Now that most of the produce grown has fulfilled it’s purpose I thought I would spend this glorious day recapping what seeds worked well for us this summer, from the purchases I made earlier in the year. Instead of you know, actually being on the allotment, making the most of the sun before winter! You can re-read the earlier post here.
OK so here is a run down of what was ordered and my thoughts. Be warned it may contain a lot of ‘because of the snow nothing germinated’. Along with ‘it was all the hot summers fault’.
Brussels Sprout – F1 Cotent – *Ahem* Because of the snow into spring I had trouble getting things to grow (Told you so, Just wait until I get to the peas!). They did germinate but the seedlings didn’t progress too brilliantly, I didn’t have a lot to choose from. Maybe I tried moving them all outside too soon as I was running out of space indoors. I have no idea if the leggy thing in the middle of one of my raised beds is the Brussels Sprout, I don’t think it’s looking much like one. It’s in the bed that was ravaged by rabbits. I may be clearing whats left in there soon for more garlic. I’ll start again from scratch and offer better pest protection.
Carrot – Rainbow Mix – These were for my son to sow in his own patch. Only I got distracted designing the back garden flower border, he didn’t get his own bed set up until quite late in the year. There is always next Spring!
Cucumber – F1 Baby – I had these growing in the greenhouse and it’s like the age old saying ‘If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail’. Only I wasn’t expecting the summer we got and needless to say it all shriveled up with a lack of watering. I did manage to get a couple of little cucumbers off it earlier in the season and I was mightily impressed. Therefore I am swapping out the gherkins next year for more cucumbers, with water feeds.
Cornichon – Vert Petit de Paris – I sowed these along with some Gherkin seeds I had already, they got mixed up when everything finally started germinating in my mini grow house. I have no idea which varieties made it out to the trellised bed at home but they were prolific! I had more than I knew what to do with. I need to learn how to pickle things properly! I think because we didn’t really eat enough of them, I will have a break from growing them next year.
Cress and Mustard – Mixed success here. I grew these because nothing else was germinating at the time. Cress worked wonderfully. Mustard failed miserably. Will try again soon, I quite fancy an egg and cress sandwich. Plus with the speedy growing time it’s good fun for the toddler to grow.
Pea – Douce Provence – These did really poorly at germinating. I didn’t have any peas to plant out. I can’t quite remember (because i’m bad at taking notes at the time) but i’m not sure any actually grew and definitely not beyond seedlings if they did. Which is a shame. I wouldn’t have minded a glut of peas.
Pea shoots – Twinkle – We grew these on C’s bedroom window sill (His room is south facing gets all the sun and warmth) they were lovely! I seemed to be the only one enjoying them though. My husband pulled a bit of a face and made a remark about them tasting like leaves. I though, could definitely taste the Pea. I let some grow on to form pods and we got the odd mini pea in them. Which I ate on the spot (not enough to cook anyway). I will be growing more, I have been thinking about doing some on the window sill again soon, for adding to salads, if they make it that far.
Sweet Pepper – Rainbow Mix – Boy were these slow to get going! I marked on my calendar that by the time they were supposed to be producing their fruits they had only just formed flowers! The weather really did give these a knock back. They are currently still in my mini grow house and only now, in October, have they got the smallest of fruit.
Tomato – Moneymaker and Artisan Bumble Bee Mix – I had a few plants to plant out. So they germinated well enough despite everything. I put 3 plants in the greenhouse, they suffered the same fate as the cucumbers. I also put 3 of each outside into the raised beds as I had space left over, I wasn’t expecting them to offer up much though. I was happily wrong. These, despite being neglected over the hottest period for at least a month, were fruiting so well! I ended up with a glut of tomatoes, more than we could eat as a family. They didn’t ripen so well though as it was just too hot for them. Then the weather started getting much cooler and space was needed for other produce. So I picked them all mostly green and ripened at home on the window sills. I’ve been living on cheese and tomato sandwiches!
Watercress – Aqua – Unfortunately, despite them germinating and growing well I didn’t manage to get these planted out in time. Partly because I got quite disheartened due to the rabbits (again fail to prepare, prepare to fail!). Partly because it got so hot and who really could be bothered to do anything other than eat ice cream then?
So, from the above run down I have concluded that I MUST be better prepared. I need netting and cages building. I also need to plan for another potentially hot summer and put into place better watering systems. We are not allowed sprinklers and the like on our plots, I have purchased a big dripper so I will see how I get on with that. I also need to properly get my water butts connected to guttering to make the most of the rain water. We do have a water supply on our Allotments, but the more we use it the more it costs us.
Which of this years seeds have been your best and worst?