Don’t talk to me about growing for a show. Really – don’t!
Everything seemed so in control, everything ticking over nicely when suddenly the best growing weather in living memory descended followed by a heatwave. All this meant that my carefully tended and timed crops went berserk and as I write, a whole six weeks before my village show, crops are maturing, my blooms are forming flowers and everything is generally running amok.
Let me give you some detail.
First the bad news: carrots have been failing and currently out of the twenty or so potential prizewinners, I have four sickly looking specimens looking rather raggedy. No disease, no pests but possibly the sandy mix? All help much appreciated. Ok, that’s only one class ( or two as both stump rooted and long types are as bad as each other) let’s turn for comfort towards the gladioli. 100 days from planting to blooming – don’t believe everything you are told! The first spikes are now forming on one row, and I only have three rows in total. So they will be up and over the top before September. So no carrots and no gladdies…but there is some good news.
Potatoes feel good. I say ‘feel’ because they are currently still in their bags but now in the garage allowing skins to set. I’ll turn them out (carefully) and sort in a fortnight or so. The begonias Crackling Fire are tremendous – crackling all over until I nip off the blooms. I want them to save their energies for nearer the show. And the parsnips – they look great up top but its what’s underneath that counts. Finally on the good news – onions have made their desired weights ( 250g and now coated in talc to dry them off in the shed) ) and the celery looks tall and proud and beginning to chunk up ( watered every day and looking resplendent in their corrugated cardboard collars)
The next few weeks will make a big difference – beetroot have some motoring to do and lettuce need to slow down a bit if they are to make it to the show. But whatever happens, I’ll keep you updated and something ( anything!) will be on the showbench come September.