Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Defending the Marrows

The other day fellow blogger Kelli Boyles wrote about slug damage to her Courgette plants, which prompted me to take a close look at my young Marrows. I didn't want them to suffer the same fate. Unfortunately, when I looked at my first (rapidly growing) Marrow fruit, I saw that it did indeed have a little bit of damage on the underside. It could have been caused by slugs, but it looked more like tooth-marks of little rodents. In response I decided to go for a "defence in depth" approach, as they would say in the Army...

To ward off the slugs I sprinkled a few blue slug-pellets on the soil around the plant, but I also encased the fruit in a net bag that used to hold lemons bought from the supermarket - I'm hoping this might dissuade any rodents from nibbling! This bag won't last very long because the fruit will soon out-grow it, but I'm already on the lookout for a larger bag.

At the other side of the garden the cucumber plants are coming on a bit more slowly. I think they are perhaps less tolerant of the weather conditions, particularly the seemingly ever-present wind. At least they are now producing some flowers, some of which will hopefully be pollinated and produce fruits.

Flower of Cucumber "Marketmore"

Fruitlets on the "Marketmore" Cucumbers
I'm glad that I have got both the Cucumbers and the Marrow in very large tubs, since it is easier to prevent them drying out in the hot, dry, windy weather conditions we have been experiencing.


  1. What a beautiful kitchengarden you have. Yum!

  2. So strange, I only eat zucchini, like most Italian I don't like marrow, if a zucchini gets to big we are sad and leave for seeds. I was surprised to see huge marrow in the UK!


  3. Your marrow is coming along nicely. I should have watched my prize courgette much more closely! Your cucumber flowers are so pretty. My cucumbers are outside and aren't liking it (they're huffing big time). The courgette and cucumber really want to come back into my sunroom. I'm tempted to let them with the weather we're having. Sun for 3 days, then rain for 20, lol.

  4. lmao love the marrow bag! Amazed that you have a marrow that size already, ours aren't even flowering yet, well done. :)

    Although thanks to the greenhouse we've eaten a couple of cucumbers already... ;)

  5. A wonderful marrow, and well defended!

  6. I'm growing marrow for the first time this year, though I haven't planted it out yet. I hope your defences work.

  7. I think if it is rodents they could just nibble through the bag! Hope it works though.

  8. How big does marrow grow? I was surprised to see aphid attacking potato from your previous post.

  9. Diana; a Marrow will grow very big if you let it - maybe about 40cm long? Perhaps a couple of kilos in weight? I wouldn't let mine grow that big, because they would probably not be succulent at that stage. In any case the variety I am growing ["Bush Baby"] is bred to be compact and to produce smaller fruit. I'll photograph it for all the world to see when I harvest this one!

  10. Wow, can that net bag repel the rodents? I love how you call that first one, is it the same as zucchini? We don't produce it here in the tropics, only the supermarkets have them.

  11. Andrea; Yes, the Zucchini or Courgette is a type of Marrow, bred to be small. I'm not sure about the net bag. It might work, but it might not. It's worth a try, I reckon.

  12. Maybe light colored nylons/panty-hose (is that an old word?)might protect the Marrows.

    A ring of Copper pennies for Slugs - dissolves them. Or drown them in a shallow dish sunk into garden with a healthy slug of beer added.

    Looking good!

  13. Impressive marrow! :)
    Some of our outdoor courgettes grew into marrows last year when I wasn't paying attention.
    Will a bag deter rodents?

  14. Please can I remind everyone reading this that slug pellets are not only poisonous to slugs but also kill garden birds and hedgehogs.


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