, 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 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 male fern
, a member of the Dryopteridaceae family that includes about 200 species of deciduous and evergreen ferns
, is native to the forest areas of the northern hemisphere. Many of the frost-resistant varieties have very decorative, pinnate fronds and are ideal for growing in pots and containers. They prefer a position in shade or partial shade Read more [...]
This species is another member of the large Campanula genus that belongs to the Campanulaceae family, native to southern and eastern Europe and the temperate zones of Asia. It grows 80 cm (32 in) high and forms dense rosettes with very narrow leaves 7 cm (3 in) long. The large blue or white cup-shaped flowers that appear in early to mid-summer, grouped Read more [...]
Liatris spicata is native to central and eastern North America. It is not immediately apparent that L. spicata is a member of the Compositae family because its flowers are so different. Also known as button snakeroot, this low-growing herbaceous perennial forms basal tufts of grass-like leaves, the leaves on the stems becoming increasingly narrow towards Read more [...]
This species of the Campanula genus, a member of the Campanulaceae family, is native to the Carpathian mountains as the name suggests. It is a bushy plant up to 30 cm (1 2 in) high that forms dense clumps of green, heart-shaped leaves. In early summer it produces a mass of white or blue, bell-shaped flowers which are borne singly on long, leafless stems. Read more [...]
The Aster genus that includes over 250 species of deciduous and evergreen herbaceous perennials
that are all suitable for growing in containers on balconies and terraces. The Aster novi-belgii is native to the east coast of North America where they grow in the wild from Newfoundland clown to Georgia. The flowers are borne in loose sprays from late summer 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 [...]
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