The last two years I seem to have struggled getting the vegetable plot in order. Just when I think I am getting things under control the weeds seem to take over! Currently the autumn strawberries and the blueberries are somewhat overwhelmed with weeds
We’ve had a reasonable crop of purple sprouting broccoli and broccoli (which I started last autumn inside. Mange tout are cropping both inside and outside and broad beans are coming slowly.
Purple sprouting brocolli
The potatoes are doing well. Cabbages are suffering a bit of slug damage – how the slugs love them! I surround them with broken egg shells which does help a little. Usually I can get some lettuce going early in the year, but anything I have set outside this year has just vanished. So I’ll concentrate growing these tender leaves in the polytunnel. Of course the weeds in the raspberry and blueberry beds are probably havens for slugs, and the recent damp weather doesn’t help either. We did watch a blackbird dismantle a slug the other day, but it did seem to have a problem with the slime.
Leeks, onions, parsnip, beetroot, red and white cabbages, courgettes and runner beans are all planted out. I have the latter two planted in the tunnel too in case we don’t get a warm summer. In the greenhouse, I have just recently planted tomatoes and cucumbers.
So if I can just keep on top of the weeds and slugs it will all be fine!
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.
Charlotte and purple potatoes
Cooked purple potatoe
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!
Apple – variety possibly Katie
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.
New flower garden
New flower garden