Sweetcorn seedlings
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Veggie progress report 2021 – part 1

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.

Once again, I’ve adjusted my ambitions and approach this year after a disappointing start in 2020 that led to an unthrilling harvest.

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.

Vegetables germinating in the porch
Tomatoes germinated quickly for once
Courgettes and cucumbers enjoying some sunshine
Sweet corn and a cucumber plant on my office windowsill

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.
Courgette plant out in the veg patch
Tiny yellow courgette fruit

How are your gardens growing? Are they being as contrary as mine?

Any tips for me?

Love from Smell xx

38 thoughts on “Veggie progress report 2021 – part 1”

  1. No tips for you unfortunately but you’ve certainly made me miss gardening. Not that I have any kind of a green thumb but I found it so relaxing once I stopped taking it too seriously 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My parents used to have a big vegetables garden, same did my both sets of grandparents. Every year I keep saying I’ll put some seeds and wait to see how things go, but I never have the chance to do it….

    I might buy some crops and enjoy them this year and start fresh next year.. it would still be a step closer to the garden of my childhood and maybe give me a push to garden more 😅

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have baby tomatoes that self seed and grow back more rampant then before –
    they are so lush and vigorous that they should be classified as weeds. Except that they taste amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve only ever grown some tomatoes and green beans in the past but I’d really like to try and properly grow my own veggies at some point! I’d like to start with herbs because I use a lotttt of herbs so it’d be lovely to have home grown fresh herbs on hand 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wayhey, well done to the courgette plant popping out some fruit before even flowing – he’s a keen one!

    Sounds like some great progress – it’s lovely seeing things returning from the winter too, isn’t it? I hope everything goes well with the veggies & herbs in the next few weeks! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations – it looks like things are really going well with your veggies! I’m sorry to hear about your cucumbers, but I’m glad the rest are still going strong! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Your plants look great. You are very ambitious growing sweet corn!

    Like you, we have a north-facing garden. That, combined with our short Canadian summers, makes gardening a challenge. I started tomato and sweet pepper seeds indoors a few weeks ago. They are doing really well and are ready to be transplanted, but we’re still a couple of weeks away from the last frost date here. I also planted petunias which didn’t germinate, and some geraniums and coleus to put in pots on our deck.

    Last year, I bought some grow lights and they make a huge difference. This year I moved my indoor seeds to a warm, cozy corner of the kitchen. The tomatoes are huge and are outgrowing their pots. They’re ready to be transplanted.

    We also plan to plant peas, beans and potatoes once the ground is ready.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve grown sweetcorn before with average success. It needs lots of water and sun, so fingers crossed.

      We’ve got sweet peas and small boy wanted to do proper peas so we might sow some of those too. Do you have a greenhouse? I really want one but there’s nowhere to put one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s exciting and always love your descriptions! Can imagine the feral strawberry taking over the rest! It looks like you’re going to have quite some veggies this summer. This year we just went for tomatoes, peas and some herbs, hoping for the best! x

    Liked by 3 people

  9. That’s amazing that so much is growing! That’s a shame about the one cucumber, but hopefully the other 2 will do much better when you plant them!
    I haven’t planted any veggies this year, but I am growing some herbs in my kitchen!

    Liked by 3 people

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