No dig diary, 10th July 2021

I’m hoping to lift most of my onions tomorrow, but I’m not sure there will be time. Today I have been playing with the “chainsaw onna stick” trimming back some of the overhanging sycamore and now have huge piles of it to feed into the shredder so it can go on the compost heap. It’s quite fascinating in a way that branches that are way beyond reach in the winter can be pulled down to within a few feet of the ground when in full leaf during the summer. Who’d have thought leaves weighed that much? I still have plenty more to do, too. What I’ve done today is just the stuff that gets in the way of my father-in-law when he’s using the ride-on mower. I have a whole load that are growing over the compost bins and around the northern borders of the orchard to do at some point.

I did however pick my first cucumber today, to have with lunch. I know the in-laws want one in the next couple of days, but it looks as though there are at least a couple more that are close to ready to eat. We finished off a shop-bought cucumber at the same time. Even the children remarked on the fact that the shop-bought one was far more watery and bland than the one I had grown.

Actually there’s an odd thing going on with the cucumbers. Mine are doing well enough, but all but one of my father-in-law’s died. The one he has left is just sitting in a decent-size tub of compost, resolutely refusing to grow. It’s still green and healthy-looking, but it has totally failed to produce new leaves or grow any taller than about six inches. In the tubs where the plants died he just planted some of my spare tomato plants and they seem to be doing fine. It’s very strange though not entirely unlike some of my peppers, which haven’t died, but just don’t seem to want to put on any growth at all. I have no idea why.

There are other anomalies in the veg plot, too. The peas I sowed this year are supposed to grow to a maximum height of about 90cm, so my supports are set up just a little taller than that. The plants however are now about twice their expected height and collapsing over the top of the supports. It’s not the end of the world, but they’ve not behaved this way before. I can only assume it’s down to the bizarre weather, but it would be nice to understand why.

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