Growing Squash Vertically

The peas were done for as are my shears by the look of them! Rather than pulling them out, I chopped them at ground level for the roots to slowly nourish the soil with nitrogen.

In its place I tied in the squashes and pumpkins that have been growing beneath the pea supports for a month or two. These are the plants that I didn’t have room for in the main pumpkin patch (which is going crazy by the way). The squashes will grow vertically up the frame, saving space and it should also help prevent mildew and pest damage. It seems to be working well for the cucumbers this year!

I also weeded in between the two supports and threw in some beetroot seeds. It’s probably too late now, but what the hey.

Polytunnel Update! [+VIDEO]

It’s been almost a month since my last polytunnel post, when I planted out the tomatoes with string supports. Everything is growing well, the tomatoes are loving their support system and have lots of flowers and fruits. I keep the polytunnel door open permanently to prevent blight even though it’s quite cool. I also feed the tomatoes every Friday with a liquid feed. Check out the video at the botttom of my post for a tomato tour! πŸ…πŸ˜„Β I’ve just harvested the first of honeybee tomatoes and they’re so sweet! I can’t wait to try these in a Mediterranean veg tonight.

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Squashes & Pumpkins!

I’ve never had a great deal of luck when it comes to growing pumpkins and squashes and I’m yet to harvest a single butternut squash, despite growing it every year. Although, I do harvest a few pumpkins each year but not many. This year however, looks to be a monster year for the squash family!

Varieties I’m growing

  • Crown prince
  • Butternut squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Jack Be Little

Now that the squashes are forming I’ve started to feed them once a week. I didn’t bother coving the ground with a weed suppressant membrane like some allotment people do. Instead, I’ve let the plants freely scramble across the ground to suppress the weeds. It’s amazing how fast they grow once they get going! I also threw in some chard plants for the sake of covering a bit more ground with a crop. I can’t wait to try spaghetti squash for the first time! I have so many of them growing too, so I hope they store well.

Supporting Polytunnel Tomatoes with String

Polytunnel July 2017

I’ve learnt a few lessons from last year. I grew too many tomato plants in too little space which meant there wasn’t enough airflow and most of the plants succumbed to blight before I could harvest the bulk of the fruit. The plants grew in big plant pots which I sunk into the ground. I watered them from the top of the pots, but since I didn’t remove the base of the pot (I drilled it instead), the roots weren’t spreading or taking up enough water.

I’m doing things differently in the polytunnel this year. Gone are the days of wonky bamboo canes that inevitably poke me in the eyes, head and/or face. The future is string! At least, I hope it is. I planted out all my tomato plants at the weekend, using a new system that I hope will increase my harvest, reduce the risk of diseases, improve watering and take the frustration out of using those bloomin’ bamboo canes. Continue reading