At the weekend I decided to plant out my cucurbits. Don't get too excited - it was only two cucumber plants and one courgette!
As you can see, the plants are not yet very big, and could easily have stayed in their pots for another couple of weeks, but you know how it is - we gardeners are often impatient people! Anyway, my excuse was that I wanted to get them well established before we go away on holiday next month...
The three little plants have all gone into the same container, but it's a big container, about 50cm in diameter:
That container is half of an old water-butt, which serves the required purpose very well. I have grown cucurbits in it for several years now, but I refresh the soil every year with a load of home-made compost and a couple of handfuls of pelleted chicken manure. The soil is now very dark, rich and crumbly.
The courgette is a "Defender" and the cucumbers are "Diva" and "Passandra". For now I have covered them with a big plastic bell-cloche, to keep them warm and protect them from wind and rain (+ animals) until such time as they are able to fend for themselves. This is why I have put the plants quite close together, so that the one cloche covers all three.
In due course, when the plants outgrow the cloche, I will support the cucumbers with some tall canes, but I will leave the courgette to do its own thing.
Being honest, I have to say that Jane and I are not particularly fond of courgettes as a vegetable. They are all too often served overcooked and sloppy, and the skins can be tough and bitter. However, a few months ago I had some very lightly steamed courgettes served as part of a "seasonal vegetables" accompaniment to a restaurant dish, and I thought they were excellent. I plan therefore to try growing my own and cooking them in that way. Cucumbers on the other hand, we both love - and so too do the grandchildren.