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Summer (?) on the plot


By balcony


Summer (?) on the plot

We may be “officially” in the middle of a Great British Summer but you would never believe it! A couple of months ago one of the tabloid newspapers had great big headlines on its front page proclaiming we were going to have the hottest summer since records began! At least words along those lines! Temps were expected to be in mid to high 30s C!

I’ll start this month’s summary of the plot Gerry & I share with a look at how the Three Sisters planting has come along:

Three Sisters

Beginning of July:

As the month got under way here is a shot of what this tripartite planting looked like:

A week later we had some very strong winds for a few days & these blew over the Sweet Corn so I put more canes in & ran some string between them & loosely tied in the Sweet Corn before they ended parallel to the ground instead of perpendicular!

Another week later & the Sweet Corn, as well as the Runner beans, are going “great guns” but the Water Melons aren’t doing at all well!

Cucumbers in greenhouse

Beginning of July:

Middle of July: (Spot the difference!)

Looking terrible, aren’t they? What can you do about Powdery Mildew? I can’t give them any more ventilation than they now have. The door is never closed nor is the vent in the roof & there’s a pane of glass missing where the Tomato plant is growing, as anyone with sharp eyes would have already noticed!

Outside in the ground they also have Powdery Mildew!

First Cucumbers to be harvested from the greenhouse! Had quite a few since then though during this last week they seem to have almost stopped growing! Maybe the colder weather?

Same day but only 2 were big enough to harvest from the plot outside:

Onions Alisa Craig

I grew some Onions, “Alisa Craig”, this year from seed for the first time ever. Here they are a few days before I lifted them to dry:

These are a few that came out of the ground when I pushed the tops over. Many of the tops had already begun to keel over I just hurried up the natural process! The soil was so dry that it looked, & felt, like grey sand!



The Garlic I planted haven’t grown very big at all! I wonder if it is worth the while planting them in the future?

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

I was reading about the benefits of Broccoli on the Internet – very good for preventing Prostate Cancer it seems. I commented on it to a guy in the plot next to ours who was planting out some “Greens” (they all look the same to me – I couldn’t distinguish between a cabbage or Brussels Sprouts or a Cauliflower!) when he said that was was he was planting out! He then offered me the few plants he had left over! I accepted them & planted them & covered them with some netting to protect them from the pigeons as you can see in the photo below:


The day before we went to Spain (Prince’s Wedding day) for a few days I sowed some Beetroot seeds directly in the soil, the only ones I’ve sown that way this year, so here is the end result a couple of months later:

Just a few days after taking the above photo I decided they were big enough to harvest & this is what I got:

Onion Turbo

These are Gerry’s onions from sets planted in March I think.


Yes, Peanuts! I’m growing them outside in the soil! Here are two photos as proof of what I say!

The picture above is of them the day I planted them out & the one below is about 10 days later. Of course I have no idea whether I will get any fruit (peanuts) as I may have planted them out too late, but it’s another of my little EXPERIMENTS! , like the Pinto beans & Garbanzo beans & Lentils I tried growing last year.

Potatoes 1st Early Rocket harvested

I believe I mentioned somewhere before that I had read the praises of this variety sung on the BBC Gardening Forum which decided me to give them a go.
The results can be seen below. But I have no idea of how many kilos I harvested – of these or any of the others below!

Potatoes 1st Early Kestrel harvested

I harvested Gerry’s potatoes at the beginning of the month & you can see what each plant produced in the 4 rows in the photo below. I also took a photo of each row as I finished digging them up but I also took this one of all 4 rows when I had finished lifting them all:

He has quite a few more rows of Main Crop potatoes still growing as have I! He has King Edward & Maris Piper whereas I only have Maris Piper as my maincrop. I do have a couple of rows of 2nd Earlies Maris Piper that need to be dug up soon!

Potatoes 1st Early Arran Pilot harvested

These potatoes were the last to be planted (can’t remember the date now!) & I put them at the very top of our plot.

Runner beans

The Runner beans Gerry sowed at home in his GH & brought down to the plot later are now flowering, as you can see. So far we have had just one pod but there will be plenty more soon! I planted them in 3 rows & on the outside I planted some Pinto beans which are also in flower – though they can’t be seen in this photo.

Tomatoes Mallorquin

The tomatoes are setting fruit but it doesn’t look like we will be having a glut this year! They are now waist high. The 3 plants on my balcony are now head high!

Sunflowers Little Dorrit

Here is a photo of some dwarf Sunflowers called Little Dorrit. Gerry bought a packet earlier this year. I shall save some seeds for next year.

Sunflowers Titan

The first three rows of Sunflowers in this photo are of Titan, again a packet Gerry bought this year. Behind them are more that I just call Tall as I don’t know what they were called last year.

Anyway they are growing faster & taller than Titan! For some strange reason they are also growing taller on one side of the bed than on the other! You might be able to see that in this photo below:

Water Melon,Sweet Corn & Broccoli

The Water Melon & Sweetcorn are growing together at this end of a bed which also includes Broccoli. The Water Melon is doing better in this bed than in the 3 Sisters planting. The wood chips were put down weeks after the plants were put in.

Sweet Peppers

The Sweet Peppers are coming along nicely! They are opening their first flowers & I expect to see the first fruits beginning to form over the next couple of weeks, perhaps I will be able to get a close up picture of a plant with its baby peppers!

There is no view of the plot from the shed this time simply because it seems I have forgotten to take any! Anyway it is difficult to see down the plot any longer because the apple tree branches with their fruit are hanging down over the doorway & the Raspberries have almost reached their maximum height, further obscuring the view down the plot!

Well that’s it for this blog. In my next blog, about the beginning of August, I hope to include a “View From The Shed” photo which at least may show the Gladioli beginning to open, as there are now lots of flower stems emerging from amongst the leaves.

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bad and good there balcony, its been an awfull summer, we have so much rain and strong winds in blackpool, my garden is getting battered, tall daisys almost lay in my pond, hollyhocks keep falling over even though i have canes against them, its disheartning to say the least, my toms of which i have two green ones and a few flowers which probably wont grow with this bad weather, iv had enough and so have many others im sure, your spuds and beets look good, all the hard work makes you wonder why!, hope the fruit bucks up for you.

18 Jul, 2011


Wow... lots of comparisons... fascinating..
please keep us updated on the peanuts :o)

18 Jul, 2011


WOW Balcony, well done!

18 Jul, 2011


Everything's looking good, Balcony, and your peanut experiment sounds interesting - I love to plant stuff 'just to see.' Consequently I have a 4' orange 'tree' grown from a pip and three Nispera saplings grown from fruit stones ..... and nowhere to plant them! Partner says it will be divorce if I put them in his veggie garden and there's no room and not enough sun in my flower garden! I'm seriously thinking of 'renting' a small area of land from someone in which to plant them!! ;o)

19 Jul, 2011


Thanks for your replies - I'm always interested to know what you think!

I feel very much for you, Sandra! You've had most of the rain that went AWL here in the East/Southeast! Though right after the official declaration of drought it hasn't stopped raining here! Well that's what it seems like after months without a drop! Just today we have had 3 or 4 showers one of which lasted about 20 mins & wouldn't you know it I was caught out in it! But I hope things get better for you soon.

@ TT & Nariz: I will be including more photos of the Peanuts in future blogs - if they keep on growing that is! They HAVE made some progress but not much or at least not as much as I would like! LOL! Perhaps it's the colder weather we are having again as both the Peanuts & the Cucumbers, not to mention the Water Melons, are not doing at all well. :-((

@ Nariz: I hope you find some place to plant your seedling Nisperas! I am under the impression that they grow to become quite big trees!

How do you manage to keep your Orange trees alive during your winters? Do you keep them in the living room with you all winter? LOL!

19 Jul, 2011


I have possisble plans for the Nisperas and I'm aware that they grow quite big .... watch this space! The orange tree is in a big tub in the porch where it gets plenty of sun, but will be shrouded in fleece for winter. Can't wait to see the peanut harvest!

20 Jul, 2011

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