I thought I was being clever when I improvised a cover for my container of carrots, which consisted of an upturned empty hanging basket covered with fine net curtain. However, whatever it was that had nobbled my carrots before must have found a way inside, because the leaves have been completely eaten. Not just nibbled a bit, eaten. I just have to face up to the fact that I don’t have orange fingers (:sigh:).
On the upside, the tomatoes keep on coming. If there are some tomatoes at the tail end of our crop that refuse to ripen, a neighbour of ours has offered to take them off our hands and make green tomato chutney.
Runner beans are nearly over – they’ve been a real disappointment. The beans themselves have been gorgeous, but there just haven’t been as many of them as last year.
|Two months ago I planted some carrots (Autumn King) in a deep bucket filled with spent compost. They came up OK, but some insect or slug (identity unknown) finds the leaves to be delicious, so I’ve had to resort to some extreme measures to protect them. Namely, an upturned hanging basket – minus the hanging chain thingies – covered with a fine net curtain. As it says in the title, the carrots are still hanging in there although I have no idea if I’ll actually end up with any actual carrots worthy of the name. |
On the plus side, I am in tomato heaven at the moment. Last night I made pasta sauce for the two of us, entirely out of home-grown tomatoes plus a squirt of tomato puree. Fingers crossed, we will be eating home-grown toms until the end of the month. Almost makes up for the courgettes (lousy) and the runner beans (less so, but still not exactly stellar).
Went to local boot fair this morning and picked up six metal hanging baskets for £2.50! These will be fab for the rest of my Tumbling Tom tomato plants.
Weather is hot and muggy at the moment – if you lift the lid of our compost bin and poke your head inside, it must be all of 40 deg. C in there. At least. I have been doing a bit of research on compost, and it’s surprising the kind of things that will compost down quite happily – old wool and cotton clothes, human and cat hair, urine, cardboard egg boxes/loo roll cores… Actually, the latter are essential to provide a bit of “brown waste” to balance out the “green waste”, which is all your vegetable peelings, grass clippings etc. Having both types of waste ensures that your compost rots down consistently and ends up with a lovely crumbly texture and beautiful smell, rather than being all slimy. It might seem strange to wax lyrical about home made compost as I am here, but it really is fantastic stuff. As long as you’ve got a patch of soil to put your compost bin on, and ideally another patch of soil next to it, then it really is a worthwhile investment. Why is it good to have a bit of space next to your compost bin? Because it’s a great place for burying the nearly-useable-but-not-quite-there compost that you find in your bin when you “turn” your compost every few weeks in the summer. Stick some old carpet on top, leave for a fortnight and let the worms finish the job.
Mistyhorizon over at Hub Pages recommends using spent compost – mixed with a bit of sand – to grow carrots. That’s something I will definitely be trying next year. I’ve had a singular lack of success with container carrots so far, but I don’t think there’s anything to lose by giving it one more go – particularly as I won’t be shelling out any cash!