What a year so far! Hot, cold, dry, wet and very difficult for gardening. Got lots of things started early only to lose them to frost. The tomatoes in the greenhouse today are barely bigger than they were at the end of April.
Having said all that, the new cold frame has been a success, giving me more space for plants and I have been able to grow more herbs and flowers as a result.
We had a period of warm weather in April/May which led to good blossom on the fruit trees and few losses to frost.
We managed to clear an overgrown corner to create a new manure heap, which will be very useful. More clearing to do yet, but a great deal of progress made before the incessant rain came. The area in front will be planted, currently it has nasturtiums for ground cover.
The ponds have a good population of frogs and newts, and these have been doing a good job of keeping pests down. Slug and snail damage is lower than it has been, especially given the recent heavy rain. So while small, the ponds are very effective for wildlife and for our allotment.
The temperatures are currently very low, and rainfall very high. I have therefore put the cucurbits and baby corn under cloches to keep them a bit warmer. The potatoes are loving it and developing well.
The autumn planted garlic is doing very well, as are the spring planted onions and shallots thought they have been bashed by the rain. Today the greenhouse reached the heights of 19 deg C, which is frankly ridiculous for the time of year!
Sunday, 3 March 2019
New year, time to start gardening again, beginning with a bit of replanting in my plant bowl. Key is to pick small plants of different colours, it is very effective.
We have a short gardening year here, so I decided to start the tomato plants in a heated propagator in January to give them a head start. I followed these with chillies, cucumbers, peppers and courgettes. We had a couple of snowfalls so keeping them warm was key.
We also cleared some new ground under an old compost heap. It has not been worked in decades, and we found plenty of rubbish, including a tin can and a large cow bone, well I hope it was cow! I also staked some trees which got knocked around last year in the wind.Spring is moving on now, with flowers starting to appear. Potatoes, broad beans and shallots are started in the ground and the early rhubarb is coming on.
Sunday, 25 November 2018
Beefmaster F1 - enormous tomatoes but took forever to ripen and suffered from blossom end rot
Golden Crown Cherry (yellow) - good but took forever to get going
Gardeners Delight - good trusses but disappointing in quantity overall.
Shirley F1 - ok
Sungold Cherry (orange)- very prolific, had tons of these
Moneymaker - good trusses but disappointing as took forever to ripen
Overall, what I have learned is that the plants producing large trusses of fruit can be very slow to ripen so I may look at other types next year. But the hot summer also affected the plants negatively so we will see what next year brings.