It didn’t go well this year. I was quite busy with the animals, the house and most importantly, the boys. In some ways, I’ve made better progress than ever in the garden; I’ve cleared away most of the ivy and years of resulting debris under our conifer trees, so we’ve gained an extra few meters of space (this is a ongiong job, it’ll be some time before it’s ivy free and usable), the lawn has been regularly mowed and his slightly less moss in it then usual, and the hedges and shrubs have been trimmed. All good stuff, but at the expense of the vegetable patch and the borders, which have been quite neglected. I think, going forward, that I need to think very carefully about my planting lists and only go for things that pretty much look after themselves.
Well, for now, here is how it went:
Tomatoes Brandywine, San Marzano, Tigerella & Ildi
The tomatoes were mostly a fail. They germinated well, I did pot them up but then lost interest and the plants weren’t fed properly or watered enough. We did get some nice fruit, but I may just reduce it down to a couple of plants next year.
Aubergine Money Maker F1
They germinated too late and although were looking good at one point, didn’t have time to form decent fruit.
Sweet Pepper Worldbeater
Chilli (I need to buy new seeds, again, not sure what variety yet)
Chillies and peppers never germinated…..the seed is likely too old.
Artichoke Violette di Chioggia
I can pretty much never get my artichoke seeds to germinate….need to do some reading up and find out what I’m doing wrong.
Grew brilliantly, mostly self seeding and the chickens benefited greatly 🙂
Cucumbers (Need new seed, again not sure what)
Forgot to buy seed – doh!
Grew well. One for next year.
Never formed fruit 😦
Radish French Breakfast, Sparkler & Cherry Bell
Grew well but went to seed quickly.
Broad Beans Crimson Flowered
Err…..not sure what happened here….not sure I actually planted them.
Peas Oasis & Purple Mangetout
Herbs Dill, Chives, Garlic Chives, French Sorrel, Thyme, Mint, Coriander, Lemon Grass
Hit and miss, depending on if I watered the pots properly. Will always make space for herbs though.
Swiss Chard Bright Lights & White Silver
Brilliant, as always, and self seeds everywhere.
Great success…again something I’ll aways make space for.
Spring Onions Welsh Red Stem & North Holland Blood Red (seed collected from last year’s plants)
Pak Choi Mei Qing Choi & Rubi
Never actually got planted….should do it next year as in the past they’ve been great.
Beans Blue Climbing
These grew amazingly well this year and I’ve got lots dried and ready to sow next Spring.
Broccoli Red Arrow & Rudolph & Kailaan No 2
Carrots Yellowstone, Rainbow Hybrid, Purple Haze, Healthmaster & Sugarsnax
Turnip Sweetball & Snowball
Didn’t actually grow any of the above 😦
Lettuce various varieties
Pesky slugs ate them.
Herbs Thai Basil, Sweet Basil, Winter Savory and many more…
Squash Crown Prince, Sweet Dumpling, Turks Turban, Hooligan & Barbara Butternut F1
They fruited too late and I now have mini squash rotting in the garden.
Things that I will definitely always plant are garlic and shallots. Both grew brilliantly, with little effort so they are a must. Also, the potatoes (Anya) were good and I still have three bags in the greenhouse to tip out and eat, at some point. I have normally ordered all of these by now and see that many sites have run out (of Autumn planting garlic, anyway) so had best get on with it, if we want to grow them next year.
Sweetcorn was also a great success and I did my usual method of freezing them whole and raw, with the outer leaves intact. I have quite a few still in the freezer, which I shove in the microwave for a few minutes to cook (again, with the leaves on)…delicious!!
I need to sit down and have a good think about planting lists for next year. Adding an irrigation system would be the biggest help as inconsistent watering is definitely one of my biggest problems. I would love to add longer term things (such as an asparagus bed) now we’re committed to staying here (oldest has just gone into Secondary school, which has been a nightmare transition and is not one I’d like to repeat) and generally need to plant things that I can find time to maintain easily.
In other news, I’m back to cooking and baking again, especially now the weather is cooler. Bread is back on the menu and thanks to two new books (both recommended by my Sister) I’ve been enjoying trying new things. I have to be careful with my cookery book buying as I already have loads and so I only add new ones if I really think I’ll really use them.The rye section in Gill Meller’s ‘Gather’ is going down well. I’ve made the ‘Coriander and Caraway’ bread, which tasted delicious and would have been great, had it not got stuck in the tin so that it came out in pieces 😦 and the ‘Chocolate Rye Brownies’ have been declared ‘the best thing you’ve made yet’ by the boys. Awesome. I’m still miles away from the master baker that my Gran was, but I do try.
Christmas food post next, if I find time to keep writing.