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A disappointingly cold summer is often followed by predictions of a late heatwave. The predictions don’t usually come true. But this year, to my surprise, we’ve actually had an Indian summer.
Suddenly I’m glad that there’s still a dense layer of algae on the greenhouse glazing – it’ll help to provide some shade. And I’m happy that I made some late sowings of my favourite vegetables, which now stand a much better chance of putting on useful growth and thriving.
In this hot, dry weather I’ve been dashing around watering my newly planted garlic and onion sets, opening cloches and rolling back the vent covers on my new brassica frame.
I recently planted overwintering brassicas, so I rigged up some temporary shading for them, using old netting from the kids’ trampoline. It’s amazing how much difference the shade makes; you can feel the drop in temperature beneath the net, and the soil is noticeably damper.
Sitting in the sunshine, I’m watching the confused wasps buzzing around a bowl of strawberries, a second crop from early fruiting plants. I’m hoping the heat will prompt a little more growth of my pumpkins, and will ripen my new Cape gooseberries (Physalis peruviana). And if I’m lucky, the sun will dry out the soil surface and frazzle the slugs, stopping them from munching my winter lettuce.
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