I think that Rudbeckia is such a cheery looking flower and they seem to flower for ages and ages. The one shown here is Rudbeckia - Rustic Dwarf, and from one plant many flowers are produced. This is one of the few flowers that I have grown from seed this year. In previous years I have grown many of my bedding plants from seed, but I seem to lose quite a few to damping off disease. This year I decided that I would buy alot of my bedding plants as plug plants from my local nursery, and I haven't lost a single one. Cost wise, I would say that there hasn't been much difference when you take into account the outlay for the seeds, the compost used for raising the seeds and the compost used for potting on. It's also saved on space in the early part of the year, when I had vegetable seedlings taking up that all important window ledge space. I don't know where I would have put flower seedlings too. I will definitely do the same again next year.
I seem to have cured the problem with my pepper plant. In earlier posts I mentioned that my pepper plant was producing peppers, but the fruit had lots of tiny holes bored into them. I moved the pepper plant from the greenhouse to outdoors as I was running out of space in the greenhouse, and this seems to have cured the problem. I now have lots of peppers on the plant without any holes in them. We'll just have to wait and see now if they get to full size without any further problems.
I'm pleased to say that the aubergine plant is doing well. I now have three fruit on it, and lots more flowers. I'm continuing to pollinate the flowers with a paintbrush and this seems to be helping them to set fruit.
I'm continuing to harvest courgettes and I'm really pleased to say that this is something which all the family will eat, so I don't mind gluts. Unfortunately, the plant looks as though it is starting with powdery mildew, so I have removed the affected leaves and following advice on Kella's blog, which you will find in my blog list, I am spraying with a milk solution. I had never heard that milk may be a cure for powdery mildew before, but a google search brings up lots of discussion on this topic.
I acquired some cucumber seeds through a seed swap which were just named as Lemon Cucumber, so I assumed that they would be Crystal Lemon. Having never grown this variety before I didn't really know what to expect, but had heard that the fruit were smaller and more rounded. The plant has grown really well, and I now have lots of fruit on it, but they're really not what I expected. They are a quite insipid colour and have lots of little spiky hairs all over them. I've had a taste of one, and can't say that I'm overly impressed, so I think I will stick to the traditional varieties in future. I think that seed swaps are great fun though, you get to try lots of different things which you wouldn't ordinarily buy yourself.