Sweet Cornish Rain

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Newlina Eco Gardens

At Newlina Eco-Gardens we are growing eco-logically, supplying fresh salads, herbs and speciality vegetables to the Cornish Food Box Company. We have nearly an acre of poly-tunnels where the plants are watered with water-saving drip lines. These have been on almost constantly with the hot sun making the leaves transpire and grow quickly. Obviously the bigger the plant the more water it needs to stay healthy and hydrated. Some plants become stressed no matter how much they are watered in the heat since high temperatures accelerate the growth cycle to its natural conclusion. Hence our lack of green leafy vegetables- they have gone to seed…

When we have a patch of cool damp weather it is a welcome respite for those who cultivate in the tunnels. It has reached temperatures as high as 42 degrees centigrade- the same as Cairo on the same day… We have to be sure to keep our water intake up to about double what it normally is.

Out in the fields we have crops such as summer and winter broccolis, autumn garlic and the very beginning of forest gardens with a wild bank and bio-diverse lawn area with hundreds of hedgerow trees. Some plants- especially the thirsty trees- had begun to show signs of water deficiency, with yellowing leaves. We are sure many of you will have had to get some water onto your gardens and any avid gardeners will know times when we begin to “pray for the rain”.

Paul, our head grower, has been putting the sprinkler out and using an organic feed to encourage the health of our suffering plants. This plant care was well timed- as they began to recover quickly but, it is the days of proper Cornish mizzle and even some sustained rain that have made the most difference. We have seen the outdoor crops double in size, the sad-looking lawn plants are growing verdant and the trees are looking lush!

So with water to hydrate them, there is a good crop of speciality courgettes this week for the Food Boxes and, you will be glad to hear, the Autumn crop of outdoor garlic is starting to plump! There is, in the end nothing better than rain, sweet rain. That is, in moderation, adds Paul, which looks like will be the case according to the forecast…

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