Vegetable Garden – Summer 2015

As autumn takes a firmer grip, I am in a reflective mood. After 2014’s bumper year in the garden, 2015 has probably been one of our worst. A summer of low temperatures, limited sunshine and excessive rain has meant even some of our usual staples have cropped very poorly. Runner beans have been few and far between, while last year the freezer was full of them. Autumn raspberries too have cropped very poorly, so that again we have frozen none in. While we harvest over 50 squashes last year we have none (and I mean none) this year. It is very disappointing.

And then when things do grow, like two lovely big cauliflower heads, the slugs have a field day – I removed about 20 slugs from one head! And I’m not talking small slugs either – I am talking of those about an inch long! The damp weather has been perfect for multiplying slugs! No photos of the cauliflowers but here is what they are doing to the cabbages.

In general, the brassicas have done quite well where they have manage to grow big enough to avoid being decimated by the slugs. The purple potatoes I grew – or at least tried to grow have been another failure. The plants did not thrive at all. And then when I harvested some last week I was very disappointed with the flavour – well actually there was no flavour at all! Another disadvantage is that when you dig them up they are hard to see – looking more like stones than potatoes. So I certainly won’t be growing them again.

On the positive side we have just finished the last of the Victoria plums (though admittedly the birds, either crows or magpies, had more than their fair share)! Some of the apple trees have reasonable crops too but again we are wary of birds making off with them!

The new flower garden, while now passed it’s best, also brought some cheer and fed the bees, and they certainly needed feeding this so-called summer.

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16 thoughts on “Vegetable Garden – Summer 2015

  1. Melissa Shaw-Smith

    How frustrating for you not to get the crops you hoped for–but at least you know it wasn’t from lack of trying on your part. There’s got to be a tasty slug recipe somewhere out there. Or at least some culture that would love some slug exports! Perhaps you could get the Irish trade board behind a campaign. Or if all else fails, a 21st century St. Patrick might be called upon to banish the slugs from Ireland! Better luck next year!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Ahh if we could only export the rain and slugs Ireland would be a perfect!!!!!! But then again slugs are part of the natural ecosystem, if we could only “manage” them!

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  2. Jane

    What lovely apples – we have a very old apple tree which still produces cookers despite having honey fungus. I know you can put bits of broken crockery around a plant to deter slugs – have you tried anything else?

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      We’ve tried broken egg shells which works to degree but you need to keep renewing. Thankfully don’t have too much broken crockery:)

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  3. Eliza Waters

    So sorry to hear that you’re missing your usual harvest. It can be so discouraging! Slugs are my nemesis. Right along with voles and blight. Last summer I went out EVERY night and plucked slugs and although it seems they are not as bad this year, I also didn’t plant anything that would interest them. Calendulas are abundant, so maybe that held them at bay. Luckily, the CSA I belong to had a great year. šŸ˜‰

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      We have no voles here (they are in Ireland but restricted range) though blight is a problem too. There is always next year!

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  4. gaiainaction

    Interesting to read your oversight of 2015 in your garden. Seems you too had some loss due to slugs. It has been an interesting summer. Some flowers and herbs have started to grow again abundantly, the calendulas, and the lemon balm especially around here.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Here too – Calendula was very slow starting but looks great now, it seems much later than usual – but I do love the smell and bright colour:)

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  5. Pingback: Polytunnel and Greenhouse – Summer 2015 | Murtagh's Meadow

  6. Pingback: Garden Update – July | Murtagh's Meadow

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      It’s not something I have come across before so had quick look online and yes the silica content may well deter slugs:)

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