Monday, 22 June 2009

Courgette Anxiety

Over the last week or so I've spent more energy than is healthy fretting over the fate of my courgettes. The yellowing hasn't gone but it has stopped spreading which is good but they're also growing reeeeeeeally sloooooowly whereas last year the speed with which they threatened to take over the garden was quite terrifying so I'm a bit concerned.

If they do fail I will be gutted. I love courgettes. They're fabulous value for space in a small garden, giving a pretty heavy yield for the square footage they take up. Courgettes seem to be a bit of a joke in the gardening community, derided as easy to grow and the annual glut they produce seen as a burden rather than a blessing. I seem to remember a joke involving the Amish, their enemies and courgettes but in typical girly fashion I can't remember the punchline - if anyone knows the joke I mean please remind me and put me out of my misery.

However, I adore courgettes, there can never be too many in my kitchen. Roasted courgettes are a hugely versatile side dish and can easily use up 3 or 4 in one meal for a family of 4, they're also a reliable stand by to use up in kebabs on a bbq. I love Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's recipe for courgette pasta sauce (scroll down to courgettes on toast), it's not diet friendly being heavy on oil and cheese but it's heavenly. I'd love to try courgette chutney too but so far, haven't had enough courgettes left over to make any!

At least my stand by courgette plant in the front garden is looking healthy and has a few baby fruit on it. I'm worrying about what to do with my courgette bed in the back if I do give up on the plants. I'm reluctant to buy more courgette plants in case there's a virus been passed into the soil but the courgette bed is the sunniest spot in my shady garden so I want to make the most of it and get a crop of some description from it.

So this morning I've planted the remainder of my borlotti bean seeds in a tray. I'll give the courgettes another couple of weeks or so and if they recover fine, if not hopefully the beans will have grown enough to be planted out and take their place.

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