Posts Tagged aubergine

May Day Update

What’s happening in the garden at the beginning of May? Lots is the short answer, keep reading for the long answer.

We have reached the end of a fairly productive Bank Holiday weekend where we even had very plesant weather on saturday. Actually the weather on sunday was nice too but we were visiting family so I didn’t get out in the garden for more than a brief watering session. Today I went to the garden centre and got lots done between showers although the weather was never great and was getting chilly by half way through the afternoon but by then I had done what I needed to do so I’m happy. This is what’s currently growing (or not) outside and in…

Kitchen windowsill – This is a bit of a jungle with all the chilli and big pepper plants on one window ledge and some smaller seedlings on the other. There are 2 Aubergines (Black Beauty) growing nicely with several true leaves now; Lots of Mixed Sweet Pepper and Chilli ‘Hot’ Cayenne seedlings that could do with potting up, 3 of each that were potted up in good time and are now lovely big bushy plants with some nearly flowering and another half dozen potted up a couple of weeks ago that are growing better but will probably never catch up with the first ones; 3 Tomatoes (Gardener’s Delight) that have only just germinated, I planted 4 so the last might still appear; 2 Peas (Kelvedon Wonder) also just germinated but looking very pretty already, I’m not sure where these are going to go yet; A pot of coriander and a pot of lemon coriander seedlings just germinated to go in the tender herbs box when there is no more risk of frost; A pot of plain leaved parsley which is doing noting so far, it was started the same time as the corainders but the seed may be too old, I’ll leave it a bit longer and see what happens; A small Tabasco chilli seedling we were given which is growing nicely and will need potting up soon; 3 large chilli plants we were also given, one each of Fresno, Long Slim Cayenne and Santa Fe, which are lovely plants and 2 have tiny white start shaped flowers.

Greenhouse – 2 squash (Cobnut) and 2 cucumber (Marketmore) which will go in the 2 empty growbags when the risk of frost has passed; 3 tomato (Roma) for pots and 5 tomato (Tumbling Tom Red) for hanging baskets; A pot each of curly parsley, bush basil and sweet basil for the tender herbs box; A pot each of lovage and mint which probably should have been planted out but I’d forgotten were there; The spare oregano and chive plants from the herb box I’ve already planted up, I might need to use some of the oregano as something’s been digging in the compost in there and I think I’ve lost a couple of seedlings.

Herbs – All in pots as I have no space for a herb bed. 3 thymes together in a trough: Silver Posy, Common and Archer’s Gold; Lemon thyme; Lemon balm (Anyone noticed a lemon theme yet?); Wild strawberry; Double chamomile; Oregano, Sage and Chives together in a plastic windowbox; Lavender (Vera) which is a lovely ball shape on a short trunk. I hope I can keep its shape as it gives height to the collection of pots round the edge of the patio; 2 rosemary cuttings which are doing well; I have also found an unidentified mint, possible wild garlic and what looks like some kind of strawberry in a corner of the garden I’ll try and move into pots before the compost heap and water butt get put on top of them.

Fruit – On saturday I bought a raspberry (Malling Jewel) and a blueberry (Bluecrop) which are now in pots on the patio, exciting!

Vegetables – This is what I’m trying to grow in pots or containers. Climbing french beans in a huge pot with a bamboo wigwam, no idea if it will work, if the pot is big enough or the wigwam is tall enough but it will be fun trying, besides I couldn’t resist their lovely heart shaped leaves after listening to this episode of the AKG (I haven’t grown these from seed, I bought the plants today at the garden centre whilst failing to buy an unnecessary bag of ericaceous compost for the blueberry…); Runner beans (Hestia), this is a dwarf variety but I don’t think I have ever seen a dwarf runner bean before so I don’t know how big / tall / bushy it gets. They might need potting up again and they only have a short cane at the moment but hopefully I might get something off them; 2 cougette (All Green Bush) in a grow bag; The clove of garlic from the supermarket that was trying to grow, no idea what to do with this or even if there is anything I can do, but its a fun experiment; I have 2 shallow plastic trays I’ve lined with plastic and filled with compost and I’m trying to grow cut and come again salad in one and baby veg in the other. The radish (French Breakfast) is up and the beetroot (Boltardy) is beginning to appear but no sign of the carrot (Early Scarlet Horn) in one. I have mizuna in the other but the rest of the lettauce varieties have all failed probably because the seed wasn’t new, I need to get some more and try again; A pot of mixed lettauce plants I bought because its almost salad weather and my lettauce seeds have failed and a tray of spinach I have bought and not done anything with yet.

That is a long post and I haven’t mentioned the sunflowers, my plans for tomorrow or the millions of tiny weeds appearing in all the pots outside. I’m sure I’ll be posting again soon, there is so much going on at the moment.


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Spring is springing

Or at least the seeds are springing up on my kitchen window sill. I have basil (2 varieties), sage, chives, mint, parsley and oregano. Only the lovage isn’t doing anything yet. My first tumbling tom has sprouted as well and I have poked in a clove of garlic that was trying to grow in the cupboard so I’ll have to see if that manages to come to anything.

The chillis and peppers are coming along well. I have aquired 3 more chillis from a friend, one each of 3 different varieties, so I could end up with a lot of chillis this year! We used one of last years chillis the other night and I’ve saved the seeds from that so I might sow some of those as well – It was quite hot but I don’t know the variety.

Other gardening activities include planting cougette, cucumber, plum tomato, squash, aubergine and dwarf runner bean seeds and lots of reading. I have finished The Edible Container Garden and only have a couple of chapters left of Square Foot Gardening. Both are good for gardening in the sort of spaces they cover. SFG is very prescriptive, but I do like the idea and will probably try and follow it at least to start with. It was the RHS 3 x 3m plots that made me consider veg gardening in the first place but I couldn’t find enough information on what plants, how many per square, when to plant and other details I wanted so this book suits me. It is very american – I’m going to be talking about zuccini before soon, and there is a lot of talk of last frost and first fall frost dates which I have found difficult to find out for the UK. Oh, and some of the ‘pests’ mentioned are unlikely to be found in a UK garden, but the principle should be fairly easy to convert. The one thing I don’t like is the excessive (in my opinion) use of peat, so I will be looking for an alterntive. The explanation on the website that the peat doesn’t need to be replaced still doesn’t sit well with me.

I just need to build my raised bed now – The wood is in the garage so hopefully I will have time to saw and hammer and paint and dig and things soon, yippee!

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Mmmm moussaka

This has to be my all time favorite moussaka recipe and when I saw two aubergines peeking out of the veg box I knew what I would be cooking with them. I don’t eat it as often as I’d like as M doesn’t like aubergines, but it was easy enough to make a small lasagna for him as well, and as the moussaka doesn’t need you to faff about grilling slices of aubergine and layering it, it is much easier than I imagine. I ought to make it more often.

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Tomorrow

Nothing special about tonights dinner, pasta with a quick sauce of roast chicken, red onion, cougette, orange pepper and pasatta, so I won’t talk about it.

However tomorrow I’m hoping to make kiwi fruit sorbet, I have too many fruits in the fridge, A doesn’t seem to be eating them at the moment and they are all going ripe at the same time, I also feel a need to give the ice cream maker some attention. I think today’s sunshine has gone to my head!

I am also hoping to plant some more seeds and maybe pot up the peppers and chillis. I think I have cougettes, aubergines, squash, tomatoes and a few herbs to sow so hopefully the weather will be good and I will have more luck with these than the herbs I tried in feb – out of 6 pots, 2 each of parsley, mint and sage, I have one pot of parsley. I am wondering if the pots were either over watered or dried out at some point as it is whole pots that have failed, but who knows. I will probably try again with the sage and mint, I have saved a few clear plastic trays now to use as mini seed covers so perhaps that would help. I’ll let you know how I get on.

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