I love growing veggies. In previous years, I’ve tortured himself, colleagues and neighbours with a surfeit of courgettes, almost ruined the foundations of an oil tank with rhubarb and produced cucumbers into October. In recent years, since we moved up North to a house with a North-facing garden, I’ve had less luck.
I’ve tried growing tomatoes in pots and got lots of green ones that never ripen – OK for chutney but not much else. My butternut squash have failed every year. The courgettes have done OK though.
I adjusted my ambitions and approach this year after a disappointing start in 2020 that led to an unthrilling harvest. But all the preparation and initial success all went down the drain when we had rather a stormy May. Of the ground level plants I put outside at the beginning of the month, within a week they were all absolutely ruined except this one – which swiftly went downhill.
The sweetcorn seem OK, just a bit battered but I’m hoping all the rain is suiting them well.
Luckily, there were a couple of cucumbers that I hadn’t planted out yet and I’d kept all the tomatoes on my windowsill too when I planted out the rest of the veg. So all was not lost – just my beloved courgettes. However, I still had the packet of seeds, so I started over. This time they sprouted really quickly and hopefully they’ll be blessed with some warm sun when I come to put them in the ground.
In the meantime, the remaining cucumbers are doing vigorously and I got some growbags to give the tomatoes their best chance. I planted them out this weekend just gone and so far they seem OK. I’ve surrounded the tomatoes with canes for support and only put one cucumber plant out so far, saving the other one for when the weather seems to have settled properly and warmed up I hope. The tomatoes I’ve split between the front of the house where they get sun from morning until mid-afternoon, and the back garden where they get sun through til dusk. Himself thinks the ones at the front will get eaten by passers by – but they’re right up against the wall of the house, someone would have to be pretty brazen to walk across the drive and snaffle tomatoes from right outside my office window.
Wish me luck
I’m going to plant my one remaining cucumber out this weekend and put the courgettes out in pots next week.
Fingers crossed they survive!