Regretfully, I have still not recovered from hols, either mentally of physically. For some reason or other, today my legs have been aching like billy-o. (Is that how the word is spelt?) I’ve been reading around, trying to catch up, but it is hard work. My brain is not yet ready to take seriously statements such as: “Cameron is not happy about progress regarding reformation of the system of assessments of budgetary needs in the EU” – words to that affect. Note my little bit of emphasis – it is not the contributions that bothers him, it is the system of assessments. In other words, he doesn’t mind paying out squillions of pounds for the EU to waste, provided that the system is reformed. That seems to be much the same thing as what happened in Greece. The referendum gave the Tsipras Government authority to refuse to impose further austerity. What happened? Tsipras accepted the proposals for further austerity. Perhaps he was happy that the system had been changed so as NOT to appear that the troika had imposed austerity, but that the Greek Government itself imposed the measures. That’s OK then.
Brain pain is not nice, so I’m taking it easy tonight. How about some pics of the plants taken today? You will see a white strip in the pics. That is a 30 cm (1 foot) ruler for scale:
As you can see, those plants are doing quite well (apart from the nibbling here and there). The ones that are doing well are the ones around the edges of the plot. Those in the centre are not good at all—-
I’m going to try watering those centre plants with a weak fertiliser solution directly around the roots in the hope that it will give them a boost.
Plot 2 is doing quite well:
Most of plot 2 is taken by the plants which Ed gave me. Those also continue to grow, but they are different varieties and I am not sure what they should do:
Those plants have been budding, but I have remove the buds. I don’t want them to waste energy flowering and setting seed. I want all their energy to go into the leaves. The leaves seem to be green and healthy so I dare hope that they will bulk up as time passes.
I’ve said from time to time that I am way, way behind this year, but I have been looking back at 2014 and 2013. and the situation is not that bad. Here is a pic from 2014 about this time:
There isn’t an awful lot of difference with the first two pics above is there? Here’s one from 2013 at this time:
Much better, but not all the plants were doing so well:
So there we are. There are still three months of growing season left, but we could do with some reasonably warm, sunny weather.
The seeds from 2014 seem to be crap. If any of this year’s plants actually reach flowering and seeding stage, I expect those also to be crap. But it doesn’t matter since my 2013 seeds are still fine. Since each plant produces thousands of seeds, only one needs to go all the way. We’ll see.
I’ve been concerned about those areas of my plots, especially plot 1, which seem to be not very fertile. The areas, as can be seen in the 3rd pic down, are predominantly in the centre. And yet these areas were fertilised in the same way as the rest. Why do weeds, grass and other plants grow perfectly well? It is a mystery.
Anyway, my compost heap, mostly consisting of rotting vegetation, grass cuttings and used teabags, is building up at the same time as collapsing. Worms and bacteria are breaking the vegetation down at lower levels into ‘humus’, which is not mineral matter but is biological matter.
I’ve been thinking about whether or not it is possible to ‘over-fertilise’ the soil. I think that we need to understand what the word ‘fertilise’ means. If we are talking about concentrated chemicals, unevenly distributed, I would say definitely “Yes”, but I do not see any reason to believe that rotted vegetation, no matter how big the quantity, dug into the soil, could possibly provide too intense a solution of chemicals. Actually, you do not need to dig it in. Rain will wash the material into the soil over time.
So I have a plan for this winter. Both plots to be deeply dug over and humus from the compost heap to be scattered all over. Bone meal and tobacco ash to also be scattered all over.
My God! What fun I have in store for this coming winter!