Posted by: sweetpea | September 4, 2006

Starting to harvest squashes

Growing your own veg is fantastic, and I love my lottie to bits, but sometimes I do get the feeling that IT is in control of me rather than vice versa. 


Take for instance harvesting.  It would be lovely to just harvest when YOU want to and everything you picked was just perfect.  But alas, that isn’t the case; most veg seem to demand harvesting on a regular basis. And if you don’t play along, they just keep on growing so that when you do go to pick them many are past their best.  One way of regaining a little control over this is of course to grow things in succession, although I suspect that this would only reduce the volume of the harvest at any one time.  Next year I shall definitely be growing less of quite a few things, and trying to find things that can be grown so that there is something to harvest all year around.


Then there is keeping on top of pests, trying to reduce their impact whilst still keeping everything organic.  This I don’t find too much of a problem, so long as the pest isn’t decimating the crop and not affecting the growth.  There is however one pest that is really starting to bug me, and so far I have failed to control it, the rat!


I ended up having to harvest a pannier full of squashes on Saturday morning in the rain because the rat had been snacking again.  What annoys me even more is that it is only after the seeds, so it chews away the flesh leaving it strewn under the chosen squash, and then scoops out the seed…Argh!!!  Rather than risk it attacking another of my prized squashes I decided to harvest those that already seemed to be ripe or just starting to change colour.  The West Indian Pumpkin, Blue Kuri squash, 4 Jaspee de vendee squash, and a rather large butternut were all removed together with a half eaten delicata squash.

Squash harvest

On Saturday I also tidied up in the greenhouse, removing the 3 melon plants that have no fruit on them.  I figured it is too late in the season now even if any fruit were to set, and as powdery mildew is starting to rear its head I think the less vegetation there is the better.  I also removed one of the Aubergine plants that had no fruit on it. 


Then it was back home to freeze yet more beans and bake another courgette cake to take to Andrea and Charles’s gathering in the evening. 


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