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Growing your own veg / herbs?


I do not have the semblance of a green fingernail, that gene eluded me.
My late Swiss Mum was incredible at what she grew, even an apple and a pear tree from pips!
Growing up, we had all the berries red and black, vegetables including asparagus.
What she knew astounded me, the one instance that gobsmacked me was one day I observed her examining a virtually black pansy in our front garden (it may have been something else, given the paucity of my knowledge), I inquired what she was doing and she said that she was harvesting the seeds$!?@% That was me told!!
But several years later the flower part of her garden was full of that very same plant.
She could garden wonderfully, cook, knit, crochet, make wedding dresses, shirts for her 3 boys, use a welding torch and everything in between including write poetry in her 5th language as she spoke Swiss-German, German, French, Italian and finally English with a bastardised Welsh accent (lol) and I hardly ever saw her with a book.
I think that mould got broken!!


It has undoubtedly been a very different year in the garden , the hot spell was both good and bad with the veg and fruit.
Unlike you I grow climbing French beans simply to save the ever crumbling body the effort of sorting through plants at ground level, this year they were a disaster, they simply could not take the heat even the flat yellow ones, all despite copious watering they shrivelled and died, yet runners thrived and I picked strawberries only a week ago !
Lettuce that generally like fresh moist conditions thrived ? cabbage despite being covered were eaten alive by the huge cabbage white population.
Tomatoes in the greenhouse were fantastic and again the normally sparse growing Yellow Brandywine never stopped producing and again on return from holiday the last ones were ready to pick and huge, cucumbers should along with the tomatoes been great but even with automatic watering they struggled and were no different to last year even shading them from the sun made no difference, a season of plusses and minuses something repeated from all that I have spoken to about their garden produce and gardens.
And the Berberis and the Ceanothus are flowering at this moment for the second time this year, and as with you the apple crop is enormous, never two years the same in the garden, and never two gardens the same.


I’ve grown Dwarf French Beans, both green and yellow, for the past few years. This year after picking them all I was surprised by them producig a second crop which I picked and had last night,

If you like chillis, its a waste of money to buy them from a supermarket, one small plant in a pot can produce hundreds of fruit and a couple of plants will see you through the year, even if you eat them every day.

I prefer varieties Spike and Prairie Fire.

Spike has very thin long fruit that are easy to finely chop with scissors.
Prairie Fire makes a thuck bushy plant with upright bullet shaped fruit that start white and go through cream and orange before fully ripe at red.

I always try some new varieties, this year Black Hungarian, which have attractive black fruits but which are too mild for me and I give them to a friend for whom they are just right, and Pencil Cayenne which have very long pencil like fruits, but again too mild for me.

Tomatoes are coming to an end. Chocolate Cherry has a mahogany colour, small round fruits and a delicious taste. Sungold has orange cherry size fruit, very thin skin and a delicious sweet flavour. Gardeners Delight is a traditional sized red tom which is productive and tastes good.

The heat has given me the best year for the beefheart toms I grow from seed originally taken from a tomato I had in Avignon. I’m picking the last two today for dinner.

Cucumber has been the surprise hit, more fruit produced, and hiding behind foliage so I discover them only when they are size of small marrows! Really firm crisp tasty flesh.


Completely agree! The other thing you can do with them (you’ll need one of the smaller varieties) is to keep it as a pot plant over winter on a sunny (south-facing) windowsill indoors. Not only will it look decorative, but it will go on supplying the fruits till next spring.


Schwyzerdütsch ist ganz öbis anders, gal?


To my regret, whilst I was multi-lingual at about 3 years of age; it was not PC at the time to have a child who “appeared” to speak High German. Although my Mum spoke the dialect Schwyzerdutch to me, which is virtually indecipherable to most Germans, some people took exception, my Mum caved in to peer pressure which I do understand and I lost it all!:cry:
I still remember attending my Cub Group and playing the game “Jerry’s coming over,” apologies for my inappropriate language to those who might find it offensive.
It cannot but be a good thing that we hopefully have put this stuff behind us, in fact most towns and cities in the UK have twinned with similar in Germany.

I wonder which towns twinned with Tain l’Hermitage, Avignon or Lyon at a push.
The biennial reciprocal visits must be great fun.

As an aside, not for the first time in recent times, my Society delivery (courier) did not show up.
I waited in all day and was borderline apoplectic when I rang in at 7.00 p.m. to report the failure .:unamused::cry:


Tain doesn’t have a UK twin. Avignon is twinned with Colchester, Lyon with Birmingham.

I live in Hitchin, twinned with Nuits Saint-Georges and Bingen (Pfalz). We Hitchinites definitely can’t complain! Our forefathers clearly knew a thing or two and got in early!!


I’ve not had success with that.

Last time I cut one down to a stump hoping it’d regenerate and I’d get an early crop. It did regenerate but the crop was no earlier than those planted from seed the following spring.


Did anyone have success growing garlic indoors? Just contemplating trying it…


Why garlic in particular? And does it have to be inside?

It’s a cool weather crop and I’m not sure how well it would get on with central heating. But I haven’t actually tried it inside so I’m not speaking from experience.


I completely agree. The other great thing about chillies is all the different ways you can preserve them. I usually chop and freeze some (for fresh chilli taste)), dry some (for a warmer, fruitier taste), pickle some (for picnics) and make a variety of hot chutneys. yesterday I made Jamie Oliver’s rose harissa (delicious!).


I think you probably need to have a plant that is just starting to fruit come autumn (therefore late-sown) to do it successfully. At least, that’s how I’ve done it.


You can grow them quite easily in a largish pot indoors not difficult and the “greens " come in about ten days for snipping, you can plant whole garlic or about six cloves in a deep 8” pot with about 3 to four inches between them the pot must have good drainage.
Water carefully, being a bulb to much and they rot plus use a peat based compost as it drains better and feed every couple of weeks place on a south facing windowsill for maximum light.
All that wonderful info and I don’t even like garlic :joy:


Indoors ?

My crop of outdoor planted was great this year - plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest

Always plant individual cloves and make sure don’t get too wet during the winter - So good well draining soil


Nice idea. Do you get bulbs to harvest by doing it this way or is it mainly for the leaves?


I’ve not tried it but you should probably put it in the fridge for a while first. Some people aren’t aware of this but you shouldn’t keep garlic in a fridge as garlic is triggered to start growing by cold conditions and will start sprouting much sooner than if it’s kept dry and at moderate temperatures. Hence the normal planting time of autumn.


You get both here is a simple video…


Thanks for sharing, that’s a fun growing project… be a good one for kids, too.

BTW, I’m not doubting you can grow reasonable sized bulbs in this way, but the harvested bulbs in the video look to me like they were grown in the ground - not in containers inside!


If you want bigger bulbs the best way is to grow the segments singly in tall plastic pots the 5" ones are ideal.

boring picture of black pot…


This was the best year yet for my beefsteak tomatoes, grown first in 2016 from seeds taken from a tomato I’d bought in Avignon, Southern France


This month I picked these four on 9 October and the last two earlier this week.

This little tomato is a Sungold, for comparison.