SoS: Seeds – Success or Failure?

Where do the weeks go? We desperately need rain but despite the forecast showing a shower or two, we have only been gifted 1cm since last Sunday. If it does not rain soon, we have already been warned there will be a shortage of water in the Western Algarve.

Sitting in the garden eating breakfast while listening to the birds chirping I was startled when a large fox emerged from behind the olive bush just two feet away. He stared at me for a few seconds until my self-defense mechanism kicked it and I roared at him. I am not sure who was more surprised, the fox or me. Yep, he was cute, but I was not sure if he was going to attack me and I was taking no chances.

1. Rust on Green Bean Leaves

Our baby French bean plants ( planted from seed) have once again developed rust on the leaves. The first time this happened (a couple of weeks ago) OH removed all affected leaves and disposed of them. Apparently, rust is an airborne virus and spreads quickly. Now it’s happened again, I now wonder if I should cut my losses and just dispose of the plants and remove the top layer of soil? Is rust treatable?

Rust on leaves
Rust on leaves

2. Growing Salad Spinach in a Container

From seed to plate in less than twenty days! Amazing! I had no idea spinach grew so quickly!

Growing Spinach in Containers
Growing Spinach in Containers

3. Iceberg Lettuce

While you can buy iceberg lettuce in the supermarkets you can’t buy the seeds. Luckily a friend had some spare seeds she’d brought back from the UK and shared some of hers. These were planted on the 13th of March. I am rather disappointed only three have germinated so hopefully, I will have better luck with the next batch.

Iceberg Lettuce Seedlings
Iceberg Lettuce Seedlings

4.  Gumbo (Okra)

When a friend offered to share some Gumbo seeds with me, I naturally said: Yes, please. Which surprised me considering Gumbo, also known as Okra, has never appeared on my food radar. Now the seeds have germinated and beginning to show promise, I consulted Wiki

Leaves and seeds
Pods are cooked, pickled, eaten raw, or included in salads.

Young okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions.[15] The leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee.

Also known as Lady’s Finger has many Health Benefits

5. Nasturtiums (Indian Cress)

I decided to grow nasturtiums after a morning’s workshop at Ceratonia herbal gardens. I was fascinated by the fact nasturtium flowers can be added to salads as a colorful, edible decoration. I have since been advised the leaves are also edible.

Nasturtium flowers in Salads
Nasturtium flowers in Salads

I planted two varieties: Tropaeolum Majus which is a climber and Tropaeolum Minus which is a bush. We will see.

Nasturtium Seedlings
Nasturtium Seedlings

I will be planting these in the garden tomorrow.

5. Radish

Radish Seedlings
Radish Seedlings

The radish seedlings planted on the 12th of March are slowly appearing. Note to self: I need to plant a new batch once a fortnight through the summer to ensure continuity of supply.

6. Basil Vilmorin Italiano

I planted the seeds on the 27th of February. Are they a little ‘leggy’ or is it just my imagination? Do they also need further thinning? Not much of a result for a month’s growth.

Basil Vilmorin Italiano
Basil Vilmorin Italiano

That’s it for this week. Please check The Propagator’s blog to catch up on the progress of other gardeners.

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29 thoughts on “SoS: Seeds – Success or Failure?

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  1. That Spinach is inspiring! I must find a pot and get some in pronto! I love edible flowers. We use Nasturtiums a lot in salads, sweet and savoury, to decorate cakes and other dishes. The leaves are peppery and lovely in a salad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am inspired by the spinach and am already preparing another pot to plant the next batch of seeds. I am delighted to discover Nasturtiums; pretty flowers to decorate the garden AND a feast as well. I have also ordered some pot marigold seeds. The petals are another colourful addition for salads. Have you tried them?

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  2. For beans, you’re right … you had to cut the leaves and burn them. Apply organic antifungal therapy (sulfur based) or spray horsetail or nettle manure.
    I’m happy with your spinach! Big success ! Still a few days (weeks?) and you will be able to cut leaves to eat them.
    Last thing about okra, I have never tried to grow them and I will certainly follow your try (I ate some a few years ago but just the pods .. interesting that the leaves and seeds could also be eaten).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tip re sulfur, Fred. I’ve posted to a Portugal gardening group to see if it’s available here.
      Yes, I am doing a happy dance at the success of the spinach and I’m already picking the baby outside leaves for salads. (as I do with lettuce). Hopefully, at least one of the five okra plants will survive.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was the same, Lulu. But somehow I was inspired to grow some plants from seed by other SoS bloggers. I like instant plants so waiting 2/3 weeks for just two leaves to make an appearance has taken a lot of patience! 🙂

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  3. I’m a little envious of your success with seed PiP as I had no luck at all last year. Planted nasturtiums which should be the easiest thing to grow, and which I know self seed when they get going, and not one thrived. Grrr! There is so much more choice in seed packets, so it’s a shame. I hope you get some rain soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Jane. I’m not sure it’s a success until they flower. I was looking at mature instant plants today and realised these all have a long way to go. We have had some rain since Sat, but not enough to make a real difference.

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  4. I hope you have rain soon. I’ve not grown spinach for a few years now. I used to grow it in pots. I really should do some this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I found that spinach and winter salad leaves grow well here over the winter. I might try using a crate or two to do that this year. Any other seed growing on my part has been a failure with the exception of kale and radishes! But if I can buy some small plants at the nursery this week I will grow lettuce again. Anything too small gets eaten and not by me!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That rust is completely unfamiliar to me. It lacks the orange pustules that rust sporulates from. To me, it looks like the young foliage was too exposed, or in a spot where sunlight was reflected from a light colored surface or window, and amplified the glare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tony, I was told it was rust. However, if you think not, maybe I’ll plant some more seeds and try again. 🙂 I’m not one to give up without a fight.

      All my other plants are fine.. cucumber, peas, lettuce, rocket etc. It’s so hard trying to keep on top of all these different issues. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rust produces those distinctive rusty pustules that this foliage lacks. It could be a leaf blight, like cercospora, but even blights should be more spotty. This looks like an environmental issue rather than a disease. If it is a disease, it would not bother the other vegetables that are not related to beans, but could affect peas.

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