1102 no kcab gnikooL

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alan refail
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1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby alan refail » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:00 am

Now the year's coming to an end, what were your greatest growing successes and greatest failures?
What have you learnt that you didn't know last year?
What will you not be growing again?
What will you do differently in 2012?
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:11 am

It was a tricky year for me, hot and dry when warm and wet was required in spring, then overcast when the tomatoes needed sun !

But, successes - cabbages. I'm not very experienced at growing brassica, but had good results following Geoff Hamilton's suggestion of planting through a layer of brown paper. It kept the moisture in when needed early in the season, and controlled weeds well. And by leaving the stumps of cabbage "Caramba" in place, I got two or three cabbages from each plant.

Lots of other stuff did OK - leeks, beetroot, sweetcorn, peas ...

The climbing beans I grow for drying, and the squashes, did not get off to a good start with cold nights going on quite late. Very poor yield.

Disasterous ideas - I grow tomatoes in bottomless pots on a sand/gravel bed. Normally, I water and feed into the pots. Someone suggested to me that tomatoes take up water from the deeper roots, but absorb nutrients from the surface roots, so you should water into the gravel, but feed into the top of the pots for best root growth. Really did not work - it caused the worst blossom end rot I have ever had.
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby macmac » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:25 pm

Squash while slow to start have been splendid a roasted butternut for lunch was so sweet ,I thought they hadn't ripened -wrong !
spring onions and radish while early sowings were good what followed weren't
caulis "blew" open and unpleasant
tomatoes,soft fruit,asparagus potatoes.beans,strawbs,lettuce.fab
winter cabbage-tarvoy are lovely been making coleslaw as well as cooked.
carrots at home good ,lottie yuk
sweetcorn ,grown at home to defeat the lottie badger :wink: ok but a little tough this year.
beetroot not good ,not sure why as it's always been an easy crop
chillies and cues in the greenhouse ,while ok not as productive this year perhaps the cold nights.
all in all we're blessed we grow lovely stuff,we cook it and dine like kings no complaints :D :D :D
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Marigold » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:02 pm

Don't know where to start.. compared to trying to grow in high mountains up north, this has been an amazing year. Also as we have a large garden here after scratching out tiny plots before...Stars were are indeed are the broad beans and New Zealand Spinach,, will do even better next year as I know what is good here.
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Parsons Jack » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:39 pm

Can't really complain this year. Although it's been very dry for most of the year, and much watering was needed at all times. I think my arms are considerably longer than this time last year :lol:

Done well with cauliflowers this year. All of, Patriot, All Year Round, Candid Charm, and Lateman were a success. Romanesco was OKish, but I probably won't bother again.
Loads of parsnips again this year. Hollow Crown and Tender and True.
Carrots, Early Nantes, Autumn King and Eskimo all a success.
Leeks have survived, after cutting them back numerous times because of the dreaded leek moth.
Winter squash, Winter Fairy was a great success.
Seeds of Italy, Butternut squash was very prolific, but all fruits rotted. I suspect they are not suited to this climate. I will try some different varieties next year.
Potatoes were great. Rocket, Charlotte, Desiree and Cara. Liberal use of manure and potato fertilizer resulted in some huge spuds :D
Runner bean Galaxy, Climbing french Cobra, and climbing borlotto all done very well. I erected a metre high debris netting windbreak around them as the site is a trifle windswept :)
Broad beans, The Sutton, and Masterpiece Longpod done well.
Hurst Greenshaft peas done very well.
Garlic Marco was a bit of a disappointment. I won't bother with that one again. Back to Solent Wight again.
To see me through the winter, I have carrots, swedes, brussels sprouts, parsnips, celeriac, cabbage, and leeks still in the ground, and loads of potatoes, onions, and shallots in the garage. Along with a few garlic and winter squash.

All in all, very pleased :D
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Monika » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:46 pm

It's been a decent year here, too.

Major successes were all peas (Hurst Greenshaft, Cavalier, Carouby de Mausanne) and broad beans (Witkiem Manita and Masterpiece Green Longpod) with bags and bags of them frozen.

Runner beans and French didn't do as well, due to lack of pollination, I think, on the many dull days we had in summer.

All brassicas were/are fine with not much caterpillar damage.

Onions, shallots, garlic and leeks all fine, though some of the leeks look as if they might not stand a really hard winter.

The potato crop was certainly down on the usual yield, due to the prolonged dry spells we had and the carrots (Early Nantes and Sugarsnax) also suffered badly from lack of water - many of them split when the rains eventually arrived!

Tomatoes, sweet and chilli peppers were all quite late in ripening.

But, overall, I think we have enough vegetables to last us till next year's new crop. And I will stick to my old and tried varieties and not try anything new!
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alan refail
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby alan refail » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:58 am

Most of my problems were caused by having a very bad back for six or seven weeks in midsummer, so beds did not get prepared outside as I was giving most of my attention to the polytunnel.

Successes were all the usual salads, especially lettuce and watercress and pea shoots - still eating all of these as the winter salads come on rapidly. Potatoes were free from blight, though Rooster did suffer a lot of slug damage (it was a wet summer here).

Failures: pumpkins were poor as I had to plant them in a rather shady half prepared bed and never got round to weeding it (aforementioned bad back). Borlotti, which I usually have a trouble-free heavy crop for were pathetic - climbed to about 5 feet instead of 8 - but the climbing French beans in the same row were fine.

Discoveries: I found some great new chilis which did very well: Wenk's Yellow (very early and very hot); Nigel Green's (not quite so early and medium hot); Dedo de Moça (very late maturing, not hot at all, but sweet and crisp like an apple). I shall certainly be growing those again next year.

Other things I have learnt: F1 Sungold tomatoes seem to come true from saved seed and not all peatfree compost is suspect. Quite happy with my mix of peat and Vital Earth.

What will I do differently next year? Not damage my back in June!
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
Believe one tenth of what you hear, and you will get some little truth (old Welsh proverb)
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Primrose » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:56 am

Climbing beans, both French & Runner, were a disappointment & I didn't pick enough to allow a copious stock for the freezer as in previous years.

Tomatoes eventually came good, with an unknown orange plum cherry variety grown from seed from tomato bought on a market stall proving excellent for salads and roasting.

Leek, parsnip & celeriac leaves all affected by something unknown but still looking OK to eat. Peas cropped well.

Outdoor chillies & peppers did well in a sheltered spot.

As always, there's always next year and a new start to try again.
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Westi » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:21 pm

The same as Primrose - very poor harvest with all the beans and also the peas were a disappointment, although I am still harvesting peas at home from some I put in late which were originally planned to be just for the tips.

I also managed to get a gap of a few weeks in the salad production - something had rolled and pooped in one of the beds so had to re-do the whole lot loosing about a month in all. Also the aubergines didn't come to anything as something bit into the stalks. I have previously mentioned my sacrificial sweet corn! :)

My greatest success this year was my carrots - the biggest and most unblemished ones for years. Grew them along the fenceline and think I fooled the carrot fly and they couldn'd find them hidden under the bindweed.

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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby Mike Vogel » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:52 pm

Early spuds very small - weather too dry.
Late spuds wonderful, really big and numerous. We had rain at the time they were in flower.
Squashes absolutely pathetic; we got one pumpkin from 3 plants and a few courgettes.
Tomatoes did well - I maunred the beds well the previous autumn.
Carrots were pathetic from April sowings but have turned out very well from later, especially Flakee. I protect them with Enviromesh and they have had no carrot fly.
Sprouts are going to be a bumper crop. Again, well-manured soil last autumn.
Celeriac is looking rather small, but I haven't checked on themrecently.
Peas were their usual thirsty selves. As long as I was able to water them they did fine, but whenever circumstances kept me away from the plot they quickly dried up.

I think I'll give up on peas and sweet potatoes: more trouble than they are worth. I may also buy more plants next year rather than sowing my own seed, but that's mainly simply a matter of convenience.
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Re: 1102 no kcab gnikooL

Postby jane E » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:57 pm

I grew chillies for the first time and am still harvesting them and making hot tomato relish with them.
It's a joy to be still picking autumn raspberries. I am making a pot of jam most days. Weren't we into snow this time last year?
For the first time ever corn was an unmitigated disaster and I gave the whole lot to the pig. She didn't think it was an unmitigated disaster!
Beans were a disaster too. Rabbits ate 3 sowings until I got the fencing like Fort Knox; they were late and wasps built a nest in the compost bin alonside the beans. I'm very allergic to stings and I don't like killing useful pollinators so I forwent a very meagre bean harvest and I'll have plenty of seed for next year.
Highlights have been - best brassicas EVER!
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