No dig diary, 31st July 2021

This morning I cut lots of broccoli heads, some of which we’ve given to my parents and siblings who we saw in the afternoon. The rest may well be turned into soup or pesto. It looks like they’re not the only thing we have a glut of either: I reckon we could have cucumbers for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the moment and still have some left over. It’s a tricky one, that. Two plants might well be sufficient for our needs, but if you only start with two and one dies that’s not good, but if I have three or four established plants then I hate to pull some of them out 😀

The large and small white butterflies are out in force at the moment (I counted nine all on the same verbena plant at one point) and I really need to take the netting off some of the more mature brassicas that have been in the ground for a while such as the sprouts and earlier plantings of cabbage. I know Charles Dowding sprays his brassicas with a bacterium that attacks caterpillars (bacillus thuringiensis), but despite being freely available on that long river place (amongst others), it appears that it’s not actually certified for non-commercial use in the UK (and therefore not legal to sell as a “domestic” pesticide, I believe) so I’m in two minds about the idea of using it. The butterflies have shown no interest at all in my nasturtiums this year. I’m wondering if that’s because the leaves are variegated rather than plain green. I’ll have to try a different variety next year.

I also made a first sowing of mustards and other leaves for winter salads (from memory, mustards Golden Streaks, Red Frills and Pizzo, salad (not wild) rocket, leaf radish and corn salad). It’s possible these will be ready too early for the winter, but I intend to make a couple more sowings every fortnight to see how they go. I sieved some of my green waste compost through a fine sieve (about 6mm?) to use as a planting medium. If that works I’ll be very happy as it avoids both peat and coir. It certainly looks good enough, so I’m feeling hopeful.

When I started on my “no dig” adventure last year, I wrote myself a sowing plan for each month (each week of each month, in fact). It’s quite shocking that we’re now back to where I started with August. I can’t believe the last twelve months have gone by so fast. I’m really not sure quite how that happened.

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