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Linda - they don't like the GH either I tried yard long noodles.
I bought some seeds whilst in France and have a few radish vartieties which come in red, white, yellow and purple. Also going to try Chioggia, beetroot which has red and white stripes.
I grew gerkins by accident one year thinking it was a cucumber, they were seeds bought in France. I'm getting better at reading French and translating so hopefully there won't be any suprises this year
Grew white strawberries this year, a small alpine variety but left them on the plant too long before picking so they were soft, that's the problem with white strawberries you can't tell when they're ripe.
Lots of ideas from this thread for next year. Here in the westcountry we have had a bumper year, even though we had a cold spring. Highlights: runner beans Moonlight. Tried the new Jackpot dwarf runner beans. Very early, good flavour, have collected seeds for next year, but will give more support.
Beetroots Cylindra and Red Ace, very prolific, and tasty, just cooked the last ones.
Leeks Elefant and Porbella which were free from D.B. Brown, very good.
Courgettes best ever, Cavili, Napoli and Soleil, but will try Parador next year as suggested on here. I make loads of soup with my courgettes for the freezer for winter lunches.
I grow purple sprouting broccoli amongst my courgette plants in the vain hope that the cabbage whites will miss them, but they eventually found them. They are now recovering, so all is well. Winter cabbages however, were well and truly damaged, am hoping they will come good. Tried the new Black Kale and liked it, its not as tough as Nero.
Chard, always in the garden, great stand by. I grow Fordhook Giant and the rainbow collection, grow in good fertile ground.
Broad bean Monica, will grow again, have loads in the freezer.
Tomatoes best ever in the garden for Sungold, and Black Krim. No blight this year. In the greenhouse tried Delicious, and they were really were delicious but not very prolific.
Where would I be without my trusty Burpless Tasty Green cucumber. I grow them up a south facing wall, in plenty of compost and well watered. Picked the last one today for lunch.
Next year I will grow more flowers for the bees and butterflies, they were very much in evidence this year so don't want to disappoint next year. They loved the marjoram and verbena bonariensis, buddleigh, scabious etc.
Wont Grow Again: This is the last year I grow carrots, they just don't suit my garden, even though I have a fleece cover, the root flies still get in. Same goes for parsnips. This leaves more room next year for extra broad beans and leeks.
No more onions, as have been inflicted with rot, or potatoes either, although I had a few Lady Balfour left over from the supermarket which had sprouted, so planted them in a small row. I recently thought I should dig them up to see if they had produced much, and lo and behold I have a wonderful crop of large sound potatoes! So perhaps do the same next year, although I know you are not suppoed to do this!
I grew courgettes called "Romanesco" this year as it said on the packet that they are one of the best tasting. Never again! They are the blandest courgette I have ever tasted.
I have used my own compost in parts of my garden and found that tomato seeds that have been put in the compost bin have germinated and have produced a better crop out side than the ones I have purchased from garden centres and grown in the greenhouse. So I am going to save some seeds from my tomatoes in future I have also found it works well with peppers.
Well Auntie E I will be growing carrots again next year but only root fly resistsnt varieties like Flyaway or Resistafly. Two beds of Amsterdam Forcing got root fly this year because the fleece got torn by the high winds we had in April and May. Covering with fleece hasn't worked for me, never again.
One thing I won't grow again is a 'Shark Fin Melon'. Firstly it was a monster and destroyed it's supports and grew over everything in it's way and secondly it just didn't taste of anything lol...we live and learn, which is the fun of gardening.
I'm swapping garlic for Jermor shallots, as the garlic didn't really taste of anything. Had good success with the runner beans, but will be swapping them for dwarf french beans next year as they shaded everything else - it's a small plot.
Been really pleased with white lisbon spring onins, and had a few good courgettes (black beauty), and plenty of baby carrots (chantenay red cored). It's my first year growing things, and I'll be rearranging things to try and get the most out of the space.
Good year on the whole if a bit of a late starter. Lots of new beds for me to go at although addition of several truck loads of mushroom compost in the spring may have made the soil a bit rich for some plants & seedlings in the first season. Cougettes liked it though & it should be great soil next year!
1st year for raspberries - Autumn Bliss - amazingly good crop so far. Summer ones have put on lots of growth for next year
Cougettes (yellow & green) - bumper crop - have made loads of spicy fritters for the freezer & several jars of sweet pickled cougettes - absolutely yummy with cheese or cold cuts
Peas - Early Onward - much better than last year - fairly long period of cropping
Runner beans - Scarlet Emperor? - tasty & v tender when picked small - heavy crop - very late but great just now
Chantes carrots - good tasty crop - had to protect from fly
Cosmos - huge bushy plants (4' +) - still full of flower - sown late (mid April) & pinched out
Tomatoes - GD & Sungold grown outside both really poor (again) - thick skins, lots split & very late to ripen. I think too many extremes of temp & very little rain this year. Oudoor toms often dont seem to do very well for me & cause lots of anxst - is it warm enough? will the neighbour water? are they staked securely if its windy? have I fed enough / too much? - not sure if I can be bothered next year! (Taste so good when I get it right tho')
Coriander - Calypso - started well but bolted in the heat & 3 further sowings in ground failed to germinate - same with Butterhead lettuce. Have done well in the past. Wondering if mice or voles have eaten the seeds - lots of holes in my raised beds this year!!
Garlic & shallots - tiny & rotting in the ground - ended up in the bin
Seems to have been a year of extremes both weather & cropping - wise
I found a UK Based ebay shop that has Soldacki, Cuore Di Bue and Anna Russian toms;
Great thread, I've noted down a few suggestions.
For me, the best crops/varieties were:
Tomatoes (outdoor): Sungold, especially eaten straight from the plant. Totally yum. For what it's worth, it was Gardener's Delight that split in my garden, while Sungold didn't. Also had a good crop of little cherry tomatoes from Losetto (bush variety, blight resistant).
Cobra climbing French beans, always good although not so vigorous this year (should have watered them more, I think). Seed is saved for next year.
Charlotte potatoes, very reliable and the tubers don't get affected by blight even if the tops rot away.
Courgettes: Spineless Beauty were scarily prolific. Four plants grew a humungous crop. Next year I'll try two of those and maybe two yellow ones.
What would I not grow again? Celtuce. Chicory. Salsify. Butternut squash - not really worth the space and effort for what was (for me) a tiny crop. And probaby not brassicas, although I get tempted and keep thinking this time they'll be OK. This year I tried kale, thinking it would be relatively free from caterpillars etc. I was wrong.
As I said at the beginning of this thread, I grew Wisley Magic runner beans last year and they were good - this year they've been great.
Started picking in August and we're still picking now, in the third week of October - we had two meals-worth last week and there's still enough for one more picking! I think that really will be the last and I'll be taking them up this weekend.
I had planned to do it last weekend, but there were still beans on the vines!
With their great flavour and almost stringless pods, I really wouldn't consider growing any other variety.
I grew a sunflower called Black Magic but it was a bit disappointing. Nicer in the bud than the flower. Might be fine with lots of white flowers round it and a bit of acid green to give contrast.
I grew Moneymaker tomatoes but might try some different ones after reading the info on here
First year of growing chard,I would certainly grow that again,large and deliciuos crop.
Best potatoes Charlotte,again large crop,easy to scrape,blight and scab free.I usually also growLlady Cristel,but was unable to get the seed potatoes this year.
My Gardeners Delight tomatoes,cropped well and were excellent flavour.tried Shirley.disappointing,tough skins and not much taste.
Have had some of my late sown Autumn King carrots as babies, seem good raw but odd texture when cooked, seem to go sort of pithy? I thought maybe I had overcooked them so tried steaming with similar results. The heavy rain has battered the foliage down again, that can't help getting the rest to mature - stupid weather!
I have also managed to harvest a few pods of the Hurst Green Shaft peas which taste good, only problem is that they have slowed right down and don't really seem to be filling the pods. If I am patient and I guess lucky with the frost I think I am on the verge of a good crop so I will defintiely sow them again but much earlier!
The wind has really battered the peas there are stems bent, creased and twisted all over the place now, but they continue to grow strongly, keep flowering and making pods despite all the damage.
Nothing to stop you picking the pods and using them as mange tout if they're not filling out. I think that's what I'd do at this stage of the season.
Will definately grow Munchen Bier again - although in a different place, didnt realise how tall they grew! Great to eat a handful at work as a snack or in a salad.
Other successes, red salad onions, climbing french beans, beetroot and multicoloured carrots (sorry, cant remember varieties)
Tenderstem broccoli a disappointment this year but definately trying again as last year it was fab.
Will officially give up on Butternut squash now. Have tried it for three years on the trot. Plants healthy and produce lots of squashes (up to 25 on one plant!) which I faithtfully prop on tiles or stones to ensure they don't lie on damp soil but every year, without fail, they rot from the bottom upwards and the whole lot has to come out. Thats it, am done with them!
SFord that's a shame. I've heard of squashes being grown as climbers so if you enjoy them perhaps that might be worth trying, or a variety which produces fewer fruits on the plant.
I wasn't going to grow ornamental gourds again. Last years had loads of foilage but no gourds, this year - Snake gourds, I don't think even made it to the planting out stage or died soon after.
...but bought some children's seeds at Kew - Russian Dolls - to grow next year...how hard can it be...
I will definitely grow Apache chillies again - I bought three tiny plants from the GC - potted them on - left them outside near the courgettes where the wind and the insects pollinated them, they've been covered with chilllies all summer, we've been using them and they've been producing more - I moved them into the little growhouse about 3 weeks ago as it was getting cooler and they've gone on to produce and ripen another 40+ chillies which I've picked today to dry on the windowsill - I'm a very happy chilli novice
Also, I will definitely be growing Autum raspberry Polka again - well, I've got them and they're in the garden now so of course I will, but I do highly recommend them - I've just picked yet another bowlful of huge sweet ripe raspberries - in November!!! They've been fruiting for months!!! And I only bought three pots of canes and planted them less than a year ago.
I'll grow Apache chillies too, I used the seeds this year from dried pods saved from the year before.
Will also be growing aubergines, I picked them quite small thinking they'd go dull in colour and not be edible but then saved a couple of plants with just one aubergine left on to collect the seeds and they just keep growing bigger, both are now 6 inches long...won't be picknig then so small next year...