So how was it for you?

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New shoot

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So how was it for you?
« on: November 23, 2019, 20:37 »
Relax folks - I mean your growing season  :lol:

It is getting near the end of the year and the time when we all start planning next year, so time for a review  :D

I'm pretty happy overall.  I had a few things bolt early on in the year when the temperatures shot up, but they were quick growing greens so not much lost.  It has been a soggy end as well, but luckily most was gathered in before the weather really turned.

My notable gluts were beetroot, which just went mad, cabbages and outdoor toms.  I grew Crimson Crush and Ferline and have loads of tomato sauce in the freezer, plus jars of dried tomato.  It was also a great year for apples and pears, gooseberries, raspberries, hybrid berries and currants.

Sweetcorn, potatoes, onions, leafy greens, beans and squash all did really well.  The greenhouse supplied plenty of cherry and beefsteak toms, peppers and aubergines and is now providing pickings of oriental greens, salads and herbs.  There are still decent crops of perpetual spinach, swede and cabbage to come from the plot.

Some failures though.  I've grown mini corn for a few years, but it just seems to have lost flavour.  The last couple of years of harvest have been so-so.  I'm giving it a miss next year.  The quinces also fell prey to the weather.  Just as they were ripening, it turned really wet and they all turned brown and rotted on the tree  :(   Oh and my leeks look fab, but are also bolting one at a time.  There seems to be some mysterious secret list of whose turn it is next that I have not been made party to  >:(  Not too much to moan about really  :)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 20:40 by New shoot »

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Growster...

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 12:29 »
Well done you, News - that's one heck of a season! It's also great that you have a freezer bunged up with everything spare too - that always makes a difference around February!

Here? Toms, excellent with half the number of plants, sweet corn - total failure! Sweet Peas - fabulous, salads, still going strong in the GH! Runners - Hmmmmm, I reckon some brand new seed next year - up to now, we've always saved seed, but I'd like to try the new strains, as well as do more Cherokee Trail of Tears, as we didn't have room for many... Carrots are still going strong two ft up in buckets, they're huge now, but starting to get a bit woody!

Rasps are in their new places, as are blueberries, and we still have some Joan J on the go (just picked a pound) but they seem to like their new homes, and we'll increase the stock next year!

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mumofstig

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 13:25 »
Being at the top of the plots, I really struggled to keep things alive through the very dry months, so lots of stuff suffered.
Peas gave a poor yield, runner beans the same despite watering. The only bean that seemed to cope well was Mennonite Purple Stripe, a heritage variety. Sophie Coco French beans only grew to waist height and then gave up :(
Poor yield of potatoes, but squash yield quite good, they coped better with the heat. For some reason the courgettes did poorly, though - no glut this year!
Early planted corn was okish, not as many cobs as usual - but the 2nd lot produced flower stalks  before there were any cobs to be pollinated  :wacko: So that idea didn't work. Mini-corn was a failure as well, just couldn't water them enough.
Fruits on the Tayberry and Loganberries at the top boundary dried up before they ripened, but the Raspberries which have a bit of shade were ok, as were the red currants.
Summer cabbages and calabrese bolted, winter cabbage, swede and chard are ok.
The big onions liked the heat and did well, but haven't stored well, garlic ok. Leeks waited a long while before they could be planted, as the soil was set like concrete, but they are fattening up after all this rain.
Most of the salad leaves were a right off, tomatoes were late and ended sooner than usual, so not many in the freezer this year.
Cucumbers did better than usual but they're always contrary LOL.
None of my pepper plants did well, I don't know if this was iffy compost, irregular watering, too hot or my saved seeds loosing vitality over the years,  who knows?
All in all, one of those years when you shrug your shoulders and hope next year is a better return for your efforts :)



Lesley x
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JayG

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 14:45 »
June is always the key month for the 'summer stuff', and this year it was mostly cool and dull until the short, sudden heatwave at the end. The usually (relatively) reliable Marketmore outdoor cukes didn't even waste time sulking before dying. :nowink:  Even the toms and cukes in the GH looked miserable until July. 

Most outdoor crops caught up and did reasonably well in the end, although the sweetcorn struggled a bit, including having unhelpful weather at pollination time.

First time experiments: Cobra French beans were a little underwhelming, but will give them another chance next year, Uchiki Kuri squash only managed 2 grapefruit size fruits between 2 plants, but I think they may have been somewhat swamped by the rampaging courgettes which produced the usual embarrassment of riches.

Blueberries had one of their vintage years, although this year the blackbirds were still around at ripening time and I had to net them, which I've not had to do for several years.

After several years sowing either too early or too late I finally managed to grow usable Florence Fennel.  ;)

Tomatoes in the GH and open cold frame did very well in the end, as did the La Diva cukes (reckon John's tip about feeding with high nitrogen fertiliser rather than tomato feed prolonged the cropping period compared with previous years.)

So, not bad for what was quite a challenging year - next year will of course be brilliant for everything and everyone everywhere!  ;)
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rowlandwells

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 16:43 »
like most we have our ups and our downs starting of with our winter cauliflowers Boris brilliant crop despite the  pigeons having a go that will teach me to net them properly next time  :D

onions very good both sets turbo seed raised element and salad onion carel and tipika broad beans masterpiece green long pod   average beetroot very good crimson king  bona and bettollo climbing French bean cobra good runner bean polestar stringless good

cabbage Greyhound and stonehead average  brussels kale and cabbice  slug damaged pumpkin Tom fox good butternut squash hunter good swede failure parsnip average tender and true summer cauli slug damage
carrot no show potatoes cara good cropping but slug or worm damage earl varieties in raised beds good

lettuce little gem good sweetcorn golden hind V good peas failure cucumbers and tomatoes in the greenhouse average considering they where sown late very good crop of plumbs

although our growing season could have been better we came out I think about average considering we re-planted new beds of raspberries strawberries and gooseberries

of cause there is as ever room for improvement next season god willing we need to improve our brassicas growing and others I have since built more raised beds because I'm finding raised beds more manageable and we have an added advantage piped water I told the wife there are many things in my head what to do down the allotments next spring what did she say she  :D whatever would she do that for?

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jambop

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 22:17 »
I had a good year many things went really well. I have not dug any yet but if the diameter of the top of the root is an indicator for what lies bellow I may have some sensational parsnips! I only have a half dozen, because I was impatient and never gave enough time to germinate, but the top of the roots are about 4 ins diameter! I made a cone in the soil about a foot deep and back filled with compost and sowed them on top so I am hoping the are a decent length below the soil... they are for Christmas ... I hope Santa is good to me!  For next year I have prep'd seven new deep no dig beds so I will be trying them in there for next year.

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andyww2013

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 08:09 »
For me, the good was cabbages, kale, carrots, beets, peas, beans, purple sprouting, garlic, sweetcorn and huge number of raspberries.

The total failures were Cauliflower (bolted), broccoli (top rotted), sprouts (destroyed by an army of caterpillars), onions (downy mildew)

Tomatoes and potatoes were mediocre at best.

So, a mixed bag, but not bad for my 2nd year.

Next year Im taking on a second plot, in a much sunnier place so that should make a big difference.  Also, busy building the next generation of crop protection, I lost count of the number of times Id see cabbage whites inside my enviromesh cage.

I also struggled with weeding this year, so next year, where appropriate Ill be planting through weed control fabric.

My final change next year will be to stop growing 4m rows of veg and use smaller 2m beds to get more variety within the space I have.

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Robster

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 13:10 »
My ambitions seemed to outstrip the time I could allocate this year.  So having said that super happy with a bumper crop of broad beans last years autumn sown.  Onions, garlic, shallots and elephant garlic were all good crops too.  Potatoes, all varieties were OK but no bumper crops.  A freezer full of pureed tomatoes now so satisfied with the overall quantity but I did have a lot of plants.  As success?  Possibly the best crop of carrots and parsnips I've ever had.  Surprising perhaps given the poorish potato harvest.

Overall happy and think next year I can put more time in

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JacsH

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 12:03 »
An excellent year for most things - we got rain when needed and enough sun most of the time; much better than many others had further south. Lovely crop of forced rhubarb so must go and put pot over another crown soon. Tomatoes did exceedingly well in the tunnel and now have enough roasted, blitzed and frozen to last until next season. Blueberries and other soft fruit bottled and ditto; good harvest of apples and damsons but pears so so. Carrots, leeks, fennel, onions and parsnips benefited from the new raised beds and carrots from netting (photos, hopefully, attached for amusement - family thought net curtains a hoot!); self sufficient in them for the year although I reckon I've overdone the onions, is that possible?! Garlic success - a first. First real crop off asparagus - very welcome. Sweet corn Honeydew two excellent cobs per plant, wow for us; runner and French beans very good, broad beans less so; mange touts excellent yield although flavour of Golden Sweet dull at best; courgettes and squash outside good, memo to self do not grow squash in tunnel again - it took over and didn't produce more than those outside. Spuds good although some rotting in sacks now so need to check more than usual; Brassicas ok to poor this year - caulis and Brussels - disaster, poor germination then hit by very cold spell at end of April, resow didn't germinate or got by slugs as soon as; purple sprouting, kale ok; swedes, turnips, kohl rabi ok but soil still needs improving in that bed; sweet and chilli peppers in tunnel could do better - more watering probably (bigger sump needs digging as not on mains water). Spinach and coriander - sigh; if they don't bolt the voles nip the shoots off. Latest attempts lying in sad piles in the tunnel although Oriental salad greens in there left alone. Some lovely new species of butterflies even if too many "whites" at times and honey bees have found us at last. Overall a busy and successful year. Next year - more effort on peppers, spinach and coriander, more weeding to GET RID of that sheeps' sorrel (Rumex acetosella). HORRIBLE stuff. ?more raised beds?? Fence blackcurrants and gooseberries against Bambi and hares!
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jaydig

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 18:20 »
I think like everyone else I had successes and failures, and, no doubt, next year will be the same.
On my little pear tree at home I had more than 80 lbs of fruit.  I stopped weighing them after 80 lbs, and now have jars and jars of bottled pears and pear and vanilla jam to see my hubby through the winter.  He absolutely loves pears. Strawberries were good, and the new plum tree produced a lot more fruit than I was expecting.
Broccoli did really well, and for the first time I had masses of side shoots to pick following on from the main head. Caulis were excellent (Clapton and Candid Charm). Dwarf French beans were prolific. Beetroot not so good, but this year I actually managed to grow a PROPER swede, for the very first time, and after years of trying.
Potatoes, hit and miss, and whichever variety I cook, they all go into the water unless steamed. Carrots and Parsnips germinated wonderfully well, but most of them look like triffids when dug up, despite the ground not having been manured. Radishes were rubbish. Leeks and onions excellent.
Grew Crimson Crush and the new Crimson Blush tomatoes.  Crimson Crush produced massive crops, as did the Crimson Blush, which is a huge tomato, but the problem is that 80% of them rotted before ripening. I'll do Crimson Crush again, but not Crimson Blush.  Loads of jars of pasta sauce and ratatouille, with a drawerful of packs of roasted tomatoes for through the winter. Still have plenty of winter savoy cabbage, sprouts, radicchio, carrots, parsnips and swedes on the plot. Butternut squash in store at home.
All in all not a bad season at all, but whatever successes and failures we have we always seem to end up with more than enough to see us through, so I'm grateful for that.

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Christine

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 21:30 »
Good: Raspberries and apples plentiful, dwarf beans and broad beans good, potatoes and onions successful, kale good; more red and green cabbage than we could eat
Hit and miss: Peas and courgettes
Better than usual: carrots
Mishaps: the purple sprouting broccoli went straight to seed; garlic didn't do well at all
Plenty of butternut squash and pumpkins
It didn't feel like a particularly good year but it was plentiful mostly
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 21:31 by Christine »

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Wiltshire Worms

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 21:06 »
We did reasonable well with most crops this year, biggest disappointment was main crop carrots.

1 potato was 1.5kg and won heaviest at show.

However, the highlight of the year was our allotment won best overall allotment in the council area approx 430 plots. We have achieved silver gilt 3 times before but this year we were awarded gold and then the overall prize.
We were very pleased

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New shoot

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Re: So how was it for you?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 09:04 »
Well done Wiltshire Worms  :D   That is an impressive set of awards  :D


 

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