Hello Mr Blue Sky

Hoorah the weather is glorious again, the strawberries are ripe, I’m almost tempted to buy a bottle of Pimms and a straw hat, and sit by the river on a tartan blanket. I’m pretty sure I can’t bear any more of the dismal football, so maybe I’ll start watching Wimbledon instead. Come on Murray! No, not you John, you can sit in a darkened room and watch football and drink beer.

Anyway, back to the allotment, this is the biggest harvest of strawberries so far for me, I’m pretty pleased. They’re a variety called Alice, and I highly recommend them for taste, and for strong growth and high yields. I did find a couple that had gone brown and rotten, but I’m sure that’s quite normal.

Last year, I lost the few that I did get to the birds, but they’ve faired much better this year. It looks like a slug or snail has nibbled at one or two, but it (or they) has now discovered the lettuce bed next door, which seems more favourable. As for the birds, perhaps my cheap plastic windmill that I stuck in the strawberry bed is actually working. I decided against netting them after finding a fledgling blackbird tangled up in the netting last year. It was quite traumatic trying to cut him free, and I don’t think he survived.

This dry and sunny weather is also perfect for drying out the onions. The bed they occupied has been booked by the brassica family, so they had to be evicted, and with dry weather forecast for the next few days I decided to go for it. They’ve been spread out in my back garden and when the stems are dry I’m hoping I can attempt to plait some of them together. This isn’t the full harvest, I have a load that had started to flower (see previous post) which need eating first. And then there are the red onions! Not so many of those though. And I have 3 rows of garlic which has gone rusty and needs pulling out.

Phew! The only trouble with this hot weather is that it makes the grafting twice as hard.

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