Preparing For Next Year

Most of the plants I grew this year have now cropped. There are only a few beans left growing on my runner bean plants�most of the plants have stopped flowering. My courgettes have also seeming seen their best days. One of the courgettes never fruited at all, and is now looking quite dead. The courgette that did fruit is also looking unhappy; there are three fruits still growing, but the last three failed to swell, so I am not that hopeful about the next three.

There are a couple of things still left to fruit. My sunflowers have grown massive; the tallest now stands at 2.5m; the largest has one flower-head full of seeds, five in bloom, and at least another five left to open. Hopefully I will be able to collect the seeds before they fall to the ground, or are eaten by birds.

The other crop still outstanding are my tomatoes. All three plants now have many fruits growing on them�though none are yet ready to pick. If things continue as they are then I will have more tomatoes than I know what to do with.

Tomatoes

I have started preparing for next year. There is still lots to do, but to start with I cleared a bed for some current plants. I plan to plant one blackcurrant plant and one redcurrant plant.

Current Patch

I have also acquired a container for a blueberry bush, and lots of seeds that I intend to plant in a pair of raised beds that I will construct later in the year. As the beds will be in partial shade, the plants I will be growing will be mostly root vegetables, or leafy vegetables, as those cope better in the shade.

I also have plans for making my courgettes more productive next year. There are two reasons why I think that one of the plants didn't produce. Firstly it was in the same container as a faster growing courgette. This container was probably too small for both plants, so the slower growing courgette was unable to compete. Secondly, I planted my runner beans in front of my courgettes. This was a mistake as runner beans are much taller, and cast shadows. By swapping the positions of the courgettes and runner beans, I should be able to make better use of the available light.