Sunday, 16 May 2010

Going Potty!

In recent weeks, I have focused both my gardening and blogging attentions on the London Vegetable Garden allotment. However, now is the time to focus once more on growing vegetables 'sans-garden' and demonstrate to all urban gardeners that enjoyment, plants and edible produce can all be had regardless of space.

Following yesterday's vegetable plant purchases, my conscience has deemed it appropriate to spend today on my hands and knees in the kitchen spreading compost everywhere (to the absolute delight of the other half) and at long last planting some vegetables from seed.

Some of these seeds will be transplanted to the allotment when big enough, whilst some of them will remain 'windowsill' plants. After all, the London Vegetable Garden started as a project to see just what can be grown in an urban setting and this year is no different. If anything, the 'home' gardening will be much more of a challenge this year, since I am without even balcony this time!

The seeds I planted up today are as follows:

'Pomodoro' Italian beefsteak tomatoes – 3 pots x 3 seeds per pot

'Lycopersicon Esculentum Tigrella' tomatoes – 1 tray x 16 seeds

'Cucumis Sativus Burpless Tasty Green' cucumbers – 6 pots x 1 seed per pot

'Cucurbita Maxima' courgettes – 4 pots x 1 seed per pot

'Sweet Genovese' basil – 1 pot x 10 seeds (approx)

Now, courgettes were tricky enough on the balcony (my efforts 2 years ago all came down with leaf mildew, despite offering up one paltry courgette) – these vegetables require a lot of space per plant, so like the cucumbers, these are purely being grown for later transplantation to the allotment. The basil is intended purely for the 'kitchen windowsill garden', which will soon be joined by salad leaves and other herbs – watch this space...

As for the tomatoes, half of these will be joining yesterday's allotment arrivals, while I aim to accommodate the remaining half somewhere around the flat. There' are two large bedroom windowsills that could be used to house something – but that something will need plenty of ingenuity!

In the meantime, these pots are being kept in the hallway, in a spot that receives plenty of sun. I will also be covering these pots in cling-film to aid the germination process, but have found that if in a warm and sunny place, this is generally not required.

From past experience, I have found that germination differs from plant to plant, but generally see signs of life within one week to a fortnight. The minute these seeds start sprouting, you can rely on a swift blog post!

If you are looking for tips on growing vegetables on a balcony, in pots on a patio or even on a windowsill, visit the London Vegetable Garden archive! There's a wealth of information and advice to be had following my successes – and failures – last year. Alternatively, why not connect with other urban gardeners at the London Gardeners' Network, where there's a wealth of gardening knowledge to unearth.


  1. I'll be interested in how your cucumbers turn out; mine all got neck rot!

  2. Well it's the first time I've ever attempted cucumbers, so am not sure how on earth that's going to go! Is there a reason that yours came down with neck rot? Anything I should avoid?

  3. Apparently, and a as a novice I can only go by what I've been told, they dislike contact with moist earth, and watering from above in the early stages!



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