Latest news from Berryfield

More grumbling about the weather – but let’s face it, it’s been a cold miserable June.

When the sun was out – rarely it seemed – it was pleasant, but out of the sun and in the wind – brrrr.

And it’s also been exceptionally dry, with the stiff breezes drying off the top couple of inches of soil.

Despite threatening clouds and the occasional fairly light shower there had been no significant rainfall for what seemed weeks.

Even those with five or six water butts were running low, although our kindly neighbour (and honorary member since his 100th birthday) Dod had let Stan our champion recycler use his outside tap, along with many lengths of hose pipe, fill up a few water butts on plots.

Even the massive 1000 litre tanks donated by our friends at the Golf Links were virtually empty.

This meant that plotholders had been forced to ship in water from home – those lucky enough to live nearby brought their water up in containers in wheelbarrows, whilst the other plotholders used whatever came to hand, two or four litre recycled milk containers being the favourite.

However, the deluge last Sunday, plus the rainy days during the week, have helped considerably.

A good couple of inches of rain has eased the dry soil problem, and water butts are looking a lot healthier with run off from shed roofs.

And now more good news; although it had been cold and dry, plant roots have been in damp warmed soil so there has been good healthy growth amongst the brassicas and other strongly stemmed plants, and fruit bushes all over the site are loaded with baby fruitlets.

The brambles on the wayleave, most of them having been cleared and pruned back by Stan, Chairman Peter and other passing helpers, are bursting with flower buds, so with just a little more sun during the next couple of months should provide a bumper autumn harvest for foragers.

All the tatties are up and many are now in flower (most earlies, of course, don’t flower at all for some reason).

And because it’s been so dry on the surface there’s been little slug damage as they’ve dived down to the dampness below. However, now there’s damp soil everywhere this may change quickly.