If you’re a keen gardener, how has your veg crop fared with the poor summer we’ve had? I’d be interested to know. As I said yesterday, our tomato crop was mixed due to the rain and lack of sunshine, although it’s fighting back and we’re trying to make the most of it.
DJ’s brassicas – kale, broccoli and cabbage – were a bit of a washout too. He put netting over them to keep out the cabbage white butterflies, but they managed to get in there anyway – and probably stayed there because of the netting – and decimated everything. Thankfully they have made a tactical withdrawal and the kale and cabbage are recovering. DJ was also excited about growing basil from seed this year, but he found he didn’t like the flavour of the variety he grew, so it was a bit of a waste of time!
But he’s had his successes too. The house is overflowing with potatoes and I keep being told to cook with them as often as possible to use them up. DJ grew pink firs and Anyas, which I thought turned out well. He estimates he’s produced £60 worth of them, which is no mean feat! But he thinks he probably won’t bother to grow them again next year. He grew them in a raised bed and they overshadowed everything else. Plus while they’re good tatties, DJ reckons they’re nothing special and he prefers to use the space to grow something better than what you can obtain in the supermarket. I’m still lobbying for him to stick a few in a separate container as it’s useful to have a few around, not to mention cheaper than buying them.
We had a bumper crop of garlic and there are lots of courgettes in the fridge, which we are planning to make courgette pickle from. DJ’s aubergine plant has also been a trooper, producing loads of very cute little fruits. The sweet corn was another highlight, as are the parsnips which we’ve recently started harvesting. Although they grow so far down into the ground that you can give yourself a hernia trying to pull them up. There’s also beetroot on the way, tonnes of borlotti, dwarf French and runner beans and – something I’m excited about – a beautifully formed butternut squash. It’s the first time we’ve grown one, so I’m looking forward to trying it out. We were waiting for it to colour up, but apparently it’s a variety that doesn’t go golden. And with Hallowe’en not far away, next year I want to grow pumpkins!
What have been your gardening successes and failures this year? Got any good frugal gardening tips? Leave a message and let me know.