A quick update on what I have been doing this year for the Edel-Project; where crops have been bad or failed I will say so, since the idea here is to try to help each other by pointing out our own problems, and maybe errors.
POTATOES - might as well start with this since it was not a good year at all; last year was excellent, this year not so. One bed suffered blight so I cut the tops off, the harvest underneath still being alright but small. This was my own fault since I put the spuds in a bed that had tomatoes last year and these suffered blight - completely forgot that. I have two small raised-bed allotments at the bottom of our road, and next year one will be used solely for potatoes. This should minimise the chance of blight, and these type of crops are best on allotments because they take little looking after.
I had enough to make into mashed potatoes and freeze for use in the winter months, and I do not eat so much spuds now having cut down on carbs and increased fat. So do not need that many anyway.
TOMATOES - a disaster! Started off badly because the seedlings grew badly, using 'brown-bin' compost, which will now be a thing of the past! The germination was bad and the growth was terrible. They did grow eventually, but very late in the season; luckily I had a next-door neighbour who swaps stuff with me (we run the allotments) and he gave me some plants. However, at the critical point of harvesting when they were turning red the whole lot got blight and I had to throw them out! They were really tasty tomatoes too, but no good crying over spilt milk.
The alternative here is toms and spuds in containers, which is alright for some but since I regularly camp away during the summer months they will go dryer this way. The answer would be some form of automatic watering, which I now need to look into.
CUCUMBERS - Might as well turn to this one now, since I had the best harvest for many years. Small, tasty cucumbers which produced plenty of seeds for next year too. These were in the poly-tunnel and one outside.
COURGETTES - Brilliant crop, especially since I am not that all keen on them, except to fill up a stew or soup. So gave many away to others. Always seem to grow too many too, since they seem to grow so well from seed and good germinators.
SWEETCORN - Last year was bad, this year quite good, though not as well as two years ago when I had a really bumper crop. These are easy to grow.
CARROTS - For the second year running these have been poor, and I lifted the first lot because they were all top-growth and no roots. Put in a second batch but it is too early to say how these will do.
LETTUCE - I have never had a poor harvest of lettuce, and this year was no exception. Did not plant as many this time, since I usually end up throwing many away. Planted a second crop in August and these are doing great too. I had an old wheel-cover fo the Land-Rover which I put on a raised bed and filled with seeds, which have come up well.
PEAS -Brilliant as usual, even though I use commercially-produced dried peas, and these can be saved for the next year's crop too. The variety I used (Amazon Special) have coloured flowers, and people think they are sweet-peas in the front garden. Have sown a second crop which are now flowering and should give peas soon.
KALE - Put these in instead of cabbage etc. and they have done reasonably well, though some were eaten by caterpillars. Always get problems with brassicas even when I net them, the butterflies always seem to get in somehow. This is why I left these out this year, whilst I find a solution to this problem.
ONIONS - These did very well too, or at least the White Onions, since the Red Onions failed altogether for some reason. Have stored most for the winter months.
GARLIC - Great crop of those supplier-bought, but tried store-bought which were rubbish. Have some set aside for next year's crop.
STAWBERRIES - Poor, but to be fair they were replanted last year, with many new ones, so I took the flowers off some to let them grow good roots etc.this year. We shall see next year how these fare, though I am going to move them again to a permanent site and cover with the mini poly-tunnel to keep the birds off them.
APPLES - Massive crop from two trees, more and more of these each year, and have them stored all over the place, as well as giving some away to Freya and the lads.
RASPBERRIES - Very good crop of these too; I use them to make milk-shakes or 'smoothies', adding yoghurt and blending them. Mix with the blackberries that I grow too.
BLACKBERRIES - Another good crop of these too, better than previous years. I have a 'thornless' variety which I got from a runner from a garden I tend, but as they too produce runners they revert to being thorny. That is how Nature works.