My container gardening diary continues…
The temperatures in July, after scorching winds, soared into the 30Cs and certainly tested my tenacity and ability to grow fruit and vegetables in containers.
Unlike cacti, succulents, hibiscus and the other variety of plants I grow, container grown fruit and vegetables are certainly more challenging for the novice gardener. However, I am pleased to report the only casualty during July was my sage plant. Why did it die? I just don’t know. But as you can see it’s certainly dead. Not enough water or too much? I tested both theories as I watched its demise.
I killed my sage plant
Growing Chili Peppers in Pots
Chilies have to be the easiest plant to grow in containers!
Unfortunately, we do not eat a tremendous amount of chili, perhaps we should. However, they will be put to good use as chilies are one of the ingredients in an organic insect deterrent. And, according to Wikipedia chilies are also an effective crop defense against elephants in South AFrica. I won’t get to test the theory, but it’s reassuring to know.
Are these Cayenne Peppers or a Thai Jalapeno?
I thought these were Jalapeño peppers until I looked on Wiki, now I’m not so sure. Further research on pepper identification page revealed they could either be Cayenne Peppers or a Thai Jalapeno?
What do you think?
Whatever they are, they grow very well in pots! In fact, just like weeds as these grew from the seeds from a pepper I was given.
Piri Piri are so easy to grow in containers
Growing Cucumbers in Pots
Cucumber in Pots
The cucumbers WERE growing really well, but this photograph was taken in July. The photo below taken just a couple of weeks later in August tells a different story. More details about their demise and possible causes can be found on my new gardening blog Piglet’s Plot in Portugal
Cucumber leaves with brown spots
Growing Peppers in Pots
I transplanted the orange bell peppers into larger pots, fed with MiracleGro and they began to thrive. I was eventually rewarded with my first orange pepper.
My first orange bell pepper grown in a pot
They take such a long time to ripen I now know WHY they are so expensive to buy. However, reading Enjoying Gardening blog I discovered a great tip:
Orange bell peppers can be picked as soon as they start showing color and then they’ll ripen in the house. The plant will then be able to produce more peppers.
I use this technique for tomatoes, but it never occurred to me to apply the same principle to ripen bell peppers!
Growing potatoes in pots
The seed potatoes planted on the 23/6 are growing well. I continue to earth up the new shoots as I understand the potatoes grow on green stems. The earth is now half way up the pots.
Potatoes growing in pots 17/07/12
Growing tomatoes in Pots
As you can see from the photograph we now have an abundance of ripe cherry tomatoes. The “miscellaneous” baby tomato plants donated by a friend when I murdered my first batch of plants are doing well but as yet no sign of ripening tomatoes.
Growing cherry tomatoes in pots
Baby beef tomatoes plants donated by another friend are alive and well and I should begin to see a crop in early September.
Growing Green beans in pots
I am already harvesting a crop of the “contender” green beans planted from seed on the 3/6 in the raised vegetable area. Due to lack of space I planted some more contender bean seeds in a large pot on the 31/7 as an experiment. I wonder what the yield will be. Mental note: weigh them to assess yield.
Growing rhubarb in pots
I picked some rhubarb stalks this month – just enough to make a small dessert. However, when chatting to a rhubarb expert he was horrified I’d picked anything until the plant was at least 3 yrs old! I consider myself well and truly reprimanded and look forward to a well deserved feast next year.
Growing Strawberries in containers
By the end of July my strawberry plants had all but ceased producing fruit. Instead, their energy focused on producing masses of baby strawberry plants in the form of runners. Over the next month I will pot these up while they are still attached to the mother plant for next years crop.
The lime tree although happy in it’s new location now has a dose of “citrus leaf miner”. Great, there is never a dull moment! Poor thing only has a few leaves.
I made up a concoction of sunflower oil and washing up liquid diluted with water which I sprayed on both sides of the leaves. While I can’t kill existing bugs, the solution apparently deters new ones from settling. We will see!
Tayberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, red current, blueberry and raspberry bushes – I now have a great selection of bushes ready for planting. Mr. Piglet is going (promised) to help me clear some ground and erect a fruit frame. I intend to plant the bushes in huge bottomless pots as the hedge roots are invasive. “Hopefully” my plan will at least give the plants a fighting chance. Anyone tried growing any of the above fruit bushes in very large containers?
Black fig tree – This continues to grow well and is producing masses of leaves. The fruit, however, just shrivels and falls off. I’ve since been advised it would be better to rehome my fig tree in the ground as fig trees have a very vigorous root system. I’m undecided, anyone else out there growing a fig tree in a pot?
Lemon tree – Continues to bear fruit, but still plagued by the orange scale. I need to treat this again.
Please don’t forget if you have any suggestions on growing fruit and veg in pots or would like to share your experience, please share in comments below!