Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A green thing

Georgette the Courgette
Originally uploaded by girl_of_bats
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Georgette the Courgette. Georgette has been given to me by my lovely friend Mandy of the Tuesday knitters. As you will see from this post, Mandy is quite the gardener.

I am not.

I wasn't sure how to respond last night when I was offered a courgette plant. In retrospect, I should have come out with something slightly less blunt than my chosen "what am I supposed to do with this, apart from kill it?" Apparently it's really easy, all I have to do is "pot it on" (wtf?) and "feed it" (bbq?) and when it produces edible fruit, cook it and eat it (lol). The offer turned into insistence and next thing I knew, Steve was driving me home with this plant on my lap.

I really am more Margo than Barbara. Even if I had the physical capacity to dig a garden, I'd still be lacking the inclination. I will do my best with Georgette (the internet has already indicated that courgettes are also known as Zucchini, and that they are amongst the easiest vegetables to cultivate, which is promising) but I suggest that no one holds their breath for an invite to share home-grown dinner with me any time soon.


Sage said...

If you can manage it, then a big pot on the patio will still net you a number of courgettes as long as you can keep her safe from the snails and slugs that it...

Mandy said...

LoL, you'll be fine. I've known people less nervous about taking a new born baby home than you two were last night about taking Georgette home :)

Her previous name, before adoption was Jemma and she produces lovely yellow fruits. I'm not sure how prolific she will be as its the first time I've grown this variety.

Have fun!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I echo the others, you'll be fine. Stick it outside in a bigger pot and let the weather take care of it, unless we get many sunny days-then it'll need lots of water.
I grow all sorts, I'm a real plant lover- I couldn't dig a garden, but I don't have one anyway, so it's all in pots. I'm growing lettuce in one and had a gorgeous salad last night from it. BG

Anonymous said...

Two questions, mandycharlie:
1: are courgette's okay with overwatering, given the current weather?
2: has Georgette already got her red swimming badge, as I suspect she'll need it by the weekend?


Mary said...

I can handle new born babies... they let you know when they need something! Plus you get seven or eight months minimum to do some research, decide that you really do want one, get the necessary accoutrements and do a crash course in which end is which - you can even borrow other people's for practicing.

I am feeling more confident now though. I can do putting water on it and although money is tight right now, I can't imagine a pot costs more than £1.

Mandy said...

You two are so funny,

Firstly, over watering, not really a good thing, just put her next to the house so she has some cover and she will be fine.

Slugs will take an interest, if slug pellets are a no, no. Go out in the morning and pick them off, if you can place the pot on a brick that would help and you could always put a line of household salt around your pot. (not in the pot)

You could have a look down the tip, anything could work, the bigger the better. It must have drainage though or something that you can make drainage in. Old baby baths are ideal. Make some holes in it then prop it up on a couple of bricks to aid drainage and assist in your defences against a slug and snail invasion. I can bring a couple of bricks on Tuesday if you need any.

I would give you a big pot, but I haven't got anything big enough. (although I'm wondering if we still have the old baby bath that I used to use for growing basil in, I will look in the shed tomorrow)

Failing that, a grow bag would be ideal. I'm not sure how cheap you can get them for, bearing in mind you will need compost, this could work out cheaper in the long run.

If the leaves turn a little yellow, you need to work out whether she's too dry, too wet, too cold or needs feeding, much like a baby really, she will tell you. Don't ever let her dry out, she won't like that at all.

And she will appreciate a good drink especially when kept in a container every day in the summer. Then later in the summer she will need feeding but I need to check my books for that and can give you what you need.

Georgette will be fine for a week or so in the pot she is in as I have just repotted her on (repotted - means placed in a larger pot to let her have enough space to grow)

main thing to do is make sure the slugs don't get to her, I'm seriously worried about my freshly planted plants at the lottie with all this rain the slugs will be having a high old time.

And if we do get a risk of frost, bring her indoors for the night. She really will not like getting that cold. But with all this rain, there is no risk of frost, time to look for a ground frost at this time of year is if the skies clear in the evening. If the met office (or any weather forecast) says our local area's temperature is going to go as low as four degrees C. That is the air temperature which is measured a metre above the ground, it means that there is a risk of ground frost.

And if by this time, she is potted on and happily residing in a large pot too big to bring in. You just bring her as near to the house as you can, water her, but don't get her leaves wet, (watering keeps the warmth in the soil) and cover her with newspapers for the night.

I think I've covered everything!

Anonymous said...

In my experience, putting gravel (from Wilkinson's) round the base of the plant keeps the slugs away...

Good luck!