Archive for July 6th, 2009

The woes and lows of a first-time vegetable gardener

This is my first attempt at growing vegetables, and it sure ain’t easy! Not that I thought it would be, but I’m starting to understand why there are so many books and magazines on the subject. I’m also convinced that without human intervention, left to their own devices, vegetables would swiftly become extinct.

In the spring, with vast amounts of help from Jennie, I planted courgettes, cucumbers, carrots, parsnips, garlic, swede, peas, beans, potatoes, pumpkins, gourds, leeks, broccoli, sprouts, spinach and sweetcorn.


  • The potatoes seem to be doing well, as do the peas, beans and garlic.

Failure 😦

  • The leeks failed, and each and every pumpkin seedling was eaten. Oh, and don’t ask about the corn…

Hit and miss

  • Only one cucumber plant seems to be trying to make it, and it’s so small and undeveloped that I doubt it even knows it’s a cucumber.
  • I planted 12 courgette seeds. 9 germinated, 6 were completely eaten, 2 only partially. One is going great guns, and its surviving companions are giving it a good go.
  • The only surviving gourd plant is looking to take over the whole garden.
  • The broccoli and sprout plants are still being eaten alive, even though they’re massive. Oh – only two of each actually survived the slugs and snails.
  • A couple of spinach plants are putting on a good show but the rest just sit there.
  • The first lot of carrot seedlings literally vanished overnight, though the second lot of seeds I planted seem to be doing better.
  • Sadly, my swede army is also vanishing before my very eyes – blink and another one runs away.
  • Finally, the parsnips are hanging in there… all four of them!

So, all in all, I can safely say that my first year has been a bit of a disaster. Looking back at all the effort that went into digging, I want to cry! On the other hand, I’ve harvested some potatoes, and they’re absolutely delicious, which is a massive relief.

Ah well, better luck next year!