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9 Oct 2011

Garden review of the year

October has begun and the garden is shutting down.  It's been a funny growing season with a very warm start, disappointing middle and hot end.  At least there wasn't much watering to do.
My raspberries that fruited again in the late autumn heat!

My successes, once again, were the raspberries.  I got loads of them early in the season.  I am going to halve my existing canes and get some autumn ones to extend the season.  I also got a good handful of blueberries in my first year with the new bushes.  The carrots did well in troughs and the potatoes OK in pots.  The most prolific being the variety Vivaldi.  The strawberries did well but I think I moved them too late and I expect next year to be better.

There were a few disappointments.  The courgettes were duff.  I tried a more compact  variety this year, Midnight I believe, but they got eaten by slugs then got mildew.  I may go back to Defender next year.  The cabbages also got eaten (by caterpillars I think) and the spring onions never really got going.  I did peas in containers but they dried out (that is just laziness on my part).  I used organic slug pellets this year but they didn't work fast enough so I am going to try nematodes next year.  I also can't bring myself to squish caterpillars so maybe some sort of covering for the cabbages.

The trees did OK.  We had a few cherries, a couple of apples (that fell off and got slugged) and the nectarine produced fruit but it split.
Tiny nectarines.

I plan to get a few more trees.  I only have a smallish garden so I am going to get them on dwarfing rootstock and keep them in large pots.  I reckon another cherry (to cross-pollinate with the one I have and hopefully produce more cherries), a plum and a pear.

Any tips for good varieties and gardening in general are welcome.  The garden is north facing and is shaded by the house November to March (we have already lost most of the sun).  It also appears to be a haven for slugs and snails (any control method must be baby friendly).  The soil is good, if a bit stoney.

I shan't give up.  Each year teaches me new things.  I may do a few beans next year and definitely some tomatoes, but at the right time.  I have some out there now but they are unlikely to ripen.  I shall water next years peas and the nectarine trees - lesson learnt there!
I have flowers too - my flower border with veg at the end.

1 comment:

  1. Pick the toms and pop them inside in an open container by a window and they will ripen nicely in a few weeks :o)