Anyone For Squash?


I had high hopes for an abundance of squashes and courgettes, but the weather decided against it. Currently in August, I haven’t picked a single courgette😦

But apparently I’m not alone and several people I know PLUS the Beechgrove Garden team have had problems. As of today, out of 24 plants, I’m lucky if 5 are going to produce anything.

My surprise out of all of them is the onion squash or ‘Uchiki Kuri’. I expected this to be the least productive, but the picture above shows 2 squashes growing! There is another 1 coming too and I also have a plant in a grow bag in the greenhouse with one squash.

My personal opinion of the poor crop otherwise this year is the growing medium. The last 2 years, courgettes have been grown outdoors in big pots full of grow bag compost. The 2 successful plants this year are grown in grow bag compost, the failures in the ground.

Next year I think I’ll go back to grow bag compost in pots rather than in the ground. It’s all part of the learning curve🙂

Bargain Hunt


As long time readers will know, I always have an eye for a bargain! So I was going into Homebase to get myself some battery operated lights for the greenhouse (yes I know, I’m an electrician, I should be able to put a supply in there!), when I happened to stumble upon these chilli plants for 99 pence! With my reputation…?

So, we have ‘Paper Lantern’, ‘Scotch Bonnet’ and ‘Golden Cayenne’. I thought I was growing ‘Paper Lantern’ this year but it appeared that I didn’t so all a welcome addition to my collection.

On the chilli note, this years chillies are growing reasonably well. The plants are very green although there is a lack of flowers on the hotter ones.

With planting them all on into bigger pots, it was interesting to see the different root formation from each type. The ‘Bhut Jolokia’ was the most noticeable, with the plants a little smaller but a lot more roots especially out of the bottom of the pot.

I think that if I can overwinter them this year then next year should produce a good crop… Hopefully!

Asparagus Pea


You may or may not remember a couple of months ago that I was going to try and grow some unusual veg.

I decided on the ‘asparagus pea’, why? I like asparagus and I like peas! The 2 of them together, I’m not sure how it’s going to taste.

So back in April I sowed some seeds direct into the ground at a spacing of 45cm. Not knowing what the plant looked like I thought after a couple of weeks the birds had disturbed them, so I sowed some into pots outside.

Eventually, they started to germinate and after a slow start I have the plants you see above. In total now I have 9 plants at various stages of growth, whether it produces anything edible is anyone’s guess.

The one thing that I’m really impressed with is the flower! Such a nice colour and really stands out in the plot against the yellows of the squash and the orange marigold. Hopefully the bees will be attracted to them too!

Wet Wet Wet

So… A month has passed since the last post, and the reason? Going on Holiday! Not something that’s easy for the gardener, but luckily my father in law house-sat for us while we were away and was able to keep everything watered… Not that anything outside needed watered. It’s just over a week since I was back and not one dry day.

Because of the weather, the grass is ridiculously overgrown, not helped by the lawnmower packing in, and I have a bad case of horses tail (mare’s tail) weeds. Even plants I left outside have succumbed to the monsoon conditions, especially courgettes and squash.

So where do I start? I’ve been weeding a little bit at a time in each bed. Slowly but surely clearing the weeds has exposed how well some of the plants are growing. The Brassica bed is progressing well, all the plants look healthy and the cabbages waiting to go in are also looking very strong. As I was clearing the roots bed I did have a nice surprise, with a lovely glow of purple from the tops of the turnips.

Just before I went on holiday I put 9 tomato plants in grow bags in the greenhouse with 3 more done since. To say they have flourished since they were planted is an understatement, flourished so much that I had to nip out several side shoots from each plant, some six inches long! I also had to stake them as they were so big and falling down on themselves. The last 2 years I have always grown tomatoes outside, even thought they thrive in warmer climates. This year has pretty much sealed the deal that I will carry on growing them indoors from now on. More on this soon.

The chilli plants in the greenhouse have succumbed to a case of green-fly, so yesterday was spent squashing and spraying them all. Also, I potted them on from their 3″ pots to 4″ pots. Again a more detailed post on this shortly.

Finally the bean/pea bed, again cleared of weeds, several pea pods have formed and so far I’ve removed one pod and eaten the contents (heaven!) although it should have been left on a little longer. The broad beans had got so big that I had to tie them up and the wind and rain were blowing them over. but once tied up exposed some bean pods growing well. To me they seem later than last year, but on the plus side, no black fly so far!

The last 2 posts, test post 1 and test post 2? Just testing how the pictures come out when using the WordPress app on my phone. I’d forgotten my password and although blogging on my pc was ok as I was always logged in I couldn’t remember it for the phone, but now that’s sorted I can post more often🙂


Test Post 2

Broad bean pod 1-7-12


Test Post 1

Inside the greenhouse 1-7-12


Gardening Scotland 2012

For the third year in a row I attended Gardening Scotland at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston. This year was no exception to the high standards set in previous years and for some reason I enjoyed it more this year.

Maybe it was meeting gardening guru Jim McColl (of Beechgrove Garden Fame!), maybe it was the warm weather (burnt a nice little ‘v’ at the top of my chest!) or maybe it was the fact I bought more plants this year!

For some reason I was really taken with the Allium, and this was an impressive display of them in the main hall. Impressed so much so that I bought 2 plants!

Speaking of buying plants, at the show last year I discovered Claire likes peonies. This year at the show I ended up, despite growing a peony from a bulb, another peony plant. ‘Miss America’ with 3 buds from Binny Plants was promptly purchased.

Also purchased was 2 foxgloves in pink and white. I’ve tried to grow these from seed this year but with no success thus far. I also became quite enamoured with the Aquilegia plants and purchased one ‘origami’ variety.

Last purchase was a couple of jasmine plants. ‘Clotted Cream’ and another I can’t remember the name of off hand but has pink flowers. I had a few jasmine plants on my eBay watch list as Claire had expressed an interest in them as it reminded her of her time in Thailand.

My local garden centre was there…

Caulders Garden Centre, literally 5 miles from me had a display with a train track and trains running through it! I was very impressed and, gone are the days where people would sit in their loft with their train set, now out in the garden! Expansion! The possibilities are endless, However I don’t think I will be allowed…

Already I’m looking forward to next year🙂