Growing Fruit and Veg in Pots and Plot: April

My favourite hobby is gardening and I love “trying” to grow my own vegetables both in pots and in the ground. This year I have a new raised vegetable garden which I hope will yield great results. This is a record of my successes and failures usually just kept as notes on scraps of paper. The wonders of blogging and modern technology!

Bumblebee pollinates Zucchini
Bumblebee pollinates Zucchini

Last year I tried desperately to grow Zucchini (courgettes) without much success. There were plenty of flowers but as the fruits formed they just withered and died. I was told this was either due to overwatering or the lack of bees. If it was a bee problem the only solution was to pollinate the flowers by hand, using one of my artists brushes. This year we have been blessed with numerous bees in all shapes and sizes so fingers crossed!
Related post: Poorly Zucchini

Vegetable garden 14/03/11
Vegetable garden 14th March

My vegetable plot in March looked a little bare. The zucchini (courgette) seedlings I’d purchased in February, at the farmers market, were now growing well and producing buds. Fingers crossed this year they were going to do well. Lettuce and red cabbage seedlings were also planted plus rows of spinach seeds.

Vegetable garden 14th April
Vegetable garden 14th April

In the space of just one month, everything has tripled in size and my vegetable plot is beginning to look like a productive area and not a patch of earth. I now have red cabbage, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, spinach, zucchini, beans, and spring onions.

French beans 14/4/11
French beans 14/4/11

The green beans were grown from seed planted 23/2. They are now beginning to flower.

First crop of radish 14/04/11
First crop of radish 14/04/11

This is my first crop of radish grown from seed planted 23/2


Strawberries grow well in pots
Strawberries grow well in pots

I now have four pots of strawberry plants which are all beginning to bear fruit. I  protect the strawberries from the blackbird family nesting in our garden by covering the plants with the net bags from my potatoes.

Yummy, my first crop of strawberries 14/04/11
Yummy, my first crop of strawberries 14th April

We had our first dish or strawberries on the 14th April. They were delicious!

Rhubarb experiment 14/04/11
Rhubarb experiment 14th April

I was given a Rhubarb plant last year and because it was so tiny I decided to try and grow it in a pot. Not sure it will work.

Garlic experiment
Garlic experiment 14th April

Garlic cloves planted in pots last December.

Beef tomato plants 14th April
Beef tomato plants 14th April

Beef tomato plants grown from seed started 24/2. I add corks to the end of the canes for eye protection.

Which fruit and vegetables are you growing in your garden or in pots? Please share your successes and failures…we can all learn from each other


58 thoughts on “Growing Fruit and Veg in Pots and Plot: April

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  1. Wonderful content! For a nice and hunting for a good weblog with regards to Gardening throughout Portugal and also Algarve in the english language and finally identified! Maintain performing, you’re going well.


    1. I heard that garlic is a good match with cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines.
      Garlic never attracts ant cow.
      Lettuce is a good match with cabbage, but not bad with garlic. πŸ™‚


  2. Sounds fun. I hope you will gather a rich harvest
    I also grow garlic.I can grow them easily because insects don’t eat them.
    In addition I’m growing cucumber, potatoes, watermelon, corn, aubergine, green pepper and beans.
    I can’t wait to eat them. πŸ™‚


  3. Hey Pip,
    I’m thinking you could pretty much grow squash quite well and probably for many more months than we can here in the mid-south. If you plant some, give me a holler and let me know how they do. I can hardly wait to see what yummy recipes you’d create with them… πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the link to my Squash post.
    You’re a peach!


    1. Hi EC,
      I am going to look out for the round squash seeds. My summer squash seedlings are doing OK…only about 6inches tall…but they are getting there.
      I have some seeds for winter squash PAWS sent me so will plant them say October time and see how they go.
      Have not got a clue what to do with squash… Another challenge πŸ™‚


  4. Hi PIP.
    The problem with any squash is they need HUGE amounts of feeding… if they dont get enough, you’ll get the problem youve had… small fruits that wither and drop off… feed… tons of feed…
    best wishes


  5. My sister has the house, we have the apt. We garden and this year we are expanding on her raspberries. Maybee I can get her to do strawberries. They look so good there. My sister is the gardener…and I learn from her. Last year we took down 8 huge trees so gardening suffered a lot. This year she needs what she calls Projects outside to do…so I will suggest growing strawberries and see what we can do. Great pictures and blog –


    1. Hi Jackie and welcome πŸ™‚
      I would love to grow rasberries but we are too close to the sea so some fruits won’t grow…lucky you πŸ™‚ Mr P had to build a raised veg bed as the trees sucked all the goodness from the soil.
      Strawberries are so easy to grow and you can buy ones that fruit at different times (Well you can in Portugal)
      Good luck with your projects πŸ™‚


  6. ~applause~ You are truly a great gardener. Your pots, plants and gardens are beautiful. I think it’s so neat how you can garden all year round. I would love to be able to do that.
    It’s still a few weeks away from our putting in a garden & I can hardly wait. πŸ™‚
    My favorite veggie to grow is the round squash: one ball, eight ball & round french zucchini
    The round squash are of the zucchini variety, They’re so cheerful and fun to grow and eat. I prefer baking or grilling them although they’re yummy fried too.
    One of the best part of the round squash is that they will keep for a couple of months in the refrigerator.
    I could go on and on. lol
    Happy gardening!


    1. Hi EC,
      The round swquash sounds interesting. Have you posted a photo already to your blog of round squash?I like the idea of anything that keeps well…as you usually have so much in one go.
      Looking forward to seeing everyones progress over the summer πŸ™‚
      PiP πŸ™‚


      1. Okay, my inspirational friend, I just made a post about my round squash. If you get a few seconds, you’re welcome to pop on over and take a gander at it.
        Thanks for helping make another post this week. lol I think WordPress should hire you. πŸ™‚


  7. Good luck with your rhubarb, although I think you would be better off with it in the ground. It takes a little while to establish itself, I think.

    My husband grows a lot of vegetables. One year we had so much zuchini we were eating, stewed zuchini, fried zuchini, zuchini casseroles and zuchini bread. . .The zuchini bread was good.


    1. Hi CM yes I am an optimist with the Rhubarb -:(. Apprently they dont like it really hot so I’ve moved the pot to a shady place. Next year it will probably have to go in the raised bed in the shady corner

      I think I am going to ahve zuchini coming out of my ears this year. I am going to make some chutney Courgette (Zuchini) and tomato chutney again this year…it was delicious.
      Would love to try the zuchini bread …please could I have the recipe?


  8. PiP, your veggie garden looks so healthy – you are inspiring the gardener in all of us! Got some nice strawberries there too.
    I’m growing strawberries in the veggie patch but going to put some new ones in pots in order to contain them more – they spread all over the place otherwise! I have cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, hot chillies, capsicum, leeks and silverbeet (a type of spinach) at the moment and all seem to be doing well. I only have 2 pumpkins and I’m told it’s because there haven’t been enough bees around to pollinate all the flowers (apparently there is a shortage of bees this year).


    1. Hi barb…I have tried to grow caulis but apparently our soil is t sandy…the forets did not form 😦 I’d be interested to see if you ahve any tips for leeks. I am going to try growing those through the winter.
      Strange you should mention a shortage of bees. We had exactly the same problem last year. Apparently the bees were just dying in the hives and no one knows why. 😦


  9. Great job PiP! I admire your green thumb. Everything looks so delicious. I would love to grow a garden here, but we have no space. Maybe I will try a plant or two in a pot.


  10. PiP, do you find that your veg grows better in Portugal than in the UK because of the weather? We’ve been growing “stuff” in pots for a few years now but they always seem to be late bloomers, we’re talking September – October!

    We had lovely beefsteak tomatoes last year but they weren’t ready until mid October. This year we’re going for corn-on-da-cob, toms, radishes and green peppers. The only plant I’ve really been successful with is my Cheyenne chilli plant even though I don’t like chillis! I just love the foliage.


    1. Hi Noob,
      I used to grow tomato plants in growmore bags in the UK. I bought small plants for the early crop and then planted seeds which I grew indoors. I used to pick toms from July onwards from the seeedlings and later from the seeds I germianted.

      I would not say veg grows better here just the seasons are different.

      It’s extremely hot for the veg in the summer months July/Aug and water is very expensive so this year I’ve decided not to grow any root veg (apart from a little square of carrots) because they take lots of water.

      I’m constantley experimenting πŸ™‚


  11. I grew up on a farm in New Zealand and we grew everything except fruit. It wasn’t really a fruit growing climate where we were.

    Since I moved to the city, don’t grow anything, sadly.

    When I retire, perhaps…….


  12. PiP, what fun to read this post and to imagine what I hope to grow in my new place. I celebrate your successes and your determination. I do know how much work is involved in tending a veggie garden. The strawberries look scrumptious!


  13. Hmm, I wonder if we could start growing fruit/veggies in pots and then transfer outside. We still have freezing temps at night and clumps of snow in shady areas. Your garden looks delightful, and I’m especially fond of the glistening strawberries in the bowl. Nice shot!


  14. Hey Pip, your garden looks wonderful! The radishes are nice and “unholy”, I always have to pull mine quick before the critters get into ’em. And I’m envious of your strawberries – mine aren’t even blooming yet! Love the corks, it’s a wonder I still have two eyes left given the number of times I’ve almost poked them out bending over my plants. Mind if I steal that idea?


    1. Hi JC glad you like the idea of the corks…it’s also good excuse to buy the wine! Some of the strawberry plants have come on very quickly giving us an early crop. They were only planted this year in Feb…so I am surprised we had even that much furit this year πŸ™‚
      Radish…the soil is all new this year so pretty bug free when they went in…
      No doubt they will arrive in droves once they discover a new source of food!


  15. Hi PiP, your garden is looking GREAT! You and the Mr. will be enjoying the fruits and veggies of your labors for months to come. The Mr. and I harvested our first batch of pattypan squash today. It was delicious!


    1. Hi Jeanne, this is the first year I’ve grown squash…a friend in central Portugal sent me the seeds…4 germinated so we will see πŸ™‚
      Not sure what pattypan squash is…hope you add something to your blog. If you already have appologies as I’m running a long way behined this week 😦


  16. Looks fantastic, PiP! Have you ever tried battering and frying the zucchini flowers? I remember people doing that when I lived in Italy a LOOOONG time ago. The strawberries look great!


    1. Hi Carlaat
      I was watching a cookery program last week and they were demonstrating how to cook the flowers…it would certainly make an interesting foodie Friday and something a little different!
      for the suggestion πŸ™‚


  17. Our garden always had tomatoes and peppers. Also, grew squash, lettuce, basil and mint most years.

    My first gardening . . . radishes! Loved that they bore fruit so early in the year.

    Your garden looks awesome! Happy Harvesting.


  18. Hey PiP! Wow…You are quite the green thumb! Wish I had the yard! All we have for yard, is pavement! I love seeing everybody elses flowers growing! I’m glad you’re able to enjoy gardening! Best of luck!


  19. Ah PiP – a girl after my own heart! I loved this post, very interesting. I love gardening (as you may have gathered) and am also trying to grow one or two things in my greenhouse. So far I’ve got tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, raddish, mangetout, galia melon and spring onion. I’m a little late sowing one or two things and want to do a few more but I’ll see how it goes.
    I did courgettes before and was successful without the bees, don’t know how/why, I’m no expert. I think it may have something to do with removing the flower so the energy goes into growing the veg – did you know the flower is edible?
    My step-dad gave me the melon plant at weekend and said I have to pollenate it myself using a cotton bud when it flowers – think I’ll be giving him a call to do the sex bit, I don’t want to botch it!
    Good luck and please keep posting updates.


    1. Hi nuggetsandpearls,
      I look forward to hearing your progress re sexing your galia melons!
      I have not heard about removing the flowers…that’s an interesting point and one not previously suggested. I will have to experiment and see if it makes a difference! Thanks…
      I’ve always wanted to try and grow mangetout I will have to have a go next year πŸ™‚


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