How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Veg plans for 2021



  • Harvested my kale, peas, carrots and garlic , all good, but my beetroot were very strange this year.

    I planted chioggia var, the striped beetroot. All grew fine, looked good, didn’t bolt. Cooked them (boiled) and they were really horrible to eat. Fibrous, tough, yuck. I don’t know was it a lack of water when growing, or something else but it definitely did not work. I grew that variety before and they were good , love the striped effect when cut, so I don’t know what happened there.

  • Did you use the same source for seeds? I got chioggia beets (all our beets grew like crazy this year) from two sources, both taste fine but one is a more consistent growth - size, coloration, and probably a bit more flavorful. The 'good' beets were from Woodies, packed by Unwins. The 'o.k.' beets were from Seedaholics.

    FWIW, inconsistent growth seems to be a feature of most of the seeds I got from Seedaholics. Assuming reasonable availability of seeds this Autumn/Winter I doubt I'll use them again. I sang their praises here this Spring as they had great availability and tried many things from them.

    Their squash was wretched, very poor fertility and 'wimpy plants. The beets a bit 'off', parsnips failed to sprout at all. Kales and chard did fine, those are easy to grow for me.

  • Planted out a load of cauliflower and bulb fennel. All doing well. The rain came and so did the slugs. They were decimated

  • I found the same from Seedaholics as well this year. I've nearly always bought from them, but really undecided whether to give them another chance.

    Two types of salad leaves didn't germinate at all. I originally thought it was just me/soil/timings (first year for new garden in new house, so new set up and new soil etc and things were a bit late getting started) but I gave some seeds to the neighbours and they had the same results as me. And a few other seeds had very poor germination rates.

  • Having been pleased with Seedaholic in the past I had very bad results from their seed this year. No germination at all from some of their seed so I won't be using them again.

  • Advertisement

  • My outdoor grown tomatoes are doing nicely. Many seeds saved from shop bought tomatoes. The problem is.....they are not turning red. Is it too early or what? They are getting plenty of sun when it shines. Should I pick them now and wrap in newspaper or leave them alone. I am concerned that blight might take them if I don't pick now.

  • Is it this time of the year or is it just me?

    I find that in early spring I am out and about preparing, buying, planting, constructing, digging in the garden. Full of energy.

    When August comes around....I begin to lose interest.....the freshness is gone from the garden.....the motivation wanes.....

    Maybe I am just tired from all the work involved in growing my own......even though I have produce to take in and eat....

  • I find it the same. It's difficult to keep the motivation going but every spring I'm raring to go again.

    This time of year I'm mostly just watering, harvesting and general maintenance. Any big projects I get out of the way early in the year

  • I'm glad I'm not the only with the same issues. It's a pity though coz they have a decent selection. And are as local to me as any supplier will be.

    Its my first year to grow tomatoes outside. But I'd say it's too early yet. I've two Gardner's delight outside and the two inside are only starting to crop now. The seeds were kind of latish being planted, but the plants were all sowed and transplanted into their final locations at the same time.

    I find that this **** weather is really not helping the want to go out in the garden. We've been busy the last couple weeks, including getting bigger projects in the garden done but at the expense of general maintenance. But I had a proper walk around this evening and just have a list of jobs (weeds, weeds, and more weeds) to do. We had a very hit and miss, fairly poor growing year this year so not that much to crop at the moment and certainly nothing to harvest and save for the winter. So kind of don't have those rewarding jobs to get on with either.

  • We have decided to cut the new flowers off the top of our tomato plants. Our reasoning is that we would like the goodness to go in to lower fruit rather than grow new tomatoes. I don't think that these outdoor tomatoes will bear fruit at this late stage and certainly not ripen.

    Is this a good or bad idea?

  • Advertisement

  • I pinch out the top of main stem, when they get to height I want, about 5 or 6 trusses, and I remove lower leaves (and any yellowing leaves) for air circulation, not sure if its the right thing to do, but has worked for me for many years.

  • I am going to do the same at the weekend- and be really vigilant about side shoots- just as much vigour goes into them.

  • The good,bad and the middling.

    Good..Grapes in polytunnel.Sowed two plants last year that had great growth with a handful of grapes.Pruned them back to the bare bones.

    This year has yielded a huge amounts of grapes.Very pleased.

    Raspberries..sowed them this year and am getting a bowl a day for the last few weeks.

    Swedes..grew these from seed.Took off well both in and out of the polytunnel.

    Cucumber..Bought 2 plants and sowed in May.One died but the other has grown enormous.Must be up to 20 cucumbers on it.In polytunnel.

    Lettuce and spring onions..All good here loads of eating.

    Bad..Calabrese broccoli.All bolted and went to seed.Not one head was eaten.Maybe I planted too early.

    Blueberries..Sowed in pots but not in ericaceous compost.Very little berries.Lesson learned.

    Carrots..very poor return from seed.Probably sown too early too.

    Apple trees..Two died with the May frosts.Planted Two more and got some fruit from them.

    Middling..Strawberries.Got a few around June but will need to plant a lot more to keep the bowl filled.

    Blackberries..Sown with the raspberries but little to no berries here.Great plant growth.Hoping for a good return next year.

    Tomatoes..Left to their own devices in polytunnel.Didnt sow or prune these.Grew from last years left over tomatoes.

    A middling crop with no effort put in.

  • Courgettes and other squashes were worse this year than in previous years. Except this courgette:

    Weighed in at almost 4lbs. Seemed to show up in the last couple weeks, squash do that.

  • We have a glut of tomatoes. We want to store/use as many of these as possible after all the hard work put in place to grow them.

    I know that I can read stuff online but I would be interested to hear what you do with your red tomatoes. How you store them and also how you use them subsequently?

    Also. We have a good crop of runner beans. Do you cook the beans in their little jackets (not outer pod) or do you take their jackets off them and cook the green bean underneath?

  • Make sauces from them and waterbath or pressure can to store long term

  • We also have way more than we can handle and they keep coming) We cooking sauces or grilling peeled and de-seeded in olive oil for preserving, marinating the same style as gherkins, some I'm planning to oven-dry this weekend and also give bags of toms to neighbors. I cook nowadays mainly tomato dishes, like shakshuka, lasagnas, soups. I know many ppl freeze them as well in portion bags, which I haven't tried yet.

  • Looking for advice on where to source winter onion sets. I normally get them from Fruithill Farm but they only appear to have Radar variety this year. I normally supplement with ones from Quickcrop, but they have been very hit and miss for the last 2 years.

    Any other good sources I should try ?

  • Re my year at the Allotment/Greenhouse:

    The good:

    Garlic - great crop overall

    Tomatoes - fantastic crops both in the glasshouse and outdoors. First time sowing outdoors and grew Gardeners Delight, Crimson Crush and Lizzano - all done pretty well and still a decent crop there [about half have gone red so far]

    Courgettes - sowed 3 plants of one ball, and they have done fantastic

    Cauliflowers - first time crowing them, and they done pretty well

    Leeks - they are still in the ground and growing pretty well right now

    Brussel Sprouts - again still in the ground but coming along nicely

    Rhubarb - fantastic crop

    Strawberries - completely dug up the strawberry beds earlier in the year, planted some runners I had taken and they were fantastic. Mix of main crop and alpine [Mara del Bois] and still picking them

    Blackberries - fantastic crop yet again

    Chillis - grew one plant and full of lovely red chillis right now ! Need to go pick them

    Ok crop:

    Onions - spring sowing. They done ok, but yet again the winter onions worked out better for me

    Peas - after a fantastic crop last year, this year was much more 'blah'.

    Blueberries - ok crop from 4 plants but rarely enough ripen at the same time and have then eaten before I leave the plot !

    Gooseberry - small enough crop, but those that did grow were lovely

    Apple - had a ok crop off my Discovery tree


    Early Potatoes - sowed Red Duke of York in an area I had poor results from before. Absolute disaster and they all died on me. Think there is something in that section of ground that potatoes do not like [grows other crops fine]

    Parsnips - first time I had a disaster with them. Only one germinated [growing fine]

    Turnips & Swedes - I have to take full responsibility here as I did not stay on top of the weeds in that bed :)

    Plum/pear - not a single plum or pear to be seen on the 4 year old trees !

    Overall it was a pretty decent year. The work put in earlier in the year when in lockdown made a massive difference I feel. The weather was a bit erratic from time to time, which makes it difficult when the plot is 4km up the road. But happy enough and the freezer is pretty packed right now.

    Trying to get myself ready for next year - but agree with the other posters its a tough one to keep the motivation going at this time of year. I think this year might be extra hard as due to lockdown its likely we all started a bit earlier than normal due to lockdown so it makes the season extra long this year !

  • Spuds were a success this year. I've enough to have fed the population back in 1847.

    Beans peas good.

    Garlic poor

    Onions OK.leeks were super. Have more for over winter.

    Carrots x 4 sowing. Not 1 came up.parsnips OK.

    Swedes and turnip were good. More on the way.

    Salsify, oca, mashua, Jerusalem artichokes all good.

    Berries all good, birds got them all.apples all lost to the birds.

    Brassica were mixed. Slugs got a lot but we have enough

    Sprouts being harvested and frozen.

    More brassica growing for winter/spring use.

    Not sure when we'll get to use what we froze as we e enough fresh for a few more months

  • Advertisement

  • SW didn't you put in a water feature this year? Did that do anything for your garden (attract birds or frogs or...)

    Edit: that was someone else, sorry

    Post edited by Igotadose on

  • Stuck in a sandpit container filled with water. Haven't looked at it since.

    Ive seen a lot of dragon flies over the last few months. Im on a mountain so it would be unusual. Could be the pond.

    Celtic built a lake!

  • At the moment I am reducing my raised bed number from 9 to 6. Next year we will stick to the crops that we enjoy growing and give a worthwhile return. It didn't help matters this year when I was dismantling the frame that I was growing my very successful runner beans on when I saw a false widow spider looking back at me. Anyone having a problem with these?

  • What's the best option for storing potatoes?

    Have a choice of metal barrel, plastic barrel, old freezer (not working) or wooden box. All have rodent proof lids. usually don't have any to store but got a massive return from "Sevilla" variety that I wasn't expecting so I have 2 wheelbarrows full!!!

  • Has anyone started sowing for 2022 yet?

    I saved approx 200 broadbean seeds from this years crop. Have just sowed 80 of them I'm modules and will see how they do over winter. Can always purchase store bought seed if needed in spring.

    When do others sow garlic and onion sets? Looking back at last years calendar, I sowed both on 10th October so might get moving on that over the weekend.

    Grew enough garlic to be able to have our own supply of bulbs to dow this autumn also.

    Plan is to be self sufficient in a number of seeds including garlic, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, potatoes.

  • Planted my garlic last year on 30 Oct. Several varieties from several sources. All did very well and I have more than enough bulbs for next year's sowing. Garlic so far has been pretty easy, I think the slugs don't like the leaves though I occasionally find them crawling on them. I harvested the garlic in mid-July (more or less, some was a bit later).

  • Planted out garlic and some seed down onion last week.

    Still have lots growing.harvested a squash and beetroot today.

    Green manure of mustard and field beans doing well in 2 beds.

  • Still have butternut squash that refuses to turn orange. Lots of it. I'm not happy with Seedaholics seeds; I harvested another squash that I still don't know what it was, kind of looked like a pumpkin wannabe. Went in early, grew slowly, eventually yielded two fruit that stopped growing a month ago. Tasted o.k., but I yanked the plant.

    Seeds came out of a pack of butternut seeds. That's my biggest complaint with them, I get things from their seed packs that aren't what was on the label, that couldn't have come from elsewhere. Plus seed viability is very low even for things like chard.

  • just got the garlic down. 8 elephant garlic cloves and 50 'normal' cloves.

  • Advertisement

  • My winterkeeffe peas have started to grow strongly out of the pile I made from all the old plants from this years crop after I thought I had saved the seed from the old pods I had not used. Not sure if they will survive overwinter but will try put in some support for them over the weekend to see if they might have a chance to make it through to spring. Garlic also due to be planted soon and hoping the chard and red Russian Kale that are cropping well keep going through to 2022. Beetroot probably wont get to 2022 as it seems there is a local badger likes the taste of them, It dug up my main crop this year and the late sown ones are just getting to the right size for it to pick now. Just found earlier it had eaten one and picked about five others that were too small for it to bother with and it just left there on the ground after pulling them up. Leeks also still look like spring onions so they will be waiting for 2022 cropping as well.