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Daphne

So how is the season so far?

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It rained far more than normal here over the winter, and the spring was cooler and wetter than normal as well apparently. We've had about 6 weeks of warm to hot sun in total this year, less than last year, but the temps are forecast up in the mid 30s from this weekend. I was just wondering if the unusual winter/spring weather has affected UK gardens?

 

I've noticed that the plum trees are groaning and bent double with fruit, whereas last year the plums were scarce. The apple trees were well laden last year, and this, we've just had the June drop and as we are watering the trees (which we didn't last year) I am hoping for even better crop this year. The peach tree probably has 3 times as much fruit on it this year - so thats about 30 rock-hard peaches instead of 10 :roll: The lemon tree has far fewer fruit than last year - but the lemons are enormous :shock:

 

My lettuce have done brilliantly and we are struggling to eat them all before the temperatures rocket and they bolt/turn bitter, the mint is also growing like crazy. I planted out some growing herbs in pots (from Lidl) and these have taken and spread so now I am looking for recipes involving lemon basil and chocolate mint (why did I buy these :lol: ) I've been succession sowing sweetcorn and so far it is doing well, one of the plants is already throwing a tassel :shock:

 

On the negative side I have one green tomato and 3 mini courgettes showing - but the 30 or so tomato/pepper/courgette plants all look feeble. I think ( :pray: ) they will perk up with the heat. My broad beans were a disaster - choc spot and blackfly - and I pulled them up and threw them away without eating a single bean. I have got some beetroot in but last year everything I bought tasted soapy so I don't know if they will be nice or not.

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Wow! That sounds like it's going to be a good harvest!

 

My one pear tree is quite full (even though I had the gardener have a go at it this winter, trying to get a better shape to it). My grape is absolutely full with flowers and the bumblebees are doing their job at ensuring I'll have lots of grapes. My black berry is going well and has lots of green berries so far.

Tomatoes only have flowers yet. I have planted two variaties and one grows to be gigantic! :shock: Beans are being demolished by slugs....

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I have one lonely pear growing, even though there was lots of blossom! However the apple tree is laden with little apples starting. :D My hazelnut tree is a beauty this year - gorgeous red / burgundy leaves. My runner beans are growing like mad. I can almost see them growing by the hour. All plants - veg & flowers are doing fab. My strawberries have gone mad just growing in the open field / veg patch & netted over. There will be lots, just waiting for them to start ripening. Mmm mm. I'm not going to have to buy any tomatoes this year, after a friend brought me 8 tomato plants of mixed varieties. They have flowered since she brought them on Thursday. :D Cucumber plants are strong, as are the sweet peas. Courgette plant has a beautiful courgette on it & has bloomed another 5- 6 flowers. I'm pleased with how stuff is going this year.

Emma.x

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We are doing pretty well with a lot of things, already had some new potatoes, carrots are zooming along, courgettes have flowers, huge strawberries, but we are fighting the birds and slugs for them despite netting, beans are getting slugged here too. We have huge broad bean plants but the bees are drilling holes in the flowers and they are not setting. Tomatoes are growing like mad and full of flowers, have a few small ones set on the Tumblers in the hanging baskets too. The warm weather has boosted my cucumbers which are finally growing well.

 

We also have some lovely roses, seems like a good year for those too. :D

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When you say drilling I assume thro the flower? We have a lot of bees not sure if English or foreign ones. First raspberries today - 1/2 cupful eveything else is coming on slowly. Another fighting the deadly slime balls aka slugs and snails

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Yes some bees make holes in the base of broad bean flowers and take the nectar but don't pollinate the flower. It is bumble type bees because they are too chubby to get inside the flowers. I love the smell of broad bean flowers on a summer evening :D we have. Huge number of them this year, just hoping for some actual beans this year, they got totally annihilated by black fly last year.

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For the first time, ever, after liberal application of nematodes and really heavy mulching, there is not a single sawfly caterpillar on my gooseberries :)

My asparagus is looking like a forest...will be able to pick next year :) :) :)

Three applications of Encarsia and there is no whitefly in the greenhouses !!

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Getting better I think. We had early problems with slugs but had settled a bit now the weather is drier. Harvested first new potatoes last week, 3 weeks earlier than last year. Fickle gardener that I am I'd now like some rain for a day or two!

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I was thinking that too, I planted out some sweet corn, swedes and squashes yesterday, gave them a good soaking but they could do with some rein to settle them in. :roll:

 

We picked raspberries, spinach, broad beans and new potatoes for our tea last night :D

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Slugs and snails have been a bit of a pain but things beginning to look OK now except for the carrots and I think I might be lucky to have 2 after sowing several rows, same for the chard - all chomped at seedling stage. Broad beans OK but not as good as last year - will try a different variety next year. Other beans are beginning to kick off now. Tomatoes doing well and peppers in flower. Early onions ready to harvest and the main crop is coming on nicely this year. Only have 2 redcurrant bushes and they went bonkers this year so OH made a lot of redcurrant jelly. Blackcurrants not so hot and apples look a bit sp"Ooops, word censored!" this year - but then both those were well laden last year so probably having a rest. Blueberries looking good. Strawberries have been fantastic! Hoping for a good crop of parsnips - they look fab above ground! Naughty mouse chomped a lot of my sweetcorn plants in the greenhouse - I gave it an alternative food which stopped it coming for night raids (with a tinge of regret), although it made no attempt to chomp any beans this year. Raspberries were forming on old stems - waiting for the new stems to produce now and they are covered in flowers (autumn variety they are). So as usual it's swings and roundabouts. Oooh forgot spuds in pots. Don't know how they are doing but we won't be bothering next year even though we had a lot of success last year, but they are on our patio and we want it replaced soon and don't want the pots to make marks on the new stones. Fussy aren't we!!!

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Well, as an update, the peach tree turned out to have about 100 fruit on it, and they were delicious :D We and our guests had a fortnight of bliss eaten warm fruit straight off the tree 8) I have never seen so many plums in my entire life :shock: Unfortunately they aren't the best eaten raw but OH has made jars and jars of jam and its delicious (I have to say nicer than most of the jam I make :oops: ). We have our first red tomato (I inadvertently parted it from the plant about one month ago and its ripened in the fruit bowl) but I haven't tasted it yet, the rest of the tomato forest is progressing nicely and there is plenty of green fruit and flower. Some of them are the giant beefheart type, whilst others are a regular size. The pepper plants are still only 6 inches high but they have 4 inch green peppers hanging from them - I've obviously done something wrong as last year the plants were about 18 inches high with dozens of fruit. The apples don't seem to be getting big enough, so we'll have to wait and see what happens there. They may be a disappointment :( We have a fig tree with plenty of ripe figs, but they are a specially nasty and dry variety so we don't eat them :( The grape vines on the other hand are even more fruitful than this time last year, so fingers firmly crossed!

 

I find it really interesting comparing notes, growing stuff is so much easier here with the sun, a lot less skill is required, although my efforts are useless compared to my neighbours who are all self-sufficient. But the choice of things you can buy, and the range of things you can grow without the amount of rain we are used to in the UK is limited. Cucumbers are often horrible now, there isn't enough moisture in them :(

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In Cornwall - been eating New Potatoes and salad leaves for about a month now. Less potatoes than usual though because the last of the storms snapped half the tops off :x Purple sprouting broccoli and sunflowers growing nicely. Tomatoes in hanging basket (tumbler) just starting to set and loads of flowers. Raspberries (polka) just flowering. Beans flowering like mad. I'm only keeping on top of the slugs and snails by using nematodes and picking them off every night. Oh - carrots are rubbish - slugs won that one

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It's been a really good season so far in my Leicestershire allotment. I've been picking lots of salad-y things; radishes, rocket, lettuce and spring onions. My sugar snap peas are in full production as are my broad beans (timed that wrong!) Courgettes are going mad; they were thumb sized 3 days ago and now are the size of rolling pins. :shock: The broccoli has got respectable little heads and I've had some baby turnips.

Potatoes are nearly ready to pull and I've been picking gooseberries, tayberries and worcester berries. One happy allotmenter. It makes up for that year when it rained all summer and the slugs were as big as rats. :lol:

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A mixed year here, our broad beans are nearly as tall as me and we have had loads of lovely tender clean beans, the black fly is just starting to take hold with the dry weather, they were destroyed by it last year before the beans were ready.

 

I haven't done as well with things like beetroot and turnips , they went in too late and got a bit over run by weeds and not thinned enough when I was decorating, they were fantastic last year with all the rain. Potatoes are doing well as are my carrots, sweet corn really getting going as are my courgettes etc and the tomatoes have more fruit set than ever, they love these conditions. I also didn't feed them until fruit was setting which I normally do and end up with too many leaves and not enough fruit.

 

We have loads of pears set on one tree and quite a few apples but they need some rain to swell them.

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New potatos lovely and main crop nearly ready. Had salad stuff and courgettes and broad bean should be ready by next week. Had a few rasberries, gooseberries blackcurrants.

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So far black aphids have stayed on weeds - and we are lucky (or not really) to have those harlequin ladybirds that are chomping their way through!

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My tomatoes are ripening, we ate the first Tumbler one this evening and there are now lots that have started to turn :D

 

Very pleased with the way that my brassicas are coming along considering some of the were slightly too overgrown plants from a garden centre and the rest were small seedling planted straight out in the ground n dry weather. I sow most of my seeds by putting a few into 3 " pots then pricking them out when they are large enough to handle, but with decorating this didn't get done and the seedlings were left in their pots for a few weeks. They were planted with only small disturbed roots well watered in but in hit weather about 3 weeks ago and they have thrived and grown really well :D

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Good recovery then! Phew!

 

Yep, we nibbled the first Sungold on Monday (I knew if I ate it myself then there'd be a lot of whingeing about it disappearing, so shared - even though Loki sneaks and scoffs as many as are ripe and NEVER shares the first one :silenced: ).

 

Next lot of leeks planted and watered in. They were looking quite nice and thick stemmed so were ready to romp for autumn.

 

Blueberries looking good. Loki is making blackcurrant vinegar and they are being steeped on the table. Not sure which was best - cider or white wine vinegar so he's done one of each. I tasted one of the blackcurrants and it was very sweet and really tasty.

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Everything in my garden has gone mad, I've been picking broad beans for the freezer today and in all my years of growing them I don't think I've ever had such an enormous crop.

I've also got some ripe tomatoes almost two weeks earlier than I've had them in Scotland before.

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We have has the best broad beans ever, my yellow courgette plant is going into super production and we now have French beans by the bucket load. Tomatoes are ripening quickly now too.

 

The rain will bring on the other things too. :D

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Hmm :think: When I first read about you all having ripening tomatoes they were mini-varities and I consoled myself that perhaps they were early ripeners, but now I'm presuming you are managing to get ripe toms of all sizes....ahead of me and I'm the one living in a hot country :shameonu::lol:

 

The only good thing as far as I'm concerned is that we bought 2kg of local toms from various locals last week. The beefsteak types were super-ripe, so super heavy and squishy that I thought they were only good for cooking with. However, when I opened them up they were actually perfect, with very thin skins and lots of 'walls' inside with lots of compartments for the juice. Most delicious 8) So, although I seem to be behind the times a bit, I am consoling myself with the hope that my beefsteaks will also turn out to be super-yummy :lol:

 

Well done everybody on all the other burgeoning crops :D I love this time of year with everything running riot :clap:

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I have ginormous beef tomatoes! The size of grapefruits... Very green grapefruit...

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STOP PRESS * * * I've just picked a ripe tomato :D:D:D:D

 

It was hiding in the weeds around the base of the plant! Its the only one mind you, although a couple are going vaguely to the yellow side of green. All the others are in various stages of large and green, small and green, or flower :lol:

 

We have a couple of green peppers too, they have quite thin walls and are comparatively sweet :D

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