Hi everyone, welcome to Growing Vegetables Week 1. A diary of Bob and Sammie’s (that’s me) attempt to grow some of our own fruit, vegetables and flowers at home, using mostly containers.
You are welcome to join us as we plant and grow through the Summer, Autumn and if we’re successful maybe the Winter too!
I must apologise as this first post really should have been published a few weeks ago. However, with the exception of chilli’s and tomatoes, most of what we are growing can still be sown now for a late summer harvest!
The very lovely people at Groseeds kindly donated the seeds Bob and I would need to start our gardening adventure. They are are wonderful company with a great ethos. Pop over to there website and see the difference you can make by purchasing your seeds from Groseeds.
Groseeds packets are so practical. Not only are they waterproof, protecting them from a sudden shower or misdirected hose, they are also resealable. This keeps the seeds, which are contained within a little pouch in the packet, perfectly fresh. Some seeds can last a couple of years, but I’ve tried and failed too many times to sow seed from opened, last year packets, only to be disappointed. These Groseeds seed packets get a firm 10/10 for practicality and seed protection.
With my health problems (see Living with Seizures) I knew I would need the help of Bob, that’s his nickname, if I were to successfully sow and grow vegetables and flowers to create recipes with. Bob is incredibly hands on and practical, he reminds me of his Grandad. If something is broken he sees it not as a problem, but as a puzzle to fix! He was very happy to take part in growing our own vegetables and take on the responsibility of watering, whilst at the same time I could teach him the fundamentals of gardening. We enjoy working together and he’s a strong lad!
Seeds were chosen, ordered from Groseeds and received at the start of June. I knew we were a little late off the starting block with sowing certain plants. Normally I would cheat and buy a few chilli and tomato plants from the garden centre, not this year though. Despite the horrendous weather at the start of June we managed to get;
Gartenpearle – a small tumbling/bush cherry tomato that is perfect for growing in containers.
Roma – a small plum shaped tomato that I’ve grown before and seems to do well in our North facing back garden and can also be grown in a large pot.
Orange Habonero Chilli – ooh Bob and I both like a kick to our food, so we picked a hot chilli. These will be planted in our front garden, where they will benefit from the sun all day long, as it is south facing.
Borage – grown as a companion plant for the chilli’s, to attract bees and other pollinators. Also the flowers can be eaten in salad.
As our porch is dual aspect and south facing, so I placed an old table in the corner and it doubled as a greenhouse. I also had a packet of mixed chilli peppers so we sowed some of those as well.
Certain plants were sown and left outside to germinate.
Thyme and Tarragon – both herbs that I use a lot of can be seen in the flat trays on the right.
Courgettes – both Black Beauty and Goldy. One has a dark green skin and the other as you may have guessed is yellow.
Spaghetti Squash – having seen the huge interest in this squash on Pinterest I was interested to see if we could indeed grow our own veggie spaghetti!
Wild Rocket – not a fan of heat, I took a chance sowing in June and thanks to the very wet weather it now looks like this:
This wild rocket can now be cut and used in salads, adding a wonderful peppery flavour.
So as and when I could, sometimes with Bob, more often whilst he was at school and the rain had stopped, I gradually sowed the following:
Runner Beans – Painted Lady, these grow brilliantly in containers just keep them well watered especially if the weather is windy – these also need a support to grow up, more on that next week.
Dwarf French Bean – Purple Queen a coloured bean that we wanted to try. So a new one for us.
Carrots – Rainbow, Bob liked the variation in colours & I was intrigued to see if they could be grown in a container. These were sown into the same deep pot as –
Onion – Red Baron. This is companion planting. The smell of the onion will hopefully deter the carrot fly from laying eggs and munching on our rainbow carrots.
Spring Onion – White Lisbon, one I’d grown before and also sowed a few in with the runner beans as a quick crop, however, the runner beans are growing strong so we will need to sow some more.
A variety of flowers Peach Nasturtium, the flowers are very good in salads. Limanthes, or poached egg plant to attract pollinators to the tomato plants and trailing mixed lobelia to keep the bees and other pollinators coming.
As you can see from the first and last photos, our Groseeds plants are growing strongly, in fact if you look through the window on the picture above, you can see the Borage already planted in the front bed.
There are plenty of veggies that can still be sown now, here’s an idea of what else we will be sowing; Fennel, mixed salad leaves, spring onions, beetroot, radishes, purple sprouting broccoli (for next Spring), hardy spring onions for next year, mustard cress and plenty more.
I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Growing Vegetables Week 1. Our aim is to grow our plants as organically as we can. In truth the runner beans had a few slug pellets in the pot. We don’t know how great our harvest will be and we are at the mercy of the British weather.
Yet it is fun. To grow something that you are the able to eat. Today we picked our first 2 French Breakfast radishes.
Crunchy with a peppery flavour, once washed these were delicious.
That’s what makes growing your own so much fun. Yes we may have to battle with snails and other critters, but hopefully, now the plants are growing on a bit they can withstand a little munch here and there.
We will not be using any insecticides on our plants. Some have had some slow release fertiliser added to the pots, to keep them growing strong through the season. This is our first proper attempt and we are bound to make mistakes along the way.
I hope you will join Bob and I again, next week for seed sowing, growing/harvesting updates and how to build a wigwam to support your runner beans.
If you’ve enjoyed Growing Vegetables Week 1 you may also like this post:
We hope you’ve been inspired to take a look at the Groseeds website and order a few seeds, so that you too can enjoy the pleasure of eating and feasting on what you have grown.
Sammie and Bob xx
Groseeds kindly donated the seeds for our gardening experiment. All views, opinions, photographs and content are my own. I am an amateur gardener, any advice followed is at your own risk. Please see my Disclosure Policy.Share