At the very beginning of the season, all looked well; and a bumper crop seemed inevitable. However, things can change very quickly depending on weather, etc.
One of the crops to which I was really looking forward was my recently planted Black Hamburg grape; it was covered in wonderful flowering tresses, that have now turned into shriveled musty twigs. Only a few bunches have grapes on them, all the others have suffered from some nasty disease. Frankly, I'm pissed off. All my other rubbish grapes are fine.
Over the past two years my maincrop Tomatoes have died-off prematurely, and I've already noticed my current crop of plants are showing signs of disease; the lower leaves are beginning to curl and turn yellow. I took extra care of my plants this year, giving them a dose of copper sulphate and a really thick mulch of organic compost. I'm suspecting that the disease is well entrenched in the soil.
The major problem is with my large salad Tomatoes. I planted a variety simply called 'Beefsteak'. My other varieties, 'Roma', and various Cherry Toms, are all looking OK, and seem disease resistant. The 'Portuguese' variety that I planted in pots, up at the barn, are also looking OK.
Otherwise, half my Mangetout Peas died early, my Broad Beans were nowhere near as productive as I'd hoped, and my two Butternuts are refusing to grow. My French Beans are very slow.
On the plus side my Courgettes are really producing well, the Aubergines are looking spectacular, and all my leafy 'greens' are looking very luxurient. My Pepper plants remain small, but are covered in flowers and a few early fruits. The Beetroot plants are looking healthy, but I have yet to dig any. Red Onions are ready to harvest. Tayberries have been going crazy; I've made jam every day for the past week or more.
In the orchard, many small peaches have dropped from their trees, as have many Pears. The Apples are looking very good, and we have plenty of Plums and Greengages. My Yellow Cherry is almost ready, and I have placed the ladder against the tree in anticipation.
I suppose it's the same every year, but one forgets.
Golf is a game where before you hit the ball you know exactly where it's going; once hit it has a mind of its own. Veg' gardening is quite similar. When you plant, or sow, you instantly imagine healthy highly productive plants, but in reality they often fail. The successes are uplifting; the failures depressing.