The choko or chayote (Sechium edule) is a vigorous, herbaceous perennial vine from the Cucurbitaceae (gourd or cucumber) family, that is native to Central America, but is now cultivated in many parts of the world. Choko fruit are light green in colour and are variable in shape and size, resembling a mango-shaped or pear-shaped squashContinue reading “How to Grow a Choko Vine from a Fruit”
Category Archives: Vegetables
Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?
Fruit cracking is a common problem in tomatoes when there is a wide fluctuation in soil moisture levels, which leads to inconsistent water content within the plant. This is usually caused by huge temperature variations and/or inconsistent irrigation. The cracking or splitting of tomato fruit can take two forms: Both types of tomato cracking canContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Cracking and Splitting?”
Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?
Tomatoes require a sufficiently long growing season and suitable temperatures in order to ripen their fruit, otherwise the fruit may stay green and fail to ripen. When growing conditions are less than ideal, there are ways for gardeners to turn things in their favour, to ensure a successful tomato harvest at the end of theContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening?”
How To Save Tomato Seeds For Planting Next Year
Tomatoes can be grown quite easily from seed, and you can use seeds collected from tomatoes you’ve grown yourself, or from ones you’ve purchase from the greengrocer! There are a few tricks to saving tomato seeds, as they are wet seeded crops, which have seeds embedded in the damp flesh of fruits. When tomato seedsContinue reading “How To Save Tomato Seeds For Planting Next Year”
Why Are My Tomatoes Flowering But Not Setting Fruit?
It’s quite disappointing for gardeners when healthy and vigorous tomato plants,drop their flowers and fail to produce fruit after a good growing season. Tomato plants have what are described as complete flowers, they contain both the male and female parts within the same flower. The tomato flowers grow in downward hanging clusters that are pollinatedContinue reading “Why Are My Tomatoes Flowering But Not Setting Fruit?”
Selecting the Right Size Pot or Container for Growing Vegetables
Container gardening is a great way to grow vegetables when there is no space left in the garden beds, or when space is limited, such as in a courtyard or balcony. When growing in a pot or container, the three main requirements are: The container is of sufficient size for the plants growing in it.Continue reading “Selecting the Right Size Pot or Container for Growing Vegetables”
Are Rainbow Tomato Seeds Fake? Garden Mythbusting
Gardeners are usually enticed by the exotic, the more unusual something is, the more attractive it seems! There are a few online stores selling seeds for rainbow tomatoes, claiming they will produce many different vivid colours of tomatoes from the same plant. Have a look at the photo below, from a seller of such aContinue reading “Are Rainbow Tomato Seeds Fake? Garden Mythbusting”
How Many Hours of Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?
The amount of light that vegetables and herbs require varies, depending on the type of plant. We can make most of available garden spaces by observing which areas are in full sun and part shade, both during summer and winter, and then selecting the right plants that will grow best in the available light. SunContinue reading “How Many Hours of Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?”
A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots
Many gardeners grow vegies in pots, tubs, planters, and self-watering pots. Container gardening is an excellent solution when space is limited or more growing area is required. When growing climbing vegetables such as beans and peas, indeterminate (vining) tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and zucchini in pots, staking them up to support them in containers can beContinue reading “A Better Way to Stake Up and Support Vegetables in Pots”
Why Are My Cabbages Not Forming Heads?
When cabbages are first planted they initially produce lots of large broad leaves, but in the latter part of their growing season the inner leaves at the centre of the plant begin curling inwards and cupping around a short-thick stem, growing tightly together to form the head of cabbage we are all familiar with. TheContinue reading “Why Are My Cabbages Not Forming Heads?”
The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance
It’s always a great idea to let vegetables such as lettuce to go to seed, because a single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, resulting in lettuce seedlings popping up all around the garden. Plants that grow on their own, that weren’t intentionally planted, are known as volunteers, and volunteer vegetable seedlings are basically freeContinue reading “The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance”
How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are a herbaceous, perennial, root-crop plant from the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family that grow to around 60cm (24”) high, and are native to Central and South America. They originated in the Andean highlands almost 10,000 years ago, but have naturalised widely and spread to all continents, growing in climates ranging from temperate toContinue reading “How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Potatoes”
Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 5, How to Plant Seedlings
How to Plant Seedling in Six Easy Steps Once we’ve selected the appropriate seedlings that are in season, it’s seedling planting time! In this article we’ll cover the fundamentals of seedling planting, the procedure is very simple and much easier than sowing seeds. If you’re a beginner to food gardening, I recommend starting off usingContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 5, How to Plant Seedlings”
Tomato Lower Leaves Yellowing and Dropping with Leaf Loss Moving Upwards
Tomatoes grow well during warmer weather, and that is expected since they are subtropical plants native to western South America and Central America. In cool to temperate climates tomatoes are grown as annuals, since they start to decline as temperatures drop in late autumn to early winter. Often in mid to late summer, even ifContinue reading “Tomato Lower Leaves Yellowing and Dropping with Leaf Loss Moving Upwards”
Plant Diseases – White or Tan Spots on Brassica Leaves
White leaf spot is a fungal disease of cruciferous vegetables (brassicas) caused by the pathogen Mycosphaerella capsellae, which is also known as Pseudocercosporella capsellae. The distribution of this disease pathogen is worldwide, it can be found in many countries with temperate climates, where brassicas are grown. The image above shows a pak choi (Chinese cabbage)Continue reading “Plant Diseases – White or Tan Spots on Brassica Leaves”
Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 4, How to Sow Seeds Directly Into the Ground and Into Seedling Trays
Sowing Seeds Directly Into the Ground or Into Seedling Trays Once we’ve selected the appropriate seeds or seedlings that are in season, it’s seed sowing or seedling planting time! In this article we’ll cover the fundamentals of seed sowing, the procedure is quite straightforward and only a bit more complicated than planting seedlings. Where toContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 4, How to Sow Seeds Directly Into the Ground and Into Seedling Trays”
Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 3, When to Sow Seeds and Plant Seedlings
Sowing Seeds and Planting Seedlings at The Right Time of the Year Once you’ve selected a good location to start a food garden, and prepared the soil in the garden bed to make it suitable for growing plants, the next step is to plant it up! Before any planting is done though, there are aContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 3, When to Sow Seeds and Plant Seedlings”
Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 2, How to Prepare the Soil
Preparing the Soil for Growing Food The secret to successful food gardening is rich, healthy soil. What goes into the soil goes into the food coming out of it! Plants take mineral nutrients and water from the soil, along with carbon dioxide from the air and sunlight from the sun to feed themselves and produceContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 2, How to Prepare the Soil”
Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 1, Selecting a Location for a Food Garden
Sometimes governments do give sound advice to their nations… During World War I and World War II, in a an effort to reduce the public demand on food supplies and leave more food to send to the soldiers fighting overseas, governments encouraged their people to plant ‘victory gardens’. What is a Victory Garden? A victoryContinue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening – Part 1, Selecting a Location for a Food Garden”
A Gardener’s Guide to Identifying Different Chilli Species
Chilli peppers (Capsicum species) are members of the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family, along with tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes. They are native to the warm climates of South America and Central America, and they’re perennial plants in tropical and subtropical climates, but are grown as warm season annual plants in the cooler temperate climates as they don’tContinue reading “A Gardener’s Guide to Identifying Different Chilli Species”