July veg patch update

by Mars
veg patch update

It’s been about six weeks since we planted and seeded the bulk of our summer vegetables and things are coming along nicely. Despite setbacks from slugs and pests, the bulk of our veg is doing well, and we’ll cover the top performers in the veg patch to date.

The pumpkin ‘racer’ was a late addition to our patch, and after a slow start this little guy has had a huge growth spurt, and as the name implies it’s now racing to produce pumpkins in time for October. Full speed ahead.

Pumpkin Racer

We have yellow and green courgettes on the go, and both are now doing very well. The courgettes had a few issues with slugs when they were small plants, but they’ve settled in and both have plenty of fruit now. If they remain unscathed, I reckon we’ll be enjoying the first of our courgettes in about 7-10 day’s time.

The other slow starter in the veg patch was the marrow. We planted two, but only one has truly taken off. The one that is now doubling in size every few days has also flowered and has its first tiny fruit.

Lovely flowers on the marrow bush

Our cucumbers didn’t get off to a great start. These are the mini petita cucumbers from Marshalls, which arrived in a terrible state. In recent weeks, they’ve really bounced back and the fruit is now growing at a rapid rate. We love cucumbers, so we’re very excited to be growing our own.

Mini petita cucumbers

I know that this is going to sound strange but I’m really excited about our carrots. I planted and grew these from seed; it’s an organic carrot called Autumn King 2. Initially, they wouldn’t germinate, but I nurtured and watered the seeds, and finally we got our first shoots. Since then, I’ve looked after them, and the greens above ground look strong and healthy. I’m just hoping that the carrots will be as healthy in the ground and that they’ll remain unaffected by pests.

Autumn King 2 carrots grown from seed

Last, but certainly not least, the runner beans are now also growing at a rapid rate, and they’re in bloom. No fruit yet, but hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer. We have a variety called Red Rum as well as runner beans from our neighbours that they’ve grown from seed for us.

Runner beans grown from seed

As fruit starts to develop on our various plants, we are getting excited by the prospect of having our own courgettes, pumpkins, cucumbers and beans, and I can barely believe that three months ago the area that is now our patch was just an unproductive grass field.

Veg patch update
Three months ago, there was no veg patch.

There’s a lot of other veg in the patch too that are doing well, but the ones mentioned above are presently the plants that are well on their way to being top performers this season after slow starts.

10 comments

popsiclesociety 4 July 2020 - 02:31

What a wonderful job and awesome results 😋😉

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Home Farm 4 July 2020 - 06:40

Thank you. We’re very pleased with the way it turned out.

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Steve Elliott 4 July 2020 - 09:44

That is the tidiest veg plot I’ve ever seen. I’d hate to show ours.

You mentioned wireworm in another post. From what I’ve read wireworm is a pest of grassland and that’s our been our experience. We turned over an area of grassland to vegetables and we got wireworm in the potatoes. But we found that with cultivation the problem was greatly reduced the following year and now we don’t get any. Even with wireworm damage we found it wasn’t a big problem. They make narrow tunnels in the potato which are easily cut out and it didn’t even seem to affect their keeping qualities.

Slugs on the other hand!!

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Home Farm 4 July 2020 - 09:57

That’s very kind Steve. Thank you. The challenge is in maintaining the neatness.

Also, very heartening to hear that the wireworm damage can be limited. The little holes won’t bother us because, as you’ve said, we can cut around them. I was under the impression, from what I’ve read, is that the little tunnels caused by the wireworms prevent us from long-term storage of the tubers though, and does lead to rot in some instances too.

Next year, we’re going to grow our potatoes in elevated trugs to prevent wireworm damage in particular. During this time, we’re going to work the soil and also grow and introduce mustard caliente which will apparently also assist in ridding the wirework and other non-beneficial pests from the soil.

Slugs. Yikes, don’t get me started. But the NemaSlug nematode should be arriving today. I’m hoping that they work, because the slugs are driving me crazy.

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Luffy 4 July 2020 - 16:36

It’s all looking great! Those courgettes look magnificent. They look prolific too, so unless you have a cache of well thumbed courgette recipes it’s probably time to start searching online! Hats off to you – that’s a great start to vegetable growing 👍😋☺️

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Home Farm 4 July 2020 - 16:42

Thank you Luffy. We’re quite pleased with how the courgettes are progressing, but we’re not going to be celebrating quite yet because the pests in our veg this year have been a real nuisance. In terms of uses, we religiously have courgettes on our Saturday night pizzas, and my one of my wife’s favourite soups is courgette. I think we’ll manage to consume them all.

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Liz 5 July 2020 - 09:28

Wow! your new veg plot look fantastic. I started my own patch this year too and it looks no where near as professional as this. Very jealous. I agree, growing from seed (especially carrots) is very exciting. I look forward to seeing how it progresses and comparing notes. Good luck.

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Home Farm 5 July 2020 - 09:31

Thanks for the feedback Liz and the kind words. It was a lot of work, but we are very pleased with the way it turned out in the end.

We’re really looking forward to our carrots.

If all goes well, and the weather cooperates, we’ll harvest our garlic this week. Can’t believe it’s been in the ground for 10 months.

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Liz 5 July 2020 - 09:40

Oooh, you’ve got garlic as well! That’s on my list for the autumn. I have to stop myself from planting stuff when it occurs to me rather than at the best time of year for the plants. Only just got away with it with the strawberries. Hope the weather behaves for you.

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Home Farm 5 July 2020 - 10:00

We love garlic and eat copious amounts so really looking forward to it. We will dry and cure it this week (if it stays dry) and hopefully we’ll have enough for 6-7 months.

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