Posts Tagged ‘courgette’

Wet and Damp – and some Fails

It has been very wet and damp these last weeks and now the sun is much lower during the day the garden does not get that much sun.  This means things will now be wet until the spring time and so I wonder how much more we will get out of the square foot garden until that time.

This weekend it has been different and not only sunny but hot too.  The garden is still soaked but I really did have to cut the grass before the lawn turned into a some wild forest.   Quite a challenge as the lawn mower no longer has any blades attached to it.  It is a cheap flymo rip off that we bought from B&Q a number of years ago for £10 or something silly and we have kept it outside ever since.  Probably not the recommended way to look after electric equipment and “don’t do this at home kids”.    As part of this the plastic blades get brittle from being outside and break all the time and currently we have not bought any more.   Amazingly, it does still cut grass even if it does no longer hover over the lawn.   On the wet long grass it was quite a job then to get it all cut, but cut it now is and all raked up.

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The square foot garden was in a bit of a sorry state and so today was chance to tidy it up a bit.  That cat is digging up as much as he can at the moment which was the end to some of our turnips the other week.    The turnips on the whole have not been a success.   Firstly the caterpillars stripped the leaves as quick as they could which was the end to many, while the others never really developed into much.   They all had roots but not as a turnip shape ball that you would want to eat, infact just the one was anything that looked like a turnip.   We did something a bit wrong here, off to look up what happened in my veg book.

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The sweetcorn I was not too surprised with our lack of result as they were planted very late.  Next year we will be much more organised and do it on time, I am thinking it this spot was still getting a lot of sun then we would have at least tiny baby corns.  As it is, we did have tiny baby corns but they were being eating by various insects and everything was extremely wet.   This was the first time ever for growing sweetcorn and we did not know what to expect at all, at least next year we will know a bit more and might even get to eat some of it ourselves.
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Not everything is bad though, our late peas have flowers and are podding and doing quite nice.  There probably won’t be a huge number of peas as we only did one square.  At this time of year it is clear now that these late plants could go in the majority of the free squares in order to get a good overall harvest especially peas which can be frozen once picked.      Doing well too are the late broad beans, despite the wind trying its best to keep knocking them down.   All broad bean plants are full of flowers and with hope might get to producing beans before the frosts come, these last couple of hot days will be a great help.

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The massive courgette plant is taking over the square feet, lots of leave but little else.   Courgettes come and go, mostly eaten by something or rotting before they get too big, probably too wet.   Keeping an eye on things each day and picking baby courgettes before this happens has given us a small harvest but nothing like last year when we had so many we ended up using courgettes in chocolate cake!

Winter onions are still there, some got dug up by the cat but the majority are hangining on.  We’ve never grown over wintering onions before and so I will be interested to see how they all cope with the winter and hope to have a good harvest.

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Blackfly on the courgettes

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I was pleased to see loads of new flowers appearing on the courgettes, but less so of all the blackfly all over it.  A closer look at other plants and it seems like a huge invasion of these things has hit the garden!   I notice ants running up and down the beans but they have got their work cut out keeping up with it all.   I gave the whole lot a good spray of water and washing up liquid and will repeat this each day until things look a bit better.

A couple of days of wind and rain

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After a good month of blue skies, hot weather and sun sun sun… we had two or three days of rain and wind.   The result is a sudden growth on everything and a bit of wind damage.   The sweetcorn shows no signs of any corn inside, although I’m not fully sure when they are meant to so I’m not too concerned.  They keep growing and one of them I have had to tie to a stick to keep it upright.  The water has given the courgette plant a lot of think about and that is starting to use all it’s four squares allotted to it, plus put on a display of flowers too which means courgettes will soon be on their way.

We have a number of empty squares now which are waiting for me to find time to replant them.  At the same time I will top up the soil too with a new mix of peat, compost and vermiculite.  Over the months the level of the soil has dropped quite a bit and I’m glad I planted globe varieties of carrots otherwise there would not be much to have when the time comes.

The big thing to know is that I really should had done the vertical part of growing a lot better and by the book.   The tomatoes are over grown and by clumped up and I just hope that the millions of tomatoes that it seems to be growing all survive and don’t get too damp and warm and just rot.  The poor peas are swamped by the tomatoes and while I have seen a couple of pea pods I fear that may be it.    All of this could had been avoided if I had done the vertical supports correctly and we would then have a wall of peas and tomatoes and beans.   Next year…..

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Going to Seed?

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We have had a very hot July so far which has meant watering first thing in the morning and in the early evening too which has given steady growth on all plants.   Over the weekend we were away so I gave extra water on the Friday and hoped all would be ok.  I wonder if that was a good idea as I notice now a lot of the raddish and rocket has bolted and gone to seed.  A bit of a pity.    I am sure that must be part of the reason for all this.

In the meantime, everything else is growing.  The two tomato plants are desperate to be tied up a bit more as they are starting to swamp the other squares.  I spot new small green tomatoes each day, tomorrow I will tie it all up.   This shall rescue the carrot squares around the tomatoes.   I notice pea pods starting, and the courgette plant has two flowers plus is going to swamp all it’s four squares within no time.

The potatoes need digging up out of the pots.  I need to work out just how to get them out from under the bean poles….

Sweetcorn come out for the sun

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It is planned to have all these planted out this weekend and so all this week I have been getting them ready for it by putting them out for the day.  We have sweetcorn, a mixture of normal and mini ones, plus the pumpkins and courgettes.   I think it is four sweetcorn plants to a square, I will have to check.  One courgette for four squares and one square for the pumpkin if I plan to grown it vertically.  We shall see….

Seedlings in the Utility Room

Pumpins

From our cookery book for pumpkin tart we had four seeds to make a start (long term cooking!)   One seedling rotted due to over watering while another got knocked off the shelf by a bird (just don’t ask) which leaves two left.  Both doing well in the utility room.

Sweetcorn Seedlings

Sweetcorn is something I tried growing years and years ago with little success.  About 20 years later it is time for another go!   We have four normal sweetcorn and four small sweetcorn.   The four in the front are normal sweetcorn which was pre-sprouted, showing again that wile the pre-sprouting got them off quickly they didn’t keep going so fast.

Courgette

Courgettes here, only just planted and yet very big!

Courgette Goo

I talked about making a chocolate cake with courgette as one of the ingredients back at sunflowers.moleville.co.uk/chocolate-courgettes/

I finally took the plunge and had a go.  Here we have the courgette part of it, the rest involved a lot of flour and cocoa powder.   The end result was mixed.  It made a nice cake that you could not taste the courgette (although Jack said he would not eat it as it had cucumber in, lol!).   But it was very wet and really did not last too long until it turned into a cake of goo.   A mixed result then, maybe next time a bit more flour or a bit less courgette.