Sucessful harvest, disappointing crop. What have you learnt this year?

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  • The summer is now coming to an end. Most of the veggies are being harvested.
    What crops have been particularly good this year?
    What has disappointed you?
    What leasons have you learnt?

    For me there have been a few things i have been pleased with-
    Peas. I have tried these a lot in the last few years with little success but this year we got a good crop. I think this has been because i have been able to protect them from serious slug attack long enough for the plants to grow big. This was probably because of the very cold winter reducing number of slugs.

    Tomatoes. Got a greenhouse this year and got loads of tomatoes. Did not even prune the plants very much. Just planted them then let them grow.

    cucumbers and gerkin. These are surprisingly easy to grow if you have a greenhouse or Clouche. Will definately be growing more next year.

    Carrots. Got loads of these. very little damage from pests. Making a protective wall around these with plastic is essential. I did not do this last year and they were inedible due to carrot fly.

    Disappointing crops-
    Onion. Yet again these have been a poor crop for me. I think this is because my soil is very poorly drained due to a lot of clay. Lots of them have rotten roots. Think i will just grow a few shallots in a raised bed next year.

    Cauliflower. Think i will give up on these. They were looking lovely one day and within a week they were gone. The white flower had gone all yellow and damaged.

    Butternut squash. Very disappointing. Have grown loads of pumpkin but all the butternut squash planted at the same time have produced weak plants with no squashs. Has anyone else had problems with these or has anyone found them easy to grow?

    Sweetcorn- Very poor. not sure what is wrong, have never had problems before. Possible explainations- Had spuds in that bed last year. Maybe they drained all the nutrients from the soil. Or they were in a spot which was a bit shady. Or the seeds were cheap seeds from a supermarket. Maybe they were not very good quality. Or i planted them in the same bed as the pumpkin. The theory being that the corn grows high and the pumpkin grows on the ground. Both are happy. Maybe the pumpkin have overwhelmed the corn. Very disappointed with this. The kids love fresh corn on the cob.

    Asparagus. Still not getting any decent crop from a bed planted 2 years ago. very disappointing.

    Leasons learnt.

    Buy decent seed. The sweetcorn have been poor. But the brussel spouts have also been poor. Bit early to say as they should not be ready til xmas but they have been badly damaged by white fly when the broccoli and kale next to them are ok. I bought a load of young plants from a local flower shop and maybe they were not to good. I have never had trouble with them before when i bought seed from a garden centre.

    Don't plant to early. Cold winter, cold soil. Lots of the early stuff i planted cropped badly. I planted early carrots, then a main crop. The main crop quickly overtook the early crop. Have been picking them to thin them out for 6-8 weeks and all the main crop are much bigger than the earlies.

    Keep a diary next year. Need to keep a record of when i plant stuff and what varieties are planted.

  • Wow you grew a lot.......:)
    I think you need three years for asparagus to settle in before it really starts to produce so I shouldn't worry too much yet.

    I've still loads of outside tomatoes and my figs are coming on nicely - I bought broad bean plants so didn't get enough off them to cover the cost and I was a tad disappointed in my artichokes.

  • wow! thanx for that post gary, inspiring me to get my little community garden actually going somewhere this coming year - i had such massive plans then discovered what working with the council is actually like ;) never mind though i at least got a compost bin in...

    what have i learnt? to stop waiting for them to tell me it's ok to do stuff and just do it and see what happens...and that you can grow lemon trees from the seeds of 5p lemons from the supermarket :)

    hopefully this time next year i'll have news of actual crops

  • WOW...I have to say I am pretty impressed with your post Gary.
    My first foray into growing my own veg has been, I have to say, pretty unsuccessful.
    The first lot of carrot seedlings were eaten out of the proporgator (?sp) by my cat. The subsequent 2 crops destroyed by pests after planting out.

    I got a few good crops of radishes which were so easy to grow and delicious and by far the most successful - or pretty much only successful - crop.

    Lettuces, brocolli and also green beens were destroyed by pests. The shallots and beetroot were rubbish because of my own inexperience - not enough watering and far too close together resulting in small and inedible beetroots!

    And the strawberries, I had loads of these, managed to get 4 or 5 off before the dog scoffed the lot.

    Lots of lessons to learn before spring next year, I am not going to give up yet, I need to do a lot more planning and be a lot more prepared to fight the onslaught of all the critters who seem to have got there first :D

  • We battled and battled with slugs this year and lost :( Nothing non-chemically has worked, maybe next year we'll have to use the nasty stuff.

    Glad other people have had some successes.
    Our biggest success was the chilli plant until last week when it got attacked by spider mites. It's so disheartening when you put so much effort in adn then little critters come along and ruin it for you.

  • Toms have done well....managed to get a single cucumber off the cucumber plant (don't have a greenhouse), peppers haven't done too good (spate of hot weather mid-August scorched them on the plant) and chillis are still orange. Think I'll pick them all tomorrow and dry them anyway.

    Will attempt proper veg next year

    (did tomatoes and runner beans last year - toms were plentiful, the dog ate the runner bean plants before they'd grown properly!)

  • This year I had a greenhouse to get everything big enough before planting out and I had loads of tomatoes, peas and french beans. The pumpkins and sweetcorn have done well.

    Carrots are as usual a failure for me, I planted two varieties and have just one black carrot which survived thus far, so I'm letting it grow and grow. Digging up spuds this week and should be self-sufficient in onions for a good couple of months.

  • Toms and chillies have been brilliant:D.My herb garden just does it's own thing and gives us an endless supply of goodies:D..The beetroot would have been better but we planted it too near the Pumpkins and the Pumpkin tendrils murdered them by pulling them out of the ground.Potatoes are doing brilliantly:D...As for my Pumpkins,well, they have taken over our garden AND next-doors garden:eek:..We have now learned that we must keep one crop in one raised bed at a time.... and to put Pumpkins WELL AWAY from everything else.

    Am awaiting the construction of my little greenhouse...

  • I've now got a mental image of evil jack-o-lantern style pumpkins committing genocide on the other veg in your garden.

    It's quite disconcerting!! :S :p

    You're not far off the truth m'dear...but they are still at the deranged Triffid stage at the mo'...They look like evil,Yellow alien, pod people who are slowly morphing into murderous Jack-O-lanterns

  • The thing is....she isnt actually exaggerating! :eek: The pumpkins wrap tendrils around other plants and pull them up....and they really are taking over; they've gotten half way across next doors garden, have reached halfway to the house and were wriggling over the drystone wall before I turned them back (and now they have hold of the fence!!). They really are quite creepy! :eek:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • This year i've had the usual disaster with the carrots, they are edible just very curious looking :eek: Chilli's are doing great. :D Tomatoes are great too :D The courgettes were huuuuuuuuge :eek: Onions are getting fatter and the potatoes are fab :D loads of them too :D Sweetcorn is getting there. :)
    All in all i'm very proud of myself :D

  • After a disappointing winter/spring harvest of various varieties of cabbage (frigging eaten by rabbits) I decided to grow onions and they are a really poor crop. Runner beans doing good (don't forget to save a few dozen for next years seed bank)
    Grapes are looking good and taste sweet already.
    Pears in abundance. I need suggestions for recipes?/storage?/preservation? of these pears as lots went to waste last year.
    Herbs suffered (pot grown) lack of rainfall.
    There's always next year.... I will be cultivating the garden with the tractor this time :D

  • Toms still doing well. Courgettes by the ton (running out of recipes) Aubergines coming on well. Beans not good at all no sun in the clearing Spuds ok but not great. Spinach & Chard ok. Rocket went mental Basil still about. Squashes still taking over the world here as well. Next year we`ll have more time to sort it out proper & use the poly tunnel properly & not as a shed. winter salad in as well along with Parsnips & Garlic going in soonish.

  • Failures: pea crop..... pea moth got the lot,nerver seen it before but every pod was trahed inside :(.lesson plant later to avaid the moths
    Gooseberries,fantastic crop,sadly enjoyed by badgers,deer & 2 legged vermin before we did:(
    Runner beans,still picking yum:)
    strawberries shorter season this year but lots,those not eaten fresh are now bottles preserve:)
    Soft fruit other,blackberries ,raspberries,loganberries........... good season,but some ended early because of excess rain:P.Still lots of jam made.oh and blackberry brandy&loganberry brandy too:)
    Potato,super crop of best tasting taties ever,used old varieties this year.i.e. homeguard,arron kestrel and charlotte.
    taties for xmas now in and som 12"tall,lookin good:)
    Cabbage,usuall fight with cabbage white butterly,netting made a diiference this year,fun to watch them try to lay through net....... organic control with neem oil and derris,plus slug traps.
    Onions/shallot,failure again this ground is riddled with silver mould,they stop growing and rot while still immature....not happy
    Toms still picking beefsteak ,cherry and roma.........
    cucumber fantastic crop,so much spare have pickled a load :)
    parsnip/beetroot/carrots decent crops mainly used fresh.
    damsons massive crop, brandy anyone?????
    apples heavy crop,juiced ,crumbles and freezer stored for later.
    usual salad crop etc all ok this year.Garlic good also
    looking to increase the cultivated area for next year............. and desperately need more freezer space:eek:
    What did ilearn i need more energy!

  • mange tout did well again :D
    lettuces - bit of slug damage but beautiful - still harvesting them
    courgettes & marrows-waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many - I'll plant fewer next year
    broccoli - reasonable
    spuds - yay, really good this year, wish I'd planted more
    beans - planted three sorts - the free BBC ones did best
    sweet peas - some did some didn't
    asparagus - still very little - but this is the second year so it's still getting established
    globe artichokes - sloooooooooooooow. Still not done much, but it was the first year I've tried them
    sweetcorn, slightly better than last year - the plants started off really well but too much july and august rain set them back..
    strawberries - i moved the bed last year and they've done really well in the new spot this year, even though it is quite shady for part of the day
    My apple trees I planted last year have fruited - trees doing quite nicely
    Masses of raspberries - two crops this year!
    Loads of blackberries too.
    Gooseberries - came very early in my garden and didn't get any at all in the allotment.

    Onions. Bah! Don't talk to me about onions. Another abject failure for the second year... :curse:

  • Butternut squash. Very disappointing. Have grown loads of pumpkin but all the butternut squash planted at the same time have produced weak plants with no squashes. Has anyone else had problems with these or has anyone found them easy to grow?

    Had the same problem with butternut squash this year!! Last year had a bumper crop, this year about two little squashes on a massive (but not healthy looking) plant! Not sure what has gone wrong with them as I also have a different type of winter squash in a neighbouring bed that has done well, so who knows!

    My onions have been poor this year too! Although that is down to the chap who owns the plot next to us deciding to water his allotment with a sprinkler :curse: which drowned my onions completely, leading to mouldy bottoms!

    Had a bumper crop of tomatoes (outside), Courgettes (1 plant has produced so many 'm starting to feel a little sick when I eat courgette!). Parsnip are doing well, loads of peas and runner beans. Cabbages, lettuce, and potatoes have done really well, but my carrots have completely failed.

    The usual fruits did well, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, black currents (14lbs worth of one bush :eek:).

    All in all a good year, lots learnt and loads of ideas for next year :D

  • Greenyhouse successfully relocated and construction completed....and now filled with all manner of letuces, onions, chilli peppers, spring onions, mini-oranges, that we sat out in the garden potting up with the assistance of mabel the kitten from across the road :D

    Pumpkins are taking over the front garden (and next doors!! :eek:)

    Potatos coming along a treat (the only thing standing up to the pumpkins :D)

    Grow little plants grow :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • we planted loads of stuff this year (or rather our in-laws did for us...) our method was basically just chuck it in and let it grow...
    Runner Beans:excellent got 5 bagfuls in the freezer and lots more still growing
    Tomatoes: Ecellent, our tomato plants have rather taken over the patch though
    Peppers: Healthy plant but didnt grow much. Over shadowed by the tomatoes...
    Radishes:Excellent and delicious
    Spring onions:OK
    Garlic: didnt have a lot but what we did get ws lush
    Cauliflowers: completely demolished....note to self get a net for next year....
    Beetroots: Lovely and abundant, picked some today :)
    Carrots: a little slow to start but have shot up in the last couple of weeks...
    Pumpkin: 2 tiddlers, but like the peppers it got kind of crowded so is a bit stunted i think...
    Strawberries: OK crop, really yummy though!
    Cucumbers: got one about an inch long, it's laughable, note for next year? GREENHOUSE!

    phew...i think thats it... excapt our jalepeneo and pepper plants on the window sill have caught up to the one outside but now seem to have stopped....

    and somebody over the back has got a lovely looking plum tree hanging over their back fence but it involves climing over the corrugated metal fence, through a deralict garage and up another fence to get there... :/

  • oh...what i learned this year...we crammed to much into a small space...going to extend the patch next year...
    get protective nets for next year if we want any cauliflowers..
    don't let Floyd have access to the Strawberries..they didnt last long

  • This was my first year planting veg in the garden rather than just a few pots of things and we did really well, i think. We have a small limited space and out soil is pretty rubbish. I did everything i could to improve the soil before planting but even then it's still mostly clay.
    I managed it with no pesticides at all. Infact, i didn't really have a problem with pests at all, i only lost 2 courgettes to them.
    We got 2 crops each from the courgette plants, loads of parsnips, carrots never really took off at all and i had loads of tomatoes but not many of them turned red. Inundated with beetroot and shelled peas, good crops of various beans, more potatoes and nasturtiums than i knew what to do with, nice big onions, lovely brocolli but not much of it. Things we never planted but had good crops from in the garden were brambles, raspberries, elderberries, rosehips and chamomile. Unfortunately, I really wanted pumpkins and no matter how many seeds i planted, they just wouldn't grow.

    What did i learn? It's all about the spacing! For the size of a broccolli plant, the return is poor so we won't be planting that again. I need a greenhouse....Scotland is cold even when it's warm.

    We also had really good return of wild foods this year - garlic, brambles, fat hen, nettles, apples, various berries, have all been abundant in very close proximity and seem to be yummier than usual this year.