NEWS

How hard can it be to grow a decent crop of veg?

This has got to have been one of the worst years for growing anything. I don’t mind so much about the flowers, as they are there anyway and just grow without much attention, but vegetables – well how hard can it be to grow a decent onion? This year the answer is VERY!

There is definitely something odd going on with our climate. I hear so many theories on global warming. First the theories are that our climate will become like the Mediterranean – well after this summer and last summer I can’t see that happening. Then another group of ‘experts’ says that with the arctic ice cap melting at speed we will get cooler as the jet stream moves south – well I can certainly believe that theory, as the UK emerges from the coldest and wettest summer on record, and our veggie patch produces its worst crop ever.

Back from a long week’s holiday I trotted down the garden expecting to see the results of our labours. After hours of digging, weeding, planting and yet more weeding I was prepared to do battle with courgettes the size of marrows, runner beans festooning the poles, and swelling onions.

Well, why on earth did we bother?

The pathetically small onion crop has now already all been used up. The runner beans had refused to play ball and produced little more than a handful, whereas usually I am blanching and freezing bucket loads.

The courgettes were still a reasonable size and had, very unusually, not taken advantage of my absence to grow into giant marrows. This I must say was actually a relief – there is only so much courgette soup and cake that I can cope with.

The squirrels had devoured all the just ripened crop of raspberries and the spinach had bolted!

So what to do next year? Well, I suppose by then my enthusiasm for the ‘good life’ may have returned and I will be enthusiastically ordering seeds and onion sets. I am also going to devote some of the veggie patch to flowers for cutting. Actually I feel like giving the veg patch a good talking to in the spring, and a final warning – good crops next year or else it will be grass seed that is sown the following year, and I might actually be able to sit and enjoy the garden rather than weeding between those veggies.