Cool for the time of year

TomatoesThe weather man said cool for the time of year last week on the forecasts. So Go Local Food has a stressed grower. But only about the weather. Ah well that goes with growers – the weather is always not quite right.

The tomatoes aren’t ripening as quickly as would normally be expected. That’s lack of sun as much as lack of late warmth after the early hot spell that we had which didn’t last the summer through. The successional sowings are in no great hurry to produce. Looking at the temperatures on the Met Office weather forecasting site last week, things range from day time highs of 18 to 19 degrees with overnight lows of 11 degrees. And not much better this week. This really is very late summer to early autumn weather and the sunlight hours are forecast to match that sort of time and not conducive to thriving summer growing.  It is still supposed to be high summer in July and August!

Due to the coolness of the weather, Ian is bringing the propagating shed back into use to get lettuces in particular to come away. He also has a long list of other things which need sowing besides lettuce: white radish, Spanish radish, chard, late mooli, small carrots (the little round ones), mizuna, pak choi, fennel and a try at some very late beetroot.  In other words it’s time to get crops ready to go out into the poly tunnels. It might be a very full propagating shed for a period.

And as the outside crops are running a bit late due to the weather it’s getting hard to find space out in the fields to get the winter brassicas into space. All the fun of producing vegetables which rarely grow exactly to plan.