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Squashed expectations

September 14, 2018

I love squash – butternut, acorn, whatever. No, let me put it another way. I have at least half a dozen squash soup recipes that I absolutely love.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve tried growing various types of squash for several years. Success has, to put it mildly, been limited.

I don’t have a greenhouse (or even a sunny windowsill), so attempting to grow squash from seeds really is a non-starter. Instead, I buy starter plants.

In a good year I might get one or (if I’m lucky) two squash per plant before the weather turns in mid-September. After that, whatever tiny plants might be trying to grow, they all die. (I went through similar heartache for a few years with melons before I finally gave up.)

Then, in 2013, I started growing courgettes. I’m not all that fond of courgettes as a vegetable, although I do have one recipe that I particularly like. I am definitely not a fan of zucchini bread or cake. However, during a visit back to London in the spring, a friend fed me some of her courgette and cheese soup. It was absolutely, positively delicious. Thus the inspiration to start growing this plant.

That first summer I was eating the soup regularly.


The second summer I was eating it nonstop. I couldn’t believe the number of courgettes I had – some of which I had to give away – or the speed at which they grew. Oh, the good old days of the Gabriola Garden Project. (Seriously, click on that past post. Just look at the number of courgettes and tomatoes and blackberries!)

Well, like tomatoes and blackberries, the good old days for courgettes seem to be over.

This summer I put in one yellow courgette plant and one green one. I’ve had a grand total of one yellow courgette and one green one. Not enough for a single batch of soup. Sigh. (Mind you, as I write, there are five teeny tiny yellow courgettes on the plant, which I suspect will not live to be a decent size, and the green plant has started to flower again. Bless.)

As for the so-called “Galaxy of Stars” ornamental gourd I decided on an impulse to plant in the spring…


… the label lies. Not a single fucking ornamental gourd. Grr.

All of which poses two questions. Can Juneuary really be entirely responsible for the disappointment of the past couple of summers? (If so, there is fuck all I can do about it.) Or do I need to replace all my sea soil? I doubt it’s that desperate. (Besides, with Mr Fixit gone to the Sunshine Coast, how would I get my yard of sea soil to the house?)

Next spring I suspect I need to dig a lot of manure into the raised beds. If that doesn’t work, I’m just going to pave the whole thing over. (Okay, not really, but you know what I mean.)

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