6 May 2011


Ask anyone who knows me and they'll confirm that of all my admirable traits (I do have some, honestly), patience is not one of them. I want to know how things will pan out and I want them to pan out NOW. I'm not good with suspense. I'm the person who reads the end of a book just after starting, so I can relax and enjoy the book. With films, I look up the synopsis so I can enjoy the film without any nasty surprises.

Growing things is just the same. I want to be able to tell, NOW, how the plants will turn out, whether I'll get a good crop, what problems I'm going to encounter and which of those problems I can ignore and which to deal with. Some it's a no-brainer - caterpillars and too much rain/ not enough sun. And, really, I should have been able to foretell - or at the least be prepared for - frost. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the lovely weather, forgetting that it can also be accompanied by vicious overnight frosts, and so I was caught out this week when two nights of temps around zero degrees struck. After the first night I hastened to protect the vulnerable little courgette plants and chard with bubble wrap and fleece. Yesterday the temperature increased considerably and brought persistent heavy rain, so I popped back to the plot today to see how the young plants had fared.

Not so great, to be honest. And not just the seedling plants. The courgette plants have no leaves as the frost killed the leaves off, though the chard seems to be not too bad. The potato plants are just a blackened, wilted mass. Tomorrow I have to go and cut the foliage off to allow them to regenerate - hopefully. I've also taken the precaution of planting more courgette seeds in the house in case the ones in the ground are real goners. Would just be good to be able to tell whether they and the tatties will survive. The good thing is that the potatoes are grown for the underground tubers, but I just hope that the foliage being damaged hasn't affected them.

Would be nice to have a crystal ball and be able to tell how they'll turn out!

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