Sunday, 26 July 2009


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.


  1. We grew the lemon cucumber a few years ago, they were quite prolific and rather tasty. Good luck with yours.

  2. Thank you Jo for your comment at my blog. I agree with what you say about plug plants versus seeds. Interesting to read about the milk solution combating powdery mildew. I shall enjoy coming back to your site for more handy tips!

  3. Hi... you mentioned about seed swap. it will be interesting to know how it was done. Online or club?
    ~ bangchik

  4. Jo, I bought a small "lemon cucumber" plant from a local homestore a month or so back, and it died almost as soon as I got it home! Didn't know anything about it, but thought since the tag said the fruit were small it would work on my balcony... Oh well. Good to hear about your pepper recovery. Hopefully mine will produce some peppers by end of summer. Cheers!

  5. That's a good tip about the plug plants. I was hopeless growing flowers from seeds, despite having the greenhouse, but might nick your idea (especially as you think it's the same cost wise).

  6. Thanks for visiting, Re. I can't say that I was impressed with the taste of the Crystal Lemon cucumber. I have heard many people say that they can't get enough of them, so perhaps if I eat a few more they might grow on me.

    Thank you for popping by, Cottage Garden. The milk solution was a tip from Kella's blog, which you can find in my blog list. I haven't tried it before so don't know if it will work or not, but it's worth giving it a go.

    I take part in seed swaps online, Bangchik. A forum which I visit have regular swaps, either done as a large event, or individually between two members. The larger swaps are started off by one person who will make up a parcel containing lots of different seeds. The parcel is then sent to the first person on the list who will take a little of what they fancy and then pop in more seeds of their own and then the parcel is sent to the next person on the list. This continues until the parcel has been sent to everyone on the list and the last person will send it back to the person who organised the swap. By this time, with everyone taking out and putting in, the parcel will contain different seeds to how it started out and the organiser will have a choice of different seeds themselves. As well as taking part in these swaps, I also swap seeds and plants with friends.

    Avis, although the Crystal Lemon cucumbers are small, the plant itself isn't. It's grown huge. I have grown a variety called Bush Champion, and this plant is small, so might suit your balcony better.

    I'll definitely buy plug plants again, Deb, but you need to price check to ensure it's cost effective. Some nurseries charge alot more than others. Also, check that the plugs are healthy. I have a great little nursery nearby and they do a good range and their plants are always in tip top condition. They usually sell their plugs for £3.50 for a tray of about 40, but saying that, there are sometimes more than one seed planted in each module so you end up with more. Also, if a couple of seeds haven't germinated and there are a couple of empty modules in the tray, they reduce the tray, so you could end up with 35 or more seedlings for £2.00.

  7. AnonymousJuly 29, 2009

    Hurrah for the aubergine! Rudbekia is the only plant i have successfully grown from seed and seen it come through the following year - I have cheated recently and bought some, so I can plant now and come up next year too! I have them planted on a wall with some sunflowers - its a cheery wall!

    I buy a lot of plugs from that garden centre in swillington, especially for bedding - so much easier if you buy early in the season, and raise on, as they're cheap as chips!

    Are you going to the meet in Oxford?

  8. Swillington Nursery is the one I was talking about, Cat. Their plants always seem to be in tip top condition, and each time I visit there seems to be someone there tending to them. I think it's the best nursery around here, but if you know different or have any other suggestions I'd love to know. No, I'm not going to the meet (It's the first I've heard of it). The kids break up from school that weekend though, and it's my weekend off, so we might end up going away.

  9. Beautiful flower. With not being able to plant out most veggies until May - I find starting from seed is the best way to control my urge to garden when the soil is too cold and wet to be worked. I use peat pellets so I don't have the extra mess and cost of potting them up.

  10. I know what you mean, Ann. I'm always itching to get going with the seed sowing.


!-- Start of StatCounter Code for Blogger / Blogspot -->