Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

2011 Season Review

Gooseberries – very good as usual. I had some new plants that went in in the autumn, which didn’t fruit, but the established bushes did well. The only negative this year was that we experimented with removing the netting. The early harvest for the jam was fine, but the more ripened fruit was plundered by the birds. We’ll cover them again next year.

Strawberries – ditto the above. We chose not to cover the early strawberries, the majority of which were eaten. We covered the later variety and they produced well.

Hops – the variety that had to be moved early in the season didn’t fare as well as the vines that were left in position from last year, but a decent yield was had, nevertheless. My next brew will include the home-grown hops and details will be posted on my other blog, Getting Grist.

Carrots – I grow these in tyre stacks. Some of last year’s crop were dug up (presumably by rabbits) so we increased the number of tyres in each planter to three and we had no problems this year.

Squash – The Honey Bear are fab. The ideal size for two and beautifully sweet. The early fruit didn’t set, either because they weren’t pollinated, or lack of food. I’ll remedy that next year by sowing some companion plants in the squash bed to attract the pollinators and I’ll feed the plants as soon as they are planted out. The other variety did well, but I shan’t bother with them again. The squash are huge and I’m not even sure how you get into them. Might have to invest in a new hacksaw.

Cucumbers – belied expectations as I left them to fend for themselves. I only had two plants, one withered and died due to neglect; the other produced lovely fruits all summer long. I’ll be doing more of these next year and vow to look after them.

Sweetcorn – nice early plants, but the fantastic looking cobs were raided by something, just like last year and the season before that. I’m going to put protective collars around the stems next year (by the looks of it, the stems were gnawed through and the cobs devoured once they hit the ground). This will be their last chance – if the crop fails in 2012, no more sweetcorn.

Courgettes – like all courgettes, you get plenty of bangs for your buck. Perfect.

Pumpkin – this was a one-off for our youngest. I’ll post a picture of his once it’s been carved ready for Halloween.

Potatoes – the first earlies were great. Pest free and great tasting. The maincrop, however, was a disappointment. Both types of Cara were beset by wireworm and slug damage. Not too much of a problem if you’re cutting them up for roasting/wedges etc, but we got very few perfect ones for baking. I’m ordering a different variety for next year, plus more of the first earlies.

Parsnips – We’ve only lifted one so far, but will continue to harvest from now through the winter.

I think that covers most of everything I attempted to grow this year, other than the cherry tomatoes which I kept at home in hanging baskets. The fruit tumbles over the side and we’ve been picking them up until this week. Same again next year.

I hope all your harvests have been plentiful. The next job is to peruse the internet and catalogues with ideas for next year’s varieties.

1 comment:

  1. I did exactly the same last year with my cucumbers. This year I planted loads and looked after them - I now have more cucumbers than I know what to do with...may have to scale it down next year!

    The Honey Bear Squash sound good - will try them out next year as my butternut squash haven't done too well these past couple of years.