Posted by: sweetpea | August 29, 2006

Tackling some mildew, and more harvesting

Yesterday I made the most of a showery bank holiday Monday down at the lottie.  I was in and out of the shed like a yo-yo trying to avoid getting too wet.  Rather than stand waiting for the showers to pass I decided to make use of the time and start to tidy the shed.  Over the summer months it always gets really untidy with plant pots etc everywhere.  I really need some better way of storing things, so I shall keep an eye out on Freecycle.

pumpkin harvest

During the dry spells I pottered about outside.  The squashes have started to get powdery mildew on their leaves so I set about removing the worst affected.  This should improve air circulation and hopefully slow down its spread.  There are a few ways of controlling it, milk or weak bicarb solution, or copper sulphate solution, the latter of which is supposed to be the most effective although I’m not sure if it’s organic.  I may try the weak milk or bicarb solution in the greenhouse, but I think I’ll leave the squashes alone as it’s nearing the end of their growing season anyway.

I lifted the King Edward potatoes only to find a much smaller yield than I’d hoped, and much smaller potatoes too.  There were quite a few that had a bad case of potato scab, probably due to the dry summer, and there was also quite a bit of slug and millipede damage.  Next year I hope to try growing Marfona, my favourite potato, but I’ve read that it is particularly susceptible to slugs so I’m thinking of buying some nemaslug to apply this Autumn to try and reduce their numbers before next year.

It was no surprise that there were more beans and courgettes to pick, they seem to be never ending!  Not that I’m complaining, it’s just that I seem to be spending most of my spare time at the moment either harvesting or preparing the harvest for storage!  I also picked the remaining pak choi and tatsoi as it was starting to bolt.  Final thing to harvest was 12 of the ‘Jack be little’ pumpkins that had turned a lovely shade of orange.  Every time I check on the squashes I’m dreading finding more rat damage.

In the greenhouse things are still alive although I wouldn’t say thriving.  I’ve had to remove a couple of aubergines as they’d started to rot, but there are still 3 remaining so hopefully they’ll make it to full size.  The chillies and sweet peppers are starting to change colour, and the larger of the ‘Petit Gris de Rennes’ melons is starting to developing netting on it’s skin.  I think I’ll remove the melon plants that lack fruit as it’s too late in the season now so no point keeping them alive.

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