Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Exit Marrow...

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???


  1. The marrow leaves look very strange Mark - could they have come into contact with some sort of contaminant

  2. I have had exactly the same problems Mark - my Butternut squash has grown loads of leaves but only two tiny fruit - I usually grow great cucumbers, but the plant looks half dead, brown leaves no fruit. I haven't treated it any different than I normally would. Also I have a squash in a pot Apple Dumpling that is static. What's going on?

  3. Maybe your season just isn't warm enough or long enough. Do other people in your area have success with squash?

  4. I like your grey pipes - good idea. Those cucumbers look like they are heading in the right direction - I went out for a Middle Eastern meal the other night and one of the highlights was Lebanese cucumber just sprinkled with some nice salt flakes. Somehow I'm always surprised just how lovely cucumbers can taste.

  5. Same problems too in Surrey....I tried to grow southern u.s. yellow squash early....then between the sun the water took them....the fruit always rotted and the leaves got beans where not great either...(trying in a wine barrell)...carrots for the first time are ok, but tomatoes are fabulous and now ripening for the main harvest..thank goodness!!!! all are outside a greenhouse....I guess I will have to stick to kale, greens, beet spinach, and swiss chard! :)

  6. Hope you get some cukes! It sure looks promising....

  7. What a shame Mark. The pot looks like a good size, though they are hugely hungry plants. Good luck with the cucumbers.


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