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Growing your own veg / herbs?


Has nobody grown anything since last year?

I’m having a very mixed season. I always plant quite late because (a) I’m away until the middle of April and (b) up here it’s too cold to plant any sooner than that. But this year has been a very strange one up here in the Highlands. It was a very warm spring but (typically) starting turning unseasonably cold as soon as I got home. then it warmed up a bit then went cold again in June and just into July (we even had a couple of July frosts this year). Then, as with the rest of the country it want really hot for a while and then just wet, wet, wet.

Most of the root veg loved these conditions so I’ve got excellent tatties, carrots and leeks but the red onions haven’t done so well. My French climbing beans were really slow to get started but getting some good beans from them now. My peas have been the biggest disaster I’ve ever had. The initial planting only gave my around 10% germination, a second planting gave nothing and a third whilst it is growing is going to be way too late for a full crop from them. Brassicas doing well after rescuing them from blasted caterpillars.

Fruit has done pretty well though the strawberry flowers suffered from the late frosts.

Harvested my garlic a few weeks ago and it’s now nicely dried:

They are hardneck garlic which I prefer and also tend to weather the colder and wetter climate up here better than the softneck varieties.


I grew no garlic this year but did lift some shallots today.

Tomatoes are good here in Somerset, Brandywine and Apero being the two winners in the tastiness stakes. Gardeners delight and black russian coming in second with Black Cherry nowhere (watery and tasteless). Still awaiting the San Marzo and another plum tomato (I want to say Cimabue but that can’t be right) which have not yet ripened.

Can’t grow beans this year, all my Borlotti and runner beans have spent the year coughing into a hankie rather than growing. The purple sprouting has disappeared beneath a wave of caterpillars. I saw something about white butterflies being on the decline, not round here they aren’t.

Spuds, as ever are lovely ten of each Pentland Javelin and Pink Fir apple

The fennel has done well as have the cucumbers and the Agretti has done better than last year but not great.


Oh I love Pink Fir Apple! I used to grow them here but they never grew very well and I had a lot rot on me. Also they never kept desperately well. but They were so tasty!

The annoying thing about my brassicas is that I used to net them with the same, very fine, netting that I use to keep my carrots free of carrot fly, but this year I bought some special butterfly netting and, guess what? they got through it and I had to clear all the caterpillars off them. Back to the carrot fly netting next year!


Cold today but not raining. I took the opportunity to harvest the last of the chillies from my unheated greenhouse. (I have been picking them for the past couple of months)

There are more left on the plant, but small ones and I was cold. May go back and get some more, or bin them.

in the photo, Prairie Fire, Spike and Rooster Spur. I won’t grow the latter again because the chillies are too small, though they have a kick. Because only one each of the first two germinated and a lot of Rooster I have three plants of the latter.
I brought Prairie Fire into the kitchen in the hope warmth there will help it ripen its remaining chillies, and maybe that it will survive the winter


Very nice.

We have had success keeping chilli plants alive indoors over winter, in a south-facing window. They go on flowering and ripening, and you can put the plant back outdoors when it warms up again - the weather that is.

Though practicality means it does need to be restricted to smaller-growing plants.