September newsletter

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Dear Fellow Gardeners,

Well, we have arrived, with varying degrees of success, at summer’s end. Too many of our outdoor crops were a disaster, and some of our indoor peppers ripened about a month later than normal. Surprisingly, the indoor tomato trial has been quite successful, and we are very excited with some varieties that performed exceptionally well – these we will be offering in our 2013 catalogue. Even more surprising was our Passandra cucumber: from the end of June to the end of August, we harvested an average of 68 fruit per plant, or to put it another way, about 1 fruit per plant per day. The plants haven’t yet succumbed to mildew or red spider mite yet, and as long as the weather holds, they should continue producing for a few more weeks to come.

Passandra cucumbers are very productive Tomato variety trial

Passandra cucumbers; this summer's tomato variety trial was very successful.


What to grow in September

Even though its now September don’t give up and put your seeds away – the growing season isn’t over yet. Gardeners with polytunnels or greenhouses can still redeem themselves by producing vegetables over the winter, adding to the repertoire of vegetables that are – hopefully – romping away outside.

Peas and all the leafy brassicacs (mostly Oriental leaves) are particularly well-adapted to being grown over the winter in a polytunnel or greenhouse (for details about overwintering crops please click here. These include Chinese cabbage, pak choi (house style), mizuna, mibuna, tatsoi, komatsuna, and mustard. For further growing details of these crops please click here.

 Oriental leaves in a polytunnel in winter

Just transplanted Oriental leaves in a polytunnel for a winter crop.


British Ethnic Peppers

For the last 10 years or so, we have been hunting down new and interesting varieties of chillies and sweet peppers. Our search has taken us into the British immigrant communities, where the diversity of Capsicum is astonishing. Click here for the full story.

Thai prik kee nu chilli Tiger Tooth chilli

A Thai chilli called prik kee nu (left); Tiger Tooth from Guyanna (right).



Although the summer is coming to an end we still have a full itinerary of shows. This coming weekend (8th and 9th September) Joy will be at the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival and Michael and our daughter, Martha, will be selling chilli plants at the Upton Cheney Chilli Festival. The following weekend (15th and 16th September) we will both be at the Abergavenny Food Festival. Anyone living nearby do drop in. For the full details please click here.

Over the August bank holiday we have had a stall at the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean, one of our favourite shows, and a few days later Joy experienced a mud-fest at the Honiton Agricultural Show.

 Chilli Fiesta 

What a difference a few days make: our stall at the Chilli Fiesta, and...

Mud at the Honiton show

the mud at the Honiton Agricultural Show


Fresh chillies

We are now selling fresh chillies through the post. For details go to

Harvested Dorset Naga chillies

Freshly picked Dorset Naga.


Portesham United

The new season starts this weekend with the Possums playing a home game against Overmoigne. They are then scheduled to play every Saturday throughout September. For more details please click here. Let's hope the team does as well this season as they did in the last one, when they won their division.

Go possums!



Good gardening and best wishes,

Michael and Joy Michaud


 ------------------ / For growing vegetables
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