I’m beginning to consider what I would like to try growing next year which has made me have a good think about what has gone well this year and what I’ll definitely be growing again next year. I’ll do a separate post about the things that didn’t grow quite so successfully.
Tomatoes were a major success – I grew two varieties from seed, Moneymaker and Maskotka and also bought a Black Russian plant as we fancied trying something different. The Maskotka plants were attacked by nibblers but I managed to save three plants – and Moneymaker was very successful, I had nine plants, six in the greenhouse and three outside and gave away
Cucumbers have also gone well and we could hardly keep up with eating them all. The Crystal Apple round cucumbers are my favourite. I had two plants (again grown from seed), one went completely mad, grew like a triffid and produced at least 20, while the other one was less
productive, with only three or four coming from it.
The ‘normal’ cucumbers (a variety delightfully called ‘Burpless’) have also been very productive – two plants stayed in the greenhouse and I put one outside in a raised bed where it got munched but just about survived – it then recovered and ended up producing probably 20 or more cucumbers, we had to pickle some to use them up.
The butternut squash looked well enough, two plants grown from seed, both in a raised bed outside and produced plenty of flowers but in the end only two reasonable sized squash with another tiny one. They were tasty though.
Peppers also grew well from seed – I grew Cayenne, Hotscotch and Hot Devil’s Brew and they produced plenty of chillies, see my pepper update here
So more of the same next year although now we have half an allotment, I can spread out more – just have to remember not to grow more than we can feasibly eat/store/give away!
I have to confess, I wasn’t that keen on the idea of piling a heap of manure on the raised beds as I thought it would be unpleasantly smelly. About autumn last year (I think) my husband went and got a small trailer load of (free!) horse manure and dug most of it into two of our three raised beds. There was still something growing in the other bed so instead I sowed some green manure when everything was finished.
I’d forgotten all about it though until I was trying to work out why some crops
grew exceptionally well this year and others not so. My stand out plant this year has
been the cucumber plant I thought I’d killed, which ended up producing a huge number of
cucumbers throughout the summer. I have only just taken the last ones off the plant and
cleared the bed.
The poo fuelled bed has also been home to a triffid like butternut squash plant, the first time I’ve had any success with them, as well as some sweet corn so it has done very well.
But the bed without the heap of manure has been a disaster this year – peas came and went, several rows of carrots failed altogether and I ended up harvesting no more than 10 weird and knobbly specimens. The only plants that did produce anything were the broad beans but they got rust early on and that was the end of them.
So I think we’ll be digging in some of the smelly stuff again this year, but this time will make sure all three beds get some…
And final harvest today:
My two butternut squash plants have turned into triffids in one of the raised beds – I’ve got two squash plants and a cucumber here, plus a few sweet corn plants – they aren’t doing quite so well though.
The cucumber is going great guns, with four cucumbers at various stages of growth but until now there didn’t seem to be much going on in the squash department – all flowers and no fruit. But I’ve just spotted this hiding away under a leaf:
I think it should be a bit further forward by now, but hopefully it still has time to grow and ripen.