The courgettes are running a little behind schedule…
With the glorious sunny weather we’re all having, I suspect the long, cold spell we had earlier this year will be a distant memory for most. Unfortunately, plants are a little less forgiving. Despite the fine weather, one or two crops are still running a good week or so behind schedule, knocked back by the very cold weather and late spring. According to our cropping plans, our first courgettes and potatoes should have been ready for your boxes this week, but they are still not quite there yet. The broad beans we included in last week’s boxes were a little on the small side, but we knew we could include them because they were so sweet and tender. But that’s not something we’re prepared to do with our courgettes and potatoes, so we need to ask for your patience a little longer. They’ll taste all the better for it, I can promise you that.
While the sun is shining on our backs as we water, plant and pick, extended periods of hot, sunny weather can cause their own headaches. We planted 10,000 cabbages last week and I spent the entire weekend irrigating the crop to stop them from dying! Like most growers, we sow many of our seeds into modules (effectively trays with lots of small pots), rather than directly into the soil. This means our seeds germinate and get a good head start in the warmth and protection offered by the polytunnel, before they are planted en mass out in the fields. While this approach offers many advantages, the new plants can suffer from something called ‘transplant shock’, and it takes them a good few days to settle into their new home and for their roots to start growing again. In hot weather, transplant shock can be devastating and irrigating is absolutely essential to avoid significant losses.
We’re currently planting out 60,000 leeks. Looking at the glorious forecast, we’re going to need to irrigate again to ensure they make it to your boxes later in the year!