Saturday, 30 July 2016

What a difference two weeks makes

We just got back from a fortnight away, and the place looks like a jungle:

The marrows and courgettes have taken over, filling up the passage through the middle of the greenhouse and pretty much excluding other plants from the light. I don't particularly mind about the nasturtiums, which self-seeded anyway, but there are also tomato plants in there which are looking unhealthily tall and thin. 

That may be partly because the greenhouse itself doesn't get as much light as it should, being in the shadow of the house in the morning and that of some large trees at the bottom of the garden in the afternoon. But obviously the big marrow leaves don't help. 

Someone kindly watered the greenhouse while we were away, but I forgot to ask her to leave the door open if it was hot, which I think it was. So there are signs of decay, of living in a hot, damp atmosphere:

Now I've left the door open, hoping the plants will get used to more normal conditions for England. 

Plants that I'd already transferred outside did best while I was away, and I'm pleased to see that there are some quite healthy looking marrows and courgettes on the way: 

I have now rescued some of the lanky tomato plants from death by marrow leaf, hoping a new life in the real world will restore them to health. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Parsnip surprise


This is the first time I've grown parsnips. They seem to be doing well, although I probably haven't given them enough space, letting them squeeze together in a couple of pots.

But when will they be ready for picking? I read one book that said it's when they're about two foot high. Well, some of mine had reached that, so I thought I'd pull one out. I wanted to avoid leaving it for so long that the roots had become tough and woody.

What I found was a relatively large bulb immediately below the surface and a lot of little parsnips growing out of it.

I'd been expecting to find just one parsnip. So do parsnips grow in bunches, as these ones look like they would if I'd left them? Or is this some kind of anomaly caused by transplanting or a time when it was short of water or something?

Anyway, my conclusion is that I should leave the rest to keep on growing for quite a few more weeks. Any thoughts would be welcome.