You certainly reap what you sow!
I’ve devoted hours tending my vegetable garden this month and I’m now reaping the benefits with an abundant crop of tomatoes, lettuce, radish, carrots, peppers, red cabbage and French green beans. The crops are fed at regular intervals with the MiracleGro kindly donated by a friend. However, I can’t seem to order this online for delivery to Portugal, nor can I seem to source from any of the garden centres or co ops.
The parsley is a bonus – it self-seeded!
The leeks planted at the end of May continue to thrive. However, because they were given to me as seedlings I planted more than needed so I hope they are not all ready for harvesting at the same time. The last batch I grew were left in the ground far to long and were woody and inedible. Mental note: next time, make some leek soup!
I am still struggling to eat the few remaining cabbages, both red and green. I’d love to freeze them, but our freezer is just too small! When we were away last year we had a power cut which tripped the electric and we lost all the contents of our freezer. “Fine, no problem”, we thought, until we discovered the insurance company refused to pay out for the spoiled food!
The green beans planted from seed on the 3/6 are now ready for harvesting…lots of beans! We not only eat them as a standard vegetable but are also one of the key ingredients in one of my favourite salads – Piglet’s Portuguese Salad
I transplanted several of the red and orange peppers growing in pots to the raised bed. The pots were unfortunatly not big enough and the plants were suffering. I also repotted the remaining plants to larger pots in order to continue my container gardening experiment.
The first fruit from the cordon plum tomatoes, planted as plugs at the beginning of May, are now finally turning red. I’m surprised at the length of time they’ve taken to ripen. The little cherry tomatoes, which are growing in pots, produced fruit and ripened quickly, so “cherries” seem a great option to kick-off the salad season.
The two aubergine plugs purchased from our local agricultural shop and planted on the 16/6 are growing well and are now covered in flowers. Looks like I may have a bumper crop of Aubergines. Thank goodness I only bought two plants!
I now need to grow a few more from seed or buy more plants. The little agricultural shop has now stopped selling plants through the heat of the summer months. I tried buying more lettuce plugs at the beginning of July, but now luck.
Unable to buy lettuce from our local shop I tried growing some from seed – would they germinate, not on your life! Faced with the prospect of paying inflated prices during the summer for lettuce, I managed to find plugs from a car boot sale. I could not believe my luck when I spotted a whole stall devoted to selling baby veg plants!
I only bought eight (four rosso and four green) However, in hindsight I wish I’d bought more as I’m now left with only one green and two rosso. Despite watering and planting late evening the tender baby lettuce have not fared well in the glare of the hot sun.
Note for next year: Plant baby lettuce in a more shaded place during the summer months.
The baby oranges on my solitary orange tree turned black, shrivelled and died. Some of the leaves are now infested with an insect that burrows its way through the leaf layers. I initially removed the affected leaves, but this did not resolve the problem as more appeared. I’m going to try one of the green pest deterrent potions suggested by Sami and Joan. Any idea what this insect is?
Food From Seed
Joan’s black carrots seeds planted on the 5/6 have exceeded my expectations and are almost ready for harvesting. I’ve never eaten black carrots before so it will be an interesting experience. In fact, I’ve never seen a black carrot!
I continue to plant radish seeds at regular intervals to guarantee an ongoing supply. Rather than plant in regimented rows I now group in squares which works really well and conserves space.
Despite my best efforts I’m unable to persuade my lettuce seeds to germinate and resorted to buying more lettuce plugs from the market…
Green Beans (Contender)
Planted 3/6 and in just six weeks I have a bumper crop of beans.
30/7 Planted several seeds in a large pot as I need to rest an area of soil in the raised garden for a crop of broad beans which I will plant in October.
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in June
How did I kill my tomato plants?
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in April
April: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Pots
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in March
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in February
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in January
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in December