Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Successes and poor performers in a challenging summer

Despite the long awaited sunshine we have even enjoying this week, we have had a rather challenging year garden wise so far this year with many commenting "what summer?"!

Which got me thinking - what is doing well in this cool, wet summer?

We are a good few weeks past the mid year mark so I thought now would be a good time to reflect.

So my stars of the patch so far are definitely all the beans (broad beans, peas, French beans) these were slow to start and were impacted by the lower than usual temperatures but perhaps not so much by the lack of sun and they would have certainly enjoyed all the rain once the temperature was warm enough.

Parsnips also are doing well, as are the Egyptian walking onions and the globe artichokes have been steady. Kai Lan is quite happy in these conditions, as are salad crops and the HSL rat tail radishes have done really well whilst adding a lovely floral display if you like that kind of thing!

Of the low performers it has to be the tenders - I am still waiting for the big luscious leaves of the squash plants and the flowers haven't made an appearance yet - that's the ones that escaped slug and snail fest! And I've been feeding those squash lots of worm tea feed but I think the rain washed most of it away! Beets,chard and carrots have been incredibly slow growing and I don't think I'm going to get a tomato glut this year!!

It will be interesting to see what the top performers will be in August after they've all settled after our current heat wave.

How are your veggies faring?


  1. Hey Claire.

    With you on the squashes. Mine are struggling, as are the courgettes. I've never seen my courgette plants so small at this time of the year.

    Parsnips are doing well, and my French beans look healthy, but its the leafy winter stuff that has amazed me. I've never seen my chard, kale and cavolo nero look so good.

    I'm worried that its enjoying the mild conditions too much and will peter out before winter though, so trying to enjoy them while they're there.

  2. Actually I have one squash that's really trying to catch up and starting to grow well - Zapatillo de Toscana. I got it from the Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library. It did well in my London garden last year and through Twitter I heard that these were growing well in Scotland too - it may be the wet summer pumpkin!

    You know, I was really surprised about chard. Thought it would be romping away with these conditions but in my last garden I was a container gardener using bought compost and wormcasts. Using soil is a completely different ball game and I have a feeling the soil I deturfed isn't as nourishing.

    The joys of adapting to new gardens!

    With the kale I'd do a second sowing about nowish to make sure you've got some tougher stuff. It germinates in days at this time of year (I sowed some last week)