This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Veg past and present (leek, cabbage, squash)

Last year I grew leeks in pots (pictured) and I was already eating them by now. This year I put the leeks into the ground and they are about pencil thin so will be awhile before I'm eating leeks. I like to use leeks in casseroles and stews.
Last year I grew a cabbage in a pot (pictured). The pot was only about 8 or 10 inches across. It grew really well and by mid Sept I was eating it.
This year I netted my cabbages. They seem to be growing slow and are being enjoyed by slugs. How do the organic farmers do it?!?!
I wonder, is it possible my net has let some white butterfly through.

Was watching Gardner's World and Monty showed a squash that looks like my unknown plant growing from home made compost. I think frost may get to the plant before any fruit ripens.

I really don't like spiders and I don't like looking at this photo. However, this little guy set up home from a potted delphinium to my potted self fertilizing apple tree. Is he poisonous? Looks deadly to me!
Rose petals can be used to flavour tea or look pretty frozen in ice cubes. They're nice to decorate dessert plates as well. Would be good on a plate with chocolate brownie!

Happy Gardening!


  1. The spider is quite safe - just an ordinary garden spider (probably a girl)

    It's a funny year for comparing how things grew last year to this as this year has been very strange.

  2. Your veg enjoyed being pampered last year! I reckon they're huffing about being made to look after themselves. But they'll come good yet, and at a time when beans and courgettes have stopped producing. You're right about those nets. They keep birds off but are as good as invisible when it come to cabbage whites!

  3. I tend to use very fine mesh for my brassica cages as the Cabbage Whites will find any way in that they can. That last picture of the rose covered in raindrops is so pretty.

  4. So, do you find container gardening more productive and easier to keep pests out? I must try it in my winter garden.

  5. I am just so amazed at what you grown in pots! I grew red cabbage this year for the first time. We planted 4 plants and have harvested one head. Great salad and no slugs or worms. Don't ask me why. Well, no slugs because the ground is too hard. The spider? We have the same spider in our garden. Poisonous? I doubt it; I just steer clear of them when I find them in the garden.

  6. I would never think to grow a cabbage in a pot, how funny! Yes, I think you need a smaller mesh on your netting to keep the butterflies out! Insects and spiders do not frighten me as much as they once did once I began gardening.

  7. I have same experince too. SOmetimes vegetables on the pot grow better!
    Such a lovely rose!

  8. Hi Kelli,what a difference between veg grown last year and this year whether in containers or not.Our leeks are of the pencil variety also even though they have been in the ground for weeks.May be a good idea to have some container grown for early veg while waiting for the maincrop to come in, you could have hit on a good idea here!

  9. You could look for eggs under the leaves to check for cabbage moths, if there shiny trails its slugs and snails. I think its some type of orb spider, not poisonous. I love leeks too, they do take ages, we're eating some now and have already planted the next crop.

  10. Last year we used similar-gauge mesh to yours, and I watched the cabbage whites fold their wings back to slip through the gaps, our cabbages suffered severely. They are rather clever and sly butterflies! This year we upgraded to enviromesh which has a much tighter weave, and our crops are less devastated (although the cats sitting on the cages pulled the mesh from the frame in places, letting some butterflies in...)
    Your cabbages and leeks look good.

  11. I tend to have a difficult time getting leeks to fatten up. Maybe I should try your pot method next year!

  12. I've only just come across your blog but it has brought back so many idea's and plant names that I had almost forgotten =D
    I've been away from a UK garden (apart from annual trips home to see family) so need to have a refresher for when I return. I'm currently living in Melbourne at the moment and loving it because I've just moved into a house with a large garden...
    I know I'm going to get so much pleasure following you and look forward to many hours gardening.
    Just a thought my broccoli was saved by a sprinkling of cayenne pepper on the leaves...the slugs and snails don't like it! Hopefully it may save your cabbage. Maybe worth a try.
    Love your photo's by the way.