How Does Your Garden Grow?

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.

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4 Responses to How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. Christine says:

    It\’s become too cold for the butternut squash here so the ones that grew any size at all are ripening on a sunny window ledge. Managed a crop on an outdoor compost heap. Marrows by the dozen and courgettes too. Yep everyone up here is commenting on the excellent crop of caterpillars this year. Someone on another allotment sat and watched a cabbage white butterfly fold its wings to fly through the netting and do the same to get out. Ho hum. The tomato crop up here is also late and slow to ripen. I loved the pink fir spuds from the allotment and will grow them again. Good runner beans, onions and swedes too.

  2. Danilo says:

    This is the way to go !!!

  3. Sarah says:

    We\’ve had a great success with our cucmbers (outdoors) and courgettes this year, our crops of runners seem to have gone on and on.  The caterpillars tried to kill off the purple sprouting, but despite their efforts I think they will survive, however the brocolli was eaten to death!

  4. Harry says:

    For what it\’s worth. I\’m rubbish at gardening. However. I just plant things on a whim. And they grow. Having planted two dwarf apple trees. And now after about ten years. They are still giving about 500 big red juicey apples. Despite being told that this would only happen every two years.(Perhaps the trees don\’t understand gardening either) Having planted a Buddlia. A small bush? The thing had to be pruned with an axe. (Several times each summer) Having finally pruned it to ground level. And thrown the remains on the compost heap. The thing is now ten feet high. But to get to the point(Eventually) There is only about 9inches of soil in the garden. And some years ago. I started emptying the bath water onto the garden. And having a slope, and little opportunity to drain away. I can only think that the phosphates(Soap-shampoo-bath oils etc.( NOT THAT I USE SUCH THINGS YOU UNDERSTAND> BEING A ROUGH TOUGH YORKSHIREMAN) etc in the water. Are providing the neutriants. If so they certainly have lated and are much cheaper than fertilizer. Although I couldn\’t speak for modern eco-friendly rubbish. I mean products.

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