Author Topic: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito  (Read 1709 times)

Tee Gee

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2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« on: November 17, 2016, 15:53:39 »
Both allotments dug & manured apart from the half bed that has my winter greens in it!

The Garlic and Autumn sown onions are planted out.

The beds in the three greenhouses on the plots are prepared ready for next year!

The garden at home is tidied up for the winter.

Wallflower & Sweet William planted out.

The shrubs that required moving have been transplanted elsewhere and new plants put in their place.

My potting compost (8 bags) and various fertilisers arrived today so they are under cover until required.

My seed order also arrived today, so I have made up my sowing plan and sorted the seed packets into sowing order in a biscuit tin. So these have been stored away until the second week in January!

All I can think I have to do now is wash a few pots and trays that I didn't get round to washing earlier in the season.


I have found 2016 a very trying year, some stuff was very good but other stuff was rubbish by my standards.

My Potatoes caught early blight so I had the tuber numbers, but the size was quite small so these might be finished by around Xmas time whereas in a normal year my crop would last me to around Easter.

For the first time ever my Brussel Sprouts failed me, I know why, and it is down to me in so far as I planted them out in the wrong place.

They were planted out to suit my rotation plan but this involved planting them in the only shaded part of my allotment, so as I fault! :BangHead:

Tomatoes & Sweet Peppers were not up to their usual standard in so far as they seemed to take ages to ripen despite using increased feeding to help the issue.

To sum up: I think all the problems started from April onward.

As you will recall April was quite warm with summer like temperatures then in May it was the reverse with some very cold weather, particularly overnight.

I think the pollinators came out early because of the April weather but the cold weather in May killed many of them off. I can't recall seeing any aphids this year, have you?

But slugs & snails have had a bumper year.  I have never seen so many or lost so much stuff as a result of their feeding on it!

I put this down to the mild winter we had earlier on in the year, I think the slugs laid there usual number of eggs but the survival / hatching rate was higher than previous years because it was less cold, plus the birds had plenty other stuff to forage on,

I also think blight was earlier this year due to the mixed up weather patterns, particularly with the periods of quite high humidity which to my mind encouraged the onset of blight.

So all in all 2016 will not go down as one of my better years.

Now I will have a couple of months off, with my plan being to start 2017 off in the second week in January.

I will start off by sowing onions. I am going back to seed sown onions as opposed to setts, as I have found setts to be less prolific than they used to be, but then again that might be my imagination!  What I do know is my onion crops over the last two or three years has been relatively poor.

So that is it folks the outdoor stuff is completed so now I will get down to doing a few more  indoor tasks.

Just as an aside: How did you find 2016?

Allotments 4 All

2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« on: November 17, 2016, 15:53:39 »


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Re: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 11:50:31 »
I haven't seen any aphids this year or any ladybirds. It has been a strange growing year weather wise. I got a new allotment so busy busy busy setting it up. I've had some fantastic crops, many were new things I had never grown before so this was great. I also had some not so great crops, surprisingly of things I usually grow with no problems. Really do think the failures are mostly down to sudden weather changes etc. The Summer didn't really get going until July here, June was grey cold & Butternuts suffered as I planted them out in June but they only grew in a month the amount they would normally achieve in a week! I did get plenty of them in the end but very small...perfectly formed though with seeds inside.
I am growing veg during the Winter for the first time this year. 


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Re: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 12:25:54 »
Well done!

My plot is less attractive and often dark when I have time to get to it now!  But there's still plenty of stuff left to pick over the winter.  Leeks, swedes, Chinese cabbage, mustard, brussels sprouts, taunton deane kale, everlasting onions, and kohl rabi are doing OK under nets but the rabbits have leaked back in through the fence (is it legal for them to call it rabbit fencing when rabbits can just push and bite through it?) and everything else has been razed to the ground.

I'm not digging my beds any more unless there's nasty large rooted perennials to get out so the next few months will be general tidying up, weeding and mulching with manure (plus re-filling the paths with any wood chips I can find lying at the side of the local roads)

The main job is the new half-plot I've taken on which was more than half derelict and head high in weeds.  I've used the brush cutter to get rid of the jungle and the next job is to find some materials to cover where I want my beds to be there ... the back half is destined to be an extended potato and squash patch to help clear out the untouched back end.  The raised beds inherited at the other end of this plot should be easy enough to get back on top of for more crops.  Then extended fence mending with galvanised cage mesh at the bottom should be strong enough to actually stop the never ending influx of rabbits.

On top of that I'm going to try and make a hot bed again for early crops.  On windowsills/greenhouse I will be sowing my onions earlier this year in December and I will sow my summer leeks earlier as well in January as they don't seem to get big enough sowing in march.  A second IBC for water needs installing, I'd like to put in a fig or two in the shelter of the shed.

In fact I'm so far away from "finito" it's tiring just typing it out!!!


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Re: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 13:03:28 »
My site (Sunningdale in Berks) suffered from a cold spring, particularly May, and summer did not really arrive until around mid-July. It was a bad season for blight which arrived at the beginning of July.

I managed to salvage about half the usual tomato crop, while the weight of maincrop potatoes was also inevitably down. Conversely, the earlies were very good, as they had just about finished growing by the time that the blight arrived.

Crops that rely on reasonable summer warmth were modest at best, e.g. winter squashes and aubergines.

Other crops were generally satisfactory.

Overall, I would describe 2016 as a mixed season.



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Re: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 20:26:01 »
I had aphids on one apple trees completely caked with them.  And then my artichoke got something.  The underside of the leaves were caked in black.   Got rid of both with stinging nettle tea.  Seems to be very effective.  Did not have the usual bluish things on the brassicas.

You are so organised.  I am impressed. 
I am still doing some muck spreading and also filling a compost bin with manure so it will be easy to apply next year. 
Have got my potato trenches prepared with manure along the top of the ridges.  Hope to throw in the spuds next year, some for broad beans as well.   Wizard broad beans looking good. They were one of the few things which did well this year.   I have also prepared two runner bean rows with manure each side of a raised bed.   I have buried leaves in the bean rows, there are lots around this year.  The worms and the beans seem to like them.  Hopefully they keep the moisture in the soil.   
Just preparing some trenches for early courgettes, I put a pile of soil on the West side to keep the wind off them and hope to put in some manure for them as well.  Manure is rather wet at the moment which makes it rather heavy,
Was not well at the crucial time this year, so I am hoping that with the preparation I will be ahead next year.
Autumn onions have nice looking roots and are just showing some green up the top.
Have planted a row of blackcurrant cuttings, the ones I did after picking are just loosing their leaves. 
Ordered some Big Ben blackcurrants from Sarah Raven and they sent Ben Tron!!!   Nice looking plants but....
One plot totally covered in leaves, hoping the worms will deal with them.
Something has been walking on my plot, not sure if it is a deer or a sheep, soil soft so hoof prints very deep.   
Most of my strawberry plants disappeared so I am off to the nursery on Monday to buy some more - not best pleased.   


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Re: 2016 Done / Finished / Finito
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 21:51:23 »
I find that unprotected strawberries have all their leaves eaten off at this time of year ... and you're supposed to clear them away anyway ... I've caught an escaped lamb doing it and I'm sure that both deer and rabbits also scoff them as their grass supply gets less.  Of course if the crowns have gone as well then that's that ... but it's worth investigating whether it's just all the leaves that have been taken.