Grow Your Own

We have such hot weather in Northern Cyprus that it makes it a lot more enjoyable attempting to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in the garden or on the balcony. It seems like whatever you plant grows before your eyes, I even grew some tiny Melons from seeds leftover from the fruit we had eaten one evening.

One problem I have had is trying to grow things that I would have grown in England at the height of the summer here, its just too hot for some herbs and fruit to grow here. In future I won’t try to plant them until now (its November!)!

After visiting Mexico a few years ago and loving their green salsa I was desperate to grow some Tomatillo plants so I could make my own, unfortunately I was slightly over zealous with my planting and ended up with far too many plants. Some have been neglected and died, but I am keeping an eye on my ‘best’ ones and waiting for the fruit to get bigger, at the moment they are tiny, like Cherry Tomatoes. I have kept any that drop to try to save the seeds to replant next year! And next time I will use a cage as the branches snap from swaying in the wind (it gets very windy here!) and also the Dogs & Cats love to brush past them and damage them! The plants are like magnets to animals!

Behind this Tomatillo you can just see I have Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives growing, another thing I didn’t realise is that these are hardy enough to cope with our hot weather unlike the normal Chives in England which would perish. The Garlic Chives are flat instead of tube like & they flower with pretty white flowers apparently pests dislike them so next year I will be putting them everywhere!!


I’m also growing some different varieties of Chilli Pepper Orange Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Ancho Poblano, Jalapeno & I have one mystery plant that I am told is Cayenne. In the picture below you can just see the new stems coming through on the Ancho Poblano plant, it really is a strange looking thing I didn’t realise they are multi stemmed till today!

Ancho Poblano

Jalapeno Early


Cayenne Pepper?

Its impossible to buy certain ingredients here, so fresh Lemongrass (I hate the kind in a jar) and Thai Basil were two of my first plants. I have had on going problems with Aphids and Leaf Miners since I began gardening here. They particularly love the Thai Basil, Siam Queen and at one stage I wrote the plants off and left them by themselves, occasionally plucking off the infected leaves and throwing them onto the BBQ, somehow slightly sadistic but necessary! Now the plants are thriving and I have so many I have started to give them away, it makes quite a nice present to give a plant, particularly one you can’t buy here.

Siam Queen

Siam Queen Flower Tip

I ran out of Cells to plant seeds & seedlings into, with the amount of  bottled water we get through a week I decided to chop the tops off the bottle, poke holes in for drainage and use these! Recycling! I have just planed some Red Basil into a yoghurt pot, and transferred some Siam Queen Thai Basil and Genovese Basil into water bottles till they get a bit larger.

Red Basil

Siam Queen Seedlings

Genovese Basil

Things I Can’t Get To Grow

Lovage- I can’t even get these seeds to germinate! I am not sure if its the climate here or my seeds

Lemon Grass from seed- I can’t germinate this either, the only way I get Lemon Grass is leaving a stalk in water till it forms roots & then planting into a pot. Apparently it likes to be root bound, I just gave this one a hair cut as now its cooling down the temperature is lower at night & the ends were turning brown.

Lemon Grass Hair Cut

Borage- I can get it to grow into a tiny plant but then it yellows & dies or gets eaten by the Leaf Miners!

Sheep’s Sorrel- Seedlings pop up, then disappear

Thai Holy Basil- I had some seedlings which withered & died and I have had no luck germinating any since!

To be Continued (need pictures of my other plants!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: