I know, I said I would try and blog but the birth of my second daughter basically put an end to anything productive happening this year. I did however document the good, bad and well just down right failures of my square foot garden at the cottage this year. My crop rotation plan is divided into a 3 bed 3 year plan this year; Brassicas, Legumes and Fruiting veg and finally Roots. To try and keep somewhat organised I’ve divided up my garden harvests this year into each of these beds and without further a do I’ll just dive right in:
Cucumbers – Passandra F1
I have never grown cucumbers before and boy have I been missing out. These guys have easily given us 2 – 3 cucumbers per week per plant over the harvest period and they are still going. I chose to plant Passandra F1 variety with seeds from GIY International. The veg soil this year was from Enrich and I would 100% choose them again. These plants are growing in 5L plant pots with a homemade water resivoir system made from old tea towels and extra buckets. It worked a charm because these plants can drink!!
These needed very little care apart from setting up a water reservoir for the really hot June / July weather. These were not in a greenhouse just in the sun room at the south facing side of my home. I tried to keep them tidy but an attack of mildew in the hot damp weather this year led to a leaf loss and I cut them back. We lost one plant but I’m not complaining it is September after all, the second plant though has come back with a last burst of energy and with hopefully enough warm bright days left to ripen these beauties. This year I read a lot on the forums about how cukes sulk and boy do they, everything from wet feet, too much direct sunshine to feed me now mommy! I didn’t top these when they reached the top of my wall, I just bent them through wall netting. Now that I’ve seen their reaction I will top these next year and see what happens. These guys are definitely worth the space to grow especially at only 3 euro a seed packet.
Courgettes – Atena Polka
Atena Polka F1 seeds again from GIY, I planted these at the same time as the cucumbers but they are really only starting to take off in August / September. These give such a beautiful yellow courgette and it is really sweet in comparison to its green brethren. These were started off in my sunroom and then moved outdoors to our temporary greenhouse. They got included in the square foot garden plan and where planted with the peppers and tomatoes. I wouldn’t grow these without a greenhouse here again though. The wind around here is just too much for them and they did struggle. They are well worth growing again and to get these guys happy, I filled them in with 2/3 bunny poop (thank you little buns) and 1/3 soil and fed every second week. I had very strong happy plants until that weather cold spell in July , this set them back and they really have only recovered since the 1st of September.
Peas – Doulce Provence
I was reserved this year and stuck with a winter pea, Doulce Provence from GardenShop.ie. This is a really beautiful pea and they rarely made it in from the garden. My toddler just picked and ate them every time she was in the garden. I would definitly plant a half if not full bed of these guys again next year! I would like to try the purple podded variety or a summer pea.
Beans – French Dwarf
For some reason both types of beans didn’t exactly love my garden this year. I think it’s just too hot in my top bed for them. The French beans are really only giving me some return now and out of the 20 seeds I test planted I have 6 plants. yip not great and I remain undecided about trying again.
These are just the jewels of the bean world aren’t they? I would definitely grow these again. These came from Gardenshop.ie and every single bean germinated for me. I started these a little early in May and harvested at the end of August. These also did not like the top bed but I was able to relocate these to a side container and they thrived! I had given up hope in June but they proved me wrong. I would also suggest a recipe from Phil Vickery over on Good to Know to use these beautiful beans while fresh.
I think I have rambled on enough for today and to be honest we will be talking about this years activities for most of the winter period. We have to look at our Christmas potatoes now, have you got yours in the ground? In bags? Let me know as this is the first year I’m attempting it.
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