We took the weather forecasts seriously this weekend and tidied the garden of all loose materials, tied all the outdoor tomatoes up and strengthened the runner bean frame. It rained 35 mm but there were none of the predicted high winds! Still it was nice to have a tidy plot! Shame the weather stopped the British leg of the sailing Admirals Cup at Portsmouth today - it was exciting yesterday!
As the temperatures have dropped in the last few days the rapid ripening of fruit and veg has slowed, except for the courgettes, to a more manageable A nice handful of early runner beans today, a nice large cabbage and a handful of ripe tomatoes today - and I continue to add to the big bucket of courgettes. The courgettes are getting used 3 or 4 a day, hopefully we will have some summer visitors to help with the bucket. I did try to make some courgette chutney but it was complete failure. I am building up confidence to have another go. Meanwhile I have pickled some beetroot, much simpler.
Just before the rains came we sorted out the strawberry runners. I had pinned down a lot and they had rooted. We have two crates of small pots, 50 new plants, if they all take. The only problem being if we want them all outdoors we will have to take up more turf to double the size of the fruit area. In the poly-tunnel we have doubled the number of plants already with runners - these are earlier than the outdoor ones. I am looking forward to a good crop next year. My husband is keen to increase the goose berry crop by having a hedge of bushes across one end of the veg plot. Our neighbour has shown us a similar idea and he has shared with us information on how much fruit comes from each bush.
It was so cool today I returned to the sewing room to complete a fleece pullover for the autumn. Felt strange after the hot sweaty weather to be thinking in terms of something warm to wear. I am using some fleece with a needle corduroy top layer which is quite easy to sew put quite thick.
Well at least the wet weather has kept me indoors long enough to read all the paperwork from a claim we are making to the NHS. I finally got my head round the "toolkit" criteria rating - it is more or less the same process as preparing Ofsted reports which I used to do. Roll on improved weather - I would rather be weeding the veg!