Wednesday, 12 June 2013

winners and losers in the cool weather stakes

Where I live in the East Midlands the weather is definitely on the cool side.  The odd afternoon has been sunny but still with a chill wind - certain plants are thriving but others are suffering from lack of warmth.


The raised beds and container garden
 As you can see from this picture, everything appears to be doing well, but all is not as it seems.  Certain veg plants have hardly made any growth since they were planted - others are romping away.  And it is all down to the unspringlike weather we have been experiencing in our corner of the country.

I have only one tomato plant with flowers on so far, this one is outside.  But the greenhouse plants are way behind, barely reaching a foot in height.
Cucumber . Tomato. Tomatillo . Cucamelon
The ones I put out at the plot haven't grown at all.  As you can see - the Cucumbers are making slow progress, the Tomatillo plants look healthy enough - but the Cucamelon looks very sad.  I don't really know what they are meant to look like as I haven't grown them before, but they have been planted out for weeks and are still pathetic little plants.

Raddichio and Red Cos (Pandero)
On the other hand all the salad leaves and lettuce are thriving in the cooler weather - as are the potatoes.
container potatoes and courgette (Cocozelle)
But the courgettes and squashes need a bit more warmth and are hardly making any progress at all.
In this bed I have beetroot, chard and cauliflowers  which aren't growing very fast, but the containers with parsnips, carrots and beetroot seem to be doing okay.

container parsnips
container carrots (a couple of lettuce
seem to have got in there) - possibly
seed in my home-made compost
container beetroot
And despite everything, the runner beans in the container are gradually starting to climb
container runner beans
So I'm not sure really who the winners and losers are in this cool weather competition.  Progress is definitely slow for some plants, but maybe I am just being impatient and have forgotten what has happened in other years.  I just wish the weather would settle down.  On the news this morning farmers were saying that their yields are down again this year, so I know it's not just me - in fact knowing that prices will inevitably go up again - it is even more essential that we try and grow as much of our own food as we can.  Onwards and upwards!

37 comments:

  1. It has been a strange year, again! The courgettes I sowed very late are still in the greenhouse, but have grown really fast and are about the size of yours. Reluctant to plant them out as it's so cold. I'm thinking a big polytunnel is the answer next time!

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    1. What I'd give for a polytunnel - shame that the garden isn't big enough or that they are so ugly and in your face.

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  2. It's a never ending battle right now with the rubbish weather. I had hoped last year was just a one-off, but it seems we are destined for more of the same. My spuds were very late getting to me from the supplier, so they are only a few inches above the ground (need to earth up!) Everything here is slow to grow. The last couple of days were gorgeous, so I'm hoping that will kickstart things! Hope yours improves for you hun! xx

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    1. Still coolish here we had rain last night so at least I won't have to water today - small consolation!

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  3. Something always like the weather conditions (well unless it is really exceptional) which is why growing a wide variety of things usually pays off.

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    1. I guess you are right Sue - I just wish the weather was a bit more constant and right for the season.

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  4. Frustrating isn't it. All my plants have to be outside except a few late tomatoes that I take from side shoots which end up in my conservatory. Tomatillo - okayish. Tomatoes and beans not too bad, lettuce and potatoes romping away. Carrots and beetroot, tiny.

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    1. I am sure everything will come good in the end - but I agree it is frustrating.

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  5. I had hoped this year would be better, but it has been mixed. Tomatoes do now seem OK, although they sat for months and did nothing as seedlings and I feared the worst. It's the beans I've struggled with, they've been very slow to germinate and are now only just beginning to climb. Sprouts and broccoli likewise.

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    1. Oh dear. My borlottis and french beans are a no-show - I can remember a time when you just planted something and it grew - nowadays it seems to be an ongoing battle.

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  6. Different plants have different requirements so whatever the weather, there'll be some things which are doing well and others not so well. I'm sure everything will catch up in the end, we only need a little warmth and sunshine and everything starts to romp away.

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    1. I agree - but where is the warmth and sunshine?

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  7. I think on the whole the weather has been better than last year even though it is early days yet. Though I am not yet at harvest stage the veg garden seems to be growing well.

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    1. Only time will tell whether the year ends up being better than last - certainly hope so.

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  8. There are always winners and losers, and I really think that it's still a bit early to tell for this year.
    It's certainly all looking good, and at this time of year even with unsettled weather you'll be noticing growth daily. Flighty xx

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    1. The rain that we had last night has helped everything seems to have perked up a bit.

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  9. Oh your seedlings and plants look so healthy.. nothing chewed nothing smudged...really great. :)
    What did you do with all the nasty boring bugs that eat everything? :D

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    1. Funnily enough there don't seem to be many bugs and slugs so far this year - I am sure they will find my garden eventually.

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  10. I'm also in the East Midlands and I am getting more downhearted each week. I have had to throw away my radishes as they went to seed, I have two tomato plants that have flowers and they are in my hanging baskets, the ones in the greenhouse are just not liking this weather and just seem to have stopped growing altogether. I planted my runner beans a couple of weeks ago and there has been no growth. So, it looks as though it will be a similar year to last year. Not good for gardeners! Chel x

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    1. Cheer up Chel - it can only get better!

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  11. For me in West Yorkshire it has been a much better year so far than last year, though thats not saying much as last year was a terrible year. But things are growing much better for me this year, yes a bit behind but I'm sure most things will catch up. There has definitely been more sunshine this year though its still quite cool.
    I've grown the cucamelon this year too and mine look similar to yours, I have a feeling they really do need some warmth.
    Like Flighty says I think there are always going to be some things that do well and others not, which is ok when like you do you grow a range of things.

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    1. I think the west of the country has been having far better weather than we have - hopefully it will come our way before too long.

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  12. Just checked, and my cucamelon plants are looking much the same as yours - so it's either down to the weather or we're both going wrong somewhere.

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    1. Since I wrote this one of my cucamelons has had a little growth spurt - they still don't look very strong though.

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  13. I love your garden. Here we are doing OK, I shall pick my first lot of Courgettes today, and I just noticed that I have small Calabrese florets and small Cauli's. Salads are almost ready for picking. It was nearly 30 degrees C yesterday.

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    1. Thanks Cro. 30 deg. seems like a faraway dream.

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  14. Seems like everything is a little behind this year,but it is looking better than last year.

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    1. My crops are nothing compared to yours Catherine but I live in hope.

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  15. Your spuds are magnificent, Elaine! It's early days - I like to remain optimistic until September, when my optimism is transferred to next year. I think the windy days are doing for my veggies - perhaps the cucamelons will cheer up with a few sunny, still days.

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    1. I am definitely of the pessemistic persuasion - does it show?

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  16. I still believe that we are going to have a wonderfully sunny Summer!!!
    And your plants are doing way better than mine! If it's true what people say, that we are one month behind with the weather, it is only May! We still have time:)

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    1. I do hope so Aga and I am sure there is plenty of time for things to catch up - fingers crossed for a good growing season.

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  17. After two weeks of hot weather it's been cool and rainy all of this. It seems like a repeat of last summer is on its way? Touching wood!

    On a positive note, all of your plants look lush and green :)

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    1. Your weather has obviously been a lot better than ours - but yes, most things do seem to be thriving regardless.

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  18. Its a comfort to know I am not the only one experiencing the same things Elaine, though more of my tomatoes are doing well, I think perhaps because I started them so very early. Not all of them though - Rosada is barely making any growth at all where as Marmande and GOld Nugget have fruit forming! I doubt I will be getting any chillies or peppers this year though. But you are clearly going to have a great harvest of potatoes and salads, beets etc, so I guess we just have to enjoy what we can get!

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    1. My peppers are at a standstill too - Bob Flowerdew's advice is to keep them higher up in the greenhouse where it is warmer rather than at floor level - but it doesn't seem to have made any difference as far as I can tell.

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  19. Much the same here Elaine, the main problem being a persistent cold breeze, N, S, E, and W, alternately. It seems to be slowing things down. Your plants all look very healthy despite the fluctuating weather conditions.

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