that do the damage it's the grubs of the Colorado that destroy the plants, the stinging nettle tea seems to stop the grubs from feeding so they die. Most of the big supermarkets there seem to stock Neem oil in their gardening departments, this helps to control all nasty bugs and it also helps to protect the roses from blackspot. It is also supposed to help with blight but we have not used it for this yet. We failed to find copper sulphate on it's own just a branded blight mixture although I'm sure it must be available, maybe from the chemist? Still, for the first year you are doing very well.

  2. Didn´t realize tomato blight and potato blight were the same thing. Duh. Also horrified to read that the Colorado beetles went for peppers and tomatoes too. I´ve been hand picking the grubs, first into soapy water, but then I thought maybe some bird or other would eat them so they´ve gotten tossed onto the black plastic next to the melons.

    Now I just want the damn foliage to die down and the whole thing to be over.

    BTW I´ve read that diluted milk (9 or 10 to 1) may help prevent BS. Haven´t tried it yet.

    1. You want to kill al the grubs Coco, otherwise they will be next years beetles. Peppers tomatoes and potatoes are the same family so the beetle will attack all three, plus all three sufferer from blight, there is a potato disease called black leg, I'm not sure if this affects other members of the family.

  3. I´m hoping I can move the entire veg patch to another part of the property for next year. The raised beds can then be changed over for soft fruit and perennials, etc.

    Found an ¨organic¨ copper fungicide and applied yesterday. Spent this morning pruning and re-tying the tomatoes, so fingers crossed. Need a sprayer for the rest of the garden. Only 2 adults and 2 grubs in the potatoes this morning, so fingers crossed.

    Oh, and the ¨melons¨ turn out to be cucumbers. How the hell is that even statistically possible? Will have to wait to see if the ¨cukes¨ turn out to be melons. What a summer!

  4. Hi Coco,

    The patio is looking great. I've never seen potato beetles or tomato blight, please keep them in your part of the world. :-)! You hot and dry summer can't be helping with those problems, but I have no idea really.

    Your roses are looking delightful! Good stuff.

    I too have to stake a lot of different plants, but the variety chosen can make a huge difference with that matter. Tomatoes in particular need some form of support otherwise they trail all over the ground here (I tried that to see what would happen one year. The results were not good).

    Sorry to hear about your melons turning into cucumbers. Ouch. Home grown melons are superb tasting. The Portuguese millipedes were very quick to attack the melons here last season and they did so the very day after the fruit ripened.

    So much to learn...

    All the same your garden is looking delightful. Peas are a autumn or spring crop here.



  5. Hi Chris,

    I tried overwintering some peas, but they got zapped in January. Replanted, and they took forever to grow, until I finally saw peas in June. Along came that hot spell and they were no more. I´m also surprised at the sheer number of plants you´d need to have enough to preserve. Hm.

    Now I have to look up how to know when the cukes are ready. And figure out how to tie the melons to the structure they´ve got. It´s always something, I guess.

  6. You hot and dry summer can't be helping with those problems, but I have no idea really.