Notes From "Moy Gaaden"

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niall Y

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It's at this time of year, that I tend to look back and take stock of what has happened growthwise in the garden. And, I have to say ,it's been a very strange year.

The green house hasn't been nearly as productive as other years. The tomatoes have been remarkably undersized after ripening - I am not alone in this, as a neighbour who has two large commercial poly-tunnels is having the same problem. My cucumbers this year have grow 'triffid -like' ,but I don't have the' gluts' I've had in previous years. Every fruit has been deformed, resembling an 'orange in a sock', rather than being straight and uniform. Even the chillies have yet to ripen. Though the Basil (now I've found a way of protecting it from the slugs) is fine.

The rest of the garden has produced mixed results, the successes being:
Lettuces, (remarkably bug free) Potatoes, Florence fennel, and Mangetout.

The 'could do betters' are : Courgettes ( late to produce and again no 'gluts'), Spinach, beetroot Runner beans, ( very late - only had my first crop last week) Strawberries and Carrots

The abject failures are : Onions, garlic and Leeks

The complete ' no shows,( i.e.. I planted the seed but nothing came up) , are:
Parsnip Parsley, Dill, Chervil and a late crop of lettuce.

And I've not even started on the flowers, :giggle: I'd be interested to know how well others are doing this year, compared to other years.

Niall
 
Kitchen garden is being re-developed into deep raised bed system, from "no-dig" and so is transitional. This is all my wife's work too, not mine.
Broad beans, kidney beans and french beans, yellow and purple too - huge crops
Mange tout / peas - small crop
Potatoes - small crop
Onions - poor crop
Garlic - OK but small
Courgettes - lots (plus a few marrows)
Carrots - weak crop and stunted
Cucumbers - total glut
Big tomatoes - glut
Aubergines - plenty
Small tomatoes - not bad, not brilliant and too many splits
Basil - OKish
Chervil - not great but all other herbs pretty much OK
Sweet peas - absolute glut of flowers for the house, which is very good
Apples etc - far more than we can use, but very few pairs or plums compared with other years
Strawberries - destroyed by rabbit (who in turn met his maker)
Other berries - bit early yet but blackberry and raspberry glut seems likely.

The ornamental garden struggled as we had heavy snow last winter when we were away. Most spiky plants suffered. Figs despite being in the greenhouse suffered and we lost one, hedges had top burn die off from snow, lost a few smallish (3 metre) conifer trees. Most things were very late but warmish wet summer has delivered verdant green growth. Small bonsai have struggled. Bigger ones OK.
 
Always interesting to hear other people's experiences of a year.

Leeks, onions, carrots, parsnips, french/runner beans, all very good this year.
Brassicas are all looking good after a total loss last year.
Squash are a total loss, and courgettes are now collapsing after some cold nights.

Apples and pears are doing very well, wall trained plums are good, but no crop on the open grown ones.
Not many sloes about this year as far as I can see. May be short on my favourite cold remedy.

One odd one is all the hypericums here have been cut hard back by the snow and wind, yet a ceanothus 10 feet away was unaffected.

Due to the oil prices last year the greenhouse was only heated to stop the pipes freezing, with care and good fleece I managed to keep more things going than I expected but the bonus is the mealybugs that have plagued the amaryllis for years have died off
 
Early Broad beans loads,
Kidney beans only grew five plants huge crops of 12 to 14" best ever. just finished. ( have tried pickling some)
Peas - small crop.
Potatoes - large crop.
Onions - large crop, have pickled 6 2lt jars. (last year I used cider apple vinegar and was nice this year have added Blueberry juice to it)
Courgettes - good crop so far of 8 to 10" long 2" round and keep giving.
Mini cucumbers - loads have pickled most, anymore now for eating as is.
Small tomatoes - not too many but nice.

Cherry tree did nothing.
Walnuts was loads but squirrel taken most.
Chestnuts look good but thinking I won't get many.

Anyone know how to beat Squirrel to them?
 
Always interesting to see how others are doing. Over the years I've gardened in different parts of the country. And I suppose I was spoiled by being able to grow, first in Lincolnshire, then in Beckenham, which in the past would have been classed as Kent. Both excellent places for growing.

Now here I am gardening in West Wales, close to the sea, 400 ft above sea-level, and on shallow soil with rock beneath. It is satisfying ,of course when you overcome the limitations and manage to get things to grow

As an indication of the challenging conditions, we had the dreaded knot weed growing at the end of the garden Probably introduced when the septic tank was installed. And, just by pulling up the shoots by hand I've eradicated it. Which I think must be some sort of first.
Also the previous owners had planted a Russian Vine in the hedge which I failed to spot for at least the first ten years we were here. :giggle:
 
Anyone know how to beat Squirrel to them?
Get an air rifle, shoot the squirrel and eat it - wonderful meat! Lots of people are a bit squeamish about eating it, but having watched teenage girls almost come to blows over the last KFC style back legs in the bowl, I think it's safe to say if you try it, you'll like it.
 
We don't have space for much so concentrate on thinsg we like. Cambridgeshire, pretty poor soil, flat, windy, wetter year than usual until recently and at times very cool, punctuated with some short very hot spells. Even though its cool and cloudy, and now noticably cool in the evening and at night, we have had almost no rain for 4 weeks. Water buts almost empty but did fill up a bit last night - first proper rain for ages. Topography here means that a lot of showers/thunder showers miss the village but it can be wet a mile away.

In Feb/March we had Muntjac deer wandering in and chewing all sorts, so I have some deterrent fencing which seems to have worked. Aparrently they follow established tracks so if you break the habit they go elsewhere. Even if I forget the fence panel in the entrance at night they don't seem to bother any more - but they do like cougettes if they do get in.

Runner, dwarf and climbing french beans have all been very good indeed. Courgettes OK, had a 'pause' but steady supply, never a surplus. Outdoor cucumbers a consitent modest supply after a slow start, and still going so overall a good year. Salad and herb crops enough for us but most years we give loads away to neighbours - not this.

Tomatos, all outdoors, have been strange. 3 in a growbag on a bench in a sheltered sunny corner, 8 more in various spots around the garden, mixed varieties. All had a slow start, some have grown really well after that with 2 notable failures. The good ones all have good crops but they are ripening very slowly - I expect to be taking whole trusses off intact and ripening indoors after the end of September unless we get a warm Autumn. So the supply has been a pleasant trickle since mid August but not enough for cooking/preserving/giving away yet. Surprisingly in spite of the cool and often wet weather I've had no blight yet - we get some most years except last when it was hot and dry and dry and hot for weeks. I have been trying jedi mind control - standing near a plant for several minutes willing it to ripen - but no respnse so far. Gets me out into the fresh air though so time not wasted.

On the ornamentals, a remarkably good year for dahlias, good for most things but zinnias mostly failed. Maybe they develop in alphabetical order so in a poor year zinnias lose out before they start. :)

So that's it. Some good, some poor, no disasters.
 
Get an air rifle, shoot the squirrel and eat it - wonderful meat! Lots of people are a bit squeamish about eating it, but having watched teenage girls almost come to blows over the last KFC style back legs in the bowl, I think it's safe to say if you try it, you'll like it.
I have an overly close neighbour that if I was to f-art in the garden he would be wanting to know what I am doing.

niall y,
You did well with the knot weed there was some growing outside the office where I worked my gosh the amount of people that had to inspect it and deal with it, it must have cost a fortune to get rid of.
 
It's at this time of year, that I tend to look back and take stock of what has happened growthwise in the garden. And, I have to say ,it's been a very strange year.

The green house hasn't been nearly as productive as other years. The tomatoes have been remarkably undersized after ripening - I am not alone in this, as a neighbour who has two large commercial poly-tunnels is having the same problem. My cucumbers this year have grow 'triffid -like' ,but I don't have the' gluts' I've had in previous years. Every fruit has been deformed, resembling an 'orange in a sock', rather than being straight and uniform. Even the chillies have yet to ripen. Though the Basil (now I've found a way of protecting it from the slugs) is fine.

The rest of the garden has produced mixed results, the successes being:
Lettuces, (remarkably bug free) Potatoes, Florence fennel, and Mangetout.

The 'could do betters' are : Courgettes ( late to produce and again no 'gluts'), Spinach, beetroot Runner beans, ( very late - only had my first crop last week) Strawberries and Carrots

The abject failures are : Onions, garlic and Leeks

The complete ' no shows,( i.e.. I planted the seed but nothing came up) , are:
Parsnip Parsley, Dill, Chervil and a late crop of lettuce.

And I've not even started on the flowers, :giggle: I'd be interested to know how well others are doing this year, compared to other years.

Niall
My brambles are magnificent, also nettles did rather well if I say so myself
 
A bit of an update. One reason for posting this now is the weather forecast. Mild, some rain but unusually windy for mid September later in the week. The tomatos are now very heavy so I yesterday repurposed the canes from the climbing beans to add support to the tomato plants - don't want to lose them after all this time. Here in East Anglia the forcast is wind 20+ and gusts to 40 + mph Wednesday.

I took out the climbing french beans this weekend, they ended up with a bumper year after a slow start. 2 varieties, one early one late, so we had severl weeks of beans. Runners still got a crop or two on them. The early dwarf french were over mid July, but instead of taking then out we cut the plants back to almost nothing and they are about to produce another crop, albeit smaller than the first. After looking at me with derision and failing to grow for a long time, the recent hot spell has inspired the second crop lettuce to grow very quickly. Tomatos now ripening, a bit erratically, the very hot week in September didn't help much but now the nights are cooler its all looking good - I think cooler nights might act as trigger. Still no blight - good fortune or skilled care? (I would like to think the latter, but it's most likley pot luck)

Dahias still spectacular - they are mostly from mixed seed, we are not into the specialist ones - cosmos finally flowered but they will all have to take their chances in the wind.

It still rates as a very odd year though. Long cool spells and some very hot dry ones all mixed up.



Parsnip Parsley, Dill, Chervil and a late crop of lettuce.

Parsley is notoriously unreliable for germination. We gave up some years ago. Now we buy a pot of curly and a pot of flat from the supermarket early spring, let then acclimatise for a few days then soak and split the pots. About 1/3 go back in the pot for immediate windowsill use, 1/3 in the salad trough for early summer and the rest in the garden where it survives well into late Autumn. A bit later in the year we do the same with coriander. We've tried Dill in the past but it doesn't seem to transplant well. Costs a bit more than seed but still a good return on investment if you use a lot.
 

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