Friday, 10 August 2012

The Start Of A Glut

I'm hoping so, anyway. It will be the only glut we get this year as everything else has failed miserably. I can't believe that at this time last year, I was filling the freezer with surplus beans, mange tout and peas ready for winter. This year, the only beans which I've managed to grow are broad beans which I've never grown before, and therefore, I only grew a dozen plants. I haven't had enough off them to squirrel any away, though I did get another good picking off them this week. I haven't had any courgettes yet, but I've got a few plants and each is now just starting to produce so I'm hoping that this is something which will do well for me.

We popped to the allotment last Sunday to check on it after our holiday and it was even worse than we feared. The shallots and red onions have rotted in the ground, and the Bedfordshire Champion onions which I grew from seed are very small, I don't think we'll get much from them. Only three parsnips have germinated from three rows which were sown, and the carrots which were sown in the old bath have been eaten by slugs. The French beans and mange tout got eaten by slugs before they even got a chance to grow and the peas never took off at all. My squash plants are still hanging in there but haven't started to flower, never mind produce fruit. The whole place is covered in weeds and will take weeks to bring back under control again. I'm finally calling it a day as far as the allotment is concerned this year. I've decided that the majority of the plot can be dug over, it will give me a head start on the preparations for winter and hopefully, we'll get a better growing year next year and I'll be all ready for it.

I'm not giving up completely. I haven't managed to get any winter brassicas growing from seed as they're something else which have been devoured by slugs, so I'm going to buy some seedlings and get them in the ground. I've also got some dwarf French bean seedlings which are looking quite healthy so I'll also plant those out, I might just catch a late crop if I'm lucky and this lovely weather continues. Why couldn't we have had a little of this sunshine earlier on in the year? It might not have come to this then.


  1. Hi Jo, it has been an awful year for growing vegetables. Like you last year my freezer was full up with produce.

    So far this year I have only managed to freeze some rhubarb. The slugs and snails have been rampant with the wet weather. Here's hoping to a better year for 2013!

  2. That's a distressing tale to read, Jo, but at least you can take comfort from knowing that it wasn't your fault that things did badly. The weather conditions have a lot to answer for this year!
    Let's hope your brassicas do well.

  3. Oh no, a sorry tale indeed. Hope the courgettes salvage the situation somewhat and you get rid of the slugs - i imagine they are reproducing all over the place given the climatic conditions.

  4. Even our courgette plants were devoured by slugs, despite them being quite large and healthy when we planted them out. It's so disappointing as I usually have loads to freeze, aswell as tubs of courgette soup. Our allotment looks disgraceful - covered in weeds, but the weather has just been too bad to spend time down there.

  5. Our courgettes are just now beginning to produce after a very slow start. The tomatoes are a dead loss and I don't think the corn will ripen. Not a good season at all.
    Love from Mum

  6. Oh, Jo, I was so hoping you'd come back to a plot full of harvest. It's not been good for anyone this year but still worth hanging on for a few more weeks. Like yours, all my veg were just waiting for some warmth and have now started to grow vigorously - although I'm only getting enough veg for dinner every couple of nights. I'm watching and waiting, but you may be right to call it a day and end the heartache for this year!

  7. What a sad tale of woe Jo - much the same as the rest of us I'm afraid - I am trying to make the best use of what little produce I do get - but even the courgettes, which are usually wonderful, although the plants look healthy enough, are hardly producing any fruit. Hey ho - that's just the way it goes.

  8. Fingers crossed for a hot and sun filled August and September, and maybe even a sunny October (though that may be pushing it.) Nothing in our veg garden has really done anything either, apart from the peas.
    As others have said, we all seem to be in the same boat this year. I'm just looking forward to planning for next year.

  9. Like the others I'm sorry to read your rather woeful post.
    As you no doubt appreciate we've all had similar problems, not that it's any consolation!
    Flighty xx

  10. Sorry to hear this Jo and I hope things improve soon. The brassicas have been the best thing this year as the cold and wet hasn't affected them as much.

  11. It's so disappointing that I haven't managed to freeze anything this year, Sharon. Surely 2013 must be better.

    I think many of us are in the same boat this year, Mark, especially those of us in the North of the country. The year isn't over with yet though, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

    Slugs have been a huge problem this year, Liz. My garden doesn't usually suffer badly with them but it has this year.

    I'm so downhearted about my allotment at the moment, Scarlet, but I think that many of us are in a similar position. Nearly all the allotments on our site are looking very sad for themselves.

    I had high hopes for my sweet corn this year, Mum, but it wasn't to be. It's a good job that there's always next year.

    I was hoping that the good weather at the start of our holiday would bring things on, Caro, but it wasn't to be. I think I'm feeling much more positive about next year now that I've decided to give up on this year.

    I've harvested my first courgette today, Elaine. I shall make the most of it, who knows how many more I'll get?

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Helen. I don't suppose the year is over yet, as you say, we may get a heatwave over the next couple of months. How nice that would be.

    We're definitely all in the same boat this year, Flighty. Just think how grateful we'll all be when we get bumper harvests next year. I know, I'm being very optomistic here.

    Glad to hear that your brassicas have done well for you, Damo. I couldn't get mine beyond seedling stage what with all the slugs about.

  12. I've only just started to pick courgettes too. This time last year I was inundated with them and had been picking them for a least a month.

    I was a little worried when you said you were calling it a day with the plot that you were giving it up completely! Garden centres are stuffed with veg plug plants at the moment and there's always mail order as well if yo want to get some winter crops in. Fingers crossed we'll get a nice autumn. It's raining here again though so it is hard to stay optimistic sometimes.

  13. I've now picked the first of the courgettes, Wellywoman, I hope there'll be many more to come. I've decided that I'll buy some veg plug plants for the winter, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything does much better next year.

  14. It's a sad state of affairs Jo but you can take heart in the fact that you are not alone. My courgettes are only really get going now and they were sown back in April. I've just cheated and bought some carrots and kale seedlings to plant at the lottie in the next few days so that there is still something to look forward to. Then like you I'm going to start thinking about next year :)

  15. I'm definitely going to get some plug plants for my winter veg, Anna. Let's hope we both do better next year, surely the weather can't be so bad two years on the trot.

  16. I'm seeking out squash recipes right now so as not to waste any of my courgettes...I love growing them but boy when they start they just don't know when to stop!!

    I think I might try more winter veg this year too.

  17. My courgettes are coming one at a time at the moment, they still haven't really got in to their stride. There's time yet though.


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