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Reflections on the year

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default Reflections on the year

Post by Chilli-head on 21st September 2010, 3:38 pm

It's getting toward that time of year when I begin to reflect on the growing season, and decide what went well, what didn't, and what if anything I've learned ...

Next year I will be not so quick to tidy up some crops after harvesting. I had a rather sad looking row of cabbage "caramba" which had lots of gaps on account of ants nibbling through the stems. I left the roots in after harvesting the few good cabbage left, and I have had several perfectly good "bonus" cabbages sprut from the roots since ! A row of peas I thought I had picked over, but was too busy to take out produces a second flush, enough for a freezer bag full. According to Geoff Hamilton, broad beans, if cut back after cropping, can sometimes regrow and gice a second crop - I might try that next year.

Great success growing carrots on my heavy clay lotty, by digging a trench and filling it with the spent compost from the greenhouse, then sowing them into that. The only problem to solve now is how to keep the moles from enjoying the easier going by tunnellng up and down the row and disturbing the carrots in the process !

And next year I must not get so carried away sowing Hungarian wax chillies ...
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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Compostwoman on 21st September 2010, 4:38 pm

I find carrots do well in spent compot as well...I always grow a few buckets inside the PT, in a couple of bucketfuls of the remains of the tomato compost

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Post by Guest on 21st September 2010, 5:20 pm

Well done Chilli-head. I was just about to start a thread entitled
"Successes and failures in 2010, lessons learnt"

We always have failures as we can have either a Mediterranean summer or an English one or a mixture of both or even something in between as the north, south, east and west winds do battle around us.

But real failure has to be the baking potato we grow, Samba. It did not developed hulmes and so we do not have one of our most important staple winter food. I know from Gardeners Question time what went wrong. They were planted early as usual and on the east side of a shed - so that they would not dry out in the summer. But the really cold early spring and slow start put them into shock and they did not continue to shoot. I remember old timers saying if you plant the seeders early, add hot manure to warm the ground. So hope for next year but this winter will be a little harder without the baked potato just waiting to be stuck in the fire or Rayburn...

The “haricot vert” French bean, again, did not like the dry summer but I’ve decided that each plant has quite a load yield so I’ll go back to planting a lot more beans in the first place to make more plants to make more haricot vert (simple really!)

Successes. The English variety of sweet corn “Tasty Gold” germinated very well (almost 100%), grew strongly and produced excellent heads. We also had salad all the year from April to now growing outside which is difficult when it gets really hot and dry so I’m pleased with myself on that one. Also I seemed have cracked getting very good heads on the Stonehead cabbage and the red cabbages (lots of water)

But the greatest success was turning a 3 euro packet of melon seeds in to about 100 melons of 9 different varieties…I thought I’ll make a separate thread on that subject!

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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Dandelion on 21st September 2010, 6:36 pm

I will be more prompt next year in nipping out the tops of broad beans to discourage blackfly, and will guard the blossoms on the apple trees carefully so that I actually get some fruit... The thing I have enjoyed this year has been Black Russian tomatoes (from CW) - fantastic flavour, and huge! (One tomato did tomatoes on toast for four of us!) I will grow a few more different varieties next year, along with my favourite Tamina.
Next year our veg patch will be organised into raised beds (I'm just waiting for things to be over so that I can install them) so I will be getting myself organised to use them fully, filling in any gaps as they occur.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Compostwoman on 21st September 2010, 6:46 pm

Glad you liked them; I rather thought you would...! Very Happy

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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Lottie on 5th October 2010, 2:36 pm

Well, I've had time to ponder and think, and I've been really chuffed with my first season of raised beds.... Very Happy

I have the crappiest soil... Rolling Eyes pure sand, so for the first year ever, I've had some lovely crops of caulis, celeriac, potatoes, garlic, onions etc.. and my first ever realy really good crop of carrots, I've always been crud at carrots.... Rolling Eyes The runners have been fat and juicy, and the whole thing surrounded by nasturtiums and calendula... which led to fabulous pollination.

Fruit was really good too. with lots of strawbs and rasperries, currants and goosegogs, but I'm gonna have to move the blueberries as I think they got too dry...

Howver.. my leeks are complete pants.... Rolling Eyes no idea why... and the cabbages were really tough, which is a first.. I tried that new variety of Italian brocoli, the curly whirly one whose name escapes me, it still hasn't flowered, so I won't be growing that again....but will revert to crown and sceptre (spelt right)...

The greenhouse was great and the chillis were amazing, as were the toms and cucs.... but aubergines were also mega pants... not a one.... I also won't be so quick to tidy the nasturtiums round the cucs. I did that cos they got covered in blackfly so I din't want them to spread... but the cuc pollination then went right down hilll..... I think I may put in a few lavender bushes in pots... we shall see...

But I am looking forward to continuing sowing now and trying to fill those hungry gaps in Jan/feb...

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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Dandelion on 11th September 2011, 4:06 pm

Time to BUMP this I think....

The thing I tried this year (which I won't be doing next year) was to grow Gardeners Delight tomatoes as bush toms. They went completely crazy - large, dense unwieldy plants with too many leaves and lots of tiny tomatoes (smaller than my little finger nail, too daft to do anything with). Next year they will be grown as cordons like the rest. (Well, I attempt to grow them as cordons, but I always manage to ignore a few side shoots and before I know it my side shoots have their own side shoots!!)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by polgara on 11th September 2011, 5:31 pm

Very good for us after a poor start.

Solved the spring onion prob, still working on the radish prob.
Onions did not grow as big as I had hoped, but still usable & will last a while.
Carrots were/are good & should be a great help in the winter.

All in all I am very pleased this year.

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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
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] Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think...

So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Chilli-head on 13th September 2011, 3:09 pm

I've not had the best results this year. Difficult weather - hot and dry in spring when warm and wet would have been better, then cold at night after the beans and squash went out, then not much sun to ripen stuff when it should be high summer.

Anyways, best performers of the year were

Sweetcorn Lark - trouble free, good yield, nice flavour.
Beetroot Forono - I never seem to have trouble with beetroot !
Cabbages - all types - more than enough ! I have found it is well worth leaving the root in place after cutting, quite often I get two more "bonus" cabbages grow from the stump - usually a bit less dense than the first, but still good eating.
Pea Waverex - a petit pois variety that freezes well, very tightly packed pods are a bit of a pain to shell though.
Hungarian Wax/Ancho/Mulato chillies have done pretty well too.
Potato Sante - a lot of slug damage, but still enough undamaged tubers to see us through.
Onion Long Red Florence - seems to avoid the white rot, and has a good yield and a nice flavour.
Quinces ! My Vranja tree has maybe 20 on it after years of producing none.

Distinctly average:

Tomatoes, carrots.

Poor performers:

Pumpkins and squashes; rubbish. One big pumpkin (so C-H jnr will at least have his Halloween lantern), but the butternuts are like tennis balls and still not ripe.
Beans. Cobra finished very early. Drying beans got nibbled by deer and set back to the point that they probably won't have time to dry but will get used semi-dried in casseroles.

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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by Dandelion on 25th September 2011, 4:04 pm

OK - latest decision. I will never under any circumstance(well, perhaps with the EOTWAWKI as an exception, but even so...) grow Moneymaker tomatoes again. I got a packet free with a magazine (presumably they had run out of Gardeners Delight) and decided to try them, thinking that if I used a good mix of homemade compost, and they had lots of sunshine and TLC I might be able to grow some Moneymakers which actually tasted of something. Well I can report that the one I grilled on toast for breakfast had no taste whatsoever. Will skin and freeze the rest for cooking, but basically a waste of time. Why do they even bother to sell them?? (I'm sure the EU is to blame...)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Reflections on the year

Post by polgara on 25th September 2011, 5:30 pm

Been pleased with the potatoes, greengrocer sprouters did better than seed ones.

Shall not plant red onions again.

Tomatoes not too bad, I have no idea what sort, I just mixed them up & planted them.

Got a nice lot of late lettuce coming up.

Gerkins, just a few.

................................................................................................................................
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Elenor Roosevelt


] Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think...

So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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