My friend Jo has had flowering courgettes for over a week now. That’ll learn me for giving her smug advice.
‘You don’t want to be putting them out that early,’ I’d told her knowingly. ‘One quick frost and they’ll be a goner’. In fact, I posted a similar thing during the royal wedding bank holiday weekend.
However, Jo stole a march on me and planted her courgettes a few weeks and quite rightly predicting that the hot weather was here to say.
Jo has been giving me no end of the stick at work over this. Every day since that flower showed itself I’ve been reminded. Hmmph.
(Update: Jo’s just sent me a picture of her plant. It is massive.)
Louisa over at the Really Good Life has little baby courgettes forming already too, as well as a couple of baby cucumbers. I only put my squash, cues, and courgettes in a couple of weeks ago, so while Jo and Louisa are munching on their first courgettes, I’ll still be willing mine to flower!
I’ve noticed that this isn’t the only veg I’m running behind on. My broad beans look good, but Emma at Losing the Plot and Helen the Patient Gardener are already tucking into their broadies.
My plan for early carrots has been a disappointment, and for some reason, the toilet roll sowings took an age to grow, and then stopped dead. So, you can imagine my disgruntlement when Ronnie posted this picture of two perfect early carrots last Wednesday on her blog Hurtling Towards 60 and Beyond.
Strangely, the dry weather has not affected my carrot germination as it has done in previous years. When my toilet roll plan struggled, I put a row each of Early Nantes and Autumn King, and they’ve already come up. Be interesting to see if they actually overtake my early toilet roll sowing.
Peas and Mangetout
And then there’s peas and mangetout. Mary at Maryom’s Garden picked her first peas in May, while Helen and Ronnie have also been feasting on peas and mangetout. Best of all though, are iGrowVeg’s Tracey’s beautiful purple mangetout.
I’ve at least got an excuse for my slow pea-ing – my early sowings were doing well until the slugs and snails had them. I’ve got a few mangetouts coming on my garden sowing (pictured), so hopefully, I can catch up.
Restoring My Pride With Strawbs
I’m not behind on everything though, and my veg growing pride has been restored by all the kind comments made about my strawberry crop. I’ve been picking since May, and this week filled my boots with a personal best harvest of 1.3kg. So far this year, I’ve picked over 6kg, which is by far my heaviest haul ever.
For the first time, I’ve had enough to make jam too, which has to be the best I have tasted. This sudden burst of rain has kept them going, and increased their size.
Of course, it’s not a race, and with a bit of luck I’ll get plenty of tasty veg over the next few weeks, but it is fascinating to see where everyone else is up to, especially through their blogs. I love reading everyone’s progress in different parts of the country, their good crops and their bad ones, and what we’re all growing.
If you’re reading this, keep up the good work. Just don’t leave me behind!