Summer growth.

The 1.2 metre diameter ‘Mega’ Air-Pot raised bed is proving to be very productive. The investment in a large quantity of compost and manure seems to have been worthwhile, yielding a good crop of large over-wintered Japanese Onions. These are ready earlier than traditional Spring planted onions, which means there is time to immediately follow with another summer crop. I topped up the bed with a little more manure and planted four Hokkaido Squash plants which were ready in 1 litre Air-Pot propagation pots . These squashes grew well in the bed last summer but the vines rambled off 4 or 5 metres in every direction possibly wasting some of the energy which would be better directed into the fruit. This year I will stop branches about 5 leaves past each squash to try tame the vegetative growth and improve yield.

My biggest ever potato plants yet in a container are standing tall in a 50 litre Air-Pot Potato Tower. Four Pink Fir Apple tubers were planted around Easter and the haulms are reaching for the sky. Grown in the ground the long shoots of Pink Fir Apple could just be allowed to flop, but would need to be well spaced out. A few canes and a turn of string keeps them tidy in a pot. This variety is a late main crop so will continue to grow for several more weeks.The tubers should bulk up making use of the full depth of compost in these deep pots; a good way to use vertical space for maximum food production on a patio or in a small garden.

A pot full of carrots sown directly into the compost in February is providing good sized roots. They have bulked up well, perhaps because they were slightly more spaced out than previous sowings. I have also realised that carrots are a very thirsty vegetable, so have given them plenty of water. Being around to water more, due to hardly travelling anywhere during lockdown, has had some benefits!

The gooseberry bush in a pot is now dripping with red ripe grape-like fruit which have turned quite sweet, a redcurrant bush in an Air-Pot has also done well, this seems like a good year for soft fruit and berries in my garden.

A Dahlia is also putting on a cheerful show.

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