Timing is Everything

Like a lot of things in life when you’re growing veg for a show timing is everything. In the words of the country song of the same title (not the Chris de Burgh album!):

when the stars line up
and you catch a good break
and people think your lucky
but you know it’s grace
it can happen so fast
or a little bit late
timing is everything

So with 2 weeks to go to my local show I’m looking round the two chances plot thinking ‘it can happen so fast’. Seems like I may be 2-3 weeks early on most things and a little late on others. We’ll see.

This is the haul from this morning:

We’re overrun with courgettes – as always – not sure why I grow more than one plant a year to be honest. And the beans are already past their peak with handfuls of runners, dwarf and climbing french beans being picked. I’m growing two varieties of runners, the white flowered Moonlight, and the show variety Stenner. For my local show I’d like to have a good set of straight beans about 16″ long. Unfortunately with the recent heat they are getting too seedy by the time they reach their ideal length, again it’ll all be in the timing. I’m growing two varieties of dwarf french, purple teepee and the prolific Philetta which has turned out to be a great bean for eating. I find the purple teepee a little bit chewy but the colour is a nice change in the garden. When it gets to a week to go I’ll start picking the beans to build an ideal set for the show keeping them wrapped up to preserve their freshness – well that’s the theory anyway!

I have a couple of marrows for the ‘any other veg’ class that are about 270mm long. I don’t want them over 350mm so will be keeping an eye on them and hopefully I’ll have a nice pair for that class.

On the late side will be the tomatoes which are nowhere near ripe so the foliage will come off and a couple of ripe bananas will be chucked in to help out. I’ve also dog proofed the greenhouse as he has a habit of carefully removing them from the plants and depositing them on the lawn, nice and green with two dracula-like teeth wounds in them. The children also like to pick and eat any underipe fruit. That’s the problem with family gardening, a balance between being all inclusive and protecting the crops until they’re actually ready to eat.

Whilst I had a good crop of over wintered onions ripening them to a decent standard is proving difficult so I’m not sure if I’ll have any for the show. The top tray is the main prize and onions are normally a banker for being one of the 3 veg. This year it will be carrots, parsnips and possibly potatoes or runners. Again it will all be in the timing!

If you’re entering your local show this summer good luck. If not you’re taking the sensible, stress-free route and will no doubt be relaxing and enjoying your garden or allotment this weekend rather than worrying about your timing! Either way have a good one!!

13 responses to “Timing is Everything

  1. Hi Damo, impressive haul. I will be cooking courgette cake later this afternoon, to deal with some of our glut. I have two yellow and two green courgette plants. Two yellow would be find, they seem to grow a lot more slowly than the green. Sadly I assumed the green would grow at the same rate. How wrong I was. Turn your back on them for a day and suddenly, marrows! Only one green courgette plant in future… Hoep you find enough good things for your show. You make me think I should stop working and wander up to the plot to check on things… I probably have yet more marrows…

    • Courgettes – to keep on top of them pick them young, about 10cm long at most and NEVER go on holiday at this time of year otherwise all is lost ;>)

      Timings for many things is all over the place isn’t it, although my French beans are only just starting up here. But there are plenty of blackberries already???

      • You can’t turn your back on the things can you. Good reminder, I must check the hedgerows for blackberries as they might be early this year.

    • Thanks Janet, I have one yellow courgette plant which has given up altogether and three greens that are going mad. Courgette cake sounds like a good plan although Rach made her famous Victoria Sponge cake this afternoon which was heaven, that’s my cake quota for a while!

  2. No shows for us – we’d never win anything if it was down to perfectly formed vegetables. Our beans are well behind your – just starting to set really
    I bet you never stick to your one courgette rule!

    Good luck in the show as we are all waiting to see your cup!

  3. Just read Janet’s comment – co-incidentally I’ve just made a courgette cake! We must have delinquent yellow courgettes as ours produce just as furiously as the green ones.

    • Most of my veg isn’t perfectly formed Sue! The beans have been going strong for a while now and yes you’re right I’m sure I’ll plant more courgettes next year!

  4. I’d be well pleased but know you’re aiming at showing 🙂 Hope time is on your side and good luck!

  5. Hi Damo, Good luck with the veg. I entered a local show a few years back under the category ‘A Basket of Veg’, and l got 1st prize! Nothing serious. Have you done this sort of thing before? Its all good fun. Bon Weekend.

  6. I have run out of neighbours to give courgettes to. I am also experiencing a salad glut. As if that isn’t enough there are twenty-odd beans covered in flowers. I don’t know why they’re so late, but foresee a glut. At least beans can be frozen!

    • It comes to something when neighbours start to get fed up with your own courgettes. And it’s at the height of the salad season when I usually start going off the stuff. We’ve frozen broad and french beans so far along with some broccoli so will be enjoying some home grown over the winter this year.

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