We’re now entering August which for us is usually a time of abundance from the garden. Unfortunately this year things don’t seem to be following that timetable, although that’s not to be said that things have been a complete wash out.
At this time each year, I stop to review the year so far and to start planning for next year, what will we plant, what seeds do we need etc. It gives me a chance to really think about the garden as a whole from spring onwards and not just get stuck in whatever headspace I happen to be in at that time and it lets us compare the different seeds we’ve tried from one year to the next.
I keep notes in a gardening journal of every plant I grow, where I got the seeds, when I planted them, any issues and when they have fruited. This gives me a good record to use for the following year so I can see not only which veg has done well but also which particular seeds did best. For instance, courgettes. This year the courgettes haven’t been great. The plants have struggled and we’re seeing lots of dead, dried out leaves (possibly mildew) and the fruits are rotting on the plants before we get to harvest them (other than maybe 4 or 5).
Now you might think that means that courgettes don’t like the Musselburgh climate but looking back over the last two years, the courgettes have actually been our most productive plant. So what’s different this year? Well this year I put the plants out a little earlier than normal, although we didn’t have any frosts which could have caused problems, so it’s probably not that.
This years plants have come from different seeds. Last year and the previous year I grew our courgettes from a seed called All Green Bush, this year however I tried a different seed. This year I grew from Firenze F1. So what do we do? Next year I’ll try the All Green Bush seeds again and see how we get on.
Tomatoes are something I am always testing and comparing too and this year I’ve found a winner that I’ll definitely be growing again. Tomato Balconi Yellow, these are the perfect tomato plant for those of us who don’t have acres of space or even a greenhouse. It’s the tiniest little tomato plant I’ve ever grown, but you get a huge amount of lovely, tasty cherry tomatoes from it.
I’ll be growing these again next year and I’m going to try a red version as well. The size and yield of this plant means not only does it not take up a lot of space, but also it doesn’t need a lot for training and pruning. You could probably grow these on a sunny window ledge.
So what else has been a beaming success this year? The peas. We have had so many lovely, fresh peas this year that to be honest I kind of got sick of peas and started giving them away so we will definitely be growing peas again next year, but we may look at a new place to grow them as we found they took up quite a bit of space in the bed .
Now potatoes are another resounding success for this year, but unfortunately in my rush to try out different varieties means we now have far too many potatoes for us to use. I’ve tried leaving them in the soil but I’m going to have to give in and pull them all this weekend as it’s getting quite late, so if you want some potatoes,give us a shout.
Ok I’ll leave it there for our reviews and thoughts for this month but the next big excitement might be the dwarf green beans, we’re starting to see these appearing, so I promise an update about those as soon as is appropriate.