So, as gardeners are we glad to say goodbye to summer?
Normally, I would say absolutely not, I mean you can’t have too much sun, can you?
Well, what an exceptionally challenging year for growers in general it has been, whether you are a specialist grower, farmer, Gardener or just someone who enjoys a few pots on the patio, we have all been faced with a multitude of problems and disappointments from pretty much the get go!
The trouble started with the incredibly long, cold and wet beginning to the year, I noticed in particular, that normally reliable and easy to grow seeds just wouldn’t germinate. Then, out of the blue a mini heatwave in April that made everything panic and bolt, followed cruelly by another cold, wet spell! Utter chaos and confusion ensued!
Undeterred, as that’s gardening! I managed to press on and plant out the garden, only to discover that overnight a trio of rabbits had recreated the tunnel scene from the great escape and I had Tom, Dick and Harry expertly concealed underneath the box hedge at the bottom of the garden. The only thing I could do was to net over the entire length of the hedge, but as expected there were casualties, first the lettuce, then the French climbing beans and finally the fennel!!
The onset of the summer heatwave brought with it major watering issues, luckily I have an endless supply of unmetered water from a natural bore hole located in the orchard my problem was being able to keep my water tanks full, I was pretty much using the water as fast as the tanks were filling, and on many occasions I had to wait a few hours before I could water to give the tanks a chance to fill sufficiently by this time the sun was high in the sky and as we all know the best time to water is early morning or in the evening.
Despite all the obstacles there have still been some successes, tomatoes, cucumbers and chillis have adored and thrived in the Mediterranean climate. Runner beans, courgettes, squashes, spring onions, pears, plums, damsons and beetroot have also put on a good show. My hugely anticipated pumpkin variety ‘Wallace’s Whoppers’ out of six seeds only one plant took, has produced two torpedo shaped whoppers, and I’m eagerly awaiting weigh in day on those.
Unfortunately, for me, I had an accident on holiday in August, which caused an horrendous foot injury, so I’ve now been away from the garden for 7 weeks. The moral being DON’T GO ON HOLIDAY!!