2017 Harvest

Monday, October 17, 2016

Deep digging time

It's surprising how this gardening year came to the end so fast.
Gardening in this part of Croatia is very limited. As soon as the first morning frost and fogs come we have to start deep digging and prepare the garden for winter. The closer we get to December the worst the weather gets and by the time New year comes it's too cold and often with too much snow to even enter the garden.
This year wasn't so great. Our summer was far below average, low temperature and lots of rain. Some would say that is great but not for us. Because we have a very limited growing season our vegetables need a lot of sun to mature or we won't get any fruits.
This year was great for beans, we got lots of them, cooler weather and rain made them produce more fruits and kept them healthy whole summer.

For other vegetables situation was not so great. I had only one tomato harvest and got very small amounts. Lack of warm weather changed the taste of my tomatoes, every single tomato is sour this year. The ones that have long period of growth didn't even ripe. I had to collect them green because we already had our first frost days. Bad summer is visible on my poles too. They are covered in different mushrooms that are even growing out of my laces.

Cucumbers produced ok. I got enough to store for winter but comparing to other years they also had less success. Also in September my cucumbers got infected by powdery mildew and since I don't treat my vegetables against it in matter of days whole net withered and died.

Excess of water is also visible in orchard fruits. Quinces that are usually the most healthy fruits in my orchard are all rotting even while they are still on the tree. Apples are very small and sour and grapes have mostly been infected with blight and mildew except for one variety that I have which is resistant to all diseases.

I haven't managed to get many seeds for next year. Out of all my plants I gathered some cyclanthera, aster and one cherry tomato variety. I still have some millet and amaranth drying and I'm hoping this seeds will be good. the rest of the seeds were rotten even before they were dry. The best example is Ipomea, I couldn't find a single healthy seed pod in whole vine.

There are still come cabbages and carrots in the garden but I don't think I will have a good harvest there. Carrots are still too small and I'm thinking about leaving them in the soil and just deep digging them. Pulling them out seems like too much work for nothing.

I managed to do some deep digging past week although the rain is making my gardening a living hell.
Deep digging is something I absolutely hate, but it is something that has to be done. The problem with deep digging in steep garden is that while you are on the bottom it seems like you did huge work and when you get up you get disappointed. Until half of the garden is done it seems like you didn't do anything.

I didn't do any more work because we had a very rainy weekend, which also means until the soil dries deep digging is not possible. Even before this rain the soil was very moist and sticky and after this week it will take a long time to dry.


  1. It sounds if it's all doom and gloom in your garden, at least you have lots of beans this year. Deep digging is an awful lot of hard work, especially with wet, sticky, fat soil. When I was young and lived with my parents we had that kind of soil and a large vegetable garden, so I know it's hard work. Glad we moved to another area with easier workable soil and we don't have a large vegetable garden anymore. We had a great harvest of pears this year but they are difficult to store for winter. Despite they are stored cool, dark and dry a part of them are already rotting, sigh..... Gardening is not easy at all.

  2. I'm so sorry you had a bad weather summer this year. It's difficult to grow things with too much rain and cold temps.
    Hopefully next year will be better. Good luck

  3. I thought the conditions were bad enough here this summer but you have had a nightmare. Our fruit has done well really except for plums, charries and greengages. Lets hope next year is better.


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