August: Garden update

We are definitely having an early autumn this year. Leaves are already beginning to turn and blackberries are ripening. While the summer seems warmer than last year, these last few weeks have been showery with very few dry or really warm days. In the garden, we’re enjoying the first plums and apples but like last year the pears have a very bad case of scab and are splitting and seem inedible. Not sure if this has been exasperated by the damp and often humid weather.

The weather has definitely brought on the potato blight, which we get each year. But this year the potatoes did go in on time and those we have harvested are a good size. Cabbages too are appreciating the plentiful rain and where not ravaged by slugs, snails and caterpillars are getting big.

Runner beans have done much better than last year too. Not sure if it is because I got them in early and they had a couple of warm, dry weeks in May to get well established.

 

Interestingly the courgettes outside are doing better than the one in the polytunnel or greenhouse. The older plants have established much better.

Bumblebee pollinating courgette

Bumblebee pollinating courgette

Carrots again failed to germinated well and / or were eaten by slugs! The same with beetroot, which last year I grew in modules before planting out. I must remember this for next year!  Squash, are small and will probably not come to much. I feel that each year you need to grow a variety of vegetables and then hopefully something will do well!

Mini squash

Mini squash!

So is growing your own vegetables and fruit a sign of “thrift” – defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully”?

29 thoughts on “August: Garden update

  1. Linda Spencer

    I would say partly thrift, although if taking labour into consideration, no; but then you can try different varieties, have travelling distance in feet rather than air miles and of course you cannot describe the taste of a sun warmed tomato, a freshly dug new potato or off the stalk and into the pan within minutes for sweetcorn. So taste is no 1 for me.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      I agree Linda. Food miles, variety and taste just give added value to everything you pick from your garden:-)

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      1. heretherebespiders

        I met an American a few years ago who had a HUGE poly tunnel, and she grew ‘patty pan’ squash. No idea what those are really, but she gave me a few and they were very tasty! Maybe because they grow wide rather than long, they did well here?

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      2. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

        I have had a bit of success with the wide ones – generally I think the smaller the better, but as I said have not repeated success of 2014. Never managed to grow butternut types.

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  2. dust4yj

    I must grow more – would love more of the rich and fulsome taste that successful growers rave about and of course, the food miles & variety that you mention. And the fact that it is organic.
    And – was there anything special about 2014 that made your squashes so successful?

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Sunshine and warmer temps i think! If you are thinking of growing things think – what do I really like but is expensive to buy? Things like beans and mangetout are really easy to grow and last for ages and don’t take up too much room as they grow up!

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  3. Helen

    Here the blackberries are also early – and apples! Mine are supposed to be ready in October. Last year it was September, this year is as if a couple of weeks ago!

    True – best to grow a variety so you have the chance of something!

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  4. afrenchgarden

    I agree with your “can’t win them all” idea for the veg. and fruit. It has taken me a few years of growing veg. to appreciate this, a lot is so dependent on the weather that is beyond control. Amelia

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  5. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

    So much is outside our control isn’t it – the weather, the slug and snail populations (though I suppose we can influence those to a degree), and sometime even the amount of time we can spend tending our beloved plants can be taken out of our control too.

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  6. Eliza Waters

    Your fruit looks wonderful to me! I gave up growing it years ago. Food production is fraught with obstacles, isn’t it? I have to force myself to look at what went well and try not to get upset with that which didn’t. I’m so frustrated with the slug damage, but had success using neem oil against fungus by spraying early on. You might try the same next spring? Your scarlet runners look very happy. 🙂

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  7. gaiainaction

    Down here it is also looking and even feeling autumn like these days. Though having said that my runner beans are only flowering, no beans to be seen yet. It looks like you have a great produce this summer!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Yes it is autumnal here too. I think what worked for me this year was getting my beans started early inside and getting them out in May when we had some lovely warm weather. Of course can’t guarantee that next May will be like that!

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      1. gaiainaction

        It is always unpredictable isn’t it. On the whole I think we had a good enough summer and thinking of all the heatwaves, forest fires and droughts all over parts of the world, we are jolly lucky here in Ireland 🙂

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  8. helenatnabend

    Funny, I’ve just been thinking about the meaning of thrift today after a particular good weekend of foraging and charity shop and honesty box finds!

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  9. Pingback: Photo Challenge Round Up: August | Wild Daffodil

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