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What were your successes and failures this year?

CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
edited 20 August in Plants
Is it too early for a successes and failures thread? I'm hoping I'm not duplicating, but would be interested to hear about experiences this year - I found it helpful last year. 

For me, successes:

- poppies (the somniferum variety) - I took the seeds from a few that had sprung up in amongst the brambles and weeds last year and sprinkled them over some bare soil - this year I had a bed FILLED with poppies for weeks and weeks and covered with bees. You could hear the hum from a distance. Just beautiful. So much more rewarding to grow than the oriental poppies - next year I will grow more varieties from seed.

- daphne "eternal fragrance" - has lived up to its name, bushed out beautifully and flowered almost continuously with the most amazing scent since March.

- anthemis (thank you @josusa47) which has covered huge amounts of dry bare soil in a short period of time and super easy to propagate (and is still flowering)

- nemesia - another one that has just bushed out and covered huge patches of bare earth with continuous flowers from spring to summer and still flowering now. So easy to propagate.

- all my annuals - cosmos (cupcake), antirrhinum, calendula, bunnys tails - I will sow lots more annual seeds in the beds to fill gaps between all the shrubs next year but I will sow them much earlier - I think I left it too late this year.

Failures:

- equipment wise - not having enough plant supports. Everything has grown so floppy and tall - I have bamboo sticks everywhere!

- dahlias - they've all needed digging up at one time or another to allow them to regrow their leaves after slug attacks. All with the exception of some "bedding" dahlias that I got from Wisley last year that everyone told me would perish over the winter and have come back bigger and better this year and are clearly not tasty for slugs. I won't buy anymore dahlias - I will look after the ones I have but keep them in pots I think.

- delphiniums - see above. Also eaten by slugs. Now regrowing leaves in pots, out of my borders.

- hydrangeas - dry soil - not at all suitable for growing hydrangeas, even in shade. I should not have bought them.

- strawberries - 3 tiny strawberries and that's it.

- carrots - 3 tiny mandragora-like carrots

- potatoes - 2 "salad potatoes"

- onions - none

I am not a farmer.
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Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 14,682
    Horrible hairy ,spiky Chinese leaves. I bought the wrong kind. I didn't even know there was a wrong kind😝

    Heading towards a tomato glut so that's a success.

    Courgettes. I've decided I don't really like them much.

    Gazanias have been spectacular. Nothing to do with me. They've been in the ground a few years and got comfortable

    Most of my planted out cuttings have survived.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
    @B3 the number of people who have told me how easy courgettes are to grow. No-one in our house likes them!
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 572
    A few small victories in my first year of trying to get the garden in order:-

    - clearing my two veg beds of what had accumulated over the last 5-6 years of complete neglect.
    - strawberries. Dug them all up and put them in pots. Reasonable harvest and have about a dozen new plants for next year with at least another dozen to follow, hopefully.
    - acquired my first planters. Painted and lined all 6, with 4 now in operation.
    - carrots. My first proper crop - smallish but perfectly formed.
    - germinating (for the first time) sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, radish, cabbage, onions, french beans and rocket. Whether I get a crop eventually is TBC.
    - constructing animal and bird-proof cages for two veg beds.
    - potatoes. Got a nice crop from two planted straight from the kitchen waste. Waiting on the 'proper' ones sown from seeded KEs. Plants looking healthy at the minute so fingers crossed.

    Failures:-
    - propagating from the plants in my sister's garden hasn't yielded any success. Yet!
    - the tiny onion plants didn't make it!
    - lettuce. Cultivating slug food. Got about half a dozen leaves so far!
    - not constructing insect-proof cages!!
    - sowing some of the veg seeds a little bit too late. I may need a magnificent Sept-Oct weather-wise to get a return.
    - not having enough gear (and absolutely no idea). Although this has meant cobbling together supports/stakes/cages from what I've got available. Cheap and more environmentally-friendly. Second thoughts - that might be another success  :D
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
    @K67 funnily enough I've found similar. I have been feeding everything with liquid seaweed and homegrown nettle feed - leafy plants / comfrey feed - flower and fruit bearing plants and I'm sure there is a link between that and general floppiness of everything. Lots of things just haven't flowered as well this year. I think perhaps I haven't gotten the timings / dosages right.
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
    @Biglad you've had a super successful growing season. I'm so impressed - did you do anything to feed the soil or otherwise once you'd cleared it?
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 572
    Yes @Camelliad - mixed in some MPC and some home-made compost with the existing soil. Plus chicken manure pellets a week or so prior to using the beds. I haven't used any further feed on anything once planted though but intend to do things more 'properly' next year. Tomato feed/seaweed/comfrey kind of thing. I also got a bag of horse manure, which has gone into another border that I'm clearing to make ready for future fruit growing.

    If I actually eventually get any peas, sweetcorn or cabbage (and more spuds), I'll definitely call it a success.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,381
    My six-year old Egremont Russet has finally fruited; about 20 apples still on it and they are reaching a respectable size.  It's such a pity that, since I planted this very hard and scrunchy apple, I have lost several back teeth and most of those I still have are loose or broken!  I'll only able to eat them cooked.

    My Denbigh plum fruited, despite being only 3 years old; about 25 plums.  Rhubarb and raspberries have been abundant, and I'm currently picking more runner beans than we can eat.  I have two parsnip plants thriving, my first ever, and some leeks.  My best ever crop of carrots, including some purple ones from seed a forum member sent me.

    Failures:  I planted Pink Fir Apple potatoes I'd saved from last year's crop; shan't do it again, because lots of them came up scabby.  Those that didn't were delicious.  I have failed again to grow peas and French beans, but I'll keep trying.  Broad beans were very scanty.  Tomatoes were late going in because of the drought, and still have flowers.  I probably should pick them off.  Not a great lot of fruit formed yet. 
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
    Biglad said:
    Yes @Camelliad - mixed in some MPC and some home-made compost with the existing soil. Plus chicken manure pellets a week or so prior to using the beds. I haven't used any further feed on anything once planted though but intend to do things more 'properly' next year. Tomato feed/seaweed/comfrey kind of thing. I also got a bag of horse manure, which has gone into another border that I'm clearing to make ready for future fruit growing.

    If I actually eventually get any peas, sweetcorn or cabbage (and more spuds), I'll definitely call it a success.
    That's really useful, thanks @[email protected]. We have a veggie patch that will need clearing - that is a job for later this year...

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that you have success!
  • CamelliadCamelliad Posts: 209
    edited 20 August
    @josusa47 - good news for your harvest. I wish I had more to show for this year but at least I've learned from my failures. Shame about the super crunchy apples but a good excuse to bake apple loaf! Did you do anything to your fruit trees in the first year? I planted some cordon fruit trees earlier this year and panicked when they flowered. I left them in the end.
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