40 days and 40 nights

Hi there - those who have tuned in to this forum either by choice, by accident or regularly.
It seems to have 'gone quiet ’ for a while. That’s a bit of a shame as in the northern hemisphere we are harvesting and assessing our successes and our failures.
I’ve got plenty of both
Let us know how the season has turned out.
The climate/weather has been unhelpful to say the least in the UK. A year to remember.
But there have been successes despite the vagary of the climate.
Please don’t just tune in to listen - tune in to speak.
Sharing is the best way for us all to learn from one another.
Covid19 is with us for a good while.
But it can’t stop us from communicating across the globe to share our gardening exploits.
They don’t have to be heroic - few of us are heroes. We just grow stuff.
And we want to learn from each other how to do it ‘better’.
Hoping that we don’t have to wait another 40 days and 40 nights before we get some new posts.
Every good wish to those gardeners in the UK and far beyond.
Paul

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Hello from Australia. Sorry I have been very quiet but as it is now Spring and I live in a subtropical area things are really starting to bloom. My purple bougainvillea is starting to bloom as are my nasturtium, tomatoes, sunflowers and Heartsease. I really hope you all stay safe and well. I know it’s hard but as a nurse I ask that you do what the authorities ask. We’ve had locked boarders forever but no new cases for over 28 days. Good luck with your winter crops.

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Hi Paul,
Well, it has been an atrocious year for squashes in Leicestershire. I managed to harvest only around 10 at most, as the damp weather really spoilt them all.
Potatoes have been good and I’ve got a few good onions and Aron carrots. The runner, french and broad beans all did really well, as did the Shiraz mange-tout.
Things haven’t been brilliant in the greenhouse due to lack of sunshine. I have loads of chilli fruit, but they aren’t ripening very well at all.
The weather must have been ideal for rhubarb, as it’s the first year in and it’s gone beserk!
However, I’ve just planted autumn garlic and late onions, so I hope they do better.
Hope other regions in the UK had better luck, but I’ll still grow loads of tomatoes, chillies and other veg again next year. A bit of a bad season doesn’t quell the spirit!
Louise

Cheers Mare and Louiseupton - thanks for breaking the silence.
I just packed away the remainder of my overgrown Spring onions, sliced up and in the freezer - don’t know if they (scallions) store well like that but I’m giving it a try.
It’s celery’s turn tomorrow.
Surprisingly, beetroot has been a bit of a disappointment. Despite lots of lama-poo and compost, they have been very slow to swell.
The leeks - which I’ve planted every two months - have seemed tired and slow,
Swedes have been varied - Some really nice and big - others rather small and distorted.
Brassicas under net seem healthy but we shall see - I know that there at least four cabbages worth harvesting.
Brussels, sown at the right time showing very few ‘knobs’. .There is still time - I hope.
Then it’s in with over-winter onion sets and garlic and hope that the continual wet that we are having doesn’t rot them.
Good wishes to all - wherever you are.

HI Paul, thanks for your prompt to get us talking more … though you may regret it :wink:

The successes we’ve had this year have been hard fought; this is the absolute worst year we’ve had in terms of pests, disease and even sun scald, which boggles my mind here in the fog belt of San Francisco. Even so my Great Corn Experiment (two years in the making) has finally yielded results, and the clear winner is a Peruvian purple corn variety called Kulli Black Inca, followed by Bronze Orange. These are both primarily flour corns. The purple corn made deep black tortillas with an absolutely amazing, nutty, corny flavor. The point of the experiment was to first find a corn variety that produced well in our generally hostile climate to corns, then not only make flour, but turn it into something we liked. I used the 3 sisters method (actually 4 if you count the sunflowers), growing pumpkin, Scarlet Runner beans with the corn and a back border of sunflowers. I will use this again next year.

My husband really wanted to try growing cucuzzi, aka snake gourd. These were only somewhat successful, and delicious, and they made my him happy, because it reminded him of home, childhood, and La Mama’s cooking. While they did produce fruit, it’s not ideal weather as they want more heat. He says he will grow them again though. My father suggested heavily mulching around the plants to keep the soil warmer.

As a sort of Hail Mary, I scattered some 4-5 years old micro-greens seeds, but armies of earwigs, snails, slugs, aphids and caterpillars apparently decided these were their favorite foods this year. What greens we could wrest from the pests were good: bok choy, lettuces, chard, baby beets, and a couple varieties of mustard greens. We let them bolt, and I’ve sown these seeds in another plot for fall.

We had two volunteer tomatillo plants. We’ve never grown them, so evidently these were from some we’d tossed into the compost pile, or maybe birds? Anyway it turns out tomatillos love our garden and micro-climate and do not attract pests. They have made a gorgeous salsa verde, going well with the tortillas, and the plants are still bearing fruit. We will definitely grow these intentionally next year.

Our fall garden has started to sprout; favas as usual, also carrots and beets appear to do well here so I sowed more for the cool weather, with some chard and onions (at husband’s request). We’ll see how that turns out.