Oct 20, 2013

Time to get back in to the swing of things

So by the looks of it, I’ve had a year off from posting updates here. My sincere apologies. Now I’m back! And first on the agenda is to give this page a tidy up. Over the next few weeks you will start to see some new content added and some old content removed. The posts though will remain.

So how has this year been? Half and half is probably best to describe it but that maybe unfair slightly as I don’t eat much of what I grow, my Wife and Kids are the benefactors so what did I grow and how did it do?

·        Potatoes – I went with Second Earlies this year after last year’s blight on the main crop I have learnt my lesson quickly. I choose Kestrel as they are a good all-rounder. I went with two beds for them and they grew well. We still have around 10kg left so I’m reasonably happy with how they turned out.
·        Sweetcorn – Despite holding them back in pots for longer than I should, they recovered quickly and gave us a great harvest. I inter-planted them with Squashes and Courgettes and I have to say it worked very well. No supplement feeding was required and the ground covering by the leaves meant the whole bed stayed weed free all summer.
·        Dwarf French Beans – These were started off in modules and even though they took a long time, they gave us a plentiful harvest. Will add them in again next year.
·        Japanese Onions and Spring planted Onions – The Japanese Onions were ok, and that’s about it. Nothing too big and were quite wet but still edible. Going to pass on these this time round though as the Spring planted ones from this year grew very quickly.
·        Garlic – God knows what happened to these. They grew through winter lovely with nice green stalks but when it came to harvesting them, I couldn’t find a bulb in sight. The stalks just lifted out of the soil with nothing attached. A complete mystery. This year I will be starting them off in modules and overwintering them in the greenhouse.
·        Courgettes – These were my best performers this year. We’re still eating them now! These will return in 2014, gaureenteed.
·        Squashes – These took their time but once they fruited they grew well but their taste didn’t go down well with the family. Due to crop rotation I won’t have the space in the smaller beds so will give these a miss next year.
·        Tomatoes – These took ages to come through this year and when they did they were nothing special. Possibly too hot in July which stunted them. Might try a different variety next year.
·        Cucumbers – Same as the Tomatoes really. They have their own greenhouse so conditions were slightly different but fruiting just didn’t produce a great bounty. We had a couple and of those they went down a treat. Will try them again next year.
·        Mixed Bell Peppers – And again, they struggled in the greenhouse. That long spell of hot weather in July meant temps in the greenhouse with doors and vent wide open were still in the 30’s for 12 hours a day. I’m convinced this was their downfall.

So what to grow next year? I’m definitely growing Potatoes, Onions, Sweetcorn, Courgettes, Dwarf French Beans, and the greenhouse crops. I missed out the Brassica’s this year as well as Leeks, Carrots, and Salads. I will have a think about adding a couple of them to the others and see how it all fits in the beds. I may throw in something else from the many packets of seeds just to see how they get on. For now though it’s a case of putting the beds to sleep. I have homemade compost to scatter and dig some bean trenches as the one large bed I have will be for the bean family next year. I might also start off some Leeks now and overwinter them in the cold frames and that’s it for now.

Thanks for reading.

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