OK just give me a chance to explain: bear in mind the serious dryness we had up until last week. Then think about the poor plants who were in the full glare of the sun, without any watery respite, for over two weeks solid. That’s why I deliberately left the weeds in the brassica patch (honest Guv), even though they were getting ridiculously high (especially the rape seed, fat hen, thistles, groundsel and redshank). Most were a foot or more higher than the brassicas. However, this meant that they offered some shade against the glare; plus kept the whole area more moist (especially the soil surface, which was positively damp, compared to the just-weeded dry parsnip patch).
So anyway, I couldn’t use the drought as an excuse any longer last week when the rain came, so I’ve been pulling the weeds up in great fistfuls and laying them back down (roots up) in between the rows of cabbages, kale and PSB, to keep the moisture in and new weeds down, and they’ll break down into the soil eventually. And the brassicas are all fine! They’ve survived very well; and I’m thanking the weeds. It might not have looked very tidy, but it worked brilliantly.
…and we have a winner in the First To Fruit Trial Stakes: Stupice! These plants started showing ripe red fruit on Monday, and have given a kilo or so of medium round tomatoes since then; closely followed by one lone ripe Gardener’s Delight tomato today (Friday). The Stupice plants did look particularly stressed confined in their pots before planting out though, so it will be interesting to see if their early fruits come at the expense of total yield. The ‘early’ (non-trial) lot of Golden Queen are also ripening, along with a few stripey Tigerellas, so hopefully it will be tomatoes galore next week!
There’s definitely some positive feedback when it comes to nature. I see a (what appears at least to be) a contented animal, and I feel happier too. There are hundreds of bees around, various species including several different bumbe bees, mason bees and honey bees, and all seem to enjoyiong the plethora of flowers available at the moment. As well as all the wild camomiles, poppies, sow thistles, painful thistles, ragwort etc around the field edges, the bees and other pollinators are also are crammed around my curcubit flowers, sunflowers, nasturtiums and bean flowers. The sunflowers are especially attractive to all kinds of bee, and each spends a long time on each head. Go for it bees: make honey while the sun shines…