September - what's happening in your container garden?

We’ve had one of the strangest growing years I can remember here in Newcastle. Apart from a few scorching days (well, 30 degrees - hot for here!), the summer was mostly cool and overcast. August was the wettest on record. Soft fruits and runner beans have done really well. While tomatoes and chillies have grown well but have been super slow to ripen. Even the tomatoes in the polytunnel have hardly ripened…

How is your container garden doing? What is doing well and not so well? Are you emerging from a summer of drought and heat - or gloom and wet like us?

We’ve had a proper mixture here in York. Lots of rain so slugs are loving it. Tomatoes are finally ripening in quantities, french beans have tailed off quite fast, chard is starting to do well after the first lot got slugged. Pea shoots doing really well, and the salad I’ve got hardening off is coming on.

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On the french beans front most of the more modern dwarf varieties have been grown for the supermarket trade or freezing, where they want to pick all the crop at once, so they don’t keep producing as well as older varieties such as The Prince. It’s worth noting that flat podded French beans usually crop longer if you keep picking them too. Of late I’ve concentrated on climbing types, and older ones of those, coming back to Blue Lake, Cobra, and Hunter for their combination of flavour and long cropping. You can extend the cropping season of climbing French beans not only by making sure you keep them picked and feeding them, but removing damaged foliage so it doesn’t harbour diseases. And you often find the ones you missed under that damaged foliage so they don’t start to ripen and send that “no need to flower” signal back to the plant. This year in Ireland everything seems to be stopping production early though - the earliest Autumn I ever remember.

I thought it was my novice growing skills that had resulted in the tomatoes only just about starting to ripen now. I’m glad to hear it isn’t just me!

I think most of the UK and Ireland is having the same problem this summer. Between late frosts, heat waves, droughts, soakings, autumn coming early everything is topsy turvy. Though it seems to have been a great summer for raspberries everywhere

kathryn

We did have some really nice raspberries :slight_smile:

In just a couple of months, I’ve picked my first ever purple radish grown on my balcony space.
This was delicious and much more tasty than anything bland from the supermarket.
Quite strong with a real kick to it. I could get used to living like this![Uploading:

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That’s a very handsome radish Andy.