After my progress report a couple of months ago and as we’re nearing the end of vegetable growing season for us, I figured its time for a report on the harvest.
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
I started sowing seeds late this year, again. I really ought to learn that Easter is too late. I made up for my tardiness by putting the pots in the porch where they get lots of sun and warmth. It worked pretty well apart from some unfortunately dehydrated couple of beetroot seedlings and some mint.
By the time it came for planting out I’d got tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash, some courgette plants donated by a school mum, exchanged chillies, plus the obligatory sunflowers and a bunch of cocktail herbs.
By the end of July, the census was:
- Two courgette plants, one being a lazy bugger with neither fruit nor flowers.
- Two squash plants with some very suspicious looking fruit.
- Two cucumber plants, fruiting already.
- Six tomatoes going nowhere.
- Five pepper plants at varying degrees of health.
- Two cucurmelons with millions of tiny green fruit.
- A strawberry plant feeding the local blackbird fledgling.
- A chilli plant actually giving me chillies.
- A row of beetroot, looking quite promising.
- Several sunflowers.
By mid-September, the courgettes are all but finished. We’ve had a couple of decent courgettes but far more that have rotten before maturing or else shrivelling away. The squash have done better, with one decent fruit growing on one of the plants at least.
I was right that the tomatoes were going nowhere, they still haven’t even flowered and so I’ve given up completely on them. One of the chilli plants has done much better, we’ve had a few chillies and even given some away. The cucumber plants have been similarly productive.
The peppers have developed some small fruit on them, but they’ve blackened immediately and not grown to full size at all. I think that until I can persuade himself that we need a greenhouse, I should give up on them.
All the cucurmelons and strawberries fed the local bird population all summer long, they must have because we never got to eat any at all.
The sunflowers however, have been absolutely marvellous. They’ve cheered up gloomy days and brightened an otherwise unthrilling end of summer.