It seems to be a year of plants going to seed. Every year presents new challenges when growing and this year is no exception. We think it must be the extremes in weather which we have experienced this year that is causing plants to go to seed. Plants don’t like being stressed and the weather has certainly been stressing for them with sunshine and warmth one minute then extreme cold the next plus periods of drought followed by a deluge.
We have lost a lot of beetroot and chard plants and have resorted to buying more from the garden centre to replant. The chard especially I don’t want to lose as we pick it until the first frosts and then it comes again the following spring and fills a gap in growing when little else is available.
The coriander which normally bolts quickly has benefited from my early sewing under glass which I did in February. It’s the first year that I have managed to cut more than one crop from my plantings. It has only just gone to seed so has bucked the trend. Up until this year I always thought that coriander needed warmth but it obviously doesn’t.
I have struggled to keep up with my bolting lettuce. This I think is partly due to the fact that we got a little behind eating them. The weather was cold and I just didn’t feel like eating salad every day whereas normally in summer we eat masses. As I don’t like wasting lovely organic food I have given lots away and resorted to making soup with the rest. Lettuce and Pea soup is quite delicious and has been welcome on days which were cold. The rest in in the freezer ready for winter.
The rhubarb too struggled for a while and looked like it was going to seed but we gave it lots of water after what had been a particularly dry patch and it seems to have recovered.
The weather now seems to have settled down and hopefully the rest of the growing season will be less challenging but it never ceases to amaze me that there are new lessons to learn every year.