Six on Saturday – Garden Diary

This week the sun pushed its way through the clouds and once again temperatures reached the high twenties. At least the heavy rain we enjoyed for a couple of days replenished the water-butts, gave the shrubs and hedge a much-needed drink, and brought some relief to the scorched landscape – fire risk downgraded from high to medium in some areas.

Sammy the snake also put in an appearance this week. I saw movement in the front flowerbed and then he slithered across the drive in front of me. I must now remember to stamp my feet as I walk around the garden.

Another critter to put in an appearance this week was the mongoose, who likes to tapdance on our roof in the middle of the night.

Sadly, the robin who returns to our garden each year flew into our dining room window …. he is no more.

1. A Question re. Rejuvinating the soil

As the summer season draws to a close, I have a question re regenerating tired soil. What do my fellow gardeners add to their soil to give it a pick-me-up to support the next batch of crops? Other years I have added manure but this seemed to have little effect. I am not sure if we should remove some soil and start again, add some rotted compost, add fish and bonemeal (if we can buy it here) or what to do. Any advice appreciated.

2. Herbs

While shopping in Lidyls we noticed they had trays of herbs for sale. At €1.49 each, I could not resist the temptations, so I bought basil and thyme. I will repot these and add to my potted herb collection on the terrace.

Basil and thyme
Basil and thyme

 

3. Cucumbers come in shapes and sizes

My Portuguese cucumbers come in all shapes and sizes. They would not win any prizes but they taste good. The plants are now coming to the end of life

Deformed cucumbers
Deformed cucumbers

4. The Battle of the Brussel Sprouts – OH v. Cabbage White Butterflies

The OH continues to wage war on the cabbage white butterflies and with the help of Mr. Blackbird, they remove the writhing mass of caterpillars. OH still sprays the leaves with diluted washing-up liquid but it does not seem to deter the butterflies. Any other suggestions, please?

Brussel Sprouts in South West Algarve
Brussel Sprouts do grow well in portugal

4. Lettuce

Failure to visit our local gypsy markets and plant stalls to buy new seedling plugs has resulted in rationing. We are now reduced to one pot of mixed lettuce which are tired and past their best. fingers crosssed we can find a market this week so we can replenish our pots for autumn and winter supplies.

Mixed Lettuce
Mixed Lettuce

5. Melons

After an initial growth spurt, the Galia melon plants have now withered and died. Time to harvest our final three melons before they rot on the plant. However, what I did discover, that in my garden at least, they grew better in pots than in the raised vegetable area. but I wonder if the issue lies with the soil.

Melons growing in pots
Melons growing in pots
Sickly melon plant
Sickly melon plant

6. Yellow Peppers

It’s heartening to see we still have many babies on our yellow pepper plant. Fingers crossed they ripen before the clocks change at the end of October.

Yellow peppers grow well in pots
Yellow peppers grow well in pots

That’s a wrap for this week. For more garden updates check out other SOS bloggers

If anyone has any ideas re soil improvement and/or how to deter cabbage white butterflies.

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22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Garden Diary

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  1. I would have thought using butterfly netting would be your best bet for keeping the butterflies off your brassicas. Of course nasturtiums are good companion plants but I know you struggled to grow those. Hopefully someone with an allotment can advise you about the soil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a great grower so I have no advice. But I enjoyed seeing your gardens! Sorry about the robin. It’s nice you named the snake (or did he share his name with you? πŸ™‚ ) I currently have a spider about the size of my head out front decorating the bushes for Halloween. I named him Marvin.

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  3. I don’t grow edibles but from what I’ve read online and seen on GW, netting seems to be the way to go against the cabbage whites. I mulched using well rotted manure last year and threw chicken manure pellets around every so often this year. Some plants did seem a bit lusher than usual. R.I.P. robin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there! Adding a few inches of inches of compost twice yearly improves our soil in raised beds and borders. We make most of it here since we have so much garden “waste”, but I would hope you have a local source. For all caterpillars in the veg area, I spray with organic, bacterial Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) every 1 to 2 weeks. This definitely helps control cabbage family pests. I read on another garden blog that someone (can’t remember who) actually injects the stems of plants with Bt.

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  5. I don’t grow many veggies in the ground but I have been working on improving the soil in the front garden and I’m taking the Charles Dowding no dig approach adding organic material on the top. My work/school playground has many large trees covering it which means each year I get a good supply of leaves to make leaf mulch. My first batch was ready this year and has been spread on the school garden. It only offers a bit of fertility but it’s free. Well-rotted manure is often free in my area too. This year I’ve added Dalefoot peat-free soil breaker compost as a top layer. Seems to be helping. Then planning to add bark as a mulch. This will give a little nutrition to the soil as it rots down and keeps moisture in while suppressing weeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only problem with the manure it came complete with grubs… ew… I was told I need to remove these as they eat the roots of the plants. Do you have these in the UK? I’ve hard of the no dig method but am dubious. It will be interesting to follow your progress πŸ™‚

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  6. You have some very good advice above, especially from March Picker about adding compost multiple times a year. Writing from the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia . . . naturally our climates differ but I thought our winter temps were largely the same with about 1-2 days of frost. So please take care of basil – it really is an annual which does not like cold temperatures . . . mine does not overwinter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As you will read in my blog this week, I am also attacked by caterpillars and I use Bacillus Thuringiensis which gives good results.( March said it too) Organic and ecological, the caterpillars die in 24 -48 hours and the eggs don’t survive. To add a few times a year.
    To regenerate your soil, add manure, and if possible a compost of decomposed leaves. Effective.

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  8. Hi, I’ve been receiving your posts for a few years now but never responded until today! Anyway, here’s a solution (pardon the pun) to increasing your soil fertility – use diluted urine! Fresh pee, diluted with 10-15 parts water, makes an excellent fertiliser & the best news is that it’s both free, & a totally natural product. Think I’m taking the proverbial? Just do a web search!

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  9. We do the same, by just giving the soil a bit of composted manure and such. How do you know it does not make a difference? Have you tried not doing it, or ding it to only a part of the garden? Of course, things grow slower in the autumn and winter.

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