, plant breeders have now solved three problems. Cucumbers bear male and female flowers separately, and it has always been necessary, when growing the traditional long, smooth, greenhouse or frame cucumbers, to remove all the male flowers. Otherwise they were pollinated, resulting in bitter misshapen fruits.
The plant breeders, Read more [...]
Cucumbers are not the easiest of vegetables to grow, but if you choose the right varieties to start with and give them the regular care they need, you can produce a successful crop at your first attempt.
As well as the usual salad uses, there are various recipes in which cucumbers
can be included; they can even be stuffed and cooked. They are a more Read more [...]
How to Grow Cucumbers
Cucumber - Cucumis sativa
A member of the Gourd family, this subject has a long history of culture, being mentioned in the Old Testament as one of the fruits the Israelites longed for while in captivity.
There are records showing that the Romans went to a lot of trouble to cultivate cucumbers
, which apparently were regularly Read more [...]
Guide to Growing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts - Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
The Brussels sprout vegetable was known and cultivated in Belgium, particularly in areas around Brussels nearly 800 years ago.
For best results provide an open, airy situation, with wide spacing, to ensure good sprout development. A long season of growth is required. Read more [...]
Guide to Growing Lettuces
There are two main types of lettuce
, the cabbage
and the cos, and a great many varieties of each differing in colour, crispness, size and season.
Lettuces like a well-dug, rather rich, well-manured soil
. They are frequently treated purely as a catch-crop, and good yields can be obtained from sowings made on the ridges of Read more [...]
The genus Lewisia is a member of the Portulaceae family of about 20 species of deciduous or evergreen herbaceous perennials
that are all native to the Rocky Mountains. L. cotyledon is an evergreen herbaceous perennial with fleshy, dark green leaves, arranged in basal rosettes. The dense clusters of white, yellow, pink or purple-red flowers, depending Read more [...]
The genus Glechoma belongs to the Labiatae family includes twelve species of creeping, mat-forming
, hardy perennials that grow almost everywhere in Europe. Their stems root at the nodes and quickly form a carpet of coarsely toothed, round to oval, hairy leaves. In summer, plants produce small, fragrant, blue-violet tubular flowers which emerge from Read more [...]
Native to east Asia, Ophiopogon is a member of the Convallariaceae family and is particularly appreciated for its tufts of handsome, evergreen grass-like leaves.
O. jahuran is native to Japan and not frost-hardy; it is therefore best cultivated as a container plant in temperate zones. O. planiscapus is half-hardy and will tolerate a light frost. However, Read more [...]
This genus of perennial grasses only has two species that grow on heath and moorland in Europe and Asia. Its gold brown autumn colours and elegant habit make it a very decorative container plant for balconies and terraces.
Purple moor grass forms mounds of slender, upright leaves 50 cm (20 in) long. The violet-coloured flowers borne in slender panicles Read more [...]
Many of the 400 species of the Panicum genus, a member of the Poaceae family, are particularly popular with florists for their elegant panicles of spikelets. Switch grass is an excellent visual screen and provides effective protection against the wind on balconies and terraces because it can grow up to 100 cm (39 in) high.
Specimens are particularly Read more [...]
Salvia officinalis is a decorative sub-shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region and like many herbs it belongs to the Lamiaceae family. The young shoots and leaves of the strongly aromatic plant can be harvested throughout the summer and used for flavouring many dishes. For a restoring tea, the leaves should be harvested shortly before the plant Read more [...]
The Jovibarba genus consists of evergreen, succulent perennials. It is closely related to the Sempervivum
genus and, like them, is a member of the Crassulaceae family. They form rounded rosettes, sometimes tinged with red, depending on the species. Jovibarba globifera is also known as J. sobolifera. The species produces evergreen rosettes with pale Read more [...]
The annual and perennial grasses in this genus that belongs to the Poaceae family are native to the temperate regions of Europe and south-west Asia. Briza media is a bushy ornamental grass with narrow, mid-green leaves, slightly hairy along the edges. In summer it produces about 30 nodding brownish-purple spikelets grouped in loose panicles that quake Read more [...]
Members of the Ranunculaceae family, delphiniums
are are very popular garden plants because of their large, majestic spikes of intensely blue flowers. Delphinium
grandiflorum (syn. D. chinense) is a short-lived herbaceous perennial that is usually grown as an annual in regions with harsh winters. The hood-shaped, single flowers which come in shades Read more [...]
This frost-hardy, herbaceous perennial grows up to 100 cm (39 in) high and is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family. Its mid-green leaves up to 6 cm long are arranged in a whorl at the base and alternately higher up the stem. The racemes of pink-violet flowers are produced from mid to late summer.
There are many varieties of the species that come Read more [...]
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