Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Year's Growing Season Has Been Rubbish!

Things really have not gone very well at all this year. The weather has not been favourable at all. First there were the late frosts with a particularly cold period during February. Then we had a very warm March with talk of drought. And then we had the seemingly endless rain. On and on it seemed to go. It feels that summer has only just arrived now - today has been very warm and greenhouse felt like it was hotter than the surface of the sun itself.

I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather gardener, and as fair weather has been somewhat lacking recently I have not been out as much as I should have. As a result weeds have really been taking hold, particularly nettles and bindweed which is getting to be a real problem. Also the late frosts killed off much the blossom on the trees which means that my fruit harvest is severely diminished. My damson tree is particularly disappointing - last year it was heaving with fruit whereas this year there are barely any at all.

Potatoes have also been very disappointing with a much smaller than usual crop and of the potatoes that I have, many have been eaten by wireworm. This is not good news as this means they have spread across the plot now as I always have problems with wireworm on the other side of the plot.. I think I may give potatoes a miss next year.

There have been some exceptions - the garlic has done much better than the previous years, so I think they actually quite liked the late frost. The shallots have also done rather well.

The greenhouse has also been disappointing, not helped by a break in earlier in the season. Not by disaffected youths, but by my goats! Their pen backs onto my improvised greenhouse separated by a piece of wood which they like to butt their horns against. Inevitably the wood eventually gave way allowing the the goats into the greenhouse and munch their way through my tomato plants, pepper plants and cucumber plants. I was not amused and it is lucky for them we are vegetarian.

All in all it has not been going well. I think will salvage what I can this year and start thinking ahead to next spring.

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allotments4you said...

Everyone is having a hard time of it this year but just his weekend I managed to harvest a few veggies. All different types of bean but I'm grateful for anything right now.

Hope you get a bit of something form your garden and that next year is better for us all.

sam @ garden dweller said...

I think we are all in the same boat unfortunately, I am having the worst year I think in my short gardening history. But on the odd day it is sunny I am out there trying to salvage what I can. Stay positive :).

Anonymous said...

I believe that if you plant French marigolds the year before planting potatoes this helps kill the worms. And then planting mustard as a green manure immediately after harvesting potatoes will help reduce the worm problem naturally, as it encourages the new worm cysts to hatch where there are no potatoes anymore to feed on so they starve. It might mean using a bed in your rotation just for marigolds until the problem is cured.

I have also read that if you plant the seed potatoes wrapped in newspaper that will help as well.

Also buy resistant varieties, and even stick to early and second earlies until you have it under control.

That should eventually whack the little blighters!

Tammy said...

We are having a difficult time with the rainfall. Our cabbage plants have all dies, tomatoes are wilted (the plants themselves) and lost all our okra. It's very disappointing. We can and live off our vegetable gardens in the winter months from summer canning and freezing them.We oddly enough have very drought summer in US and this year, It's been nonstop rain. It's a good thing but too much hurts your crops.