Tuesday 19 June 2012
The Frustrated Gardener
I am sure many of you will sympathize with that title. Gardening here seems to be one long BATTLE. The unusual weather patterns this spring have caused initial problems. I'd just got started digging and hoiking the grass out of the veg. plot when we had that sunny - indeed, HOT - week in March, when it came on to rain and grew cooler. The odd day of warmer weather soon retarded to cold Easterly or Northerly winds. The seeds I had optimistically started in March rotted in their trays, despite being in my little plastic greenhouse. I started them again - and they still didn't appear, but the seed trays grew a good crop of Algae on the surface. It was late May before I got to start my third lot of runner beans, and they finally grew in June and got planted. It took two tries for the Courgettes to germinate. I have planted them out in the past 10 days, and am now down to ONE plant -the others have been slugged. So the spare plants I had grown (to sell - HAH!) are now being planted in buckets at the front of the house in the hope that the concrete paths and lack of hiding places will deter predators.
My friend Ann sent me a packet of Tomato seeds which were supposed to be blight-proof. They didn't germinate. I bought another packet, and neither did they. I just put the trays on the side and left them, although they did get watered as I moved the watering can to the germinated trays of seeds either side. FINALLY IN JUNE, with the hot spell of weather, they began to germinate . . . So now I have a dozen or so plants which are potted on but way behind in the growing stakes. I am going to keep them inside the greenhouse and hope that they will reward me.
The cool weather has done for the Blackurrants this year and we have a poor crop. It was just too cool and wet when they had flowers out and not enough insects about to pollinate them. However, the Gooseberries have done really well, and I have a brilliant crop to pick soon. Ditto the Raspberries, Loganberries and young Boysenberry, and for once I have a decent showing on my one lonely Blueberry. The Rhubarb has been sulking though, and I have had just two pickings from 5 plants.
Ah well. Perhaps next year will be a better year . . . Meanwhile, at least my French Beans have just broken through the soil. Hope they don't make a lunch for the slugs when I plant them. . .
So, how does your garden grow this year?