We’re coming to the end of the summer growing season in the garden. It’s an exciting time when there’s lots of harvest. Tomatoes are tumbling from the vines and fruit trees are laden with juicy treats.
It’s not quite time to tuck the garden up for the winter but it’s the perfect time to reflect on the season and look at what worked and what didn’t.
For me, it’s more of the latter!
But, like I’ve said before, I’m surprisingly OK with all my gardening failures. It doesn’t demotivate me like I thought it would. In fact, it motivates me to try something new and be better for next year.
So today I’m going to be sharing a visual tour of my garden and some of the things I plan to do differently or do more of for next year.
My sweet peas were prolific this year. They were just the most gorgeous things ever so I’m going to try and dry out these seeds and use them for next year. I think the original seeds I bought were Thompson and Morgan so I will be buying more just in case my dried ones don’t work so well.
My cosmos flowers are still looking gorgeous. These have been amazing at growing all season and filling the garden with colour. They were also very easy to grow and took very little maintenance so I’m keen to grow a lot more of these next year.
My sunflowers have been absolutely gorgeous yet again. I love having the giant ones because I grow them next to the fence and they peep over the fence like a big, welcoming smile. I also grew some smaller sunflowers and next year I’d like to grow more of those. They were great for cutting and lasted so long so I definitely need more of those!
It’s quite exciting to see my squashes getting bigger. I’m not sure what I’ll do next year with squashes. I do love love them and enjoy making soups with them but they take up so much space! I did plant all of my squashes at the edges of my raised beds so they can trail onto the grass but they’re taking over and I can’t walk between my beds. Maybe I’ll grow them up something next year….?
My outdoor tomatoes are amazing! They are so delicious and sweet. They are obviously taking much longer to ripen outside but they’re worth the wait. It seems most gardeners struggled with tomato blight this year but I was lucky and didn’t have anything. I just hope we have enough warm weather for all of these green ones to ripen!
My indoor tomatoes did do well in my greenhouse but each plant hasn’t produced nearly as many tomatoes and they generally didn’t look as healthy. They’ve always looked a bit sad and like they’re about to die. I’m not really sure what went wrong there. I assumed my pots were too small but when I visited Isa for my Groceries in the Garden experience I noticed her tomatoes were thriving in smallish pots!
My peppers are coming along nicely. I’m hoping some of them will turn red but I honestly can’t remember what variety of pepper I chose so maybe they’re just green?
Parsnips! Oh my goodness the parsnips. They have taken over. They’re huge. I had no idea they’d be so big! If these turn out well then I’ll definitely be planting parsnips on their own next year! I’ve heard parsnips are best harvested after the first frost so I’ve got a little while longer with these guys.
How pretty are my dahlias!
My spring onions have done well but I had to pull them all out because they were being swamped by parsnips. I need to find something to do with now before they go bad!
What I’ll be doing differently next year
Proper structures for my runner beans to grow up
All courgettes outside – My courgettes in pots didn’t do well. I will start them off in the greenhouse and keep them in big pots for a while but my courgettes in my raised beds definitely did the best.
More pots on my patio – My sunny patio was a perfect place to start off so many seedlings but I didn’t make the most of the space once everything was planted out. We have a walled area that’s south facing so it’s a beautiful sun trap near the back door so I need to get more pots and planters out here!
Better drainage holes in my tubs – I bought loads of cheap tubs from Home Bargains and they were actually brilliant but I was lazy and didn’t drill proper drainage holes into them, I just poked holes through with a pair of scissors. Because of this lots of my tomato plants seemed a bit soggy so I’ll be drilling better holes in those tubs!
Plan recipes and ideas to store vegetables – Having hundreds of courgettes or bucket loads of parsnips was wonderful but I had no idea what to do with them when they all arrived in one glut!