Wednesday 4 July 2018

Roasted veg

The title of this post refers not to veg being cooked in the kitchen, but in the garden!

Our weather continues to be hot and dry, and frequently windy - conditions that my vegetable plants really do not like. Without me watering them frequently they would mostly have died long ago. Not many vegetables can go without water for over a month...

So far I've managed to keep my Runner Beans alive, but very few of the flowers have set pods.

I've tried the old trick of spraying them with a fine mist of water from the hosepipe, but it hasn't worked.

The weather has also induced most of my lettuces to bolt, even though I have watered them twice most days - once in the morning and once in the evening.

Fortunately, thanks to "succession sowing" I had some more lettuce seedlings that were big enough to plant, so I have pulled up the bolted plants and put the young ones in their place. They are going to struggle a bit unless the weather changes!

Lots of the vegetables love sunshine, as long as they can get plenty of water too. My cucumbers are a good example. Each of my 4 plants has many little fruits forming - one at almost every leaf-joint - so I'm fully prepared for a glut, as long as I can keep up the current watering regime!

Young cucumber "Marketmore"

Baby cucumber fruits wherever you look!

I'm also being careful to water my tomato plants at least once a day, even though they are in big (35L) pots. Leaving them to dry out completely and then flooding them would be almost as bad as not watering them at all. Keeping them at a steady level of hydration (not too wet, and not too dry) will help to prevent them getting Blossom End Rot, which often afflicts tomato plants that are in small pots which dry out quickly.

Tomato "Super Marmande"

Tomato "Tango"

My chillis are also loving the hot sunshine, mostly. I have two plants that seem to wilt very dramatically if left in the direct sunshine for too long, so I have been keeping them in the shade most of the time. The others are doing well though, and producing plenty of fruit. The flowers seem to set fruit much better in hot dry weather.

Chilli "Cayenne"

Chilli "Aji Benito" - an over-Wintered plant

I have lots of plants growing in pots and wherever possible I have equipped these with saucers. This simple measure helps a lot. When the compost in a pot is very dry, watering is often wasted. The water just runs through it and is lost, but if the pot has a saucer most of the water is retained and the plant can gradually suck it up over the next few hours.

Pots with saucers


  1. It’s becoming rather boring now, having to spend most of our gardening time watering.

  2. Welcome to gardening southern California style, water, water, water all the time, no rain until November. I get tired of watering daily, too. I get so discouraged when I see all the lovely things you and the Garretts produce so easily. And, yes, after trying many methods, I think the pot and saucer works best in summer.

  3. Dear Mark,

    It's hard to keep the right level of hydration. My Black Russian and Black Krim I'm cultivating in big pots are heavily afflicted by blosson end rot.


  4. Hi, watering is a full time job this year. I am helped out hugely because i have a range of self watering pots (cheating!) and I am using Haxnicks Water Saucers. I wondered if you would like to try a water saucer out for one of your pots and let your blogging audience know what you think of it?

    1. Yes, I'll give it a go if you want. Please email me with what you propose. Thanks.

  5. Here in New York state, we have quite hot summers, so were used to watering, watering, watering. Tell me, do you ever consider a simple soaker hose or drip irrigation? Some people here just lay the drip tubing, or soaker hoses right on top of the soil all throughout the bed(s), and then just quick-connect the main water hose onto each bed for an hour every day. Tough to do if you're on an allotment, but easy enough in one's home garden, no? The supplies are quite inexpensive. Easy peasy and it works!

    1. Yes, the soaker hose is attractive, but on my new plot I have to use the water provided by the owners who are an elderly couple with modest resources, so I don't want to clock up a big water bill for them.

  6. Little gem seems to like the full sun, I'm shading the rest of my lettuces, they wilt and look awful in full sun. I'm growing high intensity lettuce this year as inspired by the YouTube migardener channel, it's working really well, I suspect they are less likely to bolt this way as you eat the leaves younger. I highly recommend it especially as it takes almost no room.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.