A quick round-up of this year’s garden successes, as the summer growing season comes to a close and I start thinking about autumn planting.
Garlic! No photo, but I got between 12 and 15 garlic bulbs, all of which are tasty and fairly easy to peel. That’s 4-5 weeks of our garlic supply, which is great. (We use a lot of garlic.) I will definitely be putting more in in November.
The rhubarb I transplanted from the allotment has settled in fine, despite being transplanted at totally the wrong time of year. No harvest this year as I’ve been letting it gather its strength, but looking forward to rhubarb crumble and rhubarb jam next year.
The apple tree is doing very well, despite some concerns with the ants earlier in the year, and we should have a good dozen apples this year, assuming they keep growing and no further problems. It needs a good prune over the winter.
The tomatoes are doing wonderfully. I’ve just started harvesting the first few this week, and they taste great. I have about 50% large (which will mostly be cooked down into passata) and 50% cherry (which will mostly be eaten straight off the vine). The ones in the self-watering containers have once again done best, so plan for next year is to make a few more self-watering containers.
The herb garden has mostly done pretty well. I still think it’s a little underutilised (not all of my pots have been filled). The basil struggled a lot, which I think might be a snail problem (see the problems post for more on snails. Main plans for next year: plant more basil and coriander, deal with snails in some way, find a way of reminding other cooks in the house that the fresh herbs are there.
We have all of the rocket in the world (this is just one of the many rocket jungles, some of which emerge from cracks in the paving slabs), mostly self-seeded. The bees like it too. The only issue is that we’re not eating that much of it; I need to think about harvesting strategies for next year. However, as weeds go, I’ll take rocket over most things.
The chard is also doing very well (note also more rocket). I think this lot self-seeded, but I might have planted it. I eat chard quite regularly, so it is being eaten.
The thing I note from this is that it’s the low-maintenance and self-seeded plants that seem to be doing the best. Something to bear in mind when planning for next year.
Suddenly there is sunshine, after what felt like weeks and weeks of rain and grey skies. Here’s a quick roundup of things in the garden:
Two apples on the tree (I took a couple off when they first appeared, to reduce the load on the tree in its first year).
A handful of raspberries, and the autumn raspberries flowering.
A handful of strawberries from three troughs.
Two rhubarb crowns transplanted from the allotment are doing well after wilting heavily at first.
The bronze arrow-head lettuce has gone spectacularly to seed, with flower heads that are several feet tall. I’m hoping it’ll self-seed cleanly, but I’m not sure if there’s anything else around that crosses with it.
The rocket jungle, though extensive, is getting a bit too peppery as it too goes to seed. I may hoick some of the plants up as there really is a lot of it. It’s also self-seeded into the gaps between the paving slabs.
The misc lettuce still cropping happily in the salad bed.
The courgettes have started cropping and we’ve eaten the first couple.
The chard hasn’t really germinated terribly well. There are a couple of plants but I was hoping for more. Intending to replant for an autumn/winter crop.
No sign at all of the pak choi. Again, I’ll try replanting.
We had a reasonable crop of peas but those have gone now.
The tomatoes are growing away happily. The ones in the self-watering containers are doing noticeably better than the others.
The turnips doing well and we’ve already eaten the first row. Intending to plant another couple of rows for a late-summer crop.
There are plenty of carrots but they’re not growing all that fast. I’ve always struggled with carrots!
Very few beets germinated from the row I planted. Given the close relationship between beetroot and chard and the poor germination rates for both, I’m wondering if the conditions were just bad for these plants. (Alternatively, I may have had old seed as I’ve been using up seed from older packets.)
Things to plant in the next month:
Perhaps some winter cabbage or lettuce?
Rocket, except I won’t need to deliberately plant that as it’s happily planting itself.
 We bought it as a 3-yr-old tree; if it were actually a maiden I’d have removed all of the fruit in its first year.