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.
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.
3. 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.
My Galia F1 melons are now the size of a tennis ball. I am optimistic!
4. Why do my Squash plants only have male flowers?
5. Growing Tumeric in a Pot
Once the Tumeric sprouted I planted in a wide container
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.
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.
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