Here we are hurtling towards the end of October enjoying the sun when autumn arrived quite suddenly. One minute we are swimming in the sea and enjoying temperatures of 25C while the cloudless blue sky suggested not a hint of rain and then it turned cold and wet…
I should have known better, our wedding anniversary was looming and it ALWAYS rains around that time. True to form ominous clouds gathered in a slate-grey sky and obliterated the sun. Howling winds alerted us just in time to batten down the hatches in preperation for the onslaught of rain which continued for two days and counting. When it rains in Portugal it rains! And as I write this it is still raining…
As the summer season ends and we move into autumn I dug up all the tomatoes growing in pots and in my raised vegetable area. There’s not much growing in Piglet’s Plot at the moment (as you can see from the pictures below) until I visit the market and buy whatever vegetable seed plugs are in season. I really want to plant some broad beans! (Favas)
At the end of September I bought two Couve Galega plugs (cabbage) from the market. The stallholder assured me this is the type of cabbage the Portuguese use for Caldo Verde (Cabbage soup).
Time will tell! They should grow really tall just like the ones pictured below.
Container grown fruit and vegetables
The experiment to grow potatoes in pots (prompted by a friend) proved to be a great success. I returned the pots on loan and found other suitable containers. Namely a potato bag designed for growing potatoes as pictured below and an abandoned and now re homed plastic paint tub. This is the true meaning of recycling!
I’m attempting to grow sweet potatoes. I planted these in large containers on the 18th September and so far so good, However, again time will tell. They weren’t seed potatoes but ones I rooted myself.
The lettuce plugs planted at the end of August are growing slowly, but at least they are still growing! The container is an old bowl which I drilled holes in for the drainage. It is perfect!
The cucumbers plugs planted at the end of August much to my surprise are growing well. Baby cucumber plants and parsley have self-seeded and are growing in the raised vegetable area.I always enjoy free plants – makes up for the ones the bugs eat! To help prevent white mould I’ve regularly sprayed the cucumber leaves with a solution of half milk and half water. Strange, but it seems to work.
Earlier this month I gave all my strawberry containers a good clean up. I cleared out all the dead leaves, potted up runners and gave all the plants a good feed. Two weeks later strawberries are beginning to appear!
Unfortuntely, some of the plants had mealybugs so I destroyed the infested plants and sterilised the containers. To be honest the old plants have produced so many runners I now have plenty of young strawberry plants. I never win the mealybug battle no matter what deterrents I use.
Mr. Piglet very kindly constructed a simple frame for my tayberry and blackberry plants which I’m growing in very large containers. It is in a nice sheltered location in full sun. I can even put a net over the plants once they start to fruit to protect the fruit from the birds!
Until next month!
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables – September
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