August passed with a blink of an eye and before I realised, it was September. Unfortunately, I failed in my personal challenge to record my “August” gardening “ups and downs” along with photographic evidence. Fortunately I made some notes, which I’ve recorded below, but photographs are like hen’s teeth (non-existent)
A bug called citrus leaf miner attacked my lemon and lime trees so I attempted to treat with a spray consisting of
100ml (2 cups) of vegetable oil
25ml (1/2 cup) of washing up liquid
I then added 1 tablespoon of the above concoction to one litre of water and sprayed all the leaves once a week for four weeks.
The concoction proved unsuccessful and the leaf miner still rules supreme!
In fact, my garden is proving to be a real haven for all types of bugs and diseases and treating them is like trying to climb a greasy pole. Attempting to grow my own fruit and vegetables in containers and in my little raised vegetable area is proving to be quite a challenge and battle of wills. Thank goodness for my tenacious spirit!
The lettuce and corn salad seeds, planted in early August, despite my devoted attention to their needs failed to germinate. Bah humbug! Eventually I conceded defeat and purchased some lettuce plugs from the local market. My other purchases included a couple of sage plugs and cucmbers for 10cents each, and dare I say one zucchini. The stallholder laughed at my requests and I responded a Portuguese shrug and a smile. The poor guy has long since given up hope of selling me the normal minimum quantity of ten plants per variety.
On a positive note, my successes in August included: one orange and several red peppers, french beans, cucumbers, lettuce, cherry and plum tomatoes, chili peppers, lemons and some strawberries.
August merged seamlessly into September, the drought continued and the bugs, despite my best efforts continued to thrive and multiply.
The latest visitor to take up residence bored its way into several of the tomatoes, growing in pots. Once discovered I quickly disposed of these and then wished I’d cut open one of the tomatoes to discover who had moved in. I’m still none the wiser as to their identity – any clues please?
The cherry tomatoes, both in pots and in the raised bed yielded an abundance of sweet ripe tomatoes. However, the variety (breed unknown) shown here, just refused to ripen. I even placed banana skins close by, to encourage the ripening process. Well that was a waste of time as the banana skins eventually shrivelled to nothing and my tomatoes were still a yellowy-green. Patience is not always my strong point so I picked several pounds of the greenest tomatoes and made green tomato chutney. If it’s successful I will share the recipe at a later date.
On impulse I bought a packet of seeds labelled something like “mixed salad leaves” Yay! these did germinate and resulted in an interesting, if not strange tasting assortment of salad leaves to go with the lettuce.
The first crop of aubergines from the plugs I planted on the 16th of June are now ready for harvesting.
A quick snapshot of my raised veg garden below reminds me the parsley which self seeded survived the summer and continues to grow well. Why do seeds grow best where they self-seed?
The leeks planted in June have struggled for survival during the hot dry summer months. They’ve survived but they resemble oversized spring onions rather than leeks.
My strawberry supply ceased in early September and the established plants sent out runners which I potted up while they were still attached to the mother plant.
I planted potatoes in pots on the 24th of June and we harvested the first pot (enough for two servings) beginning of September. I felt really pleased with myself until I discovered that you should not plant potatoes and tomatoes near each other because they are both prone to blight. I later identified one of my potato plants had blight, which in turn spread to several of my tomato plants which then had to be destroyed.
I have a couple of pots of cucumbers and apart from battling with Downy Mildew or Anthracnose the cucumbers are delicious! Blogger, Growing Up in the Garden , suggested keeping downy mildew at bay with a 50/50 milk/water solution. Use a spray bottle to apply solution to the leaves, removing those that are too far gone. So far so good and it has definately helped.
I also planted a couple of baby cucumber plants in the hope I can continue to grow my own cucumbers in a sheltered position during the winter; we will see!
Overall considering August and September were so dry and hot they proved quite productive. However, next year I will not grow orange peppers as they take far too long to fruit and then turn orange.
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in July
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Containers – July
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Pots – June
Problem Cucumbers – Is it Anthracnose, Downy Mildew or…?
Garden Diary: Container Gardening – Cochonilhas or Mealybugs?
How did I kill my tomato plants?
Global Warming and Zucchini
Growing fruit and vegetable in December