The empty salad bowl

by Sue Trollip

I had great aspirations when I moved to a warmer climate with a deck in the sunshine large enough for plants. Veggies, I thought, lots and lots of fresh veggies. So I went shopping for large pots, soil, and plants.

After a little consideration, and a couple of flowers, I chose a tomato, sweet pepper and baby marrow (zucchini) then I threw in some beetroot, because they are just too yummy.

I went straight home and got planting.


So far, I’ve eaten 3 tomatoes.


My farming aspirations have been dashed. Winter is just around the corner and my crop is non-existent. The leaves are magnificent as the peppers and marrows vie for sunshine but there are no blossoms, no sign of a crop.

2.jpgNow I have the long winter to research my errors, to find a new, better way of farming for my salad bowl. This time next year, I hope to have a full salad blog , to show off the fruits of my research.



5 thoughts on “The empty salad bowl

  1. Penny M says:

    Thanks, Sue – I enjoyed this piece. I come from a green fingered family, not farming stock, but perhaps being in a tanning climate changes things. I haven’t ventured to pot for at least fifteen years, having had several crops ravaged by monkeys. Maybe your plants are late bloomers? I’m sure you will have better luck next year if you haven’t gone completely potty! Perhaps by then my mother’s garden will have grown on me and I will be happily weeding in the U.K.

  2. jac says:

    Take heart Sue; I squished a mini tomato a year ago and it grew and grew and grew – like Jack and the Beanstalk, then produced, like a constipated hen, one miniscule tomato per week – if we were lucky. I’ve now got spinach growing, also in the mini phase because I chomp each little leaf as it appears! so much for highly priced baby spinach, one leaf a day is just fine!

  3. Susan says:

    I applaud your efforts, Sue. While living in Johannesburg years ago I planted a leafy tomato plant, together with a small basil plant, in a big rectangular trough. I had read somewhere that if these two share soil, it enhances the flavour of both. I never found out because the basil died and the tomato never bore fruit. I had also read (in the same optimistic book, possibly?) that planting chives next to your roses discourages aphids. I think it might have worked, except that my big stoopid cat at the time ate the chives thinking it was grass…

  4. jac says:

    And if you live where we live, forget about growing anything edible. Just had a massive baboon with multicoloured nether regions raid the grocery cupboard, fridge and freezer in 5 mins flat.

  5. Hazel Bond says:

    I wrote an article once called “How does my garden grow” It ended with the words. “I have started to pray for market gardeners…veggies should come soil free in plastic wrappings.

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