The fashionably late arrival of courgette’s and runner beans has somewhat restored my faith in my ability to grow valuable plants, as opposed to just growing weeds, and also highlighted that this growing year has been, well, a bit useless really. Though, for a second there, I was really beginning to doubt myself. There’ll be no moaning though – perish the thought. No, what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger and next year is going to be a corker I’m sure.
I noticed the first of the Courgettes yesterday. ‘Taxi’ was the first to produce anything, with two small golden fruits glowing amongst a dense green leafy canopy. In typical fashion, whilst trying to get a good look at it, I completely ballsed it up and snapped the largest fruit off with my heavy handed approach. Eaten on the spot (waste not want not) it made for a nice little snack and as the second fruit still remained in tact, all was not lost. The one remaining fruit is now guarded like sacred treasure, with slug booby traps all around, and I’m hoping that this will be enough to defend it from the marauding evil that slimes its way across anything remotely edible.
That’s not the only good news though. Today I stumbled upon a developing ‘Black Beauty’, which goes to show that, although late, I’m set for a small but perfectly formed courgette harvest. Give it a couple of weeks and I may even use the word glut that is so often associated with courgettes. Although planted late on in the season, they now appear to be thriving and they’ve almost doubled, if not trebled, in size since I last wrote. I know it’s a bit early to draw conclusions but I think the experimental use of hay mulch has really benefited the plants. It seems to not only blanket most of the weeds but retain heat and reflect light back up to the plants leaves as well. I think I’ll persist with this method, after all it costs me nothing and can only help improve the plot in the long term.
The runner beans I mentioned are now flowering and I should be able to harvest a few before the summer (pah!) is out. Saying that, as I type I can hear the wind howling down my chimney and I fear that upon arrival at the plot tomorrow I may be faced with a scene similar to that of my now deceased broad beans. Imagine the most perfect beans you’ve ever seen lain prone on the ground, some snapped, and that should give you an idea of what happened to them.
The last of the garlic has been harvested and this crop was probably on of my biggest successes this year. The Elephant garlic is tremendous and is likely to become a staple crop for years to come. This leaves me plenty of room now to sow a few late crops and green manures and, I hasten to say it, tidy up ahead of the Winter.