Constantly watering the kitchen garden
Like many gardeners around the country we now seem to find ourselves constantly watering, or worrying about watering, our crops. Rather than despair about the disasters being caused by the scorching weather, we have decided to revel in the positive effects the hot sunshine is having.
This week we harvested blackcurrants that were sweet enough to eat straight from the bush, rather than being too sour to taste in their raw state. Our celery is growing rapidly, as are our squashes and beans. The courgettes are positively basking and setting so many fruits that a glut is on the horizon. Our apple trees are smothered in fruits even after we have thinned bucketfulls from the branches. We have just harvested our first aubergine and chillies and for the first time in many years we are drying our shallots and onions on the soil rather than racks in the greenhouse out of the rain!
We are also turning our thoughts to life at the end of the heatwave and sowing seeds for autumn crops to take us into winter. We will be sowing cabbages, broccoli, kale, beetroot, autumn carrots, chard, spinach and pak choi. These will be started off in module trays to begin with so that we can keep them easily watered and away from the sunshine. Once they are big enough they will be planted out in to the spaces created by harvesting summer crops.
In the past few days we have begun to harvest our climbing French beans. Picking crops in the warm sunshine is such a pleasure, as is enjoying them for dinner later. It’s very easy to become bogged down with the chores that the heatwave has brought; the constantly full watering can that I find is always in my hand! But taking a moment to relish the joys that the sunshine is bringing is a must for all busy gardeners.