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Ups and downs of this strange year so far

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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?

kippers garden:
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?… weird is that

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.


--- Quote from: Peanuts on August 22, 2021, 06:36:01 ---
How have others been finding this year?

--- End quote ---

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!!

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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