Garden Diary: Carrots, Courgettes and Cucumbers – Tomatoes and Runner Beans

It’s been a long week and as I watch the cases of COVID-19 rise across the Algarve, I’ve now accepted we are likely to remain in lockdown until the end of the summer. To help me stay focussed I have moved from panic into survival mode and have decided that instead of growing the usual bedding plants this summer, I will focus on growing salad crops making use of every square foot of our garden.

From having no rain, the plants in the raised vegetable area, pots and containers are now drowning and showing the early signs of distress. Yes, there is adequate drainage under normal conditions but the deluge of rain we have had over the last couple of days and is forecast next week, we may have a problem and need to devise a way to cover the strawberry bed and as many containers as possible.

1. Cold Frames

I am still using the cold frame to protect my newly planted seeds as we have had a couple of nights where the temperatures have dropped to single figures. The protection should also help the seeds germinate and keep the seeds safe from inquisitive birds.

Curly parsley: Planted Feb 12th have not germinated. This is the third time of trying so I can only conclude this is a bad batch of seeds.
Basil: Planted Feb 12th are poking through the soil.
Lettuce: Planted March 17th have surfaced but they look rather spindly to me.
Cabbage: Planted March 18th have yet to make an appearance.
Onions: Planted March 20th are already about an inch tall and are doing well. These should be ready to pot on in about two weeks.
Pot Marigold: Planted March 21st. I am growing these as ‘apparently’ they deter whitefly from carrots.

Seeds planted directly in containers:
Spinach and Rocket: 16th March
Radish: 21st March – two leaves already above the soil

Seed cold frame
Seed cold frame

This area is to protect seedlings in progress once they have been thinned out and potted on. Hopefully, the tomato and cucumber plants will find new homes at the front of the house. I just need to persuade my Gnome to move some pots.

Seedlings in progress
Seedlings in progress

2. Growing Runner beans in Pots

the experiment to grow runner beans in large tubs has mixed results. The leaves are turning yellow but the veins remain green. Apparently, this is an iron deficiency so I have fed the beans some iron granules. The other problem is the fact we have had so many heavy showers over the last couple of days the pots are waterlogged. We will see. A couple of flowers are already beginning to appear.

Runner beans growing in a pot
Runner beans growing in a pot

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Leaves turning yellow with green veins
Leaves turning yellow with green veins

3. Courgettes

I planted these out on the 9th of February. I’m excited as all three plants are producing courgettes. I am just waiting for my courgette seeds to arrive.

 

baby courgettes
baby courgettes

4. Carrots

I’ve not grown carrots for years so I am delighted with their progress so far. These were planted on the 23rd February.

carrots
carrots

5. Cherry Tomatoes

The Cherry tomatoes I bought as matured seed plugs from the market at the end of January are now starting to crop.

First cherry tomato
First cherry tomato

6. Cucumbers

The mature cucumber seed plugs I purchasedat the end of January and planted out in Feb are off to a promising start. I wonder how long it will be before these baby cucumbers will be big enough to eat.

 

Baby cucumbers
baby cucumbers

That’s it for this week, folks. To read more garden updates check out the Propagator’s blog.

On a sombre note, my heart goes out to all the garden centres and nurseries who have had to close due to the COVID-19 lockdown. I just hope they manage to survive.

 

 

11 thoughts on “Garden Diary: Carrots, Courgettes and Cucumbers – Tomatoes and Runner Beans

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  1. Looking very productive. For the same reasons we are contemplating digging up some of our lawn to supplement the veg growing we do in the veg boxes at the back. I’ll let you know how we get on. Good luck with all of yours. 🙂

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  2. Good job. I started my veg garden as a hobby. Now, like you, I’m finding it to be essential. Yours looks pretty good. You’re a few weeks ahead of us, being farther south. Nice to see what I have to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the several reasons I dislike growing vegetables in containers, particularly black vinyl containers, is that they are not well insulated if they are exposed to sunlight later in summer. Black vinyl can get uncomfortably warm for the roots within. I doubt that it is problem for your runner beans while the weather is still cool this early, especially since the leaves are not stunted, but it is something to consider. If lower foliage gets fluffy enough to shade the container before the weather gets warm in summer, it will not likely ever be a problem. Otherwise, you can just group other potted vegetables around them. I actually piled a few stones around some of my potted perennials, just because the foliage shaded only the upper portion of the plastic containers. Anyway, as I was saying, the lack of stunting really does indicate a nutrient deficiency, likely iron. Disruption of root dispersion (from uncomfortably warm medium) would cause foliage to be somewhat stunted.

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  4. One of the several reasons I dislike growing vegetables in containers, particularly black vinyl containers, is that they are not well insulated if they are exposed to sunlight later in summer. Black vinyl can get uncomfortably warm for the roots within. I doubt that it is problem for your runner beans while the weather is still cool this early, especially since the leaves are not stunted, but it is something to consider. If lower foliage gets fluffy enough to shade the container before the weather gets warm in summer, it will not likely ever be a problem. Otherwise, you can just group other potted vegetables around them. I actually piled a few stones around some of my potted perennials, just because the foliage shaded only the upper portion of the plastic containers. Anyway, as I was saying, the lack of stunting really does indicate a nutrient deficiency, likely iron. Disruption of root dispersion (from uncomfortably warm medium) would cause foliage to be somewhat stunted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tony. The weather is not too hot here at the moment. About 15-22C during the day. I take your point about the roots heating up in the black plastic so I will try and shade these as we move into the warmer weather. I’ve fed the beans some ron supplement so we will see if it works. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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