Sunday, 31 October 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Or rather, how did our garden grow this summer with our first attempt at growing our own veg? 

Here's how:
Three Ridge Cucumbers in a growbag

The cucumbers did really well and were very happy in a growbag. These were in full sun and I didn't bother to stake them. They just sprawled along the ground. Each plant produced about 5 cucumbers. I had another plant in a shadier part of the garden and that only produced one cucumber so that was interesting to see. I made two different types of cucumber pickle with them which I'll blog about at some point.

Two Pumpkins in large tubs

The pumpkins got off to a great start and soon took over the garden. Each plant was in a large tub filled with multipurpose compost. I think I should have limited their growth as they started to produce a lot of fruit which then died off leaving just one pumpkin on each plant. I think I needed to feed them earlier and also perhaps water them more. Growing pumpkins in a pot, however large, is perhaps not the best way to grow them!

Two Squashes in builders buckets

Some unknown critter ate one of my squash plants so I had to grow another one from seed, hence one plant being smaller than the other in this photo. As with the pumpkins these plants produced a lot of fruit which then died off. I think these need to be in a much bigger pot with earlier feeding. I've got one squash ready to eat and another one on the plant still (for some reason one of the plants decided to suddenly try to grow some more fruit).

Five Tomatoes in growbags
The tomatoes did well but because I started everything from seed in May, which was a little late in the season, they didn't start to ripen until September. I didn't manage to nip out all the side shoots properly so the plants looked a bit of an unruly mess! I picked all of the tomatoes about a week ago as the plants were starting to look a bit rough (getting nasty looking brown patches on the stems). I think we'll be making a lot of green tomato chutney!

Three Courgette plants in builders buckets
These three plants kept us in courgettes all summer. Next time I think I'll plant them in bigger pots or tubs as I think they need a bit more space. I had another plant in a smaller pot (as I ran out of buckets) and it didn't produce anything at all. Another interesting experiment.

One large tub of Carrots
We had enough carrots to last all summer. Next year I'll definitely plant lots more carrots - they tasted lovely and sweet. They were quite happy in the big tub.

Two window boxes of Mixed Radish and four Lollo Rosso Lettuces
The radishes grew easily and Nipper got very excited when he was allowed to pull them up. My original plantings of lettuce were constantly eaten by something as soon as their little heads popped through the ground. After several attempts I put the pots on roofing felt and we had no more problems. They grew really well and it's a shame that we don't like Lollo Rosso lettuce! (The seeds were free from the BBC's 'Dig In' project).

Large Strawberry pot and Apples from the old tree
The strawberries didn't do too well. They look lovely in the big strawberry pot but I don't think they had enough room. Also, it's quite difficult to keep a terracotta pot moist enough as the water evapourates off so quickly. I'll have to rethink my strawberry strategy for next year. We never do anything much to the apple tree and it always produces a nice amount of apples. There were more than this but Mr Earplug's had chopped them up for a crumble before I managed to get a photo. We also had over 3lbs of damsons but I didnt get a photo before Mr Earplugs made jam. Must blog that sometime too.

I know that I really should be planting something up for over the winter but I'm not organised yet. I might just hang on and get organised for an early start for next year instead.



  1. Oh, my goodness! You did really well!!!

  2. th so much for sharing your wonderful photographs, I really want to grow some vegetables/friut and must get round to learning alittle more about how to go about doing it, your post really excited me and can't wait to get on with it. thank you for your lovely comment, I would be lost at sea without him so here is to the next 11 years of marriage ;0)



  3. I think you did wonderful! Experimenting like that tells you what you can plant and also what does good in what spot. I have such rocky ground, and so many deer that it's impossible for me to grow anything, but I do share a garden with some friends. What are damsons?

  4. Hi Tilly, Your fruit and vegetables look wonderful. Your cucmber pickle sounds divine, I love the taste of cucumber so I will be very interested to see your recipe. I might even be able to get Mr Kitten to eat some cucumber at last. Thankyou for the birthday wishes *40* eek! X

  5. This looks fantastic. The house we have just bought has a greenhouse in. I have very mixed feelings as with 2 very lively boys I feel we should do away with it due to the glass and accidents, but then I have always harboured a secret desire to grow veg and fruit, and the greenuouse would be perfect for this, so I am going to see how the boys do with the greenhouse and if they heed the out of bounds rule. Your post has made me want to keep it even more!

  6. Wow - you did really well, Tilly! It all looks very scrummy. I planned to sort out our garden this summer, but next door's extension put paid to that - the builders needed access from ours. Maybe next year?! :) x

  7. Oh my gosh, you've done well! In comparison, I have one lonely chilli plant in the kitchen. However it's got 2 chillies on, which is a mjor triumph, for me at least!

  8. First attempt? That's so impressive! What fab veg. I am particularly envious of the butternut squash and the carrots. My own failed miserably this year. I might try your carrots in a tub method - perhaps they don't like my soil.


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