Slow-growing this summer – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Well, I think I planted up most of my veggies two weeks ago, three at the most. I can’t actually remember now. But the squash and courgettes only went out last weekend, because I thought it was still a bit cold for them. Having seen the minimal progress they’ve made, I still think it is a little chilly for them. As for the other plants, they have hardly grown at all. In fact, all the vegetable plug plants in my plot are growing exceptionally slowly this year. Here are my musings…

  1. Cold, grey and windy – I’m trying to think how many proper t-shirt days I’ve had in the veg patch over the past few weeks, and it hasn’t been many. For the most part, I’ve been in a hoody, or at least a long sleeved top. Either I am just feeling the cold, or this last month hasn’t been as warm and sunny as it normally is at this time of year. I normally have a fairly good gauge on temperatures in the veg patch, as I get sunburnt easily, but I’ve rarely broken out the suncream this season, so I’m thinking it hasn’t been as warm as normal, and that that’s why some plants, like the squash and the beans and the sweetcorn, have made very little progress.
  2. My compost is quite coarse – I used a whole load of broken down woodchip that I’ve been composting for the past year or two. In hindsight, I think I should have given it until autumn before using it, as it is still fairly course. I worry that the plants have found it harder to establish their roots.
  3. Dry soil – until the last week, we had had little in the way of heavy rain. My thinking is that the rainfall that we did have only splashed a little at the very surface of the soil, and that deeper down the soil has been way too dry. My hope is that after a few good soakings recently, things will start to take off.

Fingers crossed for a sudden growth spurt now that we’re well into June. I’m a little worried that I won’t get to enjoy any winter squash this year if my plants don’t get a wriggle on. However, still plenty of time for all the brassicas, beans and salads, so all is not lost. I may plant up a few extras soon too, like beetroot, carrots, spinach etc – perhaps in early July.