As it’s time to start thinking about putting the vegetable garden to bed for the winter (save for a few reliable carrots and spinach), I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what has been otherwise a pretty miserable growing season. Tomatoes, everyone’s “go to” vegetable for home growing, have been utterly useless. Save for a bumper crop of broad and runner beans, some knock out squashes and the spring onions finally playing ball, I might have starved.Indigo Rose tomatoes made quite a flourish once they had overcome their early season blight. The are by far the most prolific tomato this season – but it’s impossible to tell when they’re ready to eat.There are five very decently sized Butternuts lolling aound the garden but past experience shows that they never seem to get enough sun and for long enough to turn that familiar orange tan colour. According to various sources, the inside will still be orange but less flavoursome! They can stay on the vine till first frost. One plant has produced at least a dozen good sized “Flying Saucer” squashes. Like zucchini, they are tastier eaten small and tend to become a bit mushy when they grow to the size of teacups (not saucers). Will be planting another of these (or possible two) next year, if for no other reason than their name and shape!
The climbing beans took an age to get climbing – even with coxing and hints they just crept along the ground. Then one day they’re suddenly half way up the poles! Apart from being fairly prolific, it has also added some height and drama to the garden. No doubt Jack would approve.
Lots of green tomatoes. As mentioned above, all the tomatoes were hit with some sort of disease that took hold of the lower leaves turning them black then slowly crept up the stalk till all leaves were affected. As I had no replacement plants, I left them in to see if they would come right. In time they have shed and replaced their affected leaves but the summer was so poor weather wise, there was little hope of any sort of crop. I’ll leave the green ones on a bit longer, just in case they get a chance to ripen on some mild autumn days.
Things got a little crowded when the carrots took off and it’s left the beetroot rather shaded out. The carrots are ready for eating so the beetroot can stretch their legs soon.
These are some parsnips I planted late summer. Most I planted during the summer failed to germinate as I did not cover the ground and suspect they dessicated. The wetter cooler weather has allowed these to take off and once the squash vine dies off they’ll have full command of the sun