Our volunteer gardener, Leigh, is here to share her top tips and antics from today in the Dig for Victory Garden!


Waging War on Caterpillars

Turn your back for a week, you come back and they’re everywhere! The caterpillars have eaten the kale right down to the stems. They’ve even eaten the sprouts; the leaves resemble net curtains!
Armed with my spray bottle, I’ve been defending the ranks by picking them off and disposing of them in a bucket of soapy water. Next year, I think I’ll come armed with my own net curtains ready to throw over the plants to keep the offending little blighters off our precious veg.
That being said, our carrots, parsnips, courgettes and pumpkins are safe. This is because the caterpillars prefer brassicas, so if you’re a bit squeamish and don’t fancy bugs everywhere, don’t grow cabbage!

The onions have been harvested and are all drying nicely, ready for anybody who would like to buy them! The courgettes are three or four days from the first harvest.
Peas are next on the agenda to be pulled – that’s the ones that haven’t already been sampled by the staff!

Our leeks are doing well after being thinned out last week. Thinning them out has helped as when they were planted, there was limited space between them. If they’re bunched together too tightly, they come out looking like spring-onions, so be sure to give yours plenty of room to breathe and expand!
Luckily, I’ve managed to save them all, ready to harvest between October and December ready for that delicious winter stew!

After the downpour today, I don’t think I’ll be watering the garden for a while!
Normally this time of year when it’s supposed to be hot, I would water copiously both morning and evening – avoiding midday when the sun is at its highest – your water will just evaporate at this time of day so don’t waste it. This year though it doesn’t seem to matter!
Your pumpkins should be watered two to three times, especially if like ours it’s in a container. Trim the fruit down to three; the reason being that the plants are so vigorous that the multiple fruit will grow smaller. You can then have the option to choose the best two fruits from the three and enjoy the best of what your plant has to offer!

Kids Today! ?

Completely unaware of my presence, a little boy pointed up across the garden, “Look at that scarecrow!”
“Which scarecrow?!” I jumped up and asked.
He jumped out of his skin – I think I make a great scarecrow (especially after the downpour today)!