Author Topic: Ups and downs of this strange year so far  (Read 2162 times)

Peanuts

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Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« on: August 22, 2021, 06:36:01 »
Thankfully, in the garden there are always ups with the downs!  This year, where we are on the edge of the Pyrenees, since early spring there have  been wetter times, and drier times, and hotter times, and much colder times than usual. 

Tomatoes - well,  what a weird season so far.  We grow them outdoors, half from my own saved seed (several different varieties) and half bought plants.  I've only picked a dozen tomatoes so far, and there are a just a few green coming. Every other year, I've been   harvesting loads by now. We have nice green plants! But some have had no flowers at all.  Others a just few which might come to fruition by mid Sept? 

Lettuces have been beautiful.  Sweetcorn, fewer than half germinated, and a very poor crop.  But all the climbing beans are totally happy with this year's weather, thank you! 

Best success has been potatoes - the best crop we can ever remember.  I think they got the moisture when they needed it. 

How have others been finding this year?


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Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« on: August 22, 2021, 06:36:01 »

kippers garden

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2021, 21:03:51 »
Yes a very strange year, but what is more strange is some people have a good crop of one thing on our allotment site and others havent….for example my sweetcorn did really well and i have picked it and ate it but my neighbours sweetcorn is no where near ready.  Same goes for tomatoes….my first set of outdoor tomatoes got blight in july but another set of the same plants on my 2nd plot didnt?…..how weird is that
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JanG

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2021, 06:57:54 »
I had a similar experience with potato blight. I also have two growing areas; they’re 100 metres apart. Potatoes in one plot succumbed to blight very early - signs started at the end of June and I was harvesting by mid-July. The other plot’s crop carried on growing strongly and started to look blighty only well into August. But then blight is like that - a will of its own.

Beersmith

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2021, 20:19:29 »

How have others been finding this year?


Overall, pretty good.  Excellent carrots, parsnips, celeriac and beetroot.  My early shallots were only average but the later ones and the onions were heavy cropping and sound.  Good spuds but lost all my tomatoes to blight.  Runner and French beans very productive although my early sowing of the French beans got badly hit by slugs. Good strawberries and soft fruit - the gooseberries were good this year -with plenty of raspberries still growing and ripening. Cucumbers, lettuces, cabbages and calabrese all quite productive. Sweetcorn, physalis  and squashes are not ready yet but looking good. Heavy crop of apples ripening too.

So far more positives than negatives.  In my humble opinion this has been a fairly ordinary season. After a cold start, thankfully not too dry like some recent summers, and less prolonged very hot spells of the sort that really stresses some crops.  Some humid spells have probably helped the blight.  My really big disappointment was my cherry that got absolutely hammered by pests.

My defence against disaster is variety. I also have a small asparagus bed and grow rhubarb, daffodils and tulips plus roses dahlias and peonies for cut flowers.  Even in bad years something will do well. The disasters? You just have to shrug your shoulders and think -  maybe next year!!
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gray1720

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2021, 22:49:27 »
Judging by the spuds I lifted this evening, I've had a top, top crop of slugs... Loads of lovely tubers, but well munched. Funking barstewards!

Decent number of tomatoes, from which a combination of picking bits off and evil chemistry is thus far keeping the blight at bay, but are only just starting to ripen. Onions, shallots and garlic, fell victim to the dry spell, but up to my tits in beetroot, luckily SWMBO has a Polish sister-in-law so there is no such thing as surplus beetroot!

Winter brassicas coming along nicely, just harvesting the summer cabbage, and my courgettes and squashes have gone nuts, I will literally harvest by waiting for the foliage to die back and seeing what I fall over! The squash plot and the greenhouse look like something out of Day of the Triffids!

Buggered if I know whether it's good or bad, so it's probably average. I do know that the only parsnips I have are 5 in pipes, the seed on the allotment never germinated at all, nor did my swede seed. Bit peeved by that as I had load of parsnips and some lovely swedes last year, ho hum.

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Obelixx

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2021, 10:11:29 »
Started our harvesting with loads of lovely purple sprouting broccoli which, it seems, is a favourite of the chooks too so had to be netted to keep them out.   Good garlic and shallot harvest, broad beans a bit late to mature but then very quick to start getting too big and a bit floury so all frozen for winter.  I've moved our currants and gooseberries and one blackberry to a well manured bed with a seep hose now and it worked a treat.   First good harvest but poor raspberries in another bed altho those were old, inherited plants we transplanted to a new, well composted bed so they'll probably do better next year.  Strawberries a mix of hit and miss.

Pointy cabbages were lovely till the chooks got in and "sculpted" them to strange shapes so all new brassica plantings now get netted or caged.   OH's bloody Brussels are doing well as are the spring planted broccoli, chard and beets.   Loads of heads on the globe artichokes but I've decided they need to move out and be "ornamental" elsewhere as I don't find the taste is reward enough for all the peeling and choking.   We had our first asparagus spears this year and they were delish.

Don't grow potatoes as they don't get enough rain at the right time and go floury.    Tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and are looking healthy - so far - and chillies are finally producing fruits.  Must do better with labelling next year  as all mine have faded and I have no idea who is what.

Rhubarb in its first year and doing OK but needs moving to a site where I can ensure it retains moisture at its roots.   Love rhubarb and strawberry cobbler.

One courgette plant was smothered by triffid squashes but the remaining one has cropped well enough and we have lots of butternuts, spaghetti, Crown prince and potimarron coming along nicely.  They're at the ned of a long, well manured new bed with a seep hose and I have dahlias at one end, flowering their socks off and then the curcubits with 3 clematis along on the mesh fence side so they can have seeped water too.

Finally, one of the two new pear trees has half a dozen very large pears on it so thrilled about that.   OH eats a Conference pear almost every day but I'm not keen so am hoping our Beurre Hardy and its pal Williams Bon Chrétien will be a happy partnership tho no pears yet on the latter. 



 
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pumpkinlover

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2021, 08:01:47 »
Quote
Beurre Hardy and its pal Williams Bon Chrétien

I had a beurre hardy but when next door got rid of the ancient pear tree it presumably lost it's pollinator and never fruited again, so it went to make logs. When it produced the fruit were lovely but had a ready to eat span of about half a day. Get it right and they were delicious, a few days later and pappy.  It's worth it when good though.



Obelixx

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Re: Ups and downs of this strange year so far
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2021, 09:42:17 »
Thanks Pumpkinlover.  These will be checked every couple of days and pounced on when ripe.   I'm looking forward to a nice juicy pear.  Never did like Conference.
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