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Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Dangers of Vegetable Gardening!!!!!!

No I didn’t have an accident (although judging by the untidy elements strewn around the garden, an accident is surely waiting in the wings for me). The dangers I want to blog about today are all mentally based.

I’m talking about the obsessive habits that dangerously sneak up on you when you start to grow your own veges. Since my last posting on the squash and pumpkin patch I have not been able to wake in the morning with out checking out The Patch rain or shine before eating my breakfast or even serving the kiddies theirs.

I find myself talking to them (nothing that strange there, show me a gardener of any type who doesn’t in some degree talk to their plants, if nothing else but to say ‘GROW DAMN YOU GROW!!!’). No I’m afraid it doesn’t stop at talking but I find myself stroking the growing fruits, photographing them in all manner of lighting and angles, smiling at them inanely or just standing looking at them for more minutes than I think to be normal. The worst part is this doesn’t happen once or even twice a day but far more, it would be ok if I didn’t have other things to do or if it only happened when I went to the greenhouse which is parallel to The Patch (in hind sight this was a bad idea) but I find myself simply wandering up to The Patch at all manner of the day just to check out the fruit and the plants.

Any jobs I have to do up there are strangely relished, for eg. over the weekend I decided with the increased wet weather it might be a good idea to place tiles under the developing fruits to keep them off the damp cardboard. The thankless plants scratched my bare arms numerous times, which led to a stinging shower later in the day, did I get peeved about it, not in the least, I somehow took comfort in that my pain was there protection……WHAT THE!!!!

Anyway here are some photos taken today of all the largest fruits next to a permanent marker for size scaling purposes. And I promise no more The Patch posts till their harvest (but don’t hold me to that).

Winter squash: Blue Banana, its unconventional shape makes me smile.

Squash: Crown Prince

Pumpkin: Hooligan.

Squash: Onion

Squash: Boston another odd shape although the pic doesn't show it very well.

Squash: Shark Fin/ Spaghetti, I have so many of these I'm scared and its still producing more.
Squash: Kobocha

Pumpkin: Snowman.

Squash: Celebration, this one has turned out to be a bush plant and so doesn't trail. Its colouring reminds me of custard.

Squash: Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato, I just love the shape and the creamy colouring of this one.

So my other obsession is definitely the tomatoes, thankfully this obsession is no where near the level of the curcubits as a lot of it is due to maintenance, so it doesn’t have me as worried as the other. It’s the constant looking over the plants for side shoots to prick out and the tying of the stems to their support (I keep the ball of twine and scissors right next the bed now so I’m not side tracked by The Patch when I go to the greenhouse to fetch the twine and scissors) but at least the other thing is once the fruits start to ripen on mass the obsessive checking of plants for signs of edible delights reduce somewhat but the hand on heart daily checks for signs of the dreaded blight increases as the season progresses.

This obsession also steals times from other duties as this year the tomato bed is the first bed that greets me as I enter the veg patch, so it’s jobs easily distract me from what I sometimes set out to do (its very hard to ignore side shoots and tying in of stems to supports…I sure wish some one would HELP ME!!!!).

Here are some photos of my tomatoes taken today:

So what’s your obsession?

Broad Ripple Yellow current: a very tiny yellow cherry.

Gardener's Delight: a red cherry, it won a repeat from last year till something better comes along.

Roma: a plum.

Costolluto Florinteno: a new beefsteak to try.

Vintage Wine: a repeat beefsteak from last year, way to acid if cooked but great in sandwiches.

San Marzano 2: a plum shape.

Tigerella: third year running in my garden.

Ailsa Craig.

Golden Sunrise: a large yellow cherry. We enjoyed it last year so its a keeper, till something better comes along.

Galina: a cherry.

Black Trifle: had this one today probably should have left it another day but from what we all tasted its a keeper to repeat next year. It was lovely and beefy tasting with a really full flavour great for salads and sandwiches, when there are a lot more I will try some cooked.


  1. Kella, your posts are so interesting and I am amazed at the amount of different squashes and tomatoes you are growing. I have a few myself but nowhere near as many as you.

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment Maureen.

    Re the differing varieties I grow, its all down to another obsession - seed-a-holic anyone?

    I grow my toms in my 'L' shape beds due to the shape of the cover I made for them and I can happily get twelve tomato plants into the beds. I grow twelve varieties because I also find it difficult to choose which to grow out of my seed stash, so to help me choose I grow what I liked from the year before and some new ones I never tried.

    With the squashes & pumpkins its a space issue. The space they are in now is not for planting but it is the area I plan to erect a workshop for my craft indulges but since I can’t afford the giant shed/ workshop at the moment I decided to use the space to grow as much squash as I could possibly could this year. So I grew 2 varieties of pumpkin 2 plants each and then I had space for ten squash, well the seed stash for those are enormous and I simply could not choose five so I planted ten seeds 1 per variety and blow all came up, so all 10 varieties got planted.

    If prosperity shines on me and I get my workshop up before next spring I'll be a very sad bunny if I don't have an allotment by then to indulge myself with growing lots of squashes and pumpkins.

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