Another growing year ending, onwards to 2023!

Another growing year ending - Seeds to Sow Blog

As we head into another winter, it's time to reflect on the gardening year, either the joy and satisfaction from what worked well or the disappointment of what didn’t. The strange weather of 2022 has had us struggling at points this year, either watering dilemmas in summer or stunned at our annual flowers still in full flower in mid-November!

A bit of reflection now is helpful for planning next year and creating a bed plan and allocating space for everything we want to grow.

We’ve grown lots of herbs and flowers, but here’s a little reflection from our veggie growing year.

Brassicas - A successful brassica year, with swede, cabbage, kale, and Brussel sprouts all still being harvested. 

Legumes - Beans and peas have all been good, especially broad beans and French bean varieties. Our Aquadulce for next year are Autumn sown, along with a few Pea Douce.

Carrots - pesky carrot fly remain a problem for us, and we've taken to sowing Flyaway seed mixed with all other varieties to try and keep them at bay. The mixed carrots remain our firm favourites, they look fantastic and taste beautiful and sweet.

Squash - All of our Courgette varieties had a good year, and we reduced the numbers this year so as not to have too many! My favourite squash is Crown Prince squash as it is so versatile.

Salad/Catch crops - We dedicated a raised bed to salads and spring onions again this year. We still have spinachrocketlittle gem, spring onions and red salad bowl leaves to harvest but our Pak Choi are now just starting to bolt. 

Tomatoes and Chillies - Other than Tumbling Toms, we grew all our other tomatoes outside this year (after starting them indoors from seed). Given the hot summer, they did OK, but watering was a challenge, so we did lose a few tomatoes.  Chillies have been amazing this year, in abundance, with some kept in the greenhouse and others in our conservatory and we are still harvesting these mid-November.

Mixed Chillies

Favourites have been, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Chocolate Habanero and Hot Lemon. Carolina reaper were our best ever this year, and much as we love to grow them, they're too hot for us so we gave the chillies away!

Other vegetables - We never fail to have decent parsnips and beetroot, and this is the same this year. Leeks are also good this year, some grown in with the carrots (fending off any carrot fly). Celeriac has already been into tasty soups and we just have a few left out to harvest.

There is always room for “could do better” but this is what provides the motivation to improve next year. What is so great about growing your own food is that every year there are different challenges, and you learn something new each season. This reflection proves that you have far more successes than failures, and the joys and satisfaction of growing your own vegetables by far outweigh the disappointments.

So what are you waiting for? Get your seed orders in for next year!