It’s been a wee while since I posted an update on the rather intimidating fruit and veg situation I’ve got going on in the garden so for all the loyal fans of my green fingered adventures, here goes…
We have tiny courgettes! Several of the courgette plants have started producing fruit and we have a few little courgettes starting to grow. This particular variety is spherical, rather than the usual long shape we are more used to. I’m aiming to let them get to a sort of hefty orange size before picking them as that’s roughly what the internet seems to suggest is best. I’m having a slight issue (and reacting very badly to it) in that each plant seems to produce its first fruit, that grows to maybe the size of a strawberry and then suddenly gives up. It is promptly eaten by squirrels (I used to love you and now you have betrayed me, you furry rascals) and/or rots a bit. Now, each of the plants this has happened to has produced one or two other fruits which have grown much more rapidly than the first and held onto their green colour much better. I’m not sure what is going on with them but please cross your fingers these new courgettes survive and keep growing!
The carrots might finally be my favourite! We are just starting to see little orange carrot tops poke out from the soil of some of them. It’s exciting when you’ve been inside almost all the time for three months and I’m itching to harvest them but I know it’s several more weeks at least until it’s time for that! I’ve also read a lot online about using the leaves for carrot top pesto. Has anyone tried this? Does it taste of anything, or am I better to just feed them to our tortoises? They are already huge fans of the leaves of sprouting broccoli that I chuck their way every now and then!
The pumpkins have begun developing several rather large vines around the garden. I’m seeing hints of flowers on each of them but nothing really showing its face just yet. Will keep you informed of course! This variety of pumpkin should produce the large, orange fruit we are used to buying in the supermarket so cross your fingers for me!
The tomato plants are all beginning to flower now, and since I’ve been able to thin out what is in the greenhouse they’ve all enjoyed having much better airflow. For the sake of science (and space) I have a few plants up on our fairly sheltered patio, and the rest remaining in the greenhouse. Will of course report back in intense detail to you about which set of plants appear to produce the most crop. I’ve stuck with my Grandad’s technique of planting marigolds throughout the greenhouse to try and naturally maintain the pest population, and touchwood, so far so good.
For those of you on *WATERMELON WATCH* (I am, intensely) then I can happily inform you that I have repotted three of the largest plants into large pots and left them in the greenhouse. They are merrily creating vines that attach themselves to everything, and flowers are starting to show their faces. Now, I will admit that I am yet to Google how one properly cares for a watermelon plant. So much of me continually expects them to give up entirely as the idea of growing a watermelon in a greenhouse in the UK seems so ridiculous that I haven’t bothered. However, now seems as good a time as any to start researching.
Don’t tell my Mum, but I’m seeing some life in the Brussells Sprouts now, and the chilli plant is well away, producing more chillis than I know what to do with. Chilli jam anyone? The green beans are now creating the most adorable tiny green bean pods that remind me of baby stick insects.
And finally, we have our bird seed sunflowers. These bad boys have graduated from their tin can start in life and are now all thriving in a sunny spot of the garden, against a wall. As they’re not providing anything we plan on eating (although I may try a seed if they look tasty), I must confess to having given them a wee dose of miracle-gro a few days after they were transplanted. It seems to have done the trick and I’m hoping we will start seeing some flowers really soon!
My dreams of being able to provide friends and neighbours with plentiful supplies of fruit and veg may be a little far fetched (I’m starting to really understand the benefit of organised arable farming), I am hoping to be able to reduce my households supermarket visits whilst increasing our fresh fruit and veg intake. If you know of any fun recipes for courgettes, carrots or tomatoes let me know!
Stay safe x