Was last year a goo...
 
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Was last year a good year?


Crowan
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Was last year a good year for you? In the food-growing bits of the garden, that is.

I had a reasonably good crop of courgettes in the end and we're still eating the leeks and the Swiss chard. But the spring and early summer were very wet. The actual water isn't too much of a problem, but there was so little light that nothing grew. My aubergine plants, for example, grew to about 6 inches then stopped. They were healthy, but simply not growing. A bit of sun in August made them start to grow and they finally flowered in October - way too late to develop fruit.

They weren't the only ones. Brussel sprouts got to about 4 inches and stopped. Absolutely nothing.

Most of my salad stuffs are foraged, or gathered from perennial garden plants and there was no problem there, so I'm increasing the garden plants and encouraging the edible plants in the wood. But if I'm having problems like this others must be. (Unless, I'm just a hopeless grower, of course :()

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Paul Crick
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Put up a poly tunnel Crowen, if you have access to seaweed, then that makes an excellent fertiliser and soil enricher as does leaf mould. 🙂

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Cascara
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Dear Crowan, have you grown these plants before? I had wonderful success with brussels and caulis in one garden the next house when we moved they were so stunted and small and not the same yet I was?

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Energylz
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Potatoes grew ok, and we had an abundance of fruit. Onions and shallots grew ok, but not as good as previous year, and we did ok for the various bean varieties.
Sweetcorn was growing ok, but the badgers got to it before us (it's always a fine line between us getting to it just as it's ripe and the badgers taking it - previous year we beat them, this year we didn't)
Leafy green veg didn't grow well due to the amount of slugs and snails.
Flowers and herbs grew amazingly well.

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Crowan
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Put up a poly tunnel Crowen, if you have access to seaweed, then that makes an excellent fertiliser and soil enricher as does leaf mould. 🙂

Thanks. There's no where flat enough for a polytunnel although I have two greenhouses - that may change as we develop other parts of the garden. I do use seaweed (we are ten minute's walk from the sea).
But it was the lack of light in the first half of the year that really did for everything. Short of expensive (and non environmentally sound) daylight-spectrum lighting I can't see what to do about this.

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Crowan
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Dear Crowan, have you grown these plants before? I had wonderful success with brussels and caulis in one garden the next house when we moved they were so stunted and small and not the same yet I was?

Yes, Cascara, I've grown them before - indeed, I had a much better crop the previous year.

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Crowan
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Potatoes grew ok, and we had an abundance of fruit. Onions and shallots grew ok, but not as good as previous year, and we did ok for the various bean varieties.
Sweetcorn was growing ok, but the badgers got to it before us (it's always a fine line between us getting to it just as it's ripe and the badgers taking it - previous year we beat them, this year we didn't)
Leafy green veg didn't grow well due to the amount of slugs and snails.
Flowers and herbs grew amazingly well.

Yes, our flowers and herbs were good - but late. In the village show, in August, there were no gladioli but in October the garden of the man who generally wins was full of beautiful specimens. We have pelargoniums and alstromeria in the garden at the moment - not only in flower but new buds coming! the beans grew and then were over - we had about two weeks of cropping, compared to the two or three months of the year before.
Yes, we have badgers. And squirrels!

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Paul Crick
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Some parts of the country are better for one type of crop than another part of the country, the locals should give you a good indication of what is good to grow where you are, there is not much we can do about lack of light apart from extending the season under cover. 🙂

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Crowan
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I didn't reply last week because I couldn't think of anything to say - other than I am not a novice and growing under cover won't help with light levels.

However, reading a magazine today, I discovered that Anne Swithenbank (no one can really suggest that she's a beginner) had the very same problems last year. In some ways that's encouraging (it's not anything I'm doing) and scary (if there are many years like this - and no reason to think it won't get worse) we could well be in for famine.

How are you all coping in the garden with changing climate?

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