Tag: tromboncino

Tromboncino Results: Bit of a Poor Showing

Earlier this year I decided to have a go at growing tromboncino squash with a view to entering the Sutton’s Cup competition to grow the country’s longest / largest fruit.

Well, the closing date was September 30th, and I took a photo of my best effort on that day:

September 2016 tromboncino best effort
Definitely not as impressive as I was hoping it would be…

As you can see, it barely reached 32cm or so. Compared to some of the tromboncino pics that have been posted on Facebook this year, it’s a tiddler. This was already my backup fruit, promoted to front-runner after the early competition candidate went down with a dose of soft-rot, but it clearly wasn’t up to the job.

I think the cold summer checked its growth; as you can see it’s already matured into something approaching a butternut squash colour, so must have finished growing a while back. Perhaps I should have kept the plant in the greenhouse instead of sitting it outside? Frankly though, there just wasn’t room for it. Or maybe I over-fed it? Or under-fed it? It didn’t really develop the super-long neck that usually characterises the tromboncino fruit, bulking up around the middle instead, so maybe there was a touch too much K in the plant food I gave it.

Ah well, it looks like there are a couple of meals’ worth of good eating to be enjoyed there. It certainly won’t go to waste.

I won’t be growing tromboncino for the Sutton’s Cup if they hold it again next year though. When I think of all the fruitlets I picked off so this one could get all the plant’s energy… a shocking waste of food, that was. Not really my style of growing at all.

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Tromboncino Update – Disaster Strikes!

Well, that’s nature for you. Just as you think you’re developing a potential Sutton’s Cup prize-winning specimen, you take your eye off it for a minute and along comes a cold snap, or a dry spell, or something else entirely (maybe not quite enough food at quite the right time?) and this sort of thing happens:

July 2017 tromboncino one
#tromboncinofail!

Yep, that’s a gonner and no mistake. Not even enough left on it to salvage something worth eating.

Luckily, I have a spare:

July 2017 tromboncino two
The backup is still looking robust and healthy.

Any dreams I might be harbouring of #SuttonsCup glory are all resting on tromboncini #2 now. No pressure…

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Tromboncino Update – We Have Fruit!

Reqular readers with a long memory may recall that this year I’m attempting to grow a tromboncino squash or two with a view to entering the inaugural Suttons Cup competition. Just a bit of fun, like, and as it turns out, a rather useful comparative growing experiment as well.

There are two plants on the go, both grown from plugs sent by Suttons. One I’m growing at home, in a compost-filled air-pot container, which I’m feeding on a regular basis with a high Potassium solution. The other is planted in open ground down on Plot #59. Here’s how they were both doing recently:

Tromboncino @Home

A week or so ago, I took a couple of pics:

June 2016 home tromboncino
Tromboncino #1 is growing well in a sheltered spot by the greenhouse door.

June 29th 2016 tromboncino fruit
The fruit is just starting to swell and develop nicely.

And then just yesterday, I snapped another:

July 8th 2016 tromboncino fruit
A week or so later and the fruit is noticeably larger and thicker…

Definitely a little longer and with more girth. Coming along nicely.

Tromboncino @Plot #59

Alas, I can’t say the same for the tromboncino that I planted in the ground down at the allotment:

July 2016 plot 59 tromboncino
Not looking too good for this specimen. Hopefully the weather will improve and help it along.

Although the plant is in good soil and was given a compost boost when it went in, the weather has been poor – wind, rain, repeat – and the foliage has clearly suffered. Perhaps if conditions improve it might turn a corner, but so far, not so good…

Looks like all my hopes will be resting on the home-grown fruit(s). Judging by some of the pics posted to the Suttons Cup Facebook page mine are a little way behind at the moment. But the final judging date is September 30th, so it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Again though, just a bit of fun, I’m not taking this at all seriously. (No, Sir. Not at all.)

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Pot Up, Pot On, Repeat…

May is a pretty mad month in the greenhouse as the seedling shuffle continues apace. Last month’s sown seeds are shooting like crazy. More new seedlings need to be pricked out and potted up daily. And larger plantlets are outgrowing their starter pots and being potted on at a rate of knots. I’m loving every minute of it.

In lieu of time to describe everything in detail, here’s a quick photo gallery to convey the general impression:

May 2016 chilli 'cayenne'
Three chilli ‘cayenne’ potted up into their permanent containers.
May 2016 Tromboncino squash
Two tromboncino for the #SuttonsCup, potted up into long toms.
May 2016 Swiss chard
I reckon we might just get a decent Swiss Chard crop this year.
May 2016 Brassica seedlings
The massed ranks of cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprout seedlings.
May 2016 squash 'turk's turban'
These squash plants look promising. Here’s hoping we’ll actually have a harvest this year.
May 2016 assorted chillis
Chilli plants in their penultimate pots, permanent placement pending.
May 2016 pea seedlings
Two types of mangetout here: ‘shiraz’ (front) and ‘golden sweet’ (back).
May 2016 beans germinating
Here come the beans!
May 2016 coldframe plants
Meanwhile, out in the cold frame: sunflowers and sweet peas and courgettes (oh, my!)

What’s giving you particular joy in the greenhouse at the moment? Let me know via the comments…

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It’s Tromboncino Time

A few weeks ago I placed an order for a few packets of seeds from Suttons and ticked the box on the order form to receive two plug plants of Squash (Cucurbita pepo) ‘tromboncino’ (which, according to one online translator app means “spigot-type grenade launcher”… the mind boggles).

It was partly because I’m a sucker for free plants (who isn’t?) and partly because I fancied entering the inaugural Suttons Cup Competition to see who can grow the longest tromboncino fruit. Or at least, see how close I could get to something worth entering in the competition. It’s just a bit of fun, after all.

The plug plants arrived on Tuesday, neatly packaged up:

April 2016 squash tromboncino super-plugs from Suttons
Nicely packaged, with explanatory booklet and a £5 discount voucher as well.

They both had good (only slightly nitrogen-deficient) leaves and a healthy (if slightly module-bound) root system. I’m assuming they’ve been grown in hothouse conditions to bring them on to this size in so small an amount of growing medium:

April 2016 - Suttons tromboncino plugs - roots
A decent root-system on these, that just needs room to breathe.

The first job was to tease out those roots and then plant the plugs in small pots with some fresh multi-purpose compost. A good watering with a liquid feed late, and they were onto a greenhouse shelf to recover from their postal ordeal and re-establish themselves.

April 2016 - Tromboncino plants potted up
A couple of weeks in a small pot to recover and then on into a larger one with room to grow.

In a couple of weeks’ time I’ll pot them on again into an intermediary container before working out where I’ll be keeping them in the long-term. Squash ‘tromboncino’ is a vigorous climber, so I’ll need to provide sturdy support. And given my relatively poor track record with squashes to-date, I’ll need to read up on suggested optimal growing conditions and general care / feeding instructions as well.

I did mention it’s just a bit of fun, didn’t I..?

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