Hello fellow gardeners & friends,
It's been a while since my last post but I'm finally back with a garden update. I've had a lot going on in my life this year, some good, some not so much but the main reason I've struggled to get an update done is that there simply hasn't been much to share.
So, "what could have gone wrong?" I hear you ask.
Several aspects have hindered my success in the garden this year, the main one being the insane UK weather this year. After I was troubled by late frost last year that either killed off or stunted the growth of my seedlings I decided to wait several weeks longer this time around. Little did I know that this would cost me.
My poor little seedlings were not ready for what was to come so early in the season...a heat wave! As most of you will know, the people of the UK don't cope very well with heat as we're not very accustomed to it. My seedlings coped even worse than I did with many of them drying up completely despite my best efforts to keep them hydrated. However, there were some survivors! Mainly the French climbing beans, broad beans, peas and runner beans that I'd started off.
Unfortunately, in the North-East where I live only one thing can be counted on after a long period of heat and that is an even longer period of rain. By gods did it piss it down! 🌧️☔ This brings me to my next major issue. This deluge brought back my old nemesis...those damned slugs & snails! ⚔️ I did what I promised myself I wouldn't in seasons past and underestimated them. This blunder meant the demise of nearly everything that had survived the previous heat wave and left me disappointed with how the season was going.
Some Japanese Snowball Turnips and Kohl Rabi that had their foliage destroyed by pests.
That being said, I'm not just here to complain. Over the last couple of weeks the weather has been a bit more stable and as a result, some of my crops have flourished.
Here is a little sample of some of positives that have come from the season.
My plan last year to diversify in to growing more flowers to increase the gardens appeal to beneficial insects has come to fruition. Many bees and parasitic wasps have frequented these areas, with the wasps and other predators successfully keeping the aphid population under control.
The Blackberry bush that I planted in the shaded corner of my garden is now firmly established and producing lots of succulent berries. My wife has decided to make some jam out of them before I munch them all down.
A small number of turnips and beetroot managed to survive the pest attacks. At least they weren't a complete bust!
The Spearmint and Peppermint mini beds were very happy with the wet weather and were growing beautifully. I've been using them for tea infusions and pasta dishes. 😋
A healthy Parsley plant growing happily in the casing of an old stereo.
Don't ask me how but despite some serious neglect on my part, the tomato plants I've been growing are starting to fruit in reasonable abundance. I've found many handfuls of tomatoes growing among the overcrowded greenery and the plants thus far have remained disease free.
That's it from myself and my main garden helper Alfie. I'll be back with a late season update, in which hopefully I'll have some delicious jam and juicy tomatoes to show you all! I look forward to keeping up with your own projects. Over and out!
*All images are my own.