Monday, 24 October 2011

2011 The year of the...

2011 - The year of the….

I’ve been pondering what I will remember this year for.

Carrot. A contender for best performer this certainly qualifies for ”most improved”. Previously I had abandoned carrots because of the root fly, but armed with fine nets last year saw some fly free results. The only problem was remembering to lift the nets frequently enough to catch the weeds before they smothered the carrots (assuming they had germinated in the first place). Emboldened by the absence of tunnelling bugs I bought 8 varieties of carrot seed and 2011 saw the best crop yet as a result of blanket sowing under three nets. Proof that if you keep on going (and weeding and sowing) some good will come of it.

Blueberry. I was proud when my three autumn (2010) sown blueberry “twigs” survived the harsh winter and had high hopes of a bumper crop spread across the season. They could not have been more pampered. I buried a plastic liner and filled it with ericaceous compost, topped out the patch with an improvised metal cage with fleece for warmth and netting to keep the birds off. Whenever it was dry (there was a dry week or two in May in Edinburgh) I watered. End result 6 berries. There is some encouraging leaf and branch development so maybe next year they will come into their own(?).

Strawberry. I planted out four new varieties at the plot. A dozen each of Cambridge Favourite, Florence, Judibell and a late entrant was “ever bearer” Albion. As with carrots and blueberries the target was blanket coverage from as early to as late in the season as possible. Things started well as our established “Honeoye” got into early production but the Cambridge favourite never seemed to quite ripen, the Florence were big but few. As the rains kept coming the slugs moved in and polished of the fruit there was before we could pick it.

Beans. In fact 2011 has been a bad year for beans. Just too short a season and too wet. The runner berans cropped for maybe a month, the French and Italian beans never really got going. There's hardly anything for drying this year!

Celeriac  - should have been a surefire winner. Grown from seed early in the season the weather was good for them (wet). I haven't picked them yet because they are too small to bother with. An experiment I don't think I will repeat.

On reflection, considering the weather conditions and the havoc wreaked on the salads, strawberries, beans and other crops,   I think I will remember 2011 as the year of the SLUG!


  1. Take heart really was a bad year all round with all the wet. But you did a champion job on the carrots...a fine display I must say. Your vigilance and hard work with the netting and weeding paid off. got six more blueberries than I did!! Dog got mine.

  2. Yours was too wet, ours was entirely too dry yet, I too, keep on trying. Raised beds next year!

  3. Topsy turvy land here.

    Ours was worst ever carrot year - too dry for carrots but not for weeds which we missed and which did smother them.

    But good year for runner beans as usual.

    Our new strawberries other than everbearing Flamenco haven't produced much in their first year but I'm hoping for a good crop next year.

  4. we remember each year in different ways....

  5. Your carrots look great. 2011 is definitely the year of the carrot for me, it's the first year I've managed to grow any, other than those in containers. Beans are one thing which have never let me down yet, my freezer is full of them. Your blueberries did better than mine, and mine are three year old bushes. I don't know what happened to them this year but they hardly produced anything.

  6. That gives me hope. This has been my first allotment year and my carrots were a disaster. I thought I might give up but they are one crop I really want to crack especially when I see a photo as lovely as yours. My 4 year old blueberry had a bad year this year. They like a lot of moisture and it was so dry in Spring I think this is why they suffered.

  7. for me, this was the year of the weeds. They totally got away from me. Lovely looking carrots and a nice selection of colors.