Category Archives: Character veg

Kevin the miserable, moody aubergine

aubergine_floweraubergine note

This year, there were high hopes for the aubergine analogue study. Why? Because of this guy. Okay, admittedly, I grew him outside, and did temporarily have a plastic greenhouse over him and Claude the astia Courgette. Alas, the wind took it and it was goodbye greenhouse. At one stage, there was a plastic bag covering him as a cloche.

There are many naysyers with aubergines, and to be fair, I can see why. These are fickle, fanciful creatures. If they do not like the conditions, noses are turned up and little feet are stamped. The aim of the aubergine analogue study was to learn from the kevin mistakes.

Not sure if I will try again!

Yours in anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit

Gladys-the Butternut Squash Triffid

Six foot tall, triffids are terrible tyrants.

Perhaps that is an exaggeration.

Armed with a packet of seeds, last year I tried to investigate just what makes triffids tick. So Gladys the Butternut came into being. At that time, last summer, space really was at a premium in Dad’s back yard. Gladys was grown up, rather than out.Seemed a good idea at time, And boy, did she grow.

Growth was incredibly rapid, and for someone who knows nothing about growing curcurbits, that was scary. I have since learned that curcurbits are incredibly greedy feeders. They benefit from pooh in their beds to help them do their thing,

gladysbutternut

All seemed well, there were flowers.I think all in all, five blooms arrived. I may have used a couple to play with Bruno actually. There were fruits, but these were fruits that were simply not working. A failure to pollinate the most likely reason. There were prior to this, many many male flowers, the girls took their time arriving.

butternut_yellow

I do think I will try again. Just need to consult my notes this time!

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Bruno the Ghostrider Pumpkin

ripeningbrunocooked pumpkin

Last year, the one true result, had to be Bruno the Ghost rider Pumpkin. Mama H took pity on a £1.50 seedling whilst we were visiting the Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. I was dubious, at first. Pumpkins have never really hit my radar, I wouldn’t have given them much thought. So why not?

Planted in a tomato grow bag-the £1 sort from poundland-the seedling was observed at close quarters in Dad’s garden. He was protected, first of all, with the bottom of a pop bottle. Cut off and used as a cloche. A good move, else slugs and bad weather would have taken Bruno before his time. He grew, grew, and grew; becoming a triffid of one sort. It was a heartening process, to see something so small, grow into a beast!

bruno_midjulypump2

By late summer last year, there were something like four babies. I couldn’t quite decide what to do with the fruits. There was no knowing, would one take off; would all four? Well one did. Precious and therefore pampered, the one fruit did come off. About six weeks before Hallowe’en, the fruit was taken off the vine. Dad reckoned that if it wasn’t removed, it would probably go bad. Taken off, it was left to ripen on the window sill.

Then what happened? Well, Ma curried it.

Yours in anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit

Aubergines…Awseome, they aint.

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I don’t like Aubergines. Mama H does. Dad does. Me. I can’t stand them. So when I wanted to grow them, raise them from seed; I was feeling altruistic and egalitarian all at the same time. So they started off life, in the heated propogator. The seeds took their time, in fact I may have inadvertently actually snuffed some out in a haze of naivete. Those that did turn up, became those you see above. There were a number of different varieties in this particular experiment

  • tres native de barbentane
  • dancer
  • early long

A few others, I forget now!

But they didn’t have take their time. They had to be the most pampered, precious plants the world has known. Thanks to Grandad Mike, they were fed, watered and tickled. As tou can see, there was a lot of foliage. They didn’t leave the utility room; the sun was able to nurture them. Despite the one variety meant to be quite used to the elements, after last years experiment with Kevin, yes, Kevin the moody aubergine. This year was going to be different.

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The flowers produced were really quite pretty. These were misted and tickled, and still nothing.Not a single aubergine. This could have been down to any one of many things. Perhaps they were pot bound, fed too much, didn’t like the not so tropical environment. I am not at all sure as to which variable caused it all to be such a disappointment. Perhaps I will try again, they seem to grow. Just not fruit. We shall see!

Yours in anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit