July in your container garden

#1

How are things growing in your container garden this month? What are you picking to eat? Any particular successes, learning or disasters?

I’m just back from nine days away in London and cannot believe how much everything has grown in that time. I’m sure the beans and tomatoes have grown at least a foot. The front is becoming quite a jungle. I think I need to prune a few things and move a few things around to ensure some plants get more light.

Here’s the front:

While the tomatoes and tomatillos are a mass of green growth at the back (these are growing in last year’s compost so I’m quite pleased with how well they are growing so far).

As well as lots of salads and herbs, the soft fruit season has begun here - so we’re eating lots of blackberries and raspberries…

And the new cherry tree has produced two cherries! (as expected in year one). The good news is that they are very delicious… So hoping we’ll get a much bigger crop in future years.

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#2

Lovely, Mark, thanks for sharing the info.
What kind of cherry tree is it? Would it survive and fruit) in Central Scotland do you think?

Lots and lots growing here, despite 5 weeks away in USA in June - 6 kinds of lettuces, many herbs (including the less usual tarragon and Chinese garlic). In the allotment, the blueberries gooseberries raspberries and tay- and loganberries are also ripening, whilst the currants are in full succulent ripe profusion. Brassica seedlings, fennel, and headed lettuces just being planted out now. Very exciting the lushness the recent warmth and sun have brought, flowers and insects are beside themselves. (Sorry, dinosaur can’t do photos)
Christiane

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#3

Christiane,

I can’t Include photos either but - being a stubborn kind of person - I blame the shortcomings of this site. If I can bore people stupid with my photos on Facebook, why is it so difficult here? Hmnn?

#4

Hi Rosie and @Chrissy, it’s really easy to add photos. Let me know if you’re using a computer or phone and I’ll explain how.

#5

ha ha Rosie - I don’t to FB either, am a complete dinosaur:-)

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#6

I’m using an iPad…

#7

The climbing beans are producing lots of beautiful purple pods, but sadly turn boring green when steamed. Harvested my first courgettes. But the tomatoes are late this year. I spotted a couple beginning to turn colour. The cucumbers are producing lots of leaves and flowers but no fruit yet. I’m most excited about my wild patch. It is where I took out a diseased box but because the roots are still there didn’t plant anything. What has come up? Two squash like plants which going on past experience could produce monsters, lots of tomato plants of unknown variety and some cosmos. Oh and I am adding orach to salads.

#8

I was late being able to plant anything due to builders making us a terrace at the back, but herbs and salad plants are now growing well. Some of the salad leaves and including rocket have developed lots of little holes and I have found tiny caterpillars on them, presumably white flies or little black flies. Does anyone know how to stop these pests?

#9

@Rosie, if you click categories at the top of this page, you’ll find a “How to Section” which explains how you can do different things in this forum. It should be easy once you know how, I hope…

I just updated the one on how to add a photo. I think an iPad will be the same as an iPhone, but if is different please let me know.

You can find it here: How to ... Add a photo

@Chrissy can you also test out these instructions to see if they help you upload a photo?

#10

Welcome Sue! I wonder if what you have is flea beetles? You can read more about them here:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=510

#11

I have picked 14 little tomatoes the last two days and couldn’t resist harvesting a potato plant. The weight of the potatoes was 275 gram. I’ve got two more plants. I will leave them for some time and hope for some more grams!

I have tasted two flowers this month. The nasturtium was very interesting, it starts with a bit sweet taste and secondly there’s a sharp taste. Very nice. The silene flower was not very tasteful but it’s very beautiful and can have a decorative function.

The kale is growing nicely but I discovered the caterpillars a little late. I have removed the caterpillars and I’m making the best of it. I’m pretty sure that the small caterpillars are from the large white and the big one is from the small white. I hesitated to ‘destroy’ the caterpillars but did it anyway. I’m curious if anyone also has problems with killing these beautiful creatures?

The sorrel is also growing well. I expected a plant with much bigger leaves, just like in the fields. But the leaves work good in a salad. They have a beautiful shape.

That was it for now. Bye!

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#12

Your sorrel looks more like buckler leaved sorrel than common sorrel - except that some of the leaves seem to be sorrel shaped. Did you buy it as French sorrel? Which can be either buckler leaved or the old variety De Belleville which has smaller leaves than common sorrel and throws some shield shaped and some sorrel shaped leaves. Your potatoes look as though they still have a little growing to do, but not very much. I bet they are tasty though. If you cut the flowering stems off the sorrel and feed it (I know, it’s hard because they are beautiful, but they last for ages in a vase) the plant will make a lot of new leaves from the base. The campion is lovely and young leaves are edible, though the leaves are getting bitter by this time of year. I use them very early in salad and a bit bigger but still tender wilted into pasta. Not too much because they have quite high saponin levels. The old name for it is sculpit

kathryn

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#13

I bought the sorrel as common sorrel (Rumex acetosa). I have cut off some of the flowering stems (not all of them) so hope to pick lots of leaves.

#14

Then it’s probably the De Bellville strain. Lovely flavour which is why it has been around for at least a couple of hundred years. Sorrel responds very dramatically to changes in growing conditions so you’d probably get bigger leaves in a deeper pot - it is after all very deep rooted like almost all the dock family. I moved one struggling plant that was only ever producing two inch leaves because it was in the gravel of the drive and getting pulled up at regular intervals by the tidier members of the family, to the edge of a deep bed in my polytunnel, where people routinely assume it is chard - and very rambunctious chard at that. I cut it down to the ground because it was strangling sweet corn a couple of days ago and today it has about thirty leaves, each already three inches high. I don’t think the sweet corn will recover though - it is usually flowering by now but is very sad and straggly after it’s trial by sorrel. Mind you the shade from a mimosa, a cherry, and some very energetic climbing french beans isn’t helping either

#15

Sometimes I just leave them be and don’t worry about it - I’m happy to give away some my harvests in return for enjoying nature on the doorstep. But it does depend - and I’m lucky to have plenty of growing space now. Of course, you can pick off and move the caterpillars - but that does depend on having another of their food plants you can move them to which is not always easy.

A very interesting observation, Kathryn. I’ve also found it to be a friendly container crop, happy to be moved and cut back. I cut the flowers on mine back earlier this year and it is now full of leaves.

#16

I got a bit annoyed when caterpillars munched through a whole container of rocket in short order. I don’t mind sharing, but this was wipeout.