Sunday, 28 August 2011

Future fruits

I've begun another bout of digging. This time it's the area next to the shed which I'm prepping for the installation of a fruit cage and a couple more raised beds. The jury's still out on what fruit to grow yet but I'm toying with the idea of having a Boysenberry. I only came across this fruit recently; we bought some for the care home garden because it doesn't have any thorns. A little different from the usual berries, it's a cross between a blackberry, raspberry and loganberry. Well I'll give it a go once the cage is up and see what happens. Perhaps I'll plant a blackcurrent and a couple of blueberries with it. I'll have to check the size of the fruit cage before I go shopping!

I'm making the most of this productive mood and have also started clearing the ground on the other side of the shed to make room for the log store. Maybe it's because I'm beginning to feel like summer is coming to an end and occasionally my thoughts are turning to autumn and winter.  It's time to look into getting some logs delivered. Two more pallets have been retrieved from work to provide the base and there are some large posts and planks of wood left over from when the fence was reduced which I'll use to make the slatted sides. It's a good job it's a Bank Holiday weekend; I'm grateful for the extra day.

As far as the vegetable garden goes, all the peas are now bagged and in the freezer, the last of the beetroot have been cooked and sliced and I've cleared the spaces and planted a small row of rocket and another of spinach.  The spinach will only produce small leaves at this time of year but I do love them in a salad.

The pumpkin I planted back in July is doing well but has developed mildew on the leaves.  A quick search on the internet has revealed a couple of non-chemical solutions. One is to mix 1/4 ounce of baking soda in a gallon of water and the other is a 50:50 mixture of milk and water.  I'll try the baking soda solution first and see if that helps.  I'm informed that the mildew doesn't affect the fruit but if it kills the leaves off then the fruit could get sun-scorched without the protection.

What else has been happening? Well, I've added a few more plants to the borders around the lawn; a couple of Gypsophyla, a Lantana and a Dahlia.  The Forget-Me-Nots are being removed as well as most of the Aquilegia.  They were very helpful in filling in the borders in the early days but are taking over now so it's time to replace them with more variety.

Oh and the carrot wine is finally away from the starting blocks. It's almost ready to have it's first syphoning.  But I must admit, it's an odd colour!  I expect only time will tell with this one.
Hopefully it'll be ready for Christmas and
will taste better than it looks
I've also been given a bag full of windfall apples by a friend and I'm wondering if I should get some apple wine on the go as well.  It's all down to the amount of equipment I have - which isn't much - and the fact that the elderberries are ready to be picked, both from my tree in the garden and from one at work so there's an opportunity to make several gallons of elderberry wine this year.   Decisions, decisions.

A little note to end on........I've accidentally stepped on several green hazelnuts lying on the ground in the garden recently.   I wasn't sure if you could eat them 'green' but have found a few tasty-looking recipes so I'll be out foraging along the hedge tomorrow and trying these recipes out.  It won't be long before the race against the squirrels begins to see who gets to the ripened one first; I think I can predict the outcome of that in advance!


Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Carrot wine sounds interesting! I'll have to give it a go as well one day. And I've also had quite a bit of powdery mildew on my squash and pumpkins in the past. I found out the hard way that it can be avoided by not watering on the leaves, especially in hot weather. I did try the milk mix as well but not much success - hope you have better luck though :)

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Tanya,thanks for posting a comment. I've gone with the bicarb mix in water on the pumpkin leaves - time will tell! I think all this rain we've had here in Cornwall has boosted the mildew too but I didn't help by watering incorrectly :( Ah well, it's all a learning process isn't it! I'll keep posting the process of the carrot wine as well as crossing my fingers.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Great! Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures :)