I love growing veggies. I’ll never forget the first year that I grew 5 courgette plants in a sun blessed garden and a friend gave me 8 tomato plants. Himself is only just coming back round to considering courgettes acceptable on his plate after 3 months of me sneaking them into almost every meal.
The rhubarb we had in that house grew its roots under the oil tank and lifted the slabs it was seated on. We moved swiftly on, grateful our buyers didn’t seem concerned.
Since we moved here we’ve had less luck. The garden is North facing and there’s only a small vegetable patch. I’ve tried growing tomatoes in pots and got lots of green ones that never ripen. My butternut squash have failed every year. The courgettes have done OK and I’ve discovered that cucumbers work surprisingly well.
This year’s vegetables
So I had (yet another) late start to sowing seeds this year. When will I learn that Easter is too late? I tried to make up for that by putting the pots in the porch where they get lots of sun and warmth. That worked quite well but I managed to dehydrate and kill a couple of beetroot seedlings and some mint.
I successfully germinated tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash. A school mum gave me some courgette plants after mine didn’t sprout at all. We also planted the obligatory sunflowers and a bunch of cocktail herbs I’d had for a birthday sometime.
I swapped some excess cucumbers with a neighbour in return for a couple of chilli plants.
And then the weather turned. We seem to have had solid grey rainy days for three months now. The courgettes are only just producing despite some early flowers. My terrible luck with squash seems to be continuing, I’ve removed all but one or two fruit on each plant and even taken to brushing the male flowers with a paint brush and then taking the pollen over to a female flower on the other plant.
So at this point I’ve got:
- Two courgette plants, one of which is being a lazy bugger and has neither fruit nor flowers.
- Two squash plants with some very suspicious looking fruit.
- Two cucumber plants that should ensure we don’t need to buy a single cucumber more all summer.
- Six mangey tomatoes which are going nowhere.
- Five pepper plants that may or may not do anything.
- Two cucurmelons with millions of tiny green fruit, but none of them get bigger. They’re meant to be the size of grapes but I think the birds are getting them first.
- A strawberry plant with all its strawberries eaten by our local blackbird fledgling.
- A chilli plant that’s actually giving me chillies – just as we’re about to go on holiday and won’t be around to eat them.
- A row of beetroot, looking quite promising.
- Several sunflowers, short but about to flower as we go away. FFS.
How are your gardens growing? Are they being as contrary as mine?
Any tips for useless courgettes and squash?