Great news! The Courgette ‘Black Beauty’ plants are busy flowering and they’re beginning to show signs of growing actual courgettes. All plants are doing well, after desperately needing to be planted out and getting into a tangled mess on my windowsills.
This was one of the courgettes in the raised bed on Monday.
..and by Wednesday (today), after some sunshine and rain, it’s up to this:
It’s still only about 3cm long, but hopefully this will soon become the first of the courgettes for me to harvest. The first thing to take from my garden and eat. I’m really looking forward to it.
Courgettes have male and female flowers. It’s somewhat of a delicacy to eat these flowers – stuffed or deep fried amongst other ways. However, I like to let them get on with their job, and make me lots of courgettes. Today i bought what is hopefully my final courgettes for the kitchen.
Note the ant on the second courgette plant photo. One of the other courgette plants (straight in the ground, rather than the raised bed) has ands on it, and when I looked closer, I saw that there is also some blackfly. Apparently ants like to feed on blackfly, and will often ‘protect’ the blackfly from other predators like ladybirds in a bid to guarantee their own food source. A quick wash with the watering can removes all, but they’ll come back soon enough to suck the sap of the plant and therefore put it under stress.
I don’t want this, so i’ve looked for a deterrent, and I’ve found two companion plants – Marigolds and Chives. So, on my way home, I popped into my local Tesco to discover their bedding plants in various stages of being killed off – drowned vs baked vs snapped vs shoved in a trolley with too many shelves. I plucked out 12 abused Marigold French (Orange) plants reduced down to a total of £2. I tried growing Marigolds from seed before, but the germination was poor, and they’re so cheap to buy.
I came home and planted some of them out near the courgettes, but also near the Tomato Minibel plants, which have begun attracting blackfly too.