Summer vegetable growing in review

tomatoThe vegetable garden has been quite productive this season. The scarlet runner beans were a bit slow as they didn’t like the hot weather but they eventually started to produce. These beans are perennial and remain in the same site for a number of years. Some of the pods grew too big to eat so we opened them up and just had the bean seed in quite a few meals.

Last year I planted snake beans in the garden after germinating the seeds in the glasshouse but they didn’t grow. This year I managed to get the snake bean to produce when I planted them in a pot in the glasshouse. They are quite vigorous and tried to head out the windows in the top of the glasshouse. Next year I will transplant them into a warm spot, provide more protection, and see how they go outside.

Tomatoes have done well in the glasshouse and outside but now the millipedes are getting into them. In the last 6 weeks or so aphids have attacked the broccoli, as have the cabbage white butterfly caterpillars. I hadn’t tried to grow cabbages before and tried purple ones this year. This was a good decision, as the caterpillars seem to avoid them.

The zucchinis have been productive and I have learnt to plant a second crop when the first starts to go off. The Lebanese zucchini wasn’t such a success as I only plants one and didn’t keep up with the pollination. A plastic pot added near the plants, part buried into the soil, served as a reminder where the root ball was and aided watering.

Next year I won’t bother with pumpkins as they use a lot of water but I added a shade umbrella to one plant which meant it survived. I trained one plant up a trellis, which saved some space.

The best innovation was the shade covers, which run on wires and are easy to pull across the garden when the temperature is going to be over 30 degrees. The carrots did well and I transplanted some as I was thinning them, but I don’t think it was worth the effort as these ones ended up stunted and twisted. Next year I will spread the seed more thinly.

Another lesson learnt was not to stand the wheelbarrow up where the tyre is exposed to direct sunlight. The result is an exploded tube.

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