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.

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.

 

I cheated and I’m not even guilty


The potatoes aren’t meant to be ready for another 2 weeks but I just couldn’t resist. I took a potion home, rubbed off their muddy, soft skins and gently steamed them until soft. After gentle slice to cut them open I stirred through a dash of butter and sprinkled with fresh mint. I didn’t sit down, leave the kitchen or even transfer them from the pan to eat them. Nothing beats the fresh taste of your own grown potatoes. They didn’t even touch the sides.

Chitting the Gladiators

It’s a bit of an experiment but I started to chit my parsnip seeds last week since they take a long time to germinate. It’s been almost a week now and they’re no signs of them showing any signs of life yet!

I have two large half drums from a water butt to use for growing my carrot and parsnips this year so we’ll see how that goes! I had limited success with them last year as I started too late and didn’t prepare the soil well enough. By growing in big containers I plan to sieve all the compost and add a load of sand to give it the right conditions it needs to hopefully give me some Gladiator parsnips!

Potato Plans

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Preparation
The potatoes are chitting away nicely and while they develop knobbly, vivid shoots I’m frantically clearing and digging what will be their enormous bed to grow in. The bed is about 6m x 3.5m which is at least four times the size of what I grew my spuds in last year. The lack of space was probably the reason my Maris Pipers weren’t very big, but the Charlottes were brilliant and so delicious that I’m definitely growing these again.
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