I had high hopes for my Marrows this year. I went to great lengths to prepare a text-book-perfect growing area for them in a huge pot made from half a compost bin. Initial signs were favourable, and I got one very nice fruit very early in the year, but after that it went downhill very rapidly. No more fruits appeared, and no side-shoots grew. The plant just stopped. Very odd. I hoped and hoped that maybe things would change, but last weekend I finally ran out of patience.
This is what the plant looked like: tatty and bedraggled. No new foliage at all. Not growing; just surviving.
So, out it came, to be replaced by this:
I have put in four "Amethyst" French bean plants (previously confined to a single 12" pot), and five lettuces that were spare. Hopefully the lettuces will mature before the bean plants block out all their light.
If you are wondering what the grey pipes are, those are what I put in to get water down to the roots of the Marrow plant. Maybe the beans will be a bit more grateful for this facility!
The Cucumbers have also been a big disappointment this year. I have only had two fruits all told. One of the plants died very early on, and the other has done the same thing as the Marrow. By a huge coincidence the remaining Cucumber plant has suddenly decided that it will grow after all (encouraged no doubt by witnessing the fate of its unproductive cousin). It has produced some new leaves and a healthy-looking sideshoot that is expanding very rapidly.
Looking more closely, I saw that there are a couple of flowers.
And some tiny fruitlets too. I have propped them up on top of an old brick to keep them off the damp soil. These little babies need all the help they can get.
So maybe I will get a late harvest after all???