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.
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 this year I planned ahead! I bought seeds in February and early March and planted them in early April. I moved my office around and put the seed trays on the windowsill with cling film to keep them warm. Last year’s porch approach had fried some seedlings so I went for the middle ground.
Small boy helped me to sow the seeds and we successfully germinated tomatoes, cucumbers, sweetcorn, and yellow courgettes. We also planted the obligatory sunflowers and a pot of wildflowers. Once the courgettes and cucumbers were getting too big for the windowsill I moved them into the porch (taking care to water them properly) and gave them time outside during the day. Unfortunately, I forgot them one night and one of the cucumbers got frosted.
At the end of April I planted the three courgettes and the first (frosted but still hopeful) cucumber out in my veg patch. The sweetcorn went in the front bed, alongside raspberry plants and gladioli (I think), which will doubtless look a bit odd to the neighbours but never mind.
Then we had a massive storm and I fear that the cucumber already planted out is very unlikely to survive. It was already under a clear shopping bag as a cloch but I think it’s done for.
So at this point I’ve got:
- Three courgette plants, one of which is showing ridiculous enthusiasm and has one tiny fruit before it’s even flowered.
- One dying cucumber outside.
- Two cucumber plants on the windowsill. I’ll plant them out in a few more weeks, that should ensure we don’t need to buy a single cucumber more all summer.
- Five tomatoes on the windowsill that I intend to put in a growbag on the front drive and hope no one nicks them.
- Two pots unavoidably empty of any sign of pepper plants.
- Six sweetcorn plants tied to canes so they don’t get blown over (and a very excited small boy).
- A strawberry plant that’s gone feral, escaped its pot and infiltrated the flowerbed.
- Several sunflowers that look promising.
- Various herbs returning after winter, including mint, sage, parsley, oregano, thyme and lemon balm.
How are your gardens growing? Are they being as contrary as mine?
Any tips for me?