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!!