Squashed!

I’ve been trying my hand at growing some of a range of vegetables that have been fast gaining popularity,the squashes.

Squash are from the species Cucurbita and are mainly known as pumpkins,butternut or courgettes. Commonly large courgettes are mistaken for Vegetable marrows but they are technically a different plant.

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I’m growing a few Jack O’Lantern pumpkins for carving and hopefully eating,a few yellow courgettes and a singular butternut. I’m also trying a second attempt at a heritage variety, Cornell’s Bush Delicata.

From the top working down are the first early shots of the following: Two Jack O’Lanterns amongst the Sweetcorn, a small Delicata with three runner beans and two Jacks with a yellow courgette beneath a dual row of Runner Beans.

The Polytunnel contains,amongst other things, another yellow courgette, a Jack O’Lantern in a tub and a small Butternut. In fact, there is another squash but it has been so slow to start I can’t really identify if it is a butter nut or not. I’m not pinning much hope on it.

Anyway, the ones that are doing well are looking like we might have a store cupboard full by Autumn.

So far it’s only been courgettes but the pumpkins are producing small fruits and the Butternut is showing embryonic fruits on the female flower stems.

I’m sure from looking at the fruits from the courgettes that I have two different varieties. I’ll have to go back through my records to see if that’s the case. Either way, I’m getting lots of yellow courgettes.

 

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>Runners and riders

>OK, who chose a winner? My usual stroke of luck that keeps me from winning the National Lottery helped me avoid picking a winner on the Grand National this year. Once again I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of success. There is one part of the horse racing game that interests me, how do they manage those hedges? Horses crashing over and sometimes through them can’t be good for them!
Anyway, back to the plot. Talking of runners, I put up my bean canes for my runner beans today. Spent about two and a half hours on the plot, doing a bit of hand weeding, watering and cropping. Also took some ash from the incinerator at home down to spread around my raspberry canes. They like a bit of potash.
I usually just strim the wees on the paths between the beds as mowing is too difficult with a push mower and I don’t own or have the means to transport a power mower. I like the idea of leaving some cover on the soil on the paths as I’m convinced the bare earth would draw moisture from the beds. I hope eventually to be able to cover the paths in a mulch but that will take time. Maybe ,if I remember , this Autumn I’ll lay cardboard down on them and top it with either leaf or grass clippings.The cardboard I used on the beds has kept the moisture in and the weeds down.Pulled a couple of Radish and Spring Onions today, cut a cabbage and picked the last of the sproutings. The white hasn’t lasted well, but I put that down to the weather.Sproutings are essentially seed heads and the warm atmosphere is ideal for seed sowing and will have hurried the plants along.
next on the list for sowing will be butternut and courgette and any other of the squash family I intend to grow this year. Tomatoes I will buy as plants as I don’t grow enough for a packet full of seeds and the germination rate of tomatoes is pretty high.Same goes for peppers, not having to sow early under glass and with heat makes up for the cost and limited range. All this just as soon as I’ve got the cash for some compost!