Determined to have squash this year

After the warmth and near drought in the spring, we now have something akin to a second winter. Of course, approximately 20 degrees C is warmer than you’d find on a normal winter’s day but the wind, coupled with April showers, is a bit of a mare for growing tender crops outside.

Squash recovering from a battering

Last night, I caved in and brought the squash, which I’d been trying to harden off, back inside. I lost just about all the courgette plants a couple of years ago, due to being a little foolhardy…. It seems June is too soon for cucurbites round here!

However, the squash can’t live indefinitely on the floor of the kitchen/dining room. And there is no windowsill space left for them, their residence having been taken up by soapwart and bergamot (and courgettes, one of which has germinated so far).

Luckily, the overwintering onions are ready. I had been pulling one at a time to use in cooking but then I developed other plans for this spot in the garden. Basically, a windfall of branches on the way home from work last week meant that I had enough wood for another hugel bed. I also had some bokashi solids and homemade compost to give immediate nourishment to the next plantings. 

It was amazing to see the difference in the soil I dug last night, in comparison with much of the rest of the garden. This patch has been no-dig since I moved in (apart from digging out the bushes my predecessor left) and was full of roots from previous crops. It has also been mulched with manure and compost – and all before I’d ever learned about such techniques. So, it was actually a little sad to dig up my pioneer no-dig bed for hugelculture. 

The latest log pile

Anyway, the deed has been done and I won’t be digging in that spot for quite some time to come. Instead, in the immediate future, the squash will go in and be protected by cloches to keep the wind off them. The extra warmth will no doubt do them good as well, I hope.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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2 Responses to Determined to have squash this year

  1. skyeent says:

    Good luck with this – I hope they do well. I’ve not dared yet to try curcubits outside here at all yet. They tend to suffer from spidermite in the tunnel though. I’m thinking of daring one of two of my spare plants on my old compost heap. They will get some shelter from the sides – old corrugated sheeting – and I could potentially use a bit of plastic to give a bit more protection from the weather…..

    • Helen says:

      I’ve grown cucumber and pumpkins outside (oh, and courgettes!). Your idea of using the compost heap is a good one – nothing to lose 😊

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