Monday, 23 July 2012

Water pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes......eyerything!.

Whats that bright ball in the sky?
One week it's monsoon season and you're using a gondola to get around the garden, then the next week it's bone dry and you're lugging watering cans and hoses around the place! Whatever the reason July has officially decided to behave as it ought bringing forth sunshine and warm overcast days. And now the problem of watering rears it's ugly head. Regular watering is essential for good crops particularly so for tomatoes, pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers. But in general all crops fare better when they have a regular dependable water supply.

Irregular watering causes what Jack has nicknamed "smiling tomatoes", tomatoes whose skin cracks in the shape of a big smile inviting in moulds to rot the fruit in record time.

Don't forget to put a flat rock under the baby Pumpkin
Cucumbers are mostly made up of H2o, they need regular watering to get to a decent size and retain all the moist green-ness that we grow them for.

Pumpkins and courgettes which should be setting fruit now need copious amounts of water to fill out to the required sizes. If you are growing watery fleshed "Jack-o-lanterns" for Halloween carving or contest winning "Atlantic giants" you had better lorry the water into them. Even smaller varieties, gown for cooking and eating wont do well unless they get enough water at this crucial stage.

draining the water butt dry in record time
It goes without saying that rainwater is the best. Mind you even the largest water butts can run out at speed when the watering rush is on so try to gather more than you think you need for these dry times. Tap water is fine but added ingredients from treatment works won't agree with every plant,(my cat will look for rainwater outside rather than drink water from the tap-perhaps he has more sense than myself?) and if you have a naturally limy or hard water you can change the soil pH too far in a direction plants wont like. With all the talk of water metres and water charges we gardeners will have to come up with a long term water strategy for the garden. So prepare to sink a well or a rainwater collection tank with a pump in the next few years.

Just as the weather warmed up the last parsnip and beetroot seeds finally germinated. Probably with all the rain that came before the ground was just too cold for them to germinate. If you have seedlings just transplanted out or seedlings just germinating don't forget to keep them watered too.

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