Life on the Weald - June 2023
and in the kitchen and garden
|3 June - our fox
|3 June - the fox - summer moult or mange
Sylvi put down a dish of water which seemed to be appreciated. I read up on mange which can be fatal. It causes foxes to be less timid and eating can be difficult and painful. I consulted the RSPCA and other plotholders, one of whom, Sue, told me that adding garlic to food can help prevent mange, and get rid of the mites that cause it, as they don't like garlicky blood! We thought we might give that a try.
At home, the Paeonies were flowering. So too was the lemon scented geranium that our friend Jana had given to us on our trip to Ramsgate last month.
|4 June - Paeonies
|5 June - Garlic
The recently transplanted Borlotti beans had survived - I had put some lambswool around them to deter gastropods! It seems to have worked.
|10 June 1pm Beachy Head
|10 June - 1.30pm approaching Belle Tout lighthouse
We did manage a trip to the allotment later when we picked about 3kg of broad beans. I also managed to find a couple of larger pots to house surplus Marmande and Tres Cantos tomatoes.
My daughter, Zoe and a friend came down for a couple of days and she helped to pick some chard and about 4kg Broad beans. I lifted a couple of the dying plants of the First early Duke of York potatoes, just to see how they were doing. They were a lot smaller, and less plentiful than last year and yielded about 1kg.
One of our neighbours on the site, Sophie, gave me a butternut squash and courgette which she had to spare, and I planted these out to replace ones that I had lost.
We did some late watering and Sylvi fed the fox.
|14 June Feeding time
It was still light at 9pm and still 20C! During the day it had been 26C. We had some of the Duke of York potatoes, roasted in their skins then finished with a coating of grated Parmesan - they were scrumptious!
15 -16 June
Thursday 15 was much cooler and cloudy but Friday was another hot day with temperatures in the high twenties. We planted out some Patty pan squashes (Sunblest), courgettes and Blue Ballet squash. I was pleased to see that some of the directly sown purple dwarf French beans were beginning to come up. Sadly this was not true of the Cobra climbing French beans, so I sowed some more.
The Crown Prince squash seem to be doing well....
|16 June Crown Prince squash
....and the red onions will be ready for lifting soon.
|16 June - red onions
We picked the last of the late autumn sown broad beans which had suffered from the blackfly invasion.
|16 June - Broad beans
We picked most of the remaining broad beans and dug up some of the chard which was beginning to go to seed. I laid cardboard around the frame which I had constructed for the tromboncinos and covered this with worm compost and planted out 3 tromboncino plants that I had bought from a garden centre (my own home-sown ones having died). In the pond, the water lilies were beginning to flower but the water level was very low.
|18 June - water lilies
Just as I was finishing, the sky clouded over, followed by heavy rain which, hopefully, will replenish the pond.
I planted out some Cavolo Nero but one of the purple Brussels sprouts planted earlier had been eaten and the purple sprouting broccoli had also been attacked. I also planted out the two remaining Hungarian Blue squashes, a butternut squash (Hawk) and a courgette.
|19 June - planting out squashes
|19 June - planting out squashes
There was more rain overnight.
The butternut squashes and courgette, planted out before the rain came down, have survived but the sole remaining Brussels sprout plant has been eaten! The tromboncinos seemed to be surviving and I planted out some more Patty pan - this time Custard white variety.
|21 June - tromboncino
|21 June - tromboncino
|21 June - Custard Patty pan
A neighbour, Roz, had given me a Kuri squash which I planted out and I replaced the two Brussels sprout plants that had been eaten and covered them with a bottle cloche. I directly sowed some more Cobra climbing French beans and some Borlotti.
At home the chillies were ripening
|22 June - Habanero
|22 June - Basket of Fire
The forecast was for another dry hot spell with temperatures around 25C and possibly 29C at the weekend so I did some early morning watering around 7am and I sowed some Blue Lake climbing French beans in the gaps between the growing ones. I also lifted a few Duke of York first early potatoes and some of the garlic.
|23 June - First early Duke of York
|23 June - Garlic
We cleared the remaining broad bean plants and planted out a couple of courgette plants and purple sprouting broccoli to replace the ones that had died or been eaten.
In the morning I sowed some purple French beans, where the broad beans had been and sprinkled some coffee grouts and crushed eggshells as a slug/snail deterrent.
|27 June - ready for sowing
|beans sown and dusting of coffee & eggshells
Last month when cleaning out the old shed we found a stash of plumstones each with a neat hole.
|A stash of plum stones
A closer examination showed that the hole had been neatly chiseled, probably by sharp incisors to extract the kernel.
|27 June - plum stones
My initial thought was rats, but then I wondered if they would create a stash and probably they would just crush the nuts open. Could it possibly be squirrels with such a neat crafted hole? A neighbour suggested field mice. It is still a mystery.
I strimmed around the apple tree and laid cardboard in anticipation of the arrival of some more wood chippings. In the evening we strengthened the frame and put netting over the red cabbages, which were beginning to heart up. We covered the blueberries with loose netting and picked some raspberries and a few peas - some mangetout, some sugar snap and some ordinary peas.
|27 June - a variety of peas
We managed to pick the redcurrants and some raspberries before the rain came down again. The redcurrants are fine, just not very many and the raspberries are very small.
|29 June - Redcurrants
|29 June - redcurrants and raspberries
It may be that the redcurrants are having a rest this year, having been prolific last year, or it may be that the bushes are now very old and perhaps need replacing. Maybe we'll just see how they do next year. I put the poor raspberry crop down to the May drought. After the prolonged drought, we have had some rain and the water supply is now working, so hopefully most of the plants will recover and we might see some progress in July.
Hove, June 2023