The Rain finally came and things are growing

It has been a dry four or more weeks here in the Forest of Dean. The rain finally came and the plants loved it. (So did the weeds!!).

The Czar runner beans have put on a couple of feet and are almost at the top of the canes. Something is eating the lower leaves on the left ones though.

Czar beans finally growing tall

Also having growing more than 1 foot in 2 days of rain was the Earlibird Sweetcorn. Well the little one is still smaller but is about 2 feet tall now.

sweetcorn growing tall now.

Even the kale is looking like it is happy.

Red and Black kale filling out

I am a bit worried about the parsnips. The first lot did not germinate so I tried the wet paper toll method. These are now the tallest parsnips I have seen in this garden. Maybe they are all green leaves and no parsnip though?

parsnips getting very tall

Even my cucumbers have started to grow tall. Last year my first attempt at growing cucumbers failed. This year I have two Diva varieties and they seem to be enjoying themselves.

first ever cucumber

My only problem is lack of pollinators. Although I had one cucumber when the plants were smaller, (which was very tasty), the female flowers shrivelled up as there were no males. Then there were males and no females. Now there are both and I hope that some will be pollinated, if only by myself.

cucumber plants growing tall with lots of flowerds

And finally I have my first ever San Mazarno plum tomato. You can just see it in the corner of the greenhouse.

first ever San Mazarno tomato

Again last year my tomatoes did not do well, but I am hoping that this variety will give me some for the freezer this year. It is exciting.

Top Terrace plot

The top terrace area was weeded and a thin layer of composted manure was added. Then it was covered with plastic in order to stop weeds and to keep off my cat Jenson. This plot is divided into 3 areas which are rotated. So there will be beans, parsnips and kale.

top terrace prepared for growing
top terrace prepared for new veggies

The middle part was sown with parsnip seeds. These did not germinate at all. So I decided to germinate the rest of my packet on a damp sheet of paper towel. I put this in a gravel tray with another one for the top. I kept this on the windowsill in my house. About half of them sprouted and then I put these sprouts in the ground to see if they would grow.

sprouted parsnips growing

This is the parsnip bed. The countess parsnips on the left have done better than the guernsey on the right. As I do not have any seeds left I have added a few left over lettuce seedlings.

My kale seeds were doing well but I had to remove them from the greenhouse as they did not like being in there. I do not have a cold frame as I have run out of flat ground to situate it. I might put it on the early sprouting brassica area next year. I take the plants out of the greenhouse during the day if they are getting ready to be planted.

kale seedlings
red Russian kale starting to grow

I transplanted two red Russian kale and 4 black nero kale. They were planted quite deeply to make sure they don’t fall over later in the year. Although it has been too cold and wet for white butterflies this year, I still kept them under Enviromesh.

The last part of the top terrace bed is for runner beans. I first grew them last year, but they did not do well. I just had a few pods and I saved the seed. I am trying again this year using this saved seed. The seed is Czar runner bean.

czar runner beans

I started the seeds off in the house in some root trainers with a plastic cover. The first set of seeds did nothing, I think they must have rotted away. The second lot gave me about 50% germination. I am now waiting for my third sowing which are in the house, just starting to sprout. Fingers crossed I hope to get one bean per my 12 beans poles.