Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The July Garden

I wish this was going to be more positive, but lately I´m a little frustrated.

The weather this year has been challenging, to say the least.  A looooooong wet spring, followed by an alternating cool wet/hot dry summer has played havoc with anything planted.

So far, lettuce, peas, onions, peppers, french beans, courgettes/zucchinni are all being eaten as well as parsley, cilantro and basil.  Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos, and broad beans are on the way.

Unfortunately, once again the tomatoes and potatoes came down with late blight and I filled two large trash bags of affected foliage yesterday for disposal.

The spring onions went directly to flowering, which means they won´t store.  Never had that happen before, but they´re tough and useless in salads.

Frankly, I´m reconsidering the potatoes and peas for next year.  The peas never seem to climb or produce well, this year they´ve got mildew, and they´re cheap, frozen in the store.  I always plant potatoes mostly just to get started in the spring, but again, Galicia is a big potato producer so I can get good, if basic white/yellow varieties, reasonably priced potatoes in the shops.  I had some small red fingerlings saved for planting, but they rotted before the weather improved. I don´t know what to do about the tomatoes.  Probably I overcroweded them since I was so thrilled that they actually germinated and grew.  I reluctantly used the last of the copper spray, late and obviously not effective, but that will get washed off soon in the odd summer weather we´re having.  I guess blight is just omnipresent in the environment round these parts.

August offers more family visits/dramas, lots more effing housecleaning (OMG the spiders!) and less work done.  And for various reasons, my plans for the flower business are being delayed by at least 6 months, so there will be no poly tunnel or irrigation system this year.  I´ll have to put my efforts into market research and play around with natural dyes and dry flowers I think.  I´ve got trays of biennials germinating (hopefully) so need to get started on a couple of beds for them.

And now, really all I want to do is sit in the shade on the patio and drink.  Which won´t accomplish anything, but there it is.

Hope all your summers are idyllic and filled with bbqs and beaches!


  1. I have mostly given up on potatoes due to blight although I have been meaning to try an old dustbin with brought compost planted in early Autumn to get new potatoes for Christmas. It might work. Peas are good in normal years for me but this year has been awful. I wonder if we will ever get a 'normal' summer again. Hopefully this is not the new normal or we shall starve. Your veggie patch looks great to me as mine is currently non existent. Nicky

  2. Your vegetable garden looks really productive....much better than our efforts this year. As for tomato blight....a couple of years ago our tomatoes got blight but we were so busy with house renovation work that we didn't have time to pull them out. But we ended up with getting a good crop from them because the plants seemed to somehow recover from the blight by themselves. It might have been because we did not stake them up but left them to tumble over the ground, which I think tomatoes do prefer doing, even though they do get into a bit of a tangle with each other!
    As for potato blight, I think we have had that, but that was because we planted too early. We have had Colorado Beatle (last year) but my husband went out daily to the potato patch and squashed them, and we ended up with a good crop.

    All in all, I think that it is better to try and fail rather than not trying at all! And I still think your veg patch looks good!

  3. Hi, Coco!

    If you hadn't told me all of your troubles, I would have thought that you had a really good harvest of everything, just by looking at the photos. The garden does look wonderful. We had tomato blight and removed all infected leaves and stems and sprayed with a baking soda solution. The plants did recover well, but I don't think that it was from our efforts, but because the weather turned really hot and dry and we had no rain for 5 weeks. Now it has been raining for several days and is cool, which may not bother the tomatoes anyway as the squirrels have stolen all but the cherry ones.

    When do you plant cilantro - the same time as what other vegetables? Here we are with a lot of tomatillos, but no cilantro.

    I'm sorry that you have had to put your flower business plans off for quite awhile.


  4. Hi Nicky! It is frustrating, isn´t it? The weeds are going great guns. I planted twice as many peas as last year, and they´re still only 2 feet tall and refuse to climb. And they get worms. I thought about offering you guys some of the extra tomato seedlings, but figured you wouldn´t want the bother. Now I may pot the biggest ones up and see if I can get some tomatoes after all.

    Vera, the internet tells me that once a plant gets blight there´s nothing to be done. And lots of the green tomatoes have brown patches, so they´re a no go. I´ll leave them alone to see, but I´m not hopeful. Am thinking a big poly tunnel is the only way I´ll get reliable toms.

    I had a potato beetle infestation last year, but haven´t seen any this year - yeah for no squishing! Another reason to forgo potatoes in the future.

    Hi Pam,

    Everything started that ¨August jungle¨ look back in June here it was so humid and hot. Which only contributed to the mildew and blight. The foliage is quite a bit sparser now.

    In addition to everything else, I think I´ve planted a ¨tomato¨ that isn´t, and the tomatillos I was so excited about don´t look like tomatillos either.

    I planted the cilantro end of May, I think, and it´s doing well (bolting) in one spot and barely limping along where it´s underplanted with the tomatoes. Probably should resow. One of my favorite summer treats is a tomato/onion/pepper/cilantro salad with olive oil and lime juice.

    The problem now is I´m inundated with flowers, which of course don´t keep. Other than composting, I have vague plans to bunch up some and take them around to florists to have a conversation about what to plant for next year, assuming it´s a viable business, so we´ll see.

    Thanks for all the lovely comments!!

  5. I really like your post good blog on site,Thanks for your sharing.