Monday, 19 September 2011

Self sufficient? I think not!

Weather has been pretty grim for September.  First it was the tail end of Hurricane Katrina which battered all the plants in my garden and then the storms arrived with rain and cold temperatures…. and more winds. 

The ducks even thought about having a dip in the bird bath but decided it was too turbulent!

Having said that, we have had some gaps in the clouds and a little sunshine peeking through from time to time.

I have a tiny greenhouse of about 5’ tall by 2’6” wide which I put in to use this year.  Most of the produce has been harvested or died off while I was away on holiday.  Everything I’ve grown has had to be in pots as I have a very small garden full of stones, and underneath there is builder's rubble so I have no energy to dig it over to make it suitable for growing veggies (maybe I'll get a 'man' in next year lol).  I do grow herbs in large pots and they have been very successful again this year.

So am I happy with my first year of greenhouse growing? 

I’ve raised cucumbers and tomatoes.  The cucumbers were a good crop of dwarf fruits but the tomatoes were very poor, with very few fruits at all.  Perhaps I didn’t feed them enough. 

The seeds planted have given me butternut squash plants ~ but as yet no fruits (probably planted them too late);
beetroots ~ lots of lovely medium sized ones;

courgettes ~ beautiful dark green skins with creamy insides (delicious);

8 lemon ‘trees’ (a big surprise as I didn’t think any of the 10 lemon pips would germinate);
and cabbages ~ all eaten by caterpillars!  (I need netting for next year!).

Unsuccessful seed-plantings were:- coriander, basil, chives, spinach, cucumber (all died before maturity), cherry stones, blueberry seeds, apple pips.  I still live in hopes for the fruit pips and seeds, and I’ll give them a bit longer before giving up on them.  The rest of the ‘failures’ are relegated to the compost heap which I started this summer.  It is very surprising how many kitchen peelings and scraps can be saved from the dustbin and landfill… and next year I should have some compost of my own to use on my garden.

Most people would say that I had a bad year… but I say that I had a good year… I learned a lot…. mainly that plants do not grow successfully by themselves … there is a right time and a wrong time to plant…. and that there are more things wanting to eat my produce other than ME!!


  1. I wouldn't worry, we've been growing veg for a few years, we grow veg and fruit in both our front and back gardens, and we have an allotment, and as yet we've never managed to get butternut squash to actually fruit, pumpkins and courgettes yes.
    The coriander I'd try next year, but grow it indoors, doesn't take up much room, and it should grow well on a sunny window.
    Again this year our tomatoes have been affected by blight, next year I'm growing all our tomatoes under cover (in the green house)

    You'd be surprised what you can grow in the smallest of garden, and making some raised beds for veg growing is easy and cheap.

  2. Hello Willow - thanks for dropping by my chooky blog recently. I have my head in uni land so haven't had much time to update it. I would love to visit your corner of the world again - we just had a wonderful six months in Wales and saw a lot of the south of the UK. Cornwall was a big favourite. Happy gardening - it's always a bit hit and miss I think. As for the apple pips - each pip is actually a different breed of apple! You can only get the same through a cutting. Saw a really interesting documentary on it once. Bye now Jacqui

  3. Oh no - i think you have had a really good year. Much better than my first year here, which I am planning to post on this week. You have learned so much and listened to your own patch of Earth. keep doing that and you will hear the answers clearly.
    What a lovely blog you have - great start. xx