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The October garden, a pause for reflection

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default The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by Chilli-head 14th October 2019, 12:34 pm

So, as usual I start to look back on the growing season that is nearing its end, and contemplating the good and the bad, what to grow next year, and what was not a great success.

So, starting with the positives - Padron peppers ! Excellent crop from 3 plants, at least 6 batches for the three of us, and maybe still some to come.  Every bit as good as bought Spanish ones.  Definite for next year. In fact all the sweet peppers did better than usual. Florence Fennel - despite a really dry season, late sowing and a bolt resistant variety from Real Seeds means I actually have some this year that haven't bolted ... this is a first for me.  Peas - my self-saved seed which now have a mix of petit pois genes and whatever has sneaked in from surrounding plots produced a good emergence, and decent crop of short but really well filled pods - they significantly outperformed the bought Terrain variety.  Decent amount of drying beans, though I fear I'll have to freeze what's left on the plants as not much drying is likely with our weather.  Spring onions -this year I grew Allium Cepa varieties on the Hugelkultur bed where they did OK, but bulbed up quite quickly so now I have mini onions about 1" diameter - that means one thing, time to cook Stifado ! (Greek beef / baby onion / tomato stew).  Next year I'll revert to Allium fistolum (or Japanese) types that don't bulb up to have true spring onions for longer.  

Oh - and great year for pears.  I love pears.

The not so good - tomatoes.   Not bad, but not a great yield, still blossom end rot problems.  I'm going to give up on Sungold (too small fruits that split easily) and go back to Yellow perfection next year.  Ruby and Thessaloniki  had good flavour.

Chillies were mixed.  Far too many Prarie Fire - I will have enough chilli powder to supply an Indian restaurant I think !  The Mexican varieties didn't do so well, and early on in the season lots of fruit were affected by sunken, brown necrotic patches on the flesh, which I now realise is the same problem as blossom end rot on tomatoes. I really have to get on top of this, research needed.

The really not so good - onions.  Bolted because of the weather.  More organic matter / mulch needed next year I think, and a cooler spot lower down the allotment where it is a little lower and more shady.

How did your garden grow ?


Last edited by Chilli-head on 4th November 2019, 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Chilli-head
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by freebird 14th October 2019, 3:57 pm

Nothing much to report due to our move. I did shove a a few cloves of garlic into containers this time last year, and harvested them before we left. They were moderately successful - we're still eating the garlic, and I have one head with some good sized cloves that I can sow this year. Might as well - nothing ventured ...

Hoping to do some veg next year, but it won't be much until I get my new greenhouse and make my veg plots.
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by Ploshkin 15th October 2019, 9:32 pm

I had a real struggle with germination this year - no shows from squashes, peppers melons and a couple of tomato varieties and only one courgette germinated. I had to grab some packets of seed or plants from the garden centre and start again so things ended up quite late. Everything seemed slow to get going and was generally lacklustre, I'm suspicious about the compost I used.
Things got going after a slow start and I've actually had quite a good year. I had 10 lovely melons, a constant supply of courgettes from just one plant and French beans from half a dozen plants, good sweetcorn and 8 really big butternut squashes from an emergency bought plant. Tomatoes have done well but black cherry and bloody butcher have suffered from excessive greenback. Chillies and sweet peppers have cropped really well but I've lost a lot of sweet peppers to slugs. I think I'll plant them away from the sides of the tunnel next time. I grew cucumbers in the tunnel for the first time, starting them off in a hot bed and they have been phenomenal - luckily my neighbour likes cucumbers.
Outside, brassicas are really good but I did buy plants because I just didn't get round to sowing seed.
The not good .....
I did some onions for the first time in years, it was too dry and they got to about gobstopper size. Some 2nd early potatoes also suffered from dry conditions and produced very little. I forgot to plant out my leeks, they're still sitting in the deep pot I started them in. I might see if I can over winter than and plant them out next year. The other disaster was my figs which was very disappointing. There were loads of them and they looked really good but they all went soft and were just dry inside. I need to do some fig research.
I think I'm going to get a lot of new seed for next year and change my compost.
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by Chilli-head 19th October 2019, 7:58 pm

I forgot to mention that the dry weather meant the quinoa didn't ripen before it started to germinate and rot on the plant.  So, they went to the compost today, with the sweetcorn and bean remains - all to make space for onions and 6 (!) varieties of garlic.  Yes, while chilies are my thing, Mrs C-H is a garlic fan.  I always grow enough that we never need to buy any.

To get them off to a good start,  I emptied a compost bin, sieved irmt all and raked it in before planting.  That composter is getting a bit dilapidated, so will need rebuilding with some of the pallets from work when I get a chance.
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by Dandelion 19th October 2019, 9:16 pm

That's a shame about the quinoa CH - did you plant a lot?
I had a quiet season, not having planted much because of my knee op in March. Mr D looked after some peas I had planted in pots in the greenhouse, and eventually planted them out, and they surpassed themselves, growing up to 8ft high and keeping us in peas for weeks! My tomatoes were bought as plants and did OK, though I think the fertilizer sold especially for the Easy2grow system wasn't good enough (and came at an exorbitant price), so I will experiment with other brands next year. I had one tomato plants left over (one pot had two in it) so I planted the tiddler in the garden and it was the best of the lot. Some of the greenhouse toms had sunscald on them, which is the first time I had come across it. Purple sprouting was amazing, and I will grow this again. I don't think I grew enough to have any disasters though this year.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by freebird 21st October 2019, 10:12 pm

About this time last year, when we had just decided to move house, I had planted some bare root pear trees only a fortnight before. Couldn't bear to leave them as I had wanted some for years so up they came and into large pots. Today, they have finally gone into their new home. Hoping they will be ok as there is only 7" - 8" of top soil then the shale that has plagued me whilst digging out trenches. But other large shrubs seem to establish ok, so hopefully with some initial staking, shelter from wind and a good compost mulch, they will be fine.
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default Re: The October garden, a pause for reflection

Post by Dandelion 22nd October 2019, 8:39 pm

It's certainly worth a try, FB - you have nothing to lose!!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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