It’s now September and here’s me wittering on about my garden activities in July. I’m so far behind with this year’s “Vegetable Diary” I was almost tempted to abandon the idea. However, as I have all the notes and photographic evidence I thought it would still prove useful to other Algarve gardeners and a reminder of my successes and failures for next July.
I harvested the red onions in mid July, so apart from the Galega cabbage, two white cabbage, a few lettuce and a self-seeded squash plant, which was growing, and is still growing like a triffid, the plot was empty. Rather than replant with peppers and salad I decided to plant these in pots to conserve water – extreme heat makes for thirsty vegetables! Another point for consideration was the cost of water as it is charged by the cubic meter. Once you exceed a certain level of usage, water is almost as expensive as wine!
The red onions, I planted in December, were a great success. This year I will plant more onions – reds because they are expensive to buy in the shops, and normal onions because we will grow enough for Mr Piglet’s pickled and spring onions.
Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Containers
Growing squash in pots
The self-seed squash plants continued to thrive and much to my surprised produced a couple of squash. I fed with liquid fertiliser once every two weeks and kept well watered.
Growing melons in pots
Growing melons in a large pot (or in this case a plastic paint pot) was purely experimental. They adapted well, and while several flowers failed to fruit at least I had two fairly good specimens to prove it can be done. I fed the plants fortnightly with liquid MiracleGro and kept the plants well watered. I think these were planted as plugs in late May.
Growing Tomatoes in Pots
The cherry tomatoes were once again extremely successful. I did not attempt to stake the plants and instead just let them trail so they were more compact. I fed approximately every two weeks with liquid fertilizer and kept them well watered (not drowned). I tried other varieties such as beef and plum tomatoes but these needed stakes which proved difficult in pots. Next year, I, or should I say Mr Piglet, will create a trellis area so I can grow other varieties.
Aubergines growing in pots
I planted two aubergine plants in February. One in the raised bed and the other in a pot. The latter survived while the former disappeared without trace (zombie snails)
They grow well in pots that’s Aubergines not snails, albeit a little slowly. I fed approximately every two weeks with MiracleGro liquid fertilizer.
Peppers grow well in pots
The orange pepper plant pictured below was planted as a seedling plug at the end of May. I also grew green peppers planted the end of February, and red peppers planted from April onwards. I staggered the planting dates to avoid a glut of peppers and the dreaded ‘feast then famine’.
Once the first flowers had set I fed approximately every two weeks with MiracleGro liquid fertilizer. I kept the soil moist but not wet.
Growing blackberry plants in pots
The blackberry plant continued to bear fruit but for some reason they seemed to take a long time to ripen.
As I know very little about growing blackberries I conducted some research and discovered this brilliant website: www.almanac.com
If your plant is suffering from the blackberry disease known as Raspberry Bushy Dwarf virus, the leaves will be have some bright yellow on them, and the leaves of the fruiting vanes may have a bleached look in the summer. The disease known as Blackberry Calico will cause faint yellow sublotches on the leaves of the plant.
I’ve quoted the above from the site, because as sure as God made little apples my blackberry plant is sure to get one of the above.
The website states blackberries need full sun and sandy soil. As luck would have it I can tick both of those boxes. diseases? It is early days but as they say “forewarned is forearmed”.
What else grew in Piglet’s plot during July?
Strawberries, cucumbers and rocket. The orange tree still had two oranges which should be ready by Christmas. The lime tree had one lime, the fig trees had no leaves and there was a partridge in our nespra tree (just kidding).
Temperatures ranged from 17C to 30+C
Pests and diseases: Snails and caterpillars.
There was very little white mould despite the high humidity.