Monday, 10 September 2012

Growing your own...

I'm quite good at growing my own stuff. I grow my own hair, toenails, waistline, occasional lifeforms in the back of the fridge.... Last year however we started growing out own food, albeit on a fairly basic level (chillies and tomatoes). We intended to branch out a bit this year, but time constraints at the relevant times meant we just stuck to what we knew, but on a slightly larger scale.

tomatoes

We have four tomato plants this year and are currently revelling in tomato gluttony. Last year we found the tomatoes had quite tough skins (which happens when you grow them outside), but this year that's not been a problem at all. I guess the weather has made quite a difference - our garden is quite sheltered and south facing, and the latter part of August/early September has been quite pleasant this year compared to last. As a result, the little tomatoes didn't need to toughen up so much. We have three varieties and are scoffing them every day!

chillies

This is last year's chilli plant, back in full swing! Everything we read about chillies told us that it was unlikely to produce a second year crop, but we looked after it well all winter, keeping it inside in a sunny spot, and moved it back outside in May when the weather warmed up. Until late June it didn't do anything and we thought that was it, but all of a sudden it seemed to have all its seasons at once - dropped its leaves, regrew its leaves, flowered and started producing in the space of about a fortnight!

This was good news as the new chilli plant we got unfortunately failed on us - the appalling weather at the start of summer made it too depressed and barring a few new leaves it hasn't grown at all.

Next year we want to try some beans of some description, possibly some courgettes but I enjoy courgette flowers more than courgettes themselves! Mmmmmm courgette flowers stuffed with cream cheese......mmmm. Tomatoes again and of course chillies. If like us you eat a lot of asian/spicy food I would absolutely recommend growing chillies. If you get good weather (or have a greenhouse so it doesn't matter so much) just one plant will keep you in chillies from July through to January/February (and beyond if you freeze/dry them). Saves SO much money.

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