28th June. I am fed up with Weebly... the dates are all weird again and I keep losing text that I've written. It is slow. Maybe the time has come to switch to another platform.
I just wrote a few lines about the weather but lost it all. Anyway - to cut a long story short, we had a huge downpour on Friday which has left the ground saturated, we have surface water on the field and in the garden. Although the berries are doing really well, a lot of the veg are struggling. The beetroots aren't doing so well and neither are the French beans.
Things are really moving in the polytunnel.
The coriander is going crazy and we have basil too. There are flowers on the red peppers and all the squash are starting to produce male flowers, some also have female flowers too. Nighttime temperatures have been 10-12C and during the day it is well over 30C. Thomas has been doing a great job watering everything.
Having resorted to The Fence to save our not so indigenous saskatoons from the indigenous wildlife (actually white-tails are not so indigenous at all), we now have to worry about the birds. I am inspired by the fishing line tactics used on the Tori in Helsinki so will probably do something similar here. It would be devastating if we never got to taste these! I have no idea when saskatoons are ripe to pick but we'll keep an eye on them. They will certainly be easier to harvest than the sea buckthorn berries of which we inevitably lose more than half to the magpies before we get round to picking them. Trouble is, if you pick them too soon, they just taste evil.
Things are making very slow progress. The French beans don't like the rain and it looks like the strawberries will produce a profusion of massive fruits with no flavour, unless we get some sunshine. Still picking asparagus and I managed to weed the carrots, parsnips, beetroot and mangold though it was hard work as the seedlings are barely one centimetre high. I was tempted to leave the weeds until the vegetables are bigger and leafier and easier to see but it was getting a bit over-crowded under the fleece. The broad beans (flageolets) are doing fine.
The aubergines are starting to produce those beautiful dark purple leaves that gradually turn green with deep red veins. The coriander has taken really well and the red peppers are in flower too. Despite the miserable weather outside, everything is doing really well in the tunnel, probably because the heat is reasonably moderate. Daytime temperatures are reaching 35-45 Celsius max.
Yesterday was quite cool outside (which is often the case at mid-summer!) so it was bearable in the polytunnel and I managed to string up the cucumbers, weed everywhere and water everything. The tomatoes are already in flower and some of the butternut squash are starting to produce male flowers. Hurricane is doing very well.
Finally found some time to start a Facebook page for Rosendalfarm. I'm not promising to update it every minute of every day but given the rainy weather, I should be able to post something in between the rare sunny spells. For the time being there are just a few photos most of which are already on here!
We're building a compost pile out on one of the small fields behind the pond. We will be layering peat, farm manure, more peat and then garden rubbish. This won't be used until next year. Thomas is getting to grips with the new trailer.
We still have this bitterly cold north wind which is spinning around the Baltics with gusts ripping through the polytunnel... it is remarkably resistant. Outside, the wind is accelerating evaporation, so the surface of the vegetable garden is rock hard. It didn't rain in the night so I have been watering by hand.
I planted out the parsley, some French beans that I germinated in pots in the polytunnel, filled the gaps in the broad beans and the other French beans and also sowed some radishes and Mesclun which will need to be covered.
Picked some more asparagus too and did a bit of weeding. Everything is looking fine but could do with a bit more rain.
It could be a bumper year for berries but the bees don't like the wind.
The strawberry plants look amazing with huge clusters of white flowers on every plant. These are Korona - an early-cropping variety with exceptionally large fruits. Let's hope they taste as good as they look.
There were a lot of events in the local community this weekend but we didn't get to many of them. I did buy a few herbs at Tahvoset's open day and planted them in the veg garden this evening (except for the coriander which is in the polytunnel).
This afternoon we tied up the greenhouse tomatoes and I also planted out the cucumbers, aubergines and the red peppers in the polytunnel.
This afternoon I planted the kale and some french beans in the vegetable garden and did some more weeding. I also planted out some parsley grown from seed. It is going to rain tonight so everything will get watered in nicely.
This evening I planted out the bell peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes in the polytunnel and watered everything, Also picked some (more) asparagus and did some weeding in the veggie garden. Planted some marigolds around the carrots.
Peter farrowed the back field several times.
Tomorrow we will pop over to Tahvoset nursery for their open day, drink a coffee and walk around. Not planning to buy anything (though I would like to get some larch - one of my favourite trees). Tom starts work there on Monday.
There is also a big expo in Karis. It's one of those weekends when everything is happening: Red Cross flea market in Fiskars, PojoDagen (live music and food) in Pojo and an antiques and flea market in Ekenas. Probably won't make it to all of them.