Full circle.

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Well, that’s the summer growing season pretty much over. We’ve not had a frost yet, but bar the odd courgette (and not including the winter veg, like the parsnips and kale, and the ever-sturdy row of chard), everything is out. My first proper growing season in Glasgow over, I’ve learned a few important things.

Firstly, the outdoor tomatoes need to be a) particularly blight resistant and b) early ripeners. (If you’re wondering why I didn’t grow them indoors, my main reason was the lack of a mains water supply.)

I had several varieties in my growbags, and no shelter, particularly. Of the four (plus one unknown gifted), the only one that successfully ripened was the Sungold. The Marmande, Gardener’s Delight, and Golden Sunrise didn’t even come close before the blight did for them – and it was these varieties (starting, I think, with the Marmande) that succumbed first. I’m not sure that the Sungold would’ve come down with it anywhere near as early, if at all, had they not been planted right alongside – even in this situation, and after a really rather miserable summer, we managed a good few punnets from half a dozen plants, and they were last to show signs of blight.

Next year I think I’ll only bother with Sungold, at least outdoors. (I might attempt some of the non-F1 varieties in the shed, as I’ve still got hundreds of seeds, and if I run out of water halfway through the summer it won’t be like I’ve lost much. Or I might just not bother…. who knows, I might have managed to get my DIY polytunnel erected, but in that case I’ll probably be growing things I really want to succeed.)

The other problem this year has been… molluscs. They’ve had a go at everything, pretty much (I’ve even found them on the onions?!?!) – they ate chilli plants, brassicas, cucumbers, pumpkins… the little buggers waited until our one remaining pumpkin reached football size, and started to ripen, before eating a great big hole in the side of it and rendering it utterly unusable (I took it home just in case – but no, it was horribly grey inside and home to at least one earwig, yikes).

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I like my almost-wide-angle lens, ha.

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This is what passes for our compost heap. One of these days I’ll get a patch of soil properly cleared, in a suitable site, and won’t pile it up with nasty things like tree branches and horsetail roots, but for now I’m just concentrating on digging/weeding ground I’m planning to actually grow stuff in.

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This is where I’m hoping to plant the spuds next year. And this time, I’ll be investing in a sack or two of FYM – after giving it a bit of thought, and seeing other people’s crops on site, I can only conclude that the main reason for my poor crop of spuds this year was lack of fertility. I’m hoping to get this patch dug and covered in muck well before it needs to be planted up.

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Well, where to start with this photo, eh? In the foreground, my Musselburgh leeks. They’ve gone in far too late, but hopefully they’ll put a bit of bulk on between now and next spring.

Behind them, a small greenish row of soil. This was where the over-wintering cauliflower *was* – and it’s greenish because it was covered with a wire mesh (I assume that’s the reason – the rest of the soil that wasn’t covered, isn’t green). Slugs/snails/gits have eaten the lot. Behind that, a row of red cabbage stems. Also eaten by aforementioned pests.

Behind those, luckily, a row of kale of which at least two look to be a reasonable size. They possibly don’t taste very nice, as the slugs appear to have (mostly) left those alone. I’m thinking I should try and net them against pigeons, because that could be a potential disappointment waiting to happen, too.

Just behind the kale you can see the Kestrel spuds I dug out for our tea at some point this week – there’s probably about a pan’s worth, and another pan’s worth still left in the ground. And behind that, the chard, and the rest of the leeks that I didn’t plant out (hopefully they’ll be reasonably useful baby leeks).

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The parsnips appear to have been successful – of course, I haven’t seen what they look like underneath yet, but if the bottoms are as happy as the tops, I’ll be doing at least three rows of those next year (I can almost hear the cries of joy from the rest of the family, heh…).

Took this photo just before we left, at about 5pm – so thankful that the garden’s still providing us with our own dear green place to stretch out and breathe a little.

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