So busy … had no time to blog for days!
A while back I got myself a damson tree and have been watching her closely. She’s had tree paste each autumn – I’ll blog about that soon as we’ll be doing it again next month – lots of 500 on the soil and regular 501 to help her flower and fruit well. This year she came up with the goods! In previous years I’ve just had a few plums from her but this spring she looked like a wedding veil with all her blossom so I’ve been anxiously watching to see if the fruits would follow … and to get them before the critters did! I always lose my hazels to the squirrels – I can cope with that although I must try and get some for me sooner or later – but I wanted most of the damsons. We did leave a few on the tree for the birds but there are plenty of other berries that I’ll not be eating so I felt fine about getting me plums.
There’s a pot of damson conserve brewing now and I’ll be making damson gin tonight.
The 501 really does make a difference to fruiting. For the past 3 years we’ve had very wet, cool, weather in July. This sets the blight off in the spuds and tomatoes which is a real pain. However, this year, although we got some greenback on the toms they’re very prolific and taste sweet and gorgeous. I just grew small bush tomatoes not the bigger and posher ones – am going to do that next year – but we’re eating these like there’s not tomorrow. If we still have a load I’ll make puree and freeze it. We 501’d the toms regularly on both flower and fruit days, just as the flower buds were coming then as the fruits first appeared, then again as they first came to ripeness. The results are well worth it. Several friends hereabouts are suffering badly with blight and we’re not so I think the essence of silica that 501 gives – like a homeopathic dose – has made the difference.
We did the spuds too and as I said in a blog a while back they first lot came out well, except I don’t like the variety (Orla) as much as I’d hoped to. The lates are doing OK too. One of them is Sarpo, the supposedly very blight-resistant spud, but friends say it tastes like cardboard! If I find this so too then I certainly won’t be growing them again.
On the subject of spuds, am thinking what to grow next year. And how. Friend Jo and I are going to get spuds together so we don’t waste. We both like Pink Fir Apple and Charlotte so those are definites. I’ve also found “Forest Gold” and a source of “International Kidney” produced without chemicals from http://www.victorianursery.co.uk/ so we’ll likely have a go with one of those too.
As for growing … my back killed me this year! And Paul’s him too! I’m sure I’ll be better with my new knees after Yule but still why be difficult if you don’t have to? People are saying lots of good things about these growing bags for spuds so I’m going to try them next year. Should be a lot easier both for earthing up and for getting the spuds out later. I know a lot of BD folk don’t feel good about not having plants in direct contact with “the ground” but we’ll be using our own earth and I’m getting a good feel about it. Whatever, we’ll see.
I’m also getting a greenhouse !!! So I can grow some lovely old varieties of tomato like Brandy Wine, and get my peppers and aubergines going properly, and the cues.
Oh, and I think I’ll use one of those bags to grow the courgette in. I say “the courgette”. I madly went and grew 2 this years … of course we are overwhelmed with the darn things! Jo has a good recipe for marrow and ginger jam that works well with big courgette. I just staggered across the lawn with half a yard of courgette … where’s that recipe ??? Next year I intend to grow the round golden ones, but I might have some of the green ones too. Oh dear! There goes my good intentions of only growing one plant! Well, next year they can crawl all over the front yard … dhhhhhhhh !!!