Growth Spurts

Plot on arrival back at RBGE

We’ve been away for a week on a study tour in Cumbria, visiting a range of gardens and nurseries.  Whilst we were away people were watering our plots for us but there was some anxiety as to how things would be when we got back.  It turns out we had little to worry about – the warm weather has translated into a good growth spurt for most of our plants and the plots were looking lusher than ever.

Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus 'Midnight' & 'White Supreme'

The sweet peas are coming on well – there are even buds!  I’ve tied them in better – a few had fallen down over the week due to them streaking up their supports.

Poppies (Papaver somniferum 'Black Peony')

The poppies are also coming on at a fast pace – they’ll need to be thinned again this week.  In the bottom left hand corner of the above picture you can also see the Ammi majus –  whilst slow to start they’re finally starting to get into their stride.  These were one of the plants I was most concerned about during the week away as they do not like to be kept dry and we had such beautiful weather, but it looks like they’ve managed to survive.

Lettuces (Latuca sativa 'Reine des Glaces' & 'Really Red Deer Tongue')

The lettuces (Latuca sativa ‘Reine des Glaces’ & ‘Really Red Deer Tongue’), too, need thinning and gapping up a little, but I’m happy with their growth.  ‘Reine de Glaces’, on the right, isn’t a very big lettuce and so doesn’t need huge amounts of space but this is still a bit overcrowded for my liking.

Plot Sign Plot Sign - close up

Before I left I made a sign for my plot with a little QR code on it to link people to this blog (if you’ve made your way here, Hi!)  Unfortunately I forgot my keys on the morning of the trip and didn’t get it up until I came home.  Whoops!

Mangetout (Pisum sativum 'Bijou')

Whilst we were away my peas began to flower (Pisum sativum ‘Bijou’).  They’ve also overgrown their supports by quite a bit so I’ve added a bit more height and string to stop them trying to sprawl across the broad beans.  This is particularly important as some students have mentioned seeing possible signs of chocolate spot.  Prevention is the main aim for chocolate spot as once you’ve got it it’s near impossible to treat – especially organically.  Keeping the broad beans nice and airy and not letting moisture sit on them will help with this as it is damp, overcrowded conditions which are perfect for the spread of the fungus.