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First Fruits of the Veg Patch

8 August, 2011

Ok, that title is a little bit misleading: we’ve actually had a selection of lettuce, pak choi, radishes and herbs from our newly created veg patch this year. However, nothing really compares in impressiveness to the courgettes we’ve managed to grow. Here’s my photographic proof:

This is the size at which our first courgette stopped growing, so we decided to pick it. There are currently two more on the plant at about this size, with the potential to get even bigger, as well as a few smaller ones. And this is from a plant that was grown straight from seed in the veg bed, about three months ago, after all the courgette seedlings I tried to grow in the house died off. Impressive stuff!

In the rest of the patch, things aren’t looking quite so impressive, unfortunately. The lettuces, after a large and healthy crop, are starting to look a bit worse for wear. We’ll use as many as we can, but a few may end up on the compost heap. Our garlic plants, which looked so good earlier in the year, are also looking a bit ropey now. As for squashes and ball courgettes: two of the plants are growing well but only have a single squash/courgette on them apiece; the last squash plant is doing much better, with half a dozen slowly growing yellow squashes (I have no idea what variety there are, but they look good).

What have we learned from our veg growing experiment so far? Well, grow courgettes, to start with! I’d be tempted to simply start all my courgettes and squashes outside next year, as they seem to have done better that way. I also think I’d stagger each crop better, perhaps planting only one row of each veg at a time, then planting a second a few weeks later. I’d probably also uproot any veg that isn’t doing well: we’ve tried spinach twice now, and both times it’s been absolutely useless (tall, spindly, tiny leaves), so I should have just pulled it up as soon as I realised it wasn’t doing very well, rather than leaving it a few weeks to see if it would improve (it didn’t).

So far, growing veg has been difficult in some respects and very easy in others – but always interesting. And it’s a real pleasure to be able to eat the results!

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