Thursday, July 26

Is this the start of the expected glut?

Last year we picked our first courgette from the plot on 11 July. This year things were not looking too promising as the first courgette to be planted out soon looked very much worse for wear.
The first lot planted on 10 June, shown on the right of the photo, soon started to yellow and look very sickly. A couple just lay flat and sorry for themselves. They certainly didn't look as though they would make it. So we did what any good gardener would do and planted lots more. The rationale was that there would be the chance that a couple would survive.

We sowed three varieties - this year we tried to restrict ourselves to just two namely Zucchini (green) and Jemmer (Yellow) but then as is usually the case a free packet of Tondo di Piacenza (a round variety) arrived in a magazine and the temptation to sow proved just too great.

Surprisingly the dead looking plants rallied - they wouldn't have if we hadn't planted lots more would they? Note in the photo below a couple of dead looking specimens on the top left - would you have expected them to survive? Well they have!
Although small, the plants started to produce flowers  and baby fruits looked to be setting.
Courgettes do tend to suddenly surprise you by appearing seemingly from nowhere and yesterday we picked our first two fruits. One Zucchini and one Tondo di Piacenza.
So 14 days later than last year we have our first picking. Is this going to be the start of the mother of all gluts or will the small plants just not be able to support the usual fruiting frenzy? Like us, you will just have to wait and see.

Our full harvesting list for July is being published here and Martyn has posted about our autumn sown onions, comparing yields from different varieties here.

PS Don't forget the deadline for entering the sudoku competition is fast approaching. Click here to enter

17 comments:

  1. Two beautiful zuk's! Is that the mature size of the Tondo?

    My yellow zuk's (only had two) just had a terrible time surviving, so pulled one out and left one, and what do you suppose, it has rebounded and is now starting to gain some ground. One plant is enough anyway ;-)

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    1. I guess the Tondos will keep on growing like other courgettes, Bren. This one was about 8cm or just over 3". It seemed about the right size to pick. I've read to pick at basebell size but I've no idea how big a baseball is!

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  2. I'm amazed that you have got fruit off such small plants - if all the plants survive and fruit I reckon you'll be setting up a market stall.

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    1. So am I Elaine! I suppose it could mean the plant wears out quickly but one per plant could well be enough!!!!

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  3. Better late than never. This is a positive sign and I will be out checking my plants today! I spotted some growth earlier this week so maybe the courgettes will be successful after all.

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    1. No reason that yours won't be successful if mine are Kelli

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  4. Oh wow - if I planted that many plants here I could feed the whole suburb. Woops sorry that ended up sounding like I was boasting when I was trying to make a comment about the prolific nature of zucchinis

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    1. I knew exactly what you meant Liz!

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  5. I'm sure it's just the start Sue. I was harvesting courgettes from mid June last year but this year is a totally different story. I've had a few Sunburst squash (the mini patty pan types) but I now have two small Striata green ones forming – I still think it will be August before I get to taste them.

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    1. No squashes for us Liz and, incredibly, it is August next week so not long to wait for your courgettes

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  6. They look great, is the flavour on the Tondo similar to "standard" courgettes?

    Having done ok with courgettes in pots in our backyard previously, I was excited to grow them on our first year on the plot, thinking we'd have tonnes of them. Wrong! Loads of plants failed and I didn't think we'd get any going at all. Have finally got a couple to get established and first baby courgettes are on the way.

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    1. Just had some Tondo raw in a salad, Lee and it has a sort of cucumber flavour and was very crisp. Seems to have more flavour.

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  7. I never seen this plant before. They look like cucumber plant to be in initial stage. Must be very sensitive plant I guess!

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    1. It is from the same family as the cucumber Malar. It's usually quite easy to grow but nothing is easy this year.

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  8. Well considering the weather your first pickings weren't too far behind. My squash plants have come on over the last two weeks and I have already tamed the pumpkins which decided they wanted to go for a walk all over the plot!!

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    1. So we can soon jealously admire your squash Tanya.

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  9. ammey markAugust 01, 2012

    ammey mark
    wow nice pics...

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