We're starting to work out what to grow next year, based on our successes and failures over the past couple of years. We've decided to concentrate solely on what grows well and we eat a lot of, and ditch anything that doesn't perform well or needs too much mollycoddling when growing....we haven't got time for that.
Potatoes is a given....a first early, some of which will be grown in bags in the polytunnel for a very early crop, and a maincrop. We need to do a bit of research to find the best maincrop spud for slug and eelworm resistance - so many of ours are being tunnelled and eaten. OH has lifted them all now to reduce the risk of any more being eaten, they're currently drying out in one of the polytunnels.
Carrots of course, they do really well in a purpose-built deep raised bed, OH refills it with fresh compost every year.
French beans - we like the yellow waxpod ones and the purple ones (even if they do, disappointingly, go green when they're cooked. Are there any which stay purple, does anyone know?). We didn't grow enough of either of these this year, we'll have a lot more next year.
Courgettes - 2 each of yellow and green. Any more than that and we get absolutely inundated with them.
Red and brown onions and leeks - lots of. Next year I want to grow enough to see us through a whole year.
Purple sprouting broccoli - grew that for the first time this year and it was lovely. That's the only brassica we're going to do from now on....it's just too much hassle trying to keep the blasted cabbage whites off them, and we've never been successful with cauliflowers, for some reason, so we're not bothering with them anymore.
Butternut squashes, we do reasonably well with them and they store so well.
Tomatoes, lots of, a couple of cherry ones, 2 or 3 ordinary Ailsa Craig or Shirley types, a couple of plums and one or two beefsteak. Also ridge cucumbers, they have done really well this year and last.
Radishes of course - successional sowings!
Oh, and I want lots of peas - nowhere near enough this year, and fresh new young peas are one of my favourite veggies.
We're not bothering with aubergines or peppers again - the aubergines just don't grow enough, not enough warm sunshine I expect. And the peppers, whilst growing to a good size, never seem to ripen - again, down to sunshine (or lack of) I suppose.....and I don't like green peppers! We also won't bother with shallots anymore - they do grow very well, I just don't use enough of them to warrant growing them.
As for fruit - we're actually going to get rid of some of our raspberries for next year.....they've done so incredibly well, we are absolutely inundated with them. We've used loads in puddings, I've made lots of bottles of liqueurs and cordials, and we have several kilos in bags in the freezer, more than enough for a year! I'm beginning to be sick of the sight of raspberries.....
We have 2 blackcurrant and 2 blueberry bushes, they all give us sufficient fruit. We're going to get new strawberry plants for next year. Hopefully, our Victoria plum will fruit for the first time next year, as well as our young Conference pears and cooking apple. The Fiesta eating apple has fruited for the first time.....not many yet this year, but should be better next.