Thursday, 19 July 2007

March of the caterpillar

During a routine clean up of the plants i found this highly coloured fellow, beautiful as he is it's not worth the risk of letting him stay to eat something valuable. Time to get an insect ID methinks.

We've been lucky the last few days, lots of sun and rain, perfect for the plants. My earlier depression over wet weather and blight on tomatoes et al seems to have lifted. Thanks to the dry weather and seaweed spraying the blight is slowly retreating, leaving me with healthy plants once again.

My boxes are getting bigger now the latest delivery on Wednesday the 18th included:
3 beetroots
2 round courgettes
1 sweet pepper
1 cucumber
some broad beans
1 lettuce
1 small bag of salads
1 very small bag of basil!
1 lb of spuds
beans and mange tout peas
1 radish
1 polen tomato

I'm finally approaching or just over the £10 mark and aim to be over £15 from august to october, onions, aubergines and peppers will be coming in like wild then. I'm still having trouble with slugs and have resorted to the sharp knife method....

Things like sweetcorn pictured here are doing great, this is "ashworth" and it seems to be doing well with the "3 sisters method" created by the native americans where they grow corn, beans and squash together, although my beans have all been eaten so it's more like the "2 sisters" (doesen't sound so good!...:-)

I've purchased a great little tool called a refractomoter which measures the sugars in sap/juice, this lets me know roughly how much minerals are in the plant and thus how nutritious it is. In my view this should be compulsory for all farmers especially organic ones. This way you can see partway through the season how your crop is doing and can take steps to correct deficiencies, too many "organic" crops are actually lower in nutrients than some of their conventional neighbours due to the soil they are grown in, more on this later.

So things are going well, growth is at full throttle, including the weeds so i'm off to remove some of them!

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