As we enter the new year amid frantic plot tidying and seed buying I thought I would stop and have a look back at 2008.
It was another washout summer but there was still plenty growing, I had my first experience of growing tomatoes and potatoes, and then my first experience of blight, although thankfully the potatoes were untouched. 2008 also saw me completely fail to get any spinach, beet or normal, growing.
The allotment was going well, the cold winter months gave me a chance to make some impact on the nettles and the vigorous growth of the squash and pumpkin plants helped keep things under control. There was a bumper crop of Crown Prince squash and the Baby Bear pumpkins were pretty good too. Once again I had far more courgettes than I would ever want to eat.
Sadly the plum tree failed to fruit and the apple tree dropped all its fruits and then had a nasty case of leaf miner which finally seems to be under control. I failed to net my blueberries so a lucky bird received a very tasty meal, but I did have some fantastic raspberries and the asparagus crowns seem to be settling in well; with a bit of luck I can harvest a few shoots this year.
The parsnips are making up for their poor germination by being huge and very tasty, the celeriac took plenty of time but I am now harvesting small but wonderfully sweet bulbs and there are plenty more to go. Sadly the carrots were a complete disaster, the fleece tunnel experiment gave the slugs some warm lodgings from which they ate most the carrots and the rest fell victim to root fly.
So the winners of 2008 were the squash, pumpkins, potatoes and celeriac; and the losers were the carrots, spinach, tomatoes and plums.
2009 will hopefully see a shed on the allotment, some proper raspberry supports, carrots, plums and asparagus. How was your 2008?