August, and it was a damp and humid start to the day and the first job was to check the potatoes for the appearance of blight. Warnings have gone out but so far we are OK, however the shaws of the second earlies were cut down and removed and the potatoes will be left in the ground for a couple of weeks to allow the skins to harden off.

Apart from weeding, the main job at this time is picking the ripe fruit and veg. The fruit crops are very good this year with good yields from the redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries most of which ended in the freezer for jam making. The loganberry, Tayberry and bramble are beginning to ripen too but the strawberries are over. The best performing variety this year has been Symphony. Gariguette and Elegance did not crop so well so perhaps not quite so suitable for our conditions but we’ll give them another year and see what happens.

Biochar Trial – Amazing results
The cabbages in the Biochar Trial bed had started to be eaten by slugs so time to dig the six of them up and do a weight comparison. Certainly by looks alone, those in the Biochar bed were doing much better but the weight difference was amazing. The three in the Biochar bed weighed in at 8.18kg and those in the non-Biochar bed at 2.95kg ie almost 3 times heavier. Cabbage comparisons
Even taking into account the variation in an open bed in ordinary garden conditions, that is a substantial difference so we are looking forward to cropping the onions and potatoes.

Onions from the Biochar bed

Onions from the bed without biocharThe onions are still growing but they too are showing a visible difference.

Jobs for next week: Fruit and veg picking; Weeding; Thinning out apples; Tie in new shoots on espaliers.

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