South Devon is currently being blessed with day after day of brilliant sunshine and amazing blue skies. The Met Office reliably informs us there will not be a drop of rain for at least a week. This is great for our long evening barbecues and after work river swims, but how are our crops holding up in this summer drought?
Many of our plants are succumbing to the dry conditions. Our winter brassica seedlings need watering a least twice a day before we plant them out next month. Some of our oriental salad leaves have wilted back into the earth. On top of that we suspect our entire onion crop has powdery mildew (Leveillula taurica), a fungus that overwinters in the soil. The dry weather has put stress on the onions ability to resist the pathogen, which is probably a result of a relatively wet spring followed by a long summer drought.
It’s not all bad news though- lots of plants are loving the sunshine. Our tomatoes are developing fast and the courgettes are having a field day. The sweet-corn especially needs sunny weather of 25°c plus to really thrive, and is shooting up. Looking forward to a bumper corn harvest in a month or two.
If anyone would like to do a rain-dance for us though it would be much appreciated!