A dust bowl with green bits in it

Well you know how it is, you go away for a couple of weeks and the ground is all dried up, the plants knackered and frazzled, and the grass looks a bit more barren than it used to.

Such is life. The new plants that couldn’t cope with what I can only assume was another minor heatwave have been composted (and in some instances crumbled into the bin). Others were more fortunate and have recovered after a damn good soaking. A quick note for all you splash and dashers – have a little patience, baby. Plants work better if they have less frequent heavy drinks rather than a quick surface wash.

I have obviously missed a fantastic flourish of flowers as I had to spend a good afternoon dead heading all over. In recompense for missing the flowers I did this while having a beer or two… Hands up who thought they were still on holiday.

Other good news – seeds! Lots of them. All of the plants that have gone over have left me a good range of annuals seed for 2014 so more new plants.

The bad news extends into the veg patch though I’m afraid. Without water the performance is less than stellar. The courgettes stopped fruiting (they have since started again), the beans after a short lived recovery are turning their toes up and what I had hoped would be a second crop of beetroot isn’t. Simply too dry everywhere.

Which brings me onto this – manure (there’s a link, I promise). My soil type is crap. It’s sandy, utterly free draining and has about as much nutrition for plants in it as a ready meal. This is why it’s dry, obviously. Having been told to add in compost and manure (there’s that link) to help soil structure and retain moisture, I’ve been readily doing this for several years and still cannot notice a huge difference! I guess I’ll have to persevere. Or move house.

More good news though – the neighbours happily watered in the greenhouse so a decent crop of tomatoes and chillis will be had by all, yay!

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