Monday, 31 December 2012

A happy New Year to all my readers!!!

Well I figured today was as good a day a any to reflect on the passing year. I have to admit though to have been sat at the computer for a while thinking how to start the post and also how to end it.

I awoke this morning to yet more miserable windy weather and not feeling very festive at all. New year isn't a huge thing for us and we don't celebrate as's just another day with one more thing to remember...writing a different number at the end of the date!!

We won't be going out tonight but tomorrow we will spend time with family and have a nice dinner and you do anything special for new year??

So to reflect on the last year...gardening wise was pretty abysmal. Having said that when I look at certain aspects it wasn't as bad as I first thought, even if yields weren't high, they wee there and for that I am grateful. I guess the easiest way is to break things down into lets give it a try.


Fruit bushes did very well for me this year and we had plenty of black, white and red currants along with a good supply of gooseberries and blueberries.

The raspberries were probably my golden crop for 2012 giving me plenty of fruits to experiment different things with. Blackberries were non-existent on the plot and even the usual places I go foraging showed very low crops which meant although we got a few to eat we got no bramble jelly this year.

The trees also didn't do too well this year. No pears apples or apricots for us though we did get quite a few plums. Enough for jams and sorbets to be made along with a few crumbles. I also had a few left to give to friends which lent to me getting some lovely apples in return so it wasn't a total loss in that respect.

Tomatoes were a huge failure this year. A long time starting to fruit outside and none of them turned red. Those in the greenhouse did mange to turn red but weren't as abundant as past years and were a long time turning.


Alliums were a bit of a wash out with the weather. First it was so dry the ground baked and then so wet that many rotted before they even got started. I have a good crop of leeks still going strong in the ground but the onions and garlic were small and of lower yield to normal though what I did get were very tasty and are still lasting us though I'm not sure they will see us through to the next cropping.


Germination rate wasn't so good this year though you can't necessarily put that down to the weather, often it is just the seed. Cropping wasn't so great this year though and many of the plants went from something to nothing so quick with the strange weather patterns that it was hard to keep up with harvesting which meant some of what grew went to waste. The runner beans and the broad beans both produced good healthy crops this year .


Brassicas were a bit stunted. Due to the severe wet conditions a lot of slug and snail damage occurred but I still managed to get a good few cabbages of different varieties. None of my spinach or chard germinated though I was given some ruby chard from friend so it wasn't a total loss. All of my cauliflowers which did start to germinate in the green house soon died off but I have since discovered that this was more likely to be due to a resident mouse...a humane trap will be used next year just in case.
Brussels again have  blown...I don't really know why they do this to me all the time...maybe one year I will actually get some lovely tight buds to harvest!!


The roots were probably my worst overall crop with parsnips being the only thing that did well. I managed to grow 2 carrots and a handful of beetroot. All others, (celeriac, turnips, swede) a total disaster with nothing to harvest.


I grew several new potatoes this year to try different varieties and these did quite well. Some more prolific than others but you expect that. Overall though the New Potatoes cropped well. The main crops potatoes were a different story though. On lifting the first two rows there was very little to harvest, the tubers were small and most had been hollowed out by slugs. I still have some in the ground which I just didn't get chance to dig up..they will be dug and composted in the spring.


I would have though the squash would have thrived in the wetter weather but this only applied to some. I had good crops of marrows and courgettes but the cucumbers and gherkins didn't fare so well. the butternut squash didn't produce good plants at all and the pumpkins only had a few fruits although the plants tried to take over the rest of the allotment!!


The salad crops did okay. Again not as great as previous years and the herbs that I put in just didn't get to any size for cropping but none the less we didn't starve!!

Other bits.

So then it's just the last few bits to talk about. The babycorn did very well this year but the sweetcorn although it finally grew cobs didn't really swell up and those few that did germinate were rarely full cobs.
The chilli peppers did great in the greenhouse and I had my best year ever for bell peppers though I had to harvest them earlier than I wanted to due to the resident mouse.

The Golden Berry Pineapple that I planted in pots in the greenhouse did very well and were prolific fruiters and we enjoyed them very much. The 'pear' plants I planted along with them didn't fruit so well and we weren't keen on the taste so I won't be growing them again this year.


So I think that about sums up the year. I don't think I've missed anything but I'm sure you'll all soon let me know if I have!!

With 2013 just a few hours away I have already started thinking about next year, what I'm going to plant and what I can try for a new feature this year. I have plans I would like to carry out too but that's for another post.

Hope You all Enjoy our New year. xx


  1. Many similar outcomes to us Tanya. We don't grow maincrop potatoes so that we can dig the potatoes early. We find that this cuts down slug damage which we had surprisingly little of this year. Also it means that the potatoes have produced a crop if late blight strikes.

    As for blown sprouts generally this is reckoned to be because the ground they were planted in isn't firm enough.

    1. We get through so many potatoes...I wonder if I should try some different method of planting this year...I'm just not sure what least it's something to exercise my brain whilst the weather improves.

      So maybe I shouldn't actually dig over the ground the sprouts are going in and just dig a small hole for the seedling...anything is worth a try!!

  2. Happy New Year, lets hope this one is better for growing than 2012 was.

    1. I don't think it could be any worse than this year Liz...fingers and toes crossed!!

  3. I think looking back, more things did well than we originally thought. It's easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom when we've had constant rain, and slugs are devouring our seedlings, but lots of things worked out well. We don't really celebrate new year either. We'll have a take away and watch some tv, stay up till midnight to see in 2013 but that'll be it. Wishing you all the very best for the new year.

    1. I think because we wee all bringing home less produce on a daily basis than we are use to and things that are usually at glut proportions were at standard ones we were all a bit glum...but looking back although it wasn't a great wasn't a bad one either. Sometimes it's good to reflect like this at the end of the year so you can see that in actual fact you didn't waste your time.

  4. Happy New Year Tanya. I think you've summed up a pretty mixed (mostly wet!) year very well. But gardeners and allotmenters are optimistic to a fault so it's bound to be a better year next year. Fingers crossed!

    1. Same to you Woody. As for optimism...I think it's a criteria you just have to possess if you are going to embark on growing your own..if not you are doomed to a life of

  5. Happy New Year Tanya. Sounds like a very good accounting of your year in crops to me. Best wishes for a bountiful harvest in 2013.
    To answer your question about my new kindle HD. Yes, I love it. Even more than the original kindle fire

    1. Happy New year to you to Ann.

      I think 2013 is going to be a great year for growing!!

      Glad you like your new Kindle...I still have the original that first came out but maybe if something goes wrong with it I will think about upgrading the the fire HD.

  6. hey--i haven't stopped by in a while--so glad i did--i love to hear about your garden!!! happy new year :)

    1. Nice to see you back again Lynn. Hope you have a wonderful 2013.

  7. We too struggled this year. Our biggest problem were the cucumber beetles and they didn't just ruin the cucumbers but a whole lot of other crops as well. If you know of a way to detour these beetles naturally, please share. Thanks!

    1. I haven't suffered with cucumber beetles before...but I will now be looking into what that little critter gets up to and what it doesn't like just in case. If I find anything out I will let you know. Thanks for visiting and hope to see you back again.


keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!