Sunday, February 28

Ordinary and exotic

Peppers and aubergines may not count as exotic in many gardeners' minds but they count as exotic for us. Last year with it's general lack of warmth and sunshine wasn't the best year we have had for growing them but at least we did manage a harvest. The peppers never actually made it to red and most of the aubergines were fairly small but fortunately the variety that we grow - Jackpot can be harvested whilst small.
We grow these plants in our garden greenhouse where the aubergines make an attractive display.
Last year wasn't a fair reflection on how each variety performed. After trying various aubergine varieties we have found the Jackpot suits our conditions best and so will be growing it again       

We will be growing King of the North and Orange Bell this year as they have suited us in a normal summer.

Now for the ordinary - salad crops. This year we decided to grow most of our salad crops in our Woodblocx raised bed in the garden. 
This decision was a success and we just popped up the harden and picked salad leaves whenever we wanted. As we picked in small amounts we didn't weigh or record these harvests but we were picking on a daily basis. We sowed packets of all sorts of salad leaves so I won't list them.

It was the same with the mini cucumbers which we were picking daily. The plants were grown in the garden greenhouse and cold frames. The small fruits were just the right size to mean that we had a fresh one each day.
We grew Cucino and Mini Munch last year but the plants became mixed together and so we can't compare yields. This year we have bought just Mini Munch seeds.

It was useful growing radishes in the raised bed as when we grow them on the plot we usually forget to pick them.
We didn't put all of our eggs in one basket and also grew some lettuces and radishes on the plot. These are the ones recorded in the above chart.
We will grow salad crops in the raised bed next year to provide fresh pickings. 

So far we have bought Little Gem seeds but we also have lots of seeds left from last year.                                                                                                                 

22 comments:

  1. I can hardly wait for the salad days to come round again! I sowed a few Lettuce seeds yesterday - just to get "in the mood"!

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    1. We have a few salad leaves in the greenhouse almost ready to pick, Mark.

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  2. I'm patiently waiting for fresh salad days too. Think I might have to start some off in trays indoors and see what that leads to.

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    1. We want to sow a few more salad leaves and pea shoots in bags in the greenhouse, Deborah.

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  3. I find that it's particularly difficult to grow bell peppers here, so am sticking to other varieties, for the most part - I do have one packet of bell seeds (sent to me in error) that I do intend to try, but I'm not expecting much from them.

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    1. It has taken us a while to find peppers that suit our conditions, Margaret.

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  4. You certainly did well, I never had any luck with aubergines so may try growing this variety this year. I must say I am really looking forward to getting into growing this year with not having had a great year last year!!

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    1. We had no luck 'til we grew Jackpot, Tanya. The plants are smaller and can be grow on a patio. We grow ours in pots in the greenhouse benching

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  5. My allotment chillies only turned red in October, something only made possible by the very mild autumn last year. The pepper and aubergine crops were hopeless as there wasn't enough sun or warmth outdoors last summer - but we & the bees liked the flowers, especially the aubergines which are very pretty (with interesting leaves too).

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    1. We grow ours on the cold garden greenhouse SandD.

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  6. I've never had any luck with aubergines but have the use of a friend's greenhouse this year. Jackpot looks like a beautiful variety - do you use Kings Seeds?

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    1. Yes, Caro we order most from Kings through our NSALG we are given a good discount

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  7. How I would love to grow aubergines, maybe I will have more luck with the raised beds. You seem able to grow everything!!! Not that I'm jealous mind, well maybe a little lol!!! P.s, glad to read that all is going well with your eyesight, that is such good news.xxx

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    1. It may seem like that Dina but we certainly can't grow everything. We have never ever had success with celery or celeriac for instance. Also until we found the variety Jackpot we couldn't grow aubergines. Sometimes it's just a case of finding the right variety. The same was true for bell pepperd.

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  8. The aubergines look so good! We call it brinjal here! They look the same!

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    1. I googled it, Malar and it is the same thing.

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  9. Beautiful photos, Sue. It is really making me crave spring!

    I see you grow a lot in "grow bags". Is that regular potting mix, garden soil, or ???? I'd like to try to grow a few plants that way and was wondering what that mix is....

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    1. The grow bags have compost already in them, Sue and it is the type of compost you would use in plant pots and tubs. Once the plants are growing, the bags need regular feeding.

      In the raised bed the compost was mixed with top soil.

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  10. I think this year I'm going to dedicate more space to growing salad crops. By the way, all your veg looks so fantastic!

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  11. Lovely looking produce. I've given up growing radishes in the beds, I grow them in pots and troughs now, and even though my veg breeds are in the back garden, I still grow salad leaves in troughs by the back garden.

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    1. Strangely we don't seem to have much luck growing radishes in ordinary potting compost we have ti use John Innes or top soil.

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