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Have no fear, Pippa, it is only the first day of summer and just think how warm the soil is now. If you planted seeds now they would have ideal conditions for growth. I have had to wait till now in Bristol to be able to get my bean wigwams in the ground and have untangled the lanky plants too long in the conservatory and tied them in, but i bet the seeds I am popping in the soil beside them will give better plants and a higher yield. The rain will come.
Not much in the way of rain in Essex, watering can all the way. At least the wind seems to have dropped which murdered some of my Irises
We have had a nice bit of rain here in North Somerset (not too far away from Happymarion)The garden is certainly looking better for it already but alas we now have another dry spell with 24degrees forecast so the water butts will probably run dry again soon!....I have to confess that the hot sunny weather is nice for getting on with my hard landscaping projects though and does put a spring in your step! Higgy
Even though we had a 'proper deluge' all day on Bank Holiday Monday in the East Midlands, we've resorted to putting the washing machine water on our plants to save them. We use ECOVER washing powder and fabric softner so nothing dies (I believe that other washing powders and fabric softners are poisonous to plants) and we did this last year too and it worked really well. Luckily the water butt is just outside the utility room so it's no problem to collect the water, unluckily we have a water efficient washing machine so we don't get that much out (approx 60L per wash!!). We're enjoying the half term in good weather though.
Hello just to say that here in the Netherlands we have it bad to, even the rivers are drying up. Soil is so dry, plants are crying out for water, the growth is slow, gras seed wil not seed out. today we have another hot sunny day, we have had some rain but with the wind and sun it does not last long. here in the Netherlands we need at least 200ml. wel I just hope we all can get through this and find away to balans wor gardens out. Take care.


Pippa – I apologise if I sound somewhat gleeful, but I have to confess to finding consolation in hearing that you also suffer from ‘dishevelled courgette’, and I empathise completely with bounding into the garden full of green fingered expectation, only to be met with dishevelling disappointment. After looking forward to planting my courgettes into their final resting places last weekend (and finally getting my living room windowsill back), I felt somewhat thwarted in my task by freak high winds and overly globally warm summer temperatures. In preparation for their migration I had been watering my dusty vegetable patch on and off in the hope of bolstering the soil’s water retention, and like you suggested, had previously mounded manure to add a bit of enrichment. However, with a combination of overshadowing sycamore tree roots sapping moisture from down below, and next door’s cat scratching away moisture from up above, it’s been a bit of an uphill battle. Anyway, before I was even able to tuck up my plants into their lovingly tendered beds, one little leggy courgette, that had been straining towards the light in my living room for the past 8 weeks, did me the soul destroying injustice of snapping completely in two the moment it was met with a gust of wind. Now, based on some half listened to advice from my botanist brother, I carpet-taped the stem of my dishevelled courgette back together, and buried this part deeply in the soil, in the hope that all will be well. Professionally speaking though, what are its chances? Having read your explanation of how moisture is lost from courgettes, combined with the lack of rain, the high winds and the beating sun, I’m aware that every day could be its last. What are its odds of survival? Read my blog:
Desperately waiting for rain here also in South Devon but we are picking loads of raspberries and early strawberries, delicious with clotted cream! I shall be following Pippa's example and apply a mulch after my watering session tomorrow morning. It is the farmers I feel sorry for, their wheat etc. crops are only half the height they should be at this time because of the lack of rain here. Pippa, I now see you write a gardening article for a booklet called Citypress that comes through my door each month; I really enjoy reading them, thank you.
Here in our part of Norfolk we haven't had any decent rain since 23rd March.Odd showers,but with it being so warm they've done no good at all.The soil is bone dry,have been watering things thoroughly when planting but as there is no water supply on our allotments have only been able to water vunerable plants with water transported there in a drum.Am amazed at the quantity of early broad beans that I've got as they have had no extra water since planting!Have gathered two lots already,not huge but lovely and tender.No sign of rain soon!
we have had a little sprinkle here in Oxfordshire, but not enough. I have been out watering my hostas and picking off slugs! (something I didn't think I would do - but they are being a bit naughty at the moment). Elspeth
I am wondering if it is too late to start my runner beans? I am going to start them in large pots, built my wig wam, ready to put my seeds in. It is very warm today, no rain for three days.
we are in essex and we had no april rain only had 2 day of rain in a month and a half.
Agree withRow. We should all be concerned about the lack of rain. With farmers resorting to water cannons already, and the prospect of a very reduced harvest, we can look forward to higher food and production costs. It is said that watering veg deeply but less frequently is more eco friendly, and my veg patch is the same as everyone elses at the moment, battered and looking sorry for itself.
I am very fortunate as my husband made me some 4 ft square wooden cloches covered with polythene which fit on to my 4 ft raised beds. They are ideal as I use them for warming up the soil and they have been useful for protecting the courgettes against the recent winds. As plants grow, I raise the cloches on bricks and secure them with bricks at two of the corners to prevent them taking off in the wind! As for watering, well we have been watering every night during the dry weather. It is much easier having the raised beds. On Thursday we had our first potatoes, grown in a bag, and also mange touts peas which I have grown for the first time.
Hooray, it is another rainy Sunday in Bristol and I popped in a lot of runner bean and dwarf bean seeds yesterday so should be all right for beans in the autumn. my neighbour did as I bid yesterday and denuded my rhubarb(they love their crumble) as the rain had been forecast and I wanted the new shoots to have a good soaking. Incidentally, I put my success with rhubarb , even in a drought,down to the fact that I throw all my spent teabags on to it.
Hooray!, steady light rain in Mid Sussex, the first for a long time. We have had only 2mm since late March. All around us have had some, but this is the first for us, no watering today. Have been planting vegetables in the allotment this morning, and cleaning the pond pumps and filters this afternoon, I am soaked right through, but who cares, so is the garden. Love the smell of rain on dry earth. The past couple of months have played havoc with the plants, very hot dry days, cold nights and that wind, causing losses in the courgettes, cucumbers, and squashes.Its all good now though!, well that is if we don't get flooding.


A nice day of rain in Kent yesterday, it filled up the water butt. I also have a vegetable patch in the garden, dry and dusty until it started raining Sunday.
yippee Plymouth had rain today not looking good for Sunday they said it going to be very bad down here.
Have managed to keep the watering going thanks to a spring fed pond and what seems like miles of hose pipe...we did suffer from the vicious east winds here in midwales but today............we went shopping and came back to a Hail storm !! the lawn and beds were cover in 3 to 4" of hale stones. Have just had a walk round the garden and the are still patches and some pots still covered - the temp dropped down to 5' Oh well back to work sorting out the poor old battered plants ---but they got a drink - even if it was a chilly one
There's much I could say about pests and polytunnels but what I'd really like to know is where you got your New Hampshire Red chickens from please?? (I heard you say you had some on a GQT programme.)