Sunday, 3 March 2013


One of the activities I particularly wanted to get on with as soon as possible was planting vegetables. Being June when we moved in it was well into the growing season. The gardens around were already brimming with produce and we hadn't even started, but within a week or so we bought tomatoes, aubergines, leeks, peppers, onions, and courgettes. 
I cleared a patch of grass just beside the house where the early morning sun would shine and remain for most of the day. We planted most of the tomatoes there and the aubergines, with a great deal of hope rather than surety that we would be successful. The remaining tomatoes, along with the peppers we put in the sunniest place by the garage, where it got particularly hot from mid morning. Because we had to make do with the space we had, we also put the leeks and onions there. The zucchini went up by the wall on the other side of the house where there is more shade and where they would hold the watering longer....and we waited..... no we did not stand there day and night...just watered and kept an anticipating eye on our first agricultural venture.
I must say that although Bulgaria has very fertile soil, I was not sure about the quality in our garden and it was a case of ...well we've planted now let's see what happens.
One pleasure of mine in England was making hanging baskets. I brought some with me and we filled two of them with flowers and hung them on the front porch. This caused quite an interest as most people who visited had not seen hanging baskets before.
We were happy and surprised that within two weeks the tomatoes, aubergines and peppers were thriving. It was a bit dry for the onions as the soil was stony. The leeks were fine though and the zucchini were settling into a green display but with few flowers.

Tomatoes and Aubergines

It was not long before we noticed a difference in the zucchini. Two of them turned out to be cucumbers and frankly they were the most successful. Finally we only got two zucchini and several cucumbers...ah well. 
All the watering was achieved by connecting a water pump to a series of hosepipes and then immersing it into the stream that flows across from our house. Another new experience ! The tap water here is metered and also rationed during the hot dry months so the proximity of this water source is really welcome. Incidentally the sticks supporting the tomatoes and aubergines I found as branches at the side of the street. In the UK I would have bought canes but here there is another mentality which I have gradually acquired, as I said.
As the season passed our peppers numbered around one hundred. We had about three hundred tomatoes and fifteen or so aubergines. These were the most successful. As well as eating them immediately in salads---and they were so fresh and delicious, they would be used later in the year to make a variety of Bulgarian preserves which I will describe later.
Unbridled joy at our first tomato

Our Chili Peppers of varying heat

Tomatoes, Aubergines and a Cucumber

1 comment:

  1. Hello David, thanks for this lovely article. I like reading all your articles as they are very rich in information. Planting vegetable ensures you get safe products, unlike vegetables and fruits from the market sprayed with chemicals. Keep writing useful blog posts.

    Best Regards,
    Organic Noni Juice