Monday, 22 August 2011

Arabian Night

I bought four different varieties of dahlia at the start of the year. The plan was to grow them on the allotment, but I never got round to allocating a patch of ground to them. Time had run away from me before I decided that I had better get them planted in to containers in the garden, or else all would be lost. This variety is Arabian Night and it's just come in to flower. One variety has been totally eaten away by slugs, and the other two don't look near to flowering at all. It's a lovely late addition to the garden so I shall save the tubers to replant next year, hopefully not so late.

I'm still emptying out my containers of first early potatoes - Arran Pilot. They've given a fantastic crop this year and I'll definitely grow them again next year. The maincrop potatoes at the allotment - Maris Piper haven't put on much top growth at all. Time will tell if there's anything going on under the ground, though I'm not holding out much hope.

It's bad news on the sweetcorn front. They didn't look like they were going to make it when they were planted out, so it's not a total surprise, but it's a bit of a disappointment as I haven't harvested any sweetcorn since I've had the allotment. They were started off on time and grew well in the plant pots, but they were left to languish for rather a long time before we got them planted out. I will make every effort next year to grow some decent sweetcorn as you really can't beat the taste of fresh picked corn cooked within minutes and devoured with lashings of butter.


  1. My plot has been neglected for the last month or so and I'm just starting to clear away the weeds. I've had a similar experience with the sweetcorn and the potatoes. I managed to get the dahlias out there but their lower leaves are being devoured by rabbits! Must try harder next year methinks.

  2. That's a lovely dahlia - some of mine have been ravaged by slugs too.

  3. I bought three of one variety 'Zingoo' of which one never appeared, one got eaten and the third had three blooms which you can see on my post 'Happy birthday... for 10th August.
    Much as I like them I don't think I'll be growing many, if any, on the plot and I'll be happy just to look two of my plot neighbours ones as they grow them in abundance.
    Sadly my sweetcorn is much the same as yours by the sound of it! Flighty xx

  4. Echoing our experiences again.

    Dahlias are really slow to flower - I blame lack of rain and cool nights. Just starting now really but the plants are far smaller than usual.

    Potatoes didn't really grow very much on top but a great harvest so you may be in for the same nice surprise as us.

    As for sweet corn we usually stagger our planting for a succession. The first lot although still very short are producing some cobs but they don't look very big and not very promising. The rest are hardly growing at all. We planted at just the same time as always so again I think this year's weather is to blame.

  5. The gardener's work is never-ending, isn't it!? You always have so many things to remember. My spuds have been quite good this year - no shortage of foliage on mine, but then I suppose that has been the result of a rigorous watering regime, which is relatively easy for me since mine are all grown in pots.

  6. It has been a mixed year for failures and triumphs. For me, rubbish potatoes, great tomatoes.

  7. Lovely dahlia :) Our sweetcorn never came to anything this year either, no idea why.

  8. The Dahlia is beautiful I have several in my front garden.

    Sorry to hear about your sweetcorn...i am about to harvest....blanch and freeze all's been a very good year for it for me.

  9. Sorry about the sweetcorn, we put ours up the garden this year so they have more water and hubby nipped the top out and they are going great guns for the first time ever! We planted quite a few next to each other and that seems to have helped too.

  10. The Arabian Night dahlia is a beauty. On a visit to my sister and her hubby's town-house garden the other weekend I was stunned by the varieties of dahlias blooming. I have to say I'm a late convert as I always thought of them as too showy. Little do I know!

    Shame about your sweetcorn Jo but your potatoes have come good again.

    We have some nice potatoes from Sue's new vegetable garden at Meadow Cottage. All shapes and sizes and I can't remember what they are now!


  11. It's a curious but pervasive link between dahlias and veg. One I revived myself this year with an impulse purchse of 4 tubors of "Dwarf Mixed" from the pound shop. Unlike some of the other purchases from the same source, these have been a delight as the centrepiece of a couple of pots and in flower beds.
    As I child I recall thr propogation of dahlias year on year until we had over 300. Then one bad winter they all got frosted, aside from about 30. These all turned out to be Edinburgh, which although lovely made for rather boring monoculture beds! That was the end of dahlias for me... until now!

  12. Oh what a shame about your sweet corn Jo but at least you know where you went wrong. We had our first cobs last night - simply delicious :) 'Arabian Night' is a beauty. I added to my dahlias too this year. Impressed by 'Twynings After Eight' and by 'Bishop's Children'. I grew the latter from seed and they have been brilliant.

  13. I'm another one with failed sweetcorn - although it's still growing, there's little hope of a harvest at this stage. I had to resow after my first lot were blasted by the weather, and I made the mistake of planting them in the space between my beans. (Not enough light). Ah well, we live and learn.

  14. There's always something we'll do differently next year, Projectforty. There's such a lot to do each year that it's inevitable our time isn't shared out between each crop equally. I'm lucky so far that we haven't had any rabbit damage, the slugs more than make up for it though.

    I love the dark colour of this dahlia, Su. I'm hoping that the others come in to flower before it's too late.

    That's a lovely dahlia, Flighty. I like how the petals are just tipped with pink. Sorry to hear about your sweetcorn, we'll both have to try extra hard next year.

    My dahlias are small, Sue, but I put that down to growing them in containers. I'm sure the cool nights don't help though as you say. I haven't dug any maincrop potatoes up yet so my fingers are still crossed that there's something happening underground. It's been a funny year for many things and it looks like sweetcorn is one of them.

    My first earlies, which I grew in containers, had plenty of foliage, Mark. Perhaps it's due to lack of water why the ones at the allotment don't seem to be doing so well. There's a lot to be said for container gardening.

    It has been a mixed year, Elaine, though there's successes and failures every year. Glad to hear you've been enjoying your tomatoes but sorry to hear about your spuds.

    It's disheartening when something fails and you don't know why, Mo. I know the downfall of my sweetcorn was my own neglect, I must try harder next year.

    Glad to hear of someone's success with their sweetcorn, Tanya. It sounds like you'll be harvesting plenty if there's enough to freeze.

    Sweetcorn is wind pollinated, Scented Sweetpeas, so it always helps to grow it in blocks. Growing in the garden certainly helps with watering, much more convenient.

    It's only recently that dahlias have come back in to fashion, Jeanne. There's some real beauties out there. Another flower which I love which isn't everyone's cup of tea is gladioli. I have a vase full of yellow ones at the moment and they look stunning. Glad to hear that Sue's garden is producing well, and that you're sharing the harvest.

    There's bargains to be had from pound shops, Mal, but as you say, not everything comes good. Such a shame about the large collection getting frosted, the weather can be so cruel. I know quite a few people lost their dahlias this last winter due to the frost too.

    How lovely to be harvesting your sweetcorn, Anna. The taste of home grown really is far superior to shop bought. Twynings After Eight and Bishop's Children are lovely dahlias. I grew a mixed variety from seed last year which did very well, but I didn't save any of them.

    If you're short on space, Caro, I grew sweetcorn successfully in containers in the garden before I had my allotment. I grew two plants to an average sized bucket, and filled about four or five buckets in total which I stood together to aid pollination and got a great crop. Sorry to hear you'll be without this year, fingers crossed again for next year.


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