As we mentioned in our earlier post on Easy To Grow Vegetables, we’re not quite going to be self sufficient this year with our crop we are growing. With losing a lot of seeds earlier in the year, we just thought we’d grow a few plants for a bit of fun and for a little fruit and veg (realised we had not mentioned the fruit element in the earlier title!). So, we only ended up with following plants this year:
- We got these 5 plants, compost and pot for only £13.
- Solanum lycopersicum – A semi bush variety ideal for snacks and salads
- Lycopersicon esculentum – Small and delicious cherry fruits, once again great for snacks and salads
- Cucumis Sativus – This is a very reliable outdoor variety producing a heavy crop.
- Our daughter is also getting involved this year as she brought home a runner bean plant from school, so we’ll be giving this a try as well. As it was from school, we’re not entirely sure in the variety of the plant.
We do like to celebrate our successes here at Sophisticated Homes, but also will mention our mistakes to try to highlight where we went wrong.
We thought we might have a very, very small crop at first, as we lost the cucumber plant quite early. Now, we think it was because the nights were still a little too cold here in early May……….sounds silly, but that is English weather for you! We know of people who live near us that have lost a lot of cucumber plants from seeds this year around the same point, so may have had the same issue as they were also being kept outside.
With this in mind, we thought we’d share a link for cucumber troubleshooting tips, in case anyone else is having problems with their plants.
This plant has been really easy to look after. We watered regularly trying to not cover the crown and leaves of the plant (a previous tip from the last post) and fed it with a liquid potash solution every 7 to 14 days. Even when our watering dropped off a little (the weather did help this sometimes), the plant still looked healthy. When eventually the sun did come out, the fruit ripened and our daughter has been enjoying the crop. Hasn’t been a lot, but at least we’ve had some, which is a little bit of a success.
Once again, we’ve added the below video to give more tips on how to grow and harvest strawberries for people with larger crops than ours.
Runner beans and tomatoes update
These plants have not been as easy to look after as the strawberries have. We’ve watered and fed them in the same way, but as a hectic period came at the house and the watering dropped off a little, they didn’t seem to fare too well. Once we had got back to regular watering and feeding, the plants picked up, but still didn’t look as healthy as we would have liked.
Then we realised that it was time to remove them from their pots and plant in a grow bag (the method we had picked this time round). This gave the boost they needed and are looking a lot better. Hopefully we caught them in time and will now keep growing and give us some tasty veg. The weather here has not been great to get the best out of them so far, but we’ll see how go!
We were told by a neighbour of ours not to water our plants at night as the soft stems are prone to rotting more so at this time.
We’ve added the below videos again to show how to grow and harvest tomatoes and runner beans.
Now, what is really doing well in the garden this year is something we inherited with the house when we bought it. The previous owners had an established plum tree which, although did not produce much fruit last year, is certainly making up for it now. It has hundreds of fruits on it which are just starting to ripen. We are starting to think of what recipes we can use them in, but will still have to see if neighbours and friends will want some as there are so many.
All in all, it’s not quite been the bumper crop that we would have hoped for this year and initially set out to grow, but at least we’ve got a few plants and more importantly, it has still been fun to do. Next year we may go back and try to grow a lot more from seed and maybe more varieties of plants as well.
We will update on how the runner beans, tomatoes and plums turn out and what recipes we do eventually use them in.
As with all our posts, please share your experiences and tips.