I was hopeful in early spring. It seemed like it was going to warm up nicely. And then… it didn’t. So even though I’d eagerly gotten the garden ready and planted… nothing grew.
But as always, I pressed on. This year we laid the garden with black cloth (thicker than previously so it didn’t blow all over the garden during storms), and this really cut back on the amount of weeding I had to do.
Eventually the weather warmed up, but it was definitely one of the less fruitful years – and not just for me – others struggled too. In the end I had quite a lot of plants growing, they just didn’t seem to produce as much as normal.
With three zucchini plants, and two cucumbers, which is usually overkill, there were very few that went to waste, and I certainly didn’t give as many away as I usually do. The strawberries went nuts again, which I’ll never complain about. And I succeeded in moving them into the back part of the garden where I wanted them to grow (these guys are really hardy!).
But while it was cool early on, when summer hit it hit with a vengeance. Days on end of over-30 and next-to-no rain, which meant a lot of watering. I think that part of the reason the garden struggled was lack of water – because setting the automated system every evening is no substitute for a good, solid downpour that soaks everything right down to the core.
Due to the lack of rain I was hopeful that the tomatoes, and their blight-infestation from last year, would remain a distant memory. Sadly the tell-tale signs of brown foliage appeared. But although the fruit took a long time to ripen, once they did, I found I could pull them off the bush when they were orange, and ripen them inside. In the end we got quite a hefty crop and I made lots of sugo and tomato soup.
The rest… the broccoli, snow peas, beans, radishes, beetroot… it all slowly grew… but the quantity produced was far less than normal. But let’s be honest, it was still more than enough for two people!
My two constants, the sweet corn and the pumpkin, thankfully seemed unaffected by the weird weather. The pumpkins mainly grew themselves, and no sweet corns were lost from wind in storms this year.
The one good thing is that early autumn was very warm. So for the first time, I actually cleaned up the garden ready for next year. It’s something I always plan to do, but it usually gets too cold and wet to manage it properly. So even if it wasn’t the bumper season I was hoping for, at least when I look out, I see a tidy veggie garden (only broccoli left) all ready for spring next year… like me!