Garden Diary: 15th August – Growing Vegetables Ups and Downs

My Six on Saturday this week is another mixed bag of the joys of growing vegetables.

We still have not had rain (apart from mizzle and sea mist) and I confess this is a cause for concern as I read unless we have rain soon there will not be enough water to see the Algarve through the winter.

I don’t understand why but my vegetables always seem to give up the will to live in August. Their demise starts in July and it’s downhill from there. Whether it’s the challenges of high humidity which brings grey and white mold and an assortment of other challenges, I’m not sure. Maybe the compost I use does not have enough nutrients to see the plants through the growing season, I don’t feed or water enough or too much, I don’t know. Sometimes I am tempted to give in and use the area to keep chickens instead.

1. Raised Vegetable Area

The raised vegetable area is looking rather forlorn. All that remains are the three courgettes that continue to produce the occasional courgette that lives beyond 3 inches long before falling victim to end rot. The leaves continue to develop mold on both sides of the leaves so I now just remove them. Carrots planted earlier in the year continue to yield but the second crop of carrots the resident blackbird found his way under the crate and dug most of them up along with the baby leeks. There are also a few aubergine plants which have only yielded two aubergines so far and some baby melon and squash plants.

Raised Vegetable garden - August 2020
Raised Vegetable garden – August 2020

I really need to find the motivation to feed the soil with some blood, fish and bone meal fertilizer. I could not survive without nutrients so why should I expect anything different from my plants.


2. California Wonder Capsicum – Peppers

The peppers I grew from seed (California Wonder) are now producing peppers. Unfortunately, many developed strange black marks (no picture, unfortunately) and had to be discarded. Fingers crossed these don’t go the same way. I have five pots like this and all seemed to be doing reasonably well. Fingers crossed the black was just a blip.

California Wonder Capsicum - Peppers
California Wonder Capsicum – Peppers

3. Melons Growing in Pots

Melons-growing in pots
Melons-growing in pots

I have a couple of green melons plants (variety unknown) but unfortunately, both suffer from this strange yellowing on the forming fruit. I am unsure if it is due to resting on the gravel. They are still too small to pick (about the size of my hand) so it will be interesting to see if the fruit inside is affected.

Green melon
Green melon

My Galia F1 melons are now the size of a tennis ball. I am optimistic!

Galia F1 melon growing in a pot
Galia F1 melon growing in a pot

4. Why do my Squash plants only have male flowers?

Squash Male Flowers
Squash Male Flowers

5. Growing Tumeric in a Pot

Once the Tumeric sprouted I planted in a wide container

Turmeric rhizome
Turmeric rhizome

and covered with a crate not only to stop the rogue blackbird digging it up as he scratched around for insects but to give it shade from the midday sun.

tumeric growing in pot - new growth
turmeric growing in pot – new growth

The Tumeric rhizomes planted in July are now beginning to sprout new growth. It seems to be a delicate balance of giving the plant enough water but not too much so that the soil becomes waterlogged which causes the rhizomes to rot.

6. Herb Garden

I think the herbs I transplanted to another area of the garden to make room for my new strawberry bed back in February are trying to send me a message – they are NOT happy! The sage, chives, and marjoram have died and the thyme and another misc herb are dying. Even the mint that is growing in a crate for years is showing its displeasure.

herb garden
herb garden

That’s by Six for this Saturday. To read more tales of woe and joy, pop over to Mr, P’s blog to check out other gardening blogs from around the world.

Related Post: Growing Vegetables in Containers

40 thoughts on “Garden Diary: 15th August – Growing Vegetables Ups and Downs

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  1. I was already following you, but your blog implied not… Very strange.

    Anyway, I hear you!! In comparison to you I am such an amateur gardener, really. But I had some similar issues. This year we planted lots of vegetables in the garden and at first everything grew like I had the best green thumbs ever. It really was very exciting. But then lots of things went wrong. Like one vegetable turned out to be rapeseed rather than the seed I had purchased. OK, that was obviously a packaging mistake. The spring onions are still really thin, and not growing any wider. The cauliflower went kind of mouldy before it was anywhere near fully grown. Some lettuce shot rather grew out the way. The kohlrabi: only one plant looks to be attempting an actual kohlrabi and it’s still not fully formed. Some carrots were ok, but some were tiny. I couldn’t get the rocket to grow at all, even though I normally have difficulty getting under control normally.The long white radishes was stumpy and woody. The coriander, radishes, some of the lettuce, broccoli, peas, parsley, basil etc were all a great success. But my cucumber didn’t amount to anything, nor did my melon.
    I’ll try again next year.


  2. most years i think the veg is just not worth the bother, there are some many things stacked against doing it well, it seems. still, i seem to come back for more every year, although I left it late this year, only just getting a bean crop now.


  3. Oh, dear, this all sounds very disheartening. Sorry I can’t help. I abandoned growing veggies after my first year, too much got eaten by the S&S. I now just grow tomatoes and chilies inside the conservatory, but I might add sweet peppers and aubergines next year. Funny about the herbs though, I would have thought they were one thing that would grow well in the Algarve. Saying that my rosemary died without warning, and last year I couldn’t even grow mint! Sigh… a gardener’s lot heh? Chickens sound like a very good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Gnome keeps telling me our veg (the ones that survive) are gold plated and keeps asking me WHY we don’t just go to the supermarket. I’ve not got a clue why my herb plants keep dying. Too much water, not enough …I think I’m going to try a different method. I always struggle with mint. It grows under the gravel but it won’t grow where I want it to.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘California Wonder’ seems like a silly name. I know it must do well farther inland, but does not do well near the coast here. Even if it gets warm enough during the day, it cools off nicely at night, which these peppers do not like. We sometimes grow them, but do not get many fruits from them. Were the black spot rotten? They can get dark streaks on them. I never thought of that as a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, I live in Idaho, and my Mexican friends nextdoor grew jalapeños last year and moved out. She told me to go pick everything that was ready, well I waited a few days (no water) some of them turned black, however they were still hard not mushy, and still very hot. I was told that some 🌶 will do that if not watered enough. Also…what is a summer squash…and how do I get turmeric like that?? I’ve only seen it in powder form here. Thanks again for all your help and wisdom everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jalepenos can be green, black or red, but are milder when red. I do not grow them because I dislike their texture and ‘unripe’ flavor while green. However, they are a nicely reliable variety, and perform reasonably well in our mild climate.
        Summer squash are those that start producing early, and continue to produce all through summer, and perhaps until frost. Zucchini, yellow crookneck and patty pan are popular summer squash. They are harvested while juvenile, before they mature. Winter squash grow all through summer, but take their time to mature for autumn. Plants produce only a few fruits, or only a single fruit, but their fruit is big, such as pumpkins and butternut squash. Their fruits are less perishable than summer squash, and can be stored for quite a long time.
        Turmeric rhizomes might be available online, like ginger rhizomes.


  5. The female flowers of squash and courgette appear with a temperature range and after a good rain. I also only had males when it was the heat wave and now with cooler air and rain the females have arrived.
    Nice melons! My watermelon is growing quietly and assuredly

    Liked by 3 people

      1. For winter squash, it is not a problem. The female flowers develop in time for the fruit to get started early. If they appeared during warm weather in the middle of summer, they would not have enough time to mature before autumn. Summer squash may take a break during the least hospitable weather, but should resume afterward. It would only be a problem if the weather is too warm for too long.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. For winter squash, that is not bad, especially if the squash are big. Pumpkin vines should produce only a single pumpkin each, or maybe two smaller pumpkins. Acorn squash might produce three or four, but not many. I grow several vines, and allow them to creep along in the same area, and overlap each other.

            Liked by 2 people

              1. The vines can continue to go and develop more foliage to sustain the developing fruits. They may not try to make more fruits that what they can sustain. However, some people prefer to remove surplus fruits if there are too many, or if they are trying to grow bigger fruits, such as pumpkins.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. I now buy the macerated horse poo in bags from our local garden centre 🙂 The raw horse poo I collected from the fields had lots of white grubs in them which I understand eats the roots of plants? I also add to my compost heap 🙂


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