Growing Cucumbers in Pots is SO Easy!

Imagine eating your own home-grown organic cucumbers. Hmmmm… delicious!

Why not challenge yourself to grow cucumbers in pots or indeed any container which has adequate drainage. Even if you only have a small garden or sunny balcony give it a try and let me know how you get on.

I usually buy about six seedling plugs from the market or a local garden centre in March . They are really cheap  (about 25cents each) and less frustrating/wasteful than growing from seed. If the seedlings are not available in your area then packets of seeds can be purchase in garden centres, DIY shops and even supermarkets.

Growing from seed means you lose about two weeks as they take time to germinate and I’m far too impatient for that. But sometimes needs must and we go with the flow.

Cucumber seedling plugs

Cucumber seedling plugs

I then plant into small containers such as yogurt or small flower pots using multi-purpose compost.

Baby cucumber plants

Baby cucumber plants

Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

Mini cloches - Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect the young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

Mini cloches – Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect the young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

The reason I always buy more plants than I need is because some of the seedlings will probably be enjoyed by my pet snail ‘Sid’ and his family, and the runt of the seedlings usually die due to cold weather or just bad luck.

So out of six small plants I end up with three healthy specimens.

When the plants are a little more robust I then plant in one large container in good quality compost and some rotted manure (when available). I initially protect the plants by making plant collars from plastic water bottles

plastic collars to protect plants

plastic collars to protect plants

Once the first flowers appear I feed with liquid tomato feed available from garden centres, supermarkets or DIY stores which seem to sell everything bar toilet rolls. It seems to work well and as yet I’ve not found a more general purpose vegetable feed other than manure tea which if you are living in a confined space is probably not a good idea.

About ten weeks later your first cucumbers are ready to pick. Usually several at once!

Cucumbers grow well in pots

Cucumbers grow well in pots

I will plant my next batch of seedlings in June so these will take me through to October/November – depending on the weather.

Growing Tips:

– Feed every couple of weeks.
– Water daily
– If you let the the cucumbers grow too big the seeds become tough and bitter. I usually pick when the cucumbers are about 6 inches long.

My first crop of cucumbers - May 27th.  2017

My first crop of cucumbers – May 27th. 2017

When I have a glut of cucumbers I now pickle in vinegar with onion. They are delicious!

Pickled Cucumbers

5 Cucumbers
1 Kg onions, peeled and halved
80 grams sea salt
500 ml vinegar
350 grams granulated sugar
4 or 2 tsp mustard seeds (I only use 2 tsp)
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Slice the cucumber and onions thinly, layer them in a bowl, sprinkle salt. Weigh them down with a plate and leave overnight.
Drain off the liquid, rinse well and drain in a colander.
Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric in a pan and bring slowly to boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, add cucumbers and onions and boil for 1 minute.
Transfer the cucumber and onions to a jar and reduce the liquid for 15 minutes, then divide between the jars to the top.
This will keep for several months.

~~~~~~

So who is going to take up the challenge?

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A mystical sunset in Portugal – was it a sign?

I was searching through my photographs when I came upon this mystical sunset. The cross was evanescent, fading just as quickly as it had appeared.

A mystical sunset in Portugal - was it a sign?

An evanescent sunset in Portugal – was it a sign?

I still wonder if there was some spiritual significance.

Portuguese Heritage – Fado

The theme for this week’s WordPress photo challenge is Heritage. Thinking of the words ‘heritage’ and ‘Portugal’ in the same sentence the first thing that comes to mind is Fado.

We were fortunate to see the highly acclaimed Fado singer Mariza in concert in 2010. It is one of those treasured memories that will always stay with me.

Mariza in concert - Lagos 2010

Mariza in concert – Lagos 2010

Dating back to the early 1900’s Fado (destiny/fate) is traditional Portuguese music with its roots in Lisbon. From my experience of listening to Fado I can only describe it as the voice of a soul in torment. The fadista (singer) usually sings about the harsh realities of daily life and is extremely melancholy. Expression also plays an important part of the performance with anguish not only portrayed in the voice but also in the facial expressions.

Mariza in concert 2010

Mariza in concert 2010

The fadista can be male or female and is often accompanied by guitars including a Portuguese guitar

The Challenge

This week, share a photo of something that says “heritage” to you. It can be from your own family or culture — a library, a work of public art, a place of worship, an object passed down to you from previous generations. Or, like me, you can choose to focus on a tradition to which you don’t belong, but to which you’ve been exposed whether through travel, moving, or the people in your life.

Related posts: Fado is like Marmite (or should that be Veggiemite?)
Useful websites:
https://portugal.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fado

It’s Piglet’s Seven Year Blogiversary – Looking Back


Photocredit: Pixababy.com

I’ve just been notified by WordPress it’s my seven year anniversary. Have I really been blogging that long? My goodness, how time flies! Unfortunately, due to my admin interests at writingforums.com I neglected my blog and lost touch with my blogging buddies for several years. Now I click through my blogroll and most of those listed are either on hiatus or their blog has disappeared. Methinks it’s time to update my blogroll.

Looking back we seemed more of a family then. We interacted more on blog posts and left thoughtful comments and took a genuine interest in other bloggers such as what was growing in the garden, recipes shared, books published and read, life and love, laughter and family. Is blogging the same now?

My first real blogging buddies were (in not particular order)
1. What’s Bugging Me Today a lovely lady who went by the name of ClassyRose. We corresponded every day then in early 2011 she completely disappeared. I’d love to know what happened to her.
2. The RedNeckPrincess. She’s still blogging but you can no longer comment on posts. Donna’s humour is priceless!
3. PassionateAboutPets – Barb’s Blog has disappeared. Barb lives in Australia and regulary left comments on my my blog
4. Dave Farmer. Yay! Dave is still blogging and has now published his Zombie novel, The Range. Congrats, Dave!
5. Spirit Lights The Way. Nancy is still blogging and her posts always make me stop and think.
6. Sarsm – Blogs about life! Great to ee shee is stillactive.
7. Joys of Creating I love EC’s Blog! Full of craft and gardening tips!
8. Granny1947 – Everyday life in South Africa. IT’s good to see Granny is still posting and commenting.
9. Sammy’s Colourful World Sami is Portuguese and moved to Australia. I met up with Sami when she was visiting her family in Portugal. Hopefully we will meet up again at some point. Sami blogs about Aussie life.
10. Local Heart Global Soul Love this blog about life and travel.
11. Seashell by the Seashore – Seashell has not posted for a loooong time.
12. What about your saucepans Lindsey blogs about life in the Dominican Republic
13. Ouch! My Back Hurts – Irish life and humour

There are many, MANY more… these are just a few.

From tiny acorns…

I created PigletinPortugal, thanks to my daughter and her blog Piglet in France. I’d left lots of comments on her blog and when she was over on holiday she showed me how to create my own blog, upload photos and a host of other useful tips. I was a technophobe so it was quite a challenge!

During the seven years I have published 346 posts, received nearly 11,000 comments and 455,677 views from all over the world.

LOOKING BACK
This was my very first post.

Yummy Carrot Cake

My favourite Carrot Cake

Suffering from stage fright I could not think of anything to post so I shared a recipe.

Two of the most controversial posts I made were

Dogs on beaches – please “scoop their poop”

Beaches are not toilets. Please scoop the poop.

Please scoop the poop

Please scoop the poop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Bullfighting Wrong?

This post attracted 116 comments and a poll which attracted over 1700 votes.

The iconic silhouette of the Osborne Bull in Spain

The iconic silhouette of the Osborne Bull in Spain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I WAS ALSO FRESHLY PRESSED TWICE

As a new blogger it was a great feeling to see my stats rocket and all the comments I received.

Gazanias in January

Gazania in January

Gazania in January

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t seem to find the other post. But I do remember a blogger plagiarised my post complete with all the comments!

MY THREE FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS ARE

A Turkish “Experience” in France which had eighty two comments!

Have you ever used a Turkish Loo?

Turkish Loo experience in France

Hold on for dear life!

Frozen Condoms in France

How do you explain to your daughter’s mother-in-law’s mother who can’t speak English, and my French does not extend to the finer points of condoms, why I am stabbing a frozen condom?

Nurse recommends frozen condom

Nurse recommends frozen condom

Pilates on the Beach

Pilates on the beach is not as ‘Zen’ as it seems especially when you are wearing suncream.

PILATES on the beach is NOT zen

PILATES on the beach is NOT zen

So raises glass to the next seven years!

Cheers

Cheers

#blogiversary
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING?

Found Poetry: 10 Day Poetry Challenge – Day 7

It’s day seven of the WordPress ‘Ten Day Poetry’ challenge. Today we were asked to write or should I say create a ‘Found’ poem. What is a Found poem? You may well ask, and I can tell you it is far harder than it looks!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage[1]) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem([1]) can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original.

Have you tried creating a ‘Found’ Poem? This was my attempt using the Senryu form which is human Haiku.


The Biblical sun
hung above caraçao sea .
last cocktails enjoyed.

The original source was a travel article from a Sainsbury’s magazine. I selected a page at random then scratched out words that were of no interest.

Yes, it is a mess!

#introtopoetry

If you write poetry and are looking for an active and friendly community, why not visit WritingForums.com and join our enthusiastic band of poets and have some fun!
Check us out
http://www.writingforums.com/forums/83-Verse

Poetry Challenge: Day 6 – Enjambment (Mind Maggots)

It’s day six of the WordPress ten day poetry challenge and my creative enthusiasm is beginning to ebb. Today’s challenge is ‘enjambment’ which (as per the WordPress defintion is

Enjambment is all about the arrangement of words on the screen (or page, as the case may be), and how that arrangement affects the pace of our reading. The term may sound like a mouthful. But what it describes is a really simple phenomenon: when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next.

I have also included some extra spacing to add a breath pause to give the reader time to reflect. Unfortunately, I am unable to illustrate this properly due to formatting limitations.

Hope it works!

MIND MAGGOTS

Maggots
wriggle through the ears
into the mind
and growl
inside the head

Their teeth gnawing,
gnawing at dignity
at reason

The rotting flesh
chewed to the bone of sanity
until
venom spews from slack mouth

unchecked,

in response.

The stench of betrayal
too much to bear.

#introtopoetry

If you are interested in poetry and looking for an active and friendly community, why not join WritingForums.com and join our band of poets and have some fun!
Check us out
http://www.writingforums.com/forums/83-Verse

Ten Day Poetry Challenge: Day 5 – ‘Imperfect’ Limerick

It’s day five of the WordPress ‘Ten Day Poetry Challenge’ and I am on a roll. Well, not quite. For today’s challenge we were asked to write a Limerick but after several stressful hours of tapping out the rhythm I almost conceded defeat. The Limerick is a far tougher form than it first appeared.

Imperfect Limerick

This poet is struggling to write
A poem that’s not too contrite
The Limerick is tough
to write off the cuff
The prompt kept me up half the night.

Not only do you need to adhere to a set rhyme pattern of A-A-B-B-A there is also a quirky rhythm
L1 da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
L 2 da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
L3 da DUM da da DUM
L4 da DUM da da DUM
L5 da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

Reference: GigglePoetry.com

#poetry
#introtopoetry

If you are interested in poetry and are looking for an active and friendly community, why not join WritingForums.com and join our band of merry poets and have some fun.

Poetry Challenge Day 4 – Similes Please Dally Awhile

Day four in the WP Ten Day Poetry Challenge and we are tasked to write a poem which include similes. Always up for a challenge I dedicated this nonsense poem to the humble simile.

Why is poetry so exclusive?
It’s meaning to Joe Bloggs, elusive,
like a crossword of cryptic clues.
A jigsaw puzzle in shades of blues
like the sky on a cloudless day.
The simile shows us the way
like a random signpost in a maze
for readers left bemused and in a daze
as they clutch at metaphor straws–
the meaning, hidden behind layered doors.

Oh simile you have such style.
Please, my friend, PLEASE dally awhile
so Joe Bloggs can enjoy the verse.
And poets, please try not to be too diverse.
We are mere mortals don’t you know;
sometimes ‘tell’ is as good as ‘show’.

If you are interested in poetry and are looking for critique, why not join WritingForums.com and join our band of merry poets and have some fun.

Day Three: Acrostic Poem (Poetry)

Day three in the WP Ten Day Poetry Challenge and we are tasked to write an acrostic poem.

Poetry,
Often opaque in delivery
Elusive metaphors
Tormenting – testing – teasing
Readers
Yet, sublimely addictive.

According to the young writers poetry website

An acrostic poem is a type of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase.

Problems With My Geraniums -Stem Rot

When I bought my geraniums at the beginning of March they were healthy and produced lots of repeat flowers. I religiously dead-headed the plants on a regular basis and fed with MiracleGro to encourage growth.

Healthy Geraniums in March

Healthy Geraniums in March

and

Healthy Geraniums in March

Healthy Geraniums in March

by April the flower stalks had started to rot. I sprayed with a fungal spray but it did not seem to make a difference.

Geranium flower stalks turned brown and started to rot

Geranium flower stalks turned brown and started to rot

then i noticed the main fleshy stems were rotting from the inside. When I cut the geranium stem open it was rotten inside.

Sickly Geraniums

Sickly Geraniums

and

Geranuium rotting inside the stalk

Geranuium rotting inside the stalk

and

Something is also burrowing in the geranium leaves!

Something is also burrowing in the geranium leaves!

Within a couple of months I now have two sickly tubs of geraniums

tub of sickly geraniums

tub of sickly geraniums

After extensive research I now think they have stem rot. I am gutted. I thought geraniums were meant to be easy to grow. Has anyone else experienced this problem with geraniums?

Useful links
How to Save Geraniums with Rot
PDF file
https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A2559.pdf

#geraniums #stemrot