Six on Saturday: Where is the sun?!

After a short break in the sun in Barcelona last week, am finding it difficult to readjust to life back in Belgium. Mainly because of the weather. It has rained pretty much non-stop for the past week, and while the slugs are delighted, I am not.

This pic doesn’t count as 1 of 6!

There are upsides. Tithonias (Mexican sunflowers) love the rain and they are doing a good job adding some brightness to the bedraggled scene at the allotment and garden. The petals have an amazing oily sheen to them. I think they make a good substitute for dahlias if you can’t be bothered with overwintering tubers and struggle as I do to keep the slugs from dining on them. Tithonias are easier, and grow into big plants in a short time. They are annuals here so you just have to sow seed each spring.

Tithonia ‘Torch’

Yeah I do like orange! Very pleased with these Tagetes in the greenhouse, especially as I pilfered the seed from another allotment!

The monstrously spikey blackberry in the front garden is providing plenty of delicious fruit in return for blood. It’s a vicious thing that attacks me mercilessly but it spares the bindweed. Such is the injustice of life. I freeze the berries and then make apple and blackberry pie, mainly.

Am eagerly awaiting the ripening of this enormous beef tomato. I worry that blight will strike at any moment and the lower leaves were showing signs of blackening so I hastily removed them. It’s growing out in the open so it’s more vulnerable.

In contrast, my aubergines in the greenhouse are still tiny! They got red spider mite again this year but I am now treating them with an oil-based spray so hopefully they will catch up.

Finally, I dug up the first Desiree potatoes. They’re a good size. Got a lot more in the ground but I think I should get them out this weekend in case the dreaded blight strikes.

That was Six on Saturday. Pop over to Jim’s blog for more. Hope your weekend isn’t a wash out like mine!

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Where is the sun?!

  1. I’ve always had spider mites on my aubergines in the gh, that’s why now I plant them outside. They arrive later but no spider mites.
    Same problem for my cucumbers though. Neem oil regularly. I love the orange tithonias and the great tomato crop!

    1. You know what, as an experiment I did try one outside and it’s a lot healthier and taller – it has just one fruit at the moment which sadly got partially damaged/eaten – by what? I think in future I will grow them outside too – and in the past I also grew cucumbers outside and they did fine.

  2. It has turned damp here too Sel, but we are so grateful for the rain after weeks (literally) without a drop! Your Tithonia flowers look great – the Tagetes too – I agree that a splash of orange is essential in summer. And your tiny aubergine reminded me of a weird dream I had last night…. giant aubergines growing on my zucchini plants! LOL! Hope yours get to a decent size. 😃

  3. I can imagine that after a week Barcelona, the difference with Brussels will be huge… unless the cool and rainy weather there’s a lot of going on in our gardens as well as in nature in general. Let’s hope that the month of august will bring some more sun.

  4. Sooo.. Tithonias don’t get snacked on by the molluscs? I haven’t tried growing those, but as Dahlias are pretty much a no no perhaps I should.

    1. The only vulnerable stage for Tithonias is as seedlings but I start them off in small pots so no problem. After that the slugs don’t touch them. They do get big by the way – much bigger than dahlias. They flower through to autumn if you deadhead them, super plants, give them a try.

      1. Mmm.. perhaps I will. I have managed to raise Cosmos by keeping them in small pots until they are fairly big plants and on my patio table the S&S don’t appear to be able to reach them!

  5. The slugs ate all my marigolds! Oh how I hate them. They are munching through lettuce and dahlias now. Tithonias are a joy though. Good luck with the aubergines.

  6. You can’t fault dazzling orange in the garden, it really pops out. Also by digging up the potatoes, you’ll avoid slug damage as well.

  7. Yum, blackberries. There’s a great big bramble growing over the fence from the neighbour’s side here (through their pyracantha – a lethal combination). Perhaps I should tolerate it if it produces some flowers and fruit.

    1. Oh that is a truly lethal combo, yikes! We also have a neighbour’s pyracantha growing eagerly towards us and it does produce pretty berries loved by blackbirds. Those thorns though, ouch.

  8. Quite an impressive food haul, that is a huge tomato and those blackberries must be worth the thorns! I have a thornless variety that produces insipid fruit, I think the normal thorny variety is a better producer!

    1. That’s interesting, the thought did cross my mind that I could replace it with a thornless one but it seems there is a price to pay. Good to know. Maybe I will be a little more tolerant of the scratches now!

  9. Are those globe type eggplant, or one of the skinny varieties? Mine are going crazy – I meed to cooks some more up and I am not done with the salad I made the other day. The Japanese beetles have been nibbling the leaves, but not enough to damage the plants. Of course I kill the little bastards anyway…Love eggplant!

    1. I think this one is Viserba, an Italian variety that produces long thin fruits. I love them too – especially just fried in some olive oil 😋 Good luck with those pesky beetles!

  10. That slug – yuck. I’ve seen some huge ones this year and they’ve done some serious damage, but luckily confined to only certain areas of the garden. The tithonia looks really great.

  11. Oh, yes, the Tithonias are wonderful. Mine are a little delayed this year because of our drought. And our blackberries are just starting to ripen. Yum! The tomatoes and potatoes look delicious, too. Great “Six on Saturday”!

    1. Thanks! Ah yes Tithonias did less well for me last year when we had a drought but they are loving this very wet summer we are having (even if I am not – but then again I wouldn’t wish drought on anyone).

  12. Lots going on on your plot and certainly the rain has helped put on lush growth everywhere. I gave up trying to grow aubergines as too much hassle for few (usually just one 🙁 ) rewards. Bet Barcelona was fun!

  13. “The monstrously spikey blackberry in the front garden is providing plenty of delicious fruit in return for blood” LOL 😂 … Your potatoes look luscious! Wish ours looked like that.

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