This year I’m keeping a photographic diary of my humble vegetable garden. In theory, if I take photographs on the 19th of each month they will offer a direct comparison as to what’s growing when, where and how well. The purpose of the exercise is to provide a record for next year so I can learn from my successes and, hopefully my not too many failures.
Weeks of nigh on continuous rain has resulted in my broad beans developing rust. Apparently rust is an airborne fungal infection.
Useful tip from The Greening of Gavin
You can spray the fungus with a 1 part milk to 10 parts water mix which also works on powdery mildew on any of the cucurbit family (zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin, squash).
I hope he does not mind me quoting his words, but I thought the tip was worth sharing. Unfortunately, I ignored the signs and lost my remaining crop. A valuable lesson learned for next year!
Thankfully, I did manage to harvest several kilos of favas (broad beans) before I removed the infected crop. Check out my delicious Salada da Favas.
The onions, planted in mid November continue to thrive.
Much to the delight of the snails and slugs the french bean seeds, planted on the 13th March, are peeping through the soil . In desperation I did scatter some organic slug pellets. (Piglet hangs her head in shame). However, an army of ants removed them in the dead of night.
This year I only planted four red cabbages. Last year I planted twelve which was far too many.
Nespra (loquat) tree
Our nespra (loquat) tree is now 6 years old and this is the first year we’ve had an abundance of fruit. In fact, I’ve even made some nespra and onion chutney. Researching loquats on Wiki I discovered they are high in Pectin. I think I will freeze some and then add to my strawberry jam.
The loquat has a high sugar, acid, and pectin content. It is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads or fruit cups. The fruits are also commonly used to make jam, jelly, and chutney, and are often served poached in light syrup. Firm, slightly immature fruits are best for making pies or tarts.
Last year we had blossom, then tiny oranges however, they withered and died for no apparent reason.
This year fingers are firmly crossed the oranges will set and we will be eating our own home-grown oranges by Christmas.
Fruit trees growing in containerS
I now have three peach trees growing in pots which were all looking healthy until two developed a strange disfiguration to the leaves.
growing Fruit and Vegetables in containers
This is the sole surviving green pepper from the plugs I planted back in February. It’s a tenacious little soul…
The pot is a recycled plastic paint container.
My strawberry plants just started to yield a bumper crop and we went away for two weeks. Sigh… Still there were still plenty when we returned. They are so sweet and far more flavoursom than the forced strawberries we used to uy in the supermarkets.
I’ve never grown raspberries before, not even in the UK so not quite sure the best way to care for them. I have three growing in pots and another three in the ground. All are doing well, so fingers crossed.
Baby Leaf Salad
I only planted these on the 13th March! Have you noticed the container in which they are planted? This is definitely pushing the meaning of “salad bowl” to the limits.
Cucumbers in pots
I inherited these baby cucumber plugs from a friend who mistakenly bought them for zucchini. The plastic collars (made from water bottles) will hopefully deter the snails. However, the snails and slugs in our garden all possess Olympic gold medals, so I doubt it
Aubergine plant growing in pot
I bought two aubergine plugs back in February. One I planted in a pot, the other in the ground. My intention was to make a direct comparison, month by month. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the other photo. If I had a brain I’d be dangerous.
This pot was originally home to cucumber plants which fell victim one night to snails on a recki mission. Then about a week later, three seedlings appeared from nowhere. I called them a gift from God, because was I cursing those wretched snails. I don’t know what these are – maybe melons?
20/3 Harvested first crop of broad beans planted from seed on the 24/10
1/4 I bought another fig tree (green fig)
1/4 planted 12 perpetual spinach and 4 cucumbers
Weather in April
Cold and wet!