This summer has not been my most successful vegetable growing season. Last summer I harvested over 50kgs of tomatoes in my little patch and almost burst with vegetable growing pride when I made passata entirely from my own crop. This summer I have picked just enough tomatoes for sandwiches and salad every few days.
Disappointingly my cucumbers died shortly after flowering and it became too hot to grow lettuce months ago.
I could blame our extremely hot, dry summer. Or I could blame my lack of time available to tend the vegetables. But honestly I think prior to this summer I became a little complacent. I thought my previous summer abundance would just happen naturally. Stubbornly I insisted on growing heirloom varieties from seed which requires some patience and dedication.
Here are some things I have learnt this summer:
- Shade cloth is something I need to embrace, regardless of the extra infrastructure required.
- Autumn is going to be my time to raise winter vegetables from seed, when the temperatures are not as extreme. However, next summer I am going to buy seedlings and get my crops well established before the hot weather arrives.
- A successful tomato crop requires commitment. I knew this, but the message has been reinforced.
- Patience is required to allow my garden beds to recuperate. I am guilty of eagerly re-planting with the next crop whenever a spare space appears.
Small but tasty capsicums.
Sweet smelling basil.
Pretty Listada di Gandia eggplant.
Vigorous and reliable Tromboncino zucchini. These would easily be the most productive vegetable I have ever grown.
My first crop of apples are suffering from a little sunburn but I am still quietly proud of them.
Lastly, perhaps not the most practical thing in the garden but this Buddha's Hand citrus is unusual and the little tree is proving to be very hardy.
Have you learnt any lessons recently? In your garden or otherwise?
Are you patient or eager?