Garden Diary: April Vegetables (part 2)

My choices for Six on Saturday this week, focus once again on vegetables. I believe the hours spent nurturing all these plants help to keep me sane in the light of the daily challenges we face with COVID. Nature is a great healer and brings peace in these times of stress.

Growing Leeks and Garlic in Containers

The leeks plugs purchased from the garden centre on 2nd 12th and potted on in pts 43 x 31 cm seem to be doing well. In between the leeks I planted garlic gloves on the 5th of January. I only half-filled the pots as an experiment. We will see.

The garlic cloves planted in the crate are not fairing so well. That said, at least the leaves are still green.

Given the time leeks take to germinateand mature I planted some seeds on the 6th of March.

Growing Potatoes in Containers

Given the chhallenge I accepted on behalf of Gnome withThe Nostalgic Gardener, N20 and Fred to grow potatoes in a container(s), I thought it fair to feature an update: Gnome has taken over the potato growing and we have bought several more pots. We are having a debate how deep the pots should be and he is conducting an experiment re soil, size of pots and planting times.

Pot 1: Size 43mm x 41mm. The leaves already yellow and turning brown Gnome researched and apparently the potatoes were not going to develop further so the best course of action is to remove the tops and the let the compost dry out for two weeks before harvesting.

Pot 2 : Size 43mm x 41mm. Leaves turning yellow and showing signs of blight

Pot 3: Size 43mm x 41mm. Planted 9th February.

Gnome decided to depart from our usual planting method after fellow gardener shared this link.

and invested in some shallower pots: Size 43mm x 31mm . In this experiment Gnome filled the pot nearly to the brim with Terra Planta 2 compost rather that add more compost as new shoots pushed through. He used non-seed chitted red potatoes and planted on the 9th April.

Gnome returned to the traditional method of banking up the soil in this pot. Non-seed chitted whites planted on the 12th April in SiroHorta compost.

and planted the final pot of whites in Siro Horta on the 22nd April.

Rábanos Radish

I planted the Rábanos radish seed direct into the raised bed on the 16th of March.

After my expereince with ants stealing my beetroot and Spring onion seeds I was a little apprehensive but for some reason, they never stole these.

I was NOt expecting to be rewrded with my first harvest so quickly!

I saw the radish protruiding above the ground and on the 21st April got quite a shock when I pulled out to long radish roots which resembled carrots. I am usually cyncial when it comes to the promised results on seed packets.

Washed and scrobbed they tasted delicious!

From now on I will not be planting the round variety of radish such as Cherry Belle in future as I’ve had very little success. I now have several packets of seeds for round radish – free to good home.

Aubergines – Violeta Longa

I sowed the first batch of Violeta Long aubergine seeds on the 26th of February. They were slow to germinate and then the tiny seedlings refused to progress.

… until I chose the four healthiest specimens and repotted in good quality compost.

I am unsure as yet if these will be planted in the main raised vegetable bed or in large pots.

Given the length of time the first batch of Violeta Longa aubergines took to germinate I sowed another batch on the April 4th.

Butternut Squash

I love butternut squash, so decided to try again this year. Last year I attempted to grow these in a pot and it was a grand fail which resulted in one squash the size of a pear. I’ve kept it as a garden ornament as a reminder.

I only planted four seeds on the 4th of March, two of which matured and replanted in the raised bed on the 19th April. I have covered with a crate for now, until they are established. The midday sun can be quite intense for baby plants. And the ever vigilent blackbird will dig them up just for fun.

That’s it for this week!

Do you enjoy gardening? Why not join other bloggers for Six on Saturday?

24 thoughts on “Garden Diary: April Vegetables (part 2)

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  1. An interesting experiment you are conducting on growing potatoes in pots. Mr S has grown potatoes successfully in large pots, initially only filling the pot half fill and then gradually filling the pot with more soil as the plants grew. We also have better success at growing sweet potatoes in pots rather than directly into the raised bed. Similarly carrots grow better for us in large pots. The radish looks amazing. Your other seedlings look really healthy too.

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    1. I’d not considered growing sweet potatoes in pots, what a good idea. I love sweet potatoes. Yes, carrots work better in large pots for us, too. Purely because it’s easier to control the watering. The irrigation system seems a little hit and miss in the raised bed for root style veg as I discovered with beetroot.

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  2. That’s an interesting range of problems you are facing by growing vegetables in containers in a hot climate. You are being quite ingenious in your solutions! I am impressed by the leeks and your radishes look very good too. I am never any good with aubergines as they don’t seem to set fruit for me, until right at the very end of the season.

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    1. The plants don’t seem to mind as long as I keep them well fed and watered. Potatoes… IT’s not too hot here at the moment and where we are we don’t have the same heat intensity as inland or on the Algarve. We are on the west coast so usually a cooling breeze. Aubergines also develop late in the season for me, too. According to my seed packet the seeds I planted in Feb should fruit in Aug. Same with peppers. I am hoping, that with staged planting and making a mini green house I can keep them going through the winter.

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    1. Thanks,Sel. I will get Gnome to build WigWam’s over the potatoes. The article makes sense. They don’t need bees to pollinate and as far as I know neither do tomatoes, so we should be able to create a mini microclimate for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the potato update, it will be very interesting to see which method works best, but I do feel you have a slight disadvantage with the blight, so I think we should take that into account. I’ll have to post an update on mine, and you have reminded me to earth up! Btw, how many potatoes in each pot?

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    1. The gnome said: 3 in the big pots and 4 in the shorter pots. We have to try and figure a way to overcome the blight problem. I wonder if we could make a cover of some description.

      Yes, the radish root is very impressive and delicious. And even more impressive because it grows so quickly 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A similar number to me, I did 3 in the bags and 4 in the big bin. I think I covered area might be worth a try to beat the blight. I know Monty Don suffers with it too (or his plants do), write to him? 😉

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