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Gardening

Zephyr F1 courgette. One of very many!

The harvest begins

The courgette season is upon us. Hooray! I sowed more courgette seeds than usual this year, to make up for growing fewer types of veg. Most of them came up. So now we have about fifteen plants in three different varieties, all producing prolifically. In previous years we might have …

I don't see any other way of getting the right-hand side of this photo looking more like the left.

Drowning in weeds

I think we are going to have to succumb and get a gardener, even though we can’t really afford it. Those things in pots are courgettes which really need to get into the weed-filled bed on the right in the next couple of weeks. And this is with a really …

Blight spots on potato leaves

My potatoes! They have the blight!

Over the last week the rich green leafy stand of potato plants has become corrupted by blight: first just a few spots, but within days leaves were rotting and stems falling over. I blame Maris Piper. The other, speciality, varieties (Salad Blue and Pink Fir Apple) didn’t seem as badly …

They’re just getting going, but again pollination is proving a problem. I don’t know yet whether we’ll get that many of them.

Vegetables, and where to get them

We typically spend about £25 a week on vegetables. We’re trying to work out if this lot could cost-effectively be replaced partially or wholly by a veg box scheme. The trouble is that we eat a lot of vegetables, and I suspect that the box scheme will work out more …

Plenty of beans this year

Crops in progress

As ever, there’s far more to do in the garden than there is time for. There are still concrete slabs and bags of sand and hardcore, awaiting lain to replace the gravel at the bottom of the steps. And I think the weeds are winning on penalties. But here’s some …

Strange mushroom: stem and gills

Mushroom identification

Can anyone help me identify this mushroom? It appeared under my lawnmower yesterday as I was mowing the edge of the lawn. It might have been growing in the lawn or under the heather beside the lawn – I don’t know which as it appeared already uprooted. It has a very …

The drawbacks of following instructions

Although I’ve been successfully growing vegetables from seed for a good few years now, I’ve never had much luck with flowers. In fact, I’ve pretty much given up trying altogether. Vegetables are bred for fast growth and vigour, while flowers, being bred for appearance, might well be fussier. With this …

The cunning plan

Our peas will not come to much this year. Last year we had the best crop ever, but towards the end of the summer the pigeons discovered that they could sit on top of the obelisks we’re using for pea frames and gobble down the lovely tasty young pea shoots. …