I have been putting this day off for too long. Partly because it is not the most pleasant job of the season but mostly because it makes me sad to see the garden come to a close. Nonetheless it had to be done, just look at the state of all those withered plants!
This year the weather was truly unpredictable, changeable and overall underwhelming. The garden suffered hugely as a result and many of my crops were poor.
Some of the real disappointments were;
- Courgettes; I did not manage to get one single courgette from two strong looking plants despite them flowering promisingly all through August.
- Strawberries; Don’t even ask about all the strawberry plants Adam has been tending all year! One fruit? Pah!
- Peas; I had high hopes, but sadly the peas did not show.
- Basil; Amazingly, in spite of sowing seeds at numerous intervals over the entire season, both indoors and out, virtually none took at all. Those that did were very weak and unhealthy looking. We also had some problems with flies in our basil pots and I think the baby flies eventually were responsible for killing the plants off completely.
- Bell Peppers; As for the two beautiful pepper plants I nurtured all the way to maturity since sowing the seeds in March? One single purple pepper between them!
- Flowers; I actually sowed seeds for quite a lot of flowers this year including poppies, marigolds and four types of wildflowers we received as a gift. Not one single flower grew. I have no idea why not. I re-sowed all of them at least once but still had no success. I was really disappointed about the flowers because making the garden prettier had been one of my new year’s resolutions for 2012.
Success stories of 2012:
- Cucumbers; We had plenty of tasty cucumbers every week for at least a month. That was a real treat and we will be sure to plant them again next year.
- Herbs; I really have been pleased with our herbs. The bayAdam has been nurturing is strong, our herbs from last year are still doing well and the rosemary we salvaged is quite simply thriving!
- Mandarins; The real surprise story of 2012. I will write about them in another post shortly.
- French Beans; The output from five french beanpoles was disappointing, especially when compared to how many we got from two poles last year. Nonetheless we did get quite a few beans and they were tasty so I guess they cannot be described as a total failure.
- Tomatoes; I would estimate that we managed to get about half the tomatoes when compared to last year in terms of volume, but this year I had planted six tomato plants as opposed to last year’s four. I was sorry to see that we did not have enough of a crop to freeze any like last year. However, we did get plenty of tomatoes for about a month to six weeks and there were quite a few green ones leftover after that.
I believe that there were fewer hours of sunlight than usual this summer and the impact on the crops was huge. I kept holding out for a late heatwave in September like last year but unfortunately it never arrived.
The season is truly at an end now and I have learnt many lessons to take forward to next year. I think I probably expected a lot this year and next year I may have to temper my expectations. We are also refining what we enjoy to eat from the crops so that we can focus our efforts on the things we enjoy the most.