More greenhouse gadgets – the quadgrow system

courgettes 2016Today was quite a productive day in the garden, despite some heavy showers (really heavy – heavy enough that they drowned me out while I was filming in the greenhouse).

The first job for today was to pot the courgettes up into their final pots to be put out into the garden in their final homes.

I kept 4 of the courgette plants, although if we get a good crop, 4 will be far too much. However I have no idea whether they are green or yellow. There was a small labeling accident, and I knocked the labels over so it’s a bit like courgette roulette. As I said, I kept 4, I actually had about 7 good plants this year, but my friend Alex has taken some for her garden, so they didn’t go to waste.

all things greenI don’t know why, but having the courgettes out in their proper place feels like things are right with the world, like it’s all coming together. I think it’s just cause I’m so used to seeing the plants sitting between the veg beds, that things look bare otherwise.

The other big job I got done today was to set up my other new gardening gadget, my quadgrow system.

One of the biggest things that needs to be managed in the greenhouse is the watering of the tomato plants. It is so easy to miss the signs and before you know it, your plants are desperate for a drink or you over water them and the fruit splits. This basically means you can never go away, not even for a weekend because the plants need so much care.

The fancy new widget should hopefully help with this, letting us finally get a honeymoon this year.

quadgrow and tomatoesThe quadgrow, is essentially a water reservoir, which the tomatoes sit on top of. Inside the tomato pots is some capillary matting which sits through the pots and into the reservoir, theoretically meaning the plants pull the water from this when they need it, rather than me watering them from the top of the soil.

The sales pitch for this says that it also means you get double the crop because the watering is so efficient and plant is never under stress. I’ll be happy if I just come home from my holidays and my plants are still alive!!!

It’s a very simple system, but I’m hopeful that it will live up to expectations.

For those of you who want to know more, I’ve made a really short video for my youtube channel showing how the system works. It’s also fun to watch just to hear how bad the rain gets.





  1. You should have waited till today to spend in the garden, if the weather there is the same as here then it is a beautiful warm sunny day. However if all the work is done you can sit out and enjoy the sunshine, or go for a long cycle run.

  2. Hi Eli, it’s Margaret (from the library at work). I’m not stalking you honest. I stumbled across your videos & blog whilst looking for your justgiving page. Any way, I too am a keen though very amateur gardner & I’m really interested in your quadgrow system. I may give this a try next year. To be honest I’m better with my toms than my peppers & chillies so perhaps I should try out the chilligrow first. We moved 2 years ago to Burntisland, which I love, & last year planted a plum tree & 2 scottish heritage apple trees than I’m trying to espalier. I got a really good book called ‘Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland’ & have been buying some seeds from ‘the real seed company’ which do heritage varieties & the like. My veggie/fruit patch is smallish & I haven’t figured out quite the best way to ley it out yet (though I obviously have to work round where I’ve planted fruit the trees). But I’m hopeful that it will be more & more productive in the coming years. I rescued a 30 year oldish greenhouse from my neighbours which had a grape vine in. I’ve taken a cutting of the vine & planted it in the greenhouse & it’s going great guns. No grapes this year but hopefully next. Could I ask how you make your newspaper pots? I really like them. Also what did you use to make your wooden veggie beds? Timber from the timberyard? We just have our veggies in the soil but I’d like a neater solution not least coz I’ve found myself hoeing some of my precious produce. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks.

  3. Hey Margaret,
    your garden sounds fantastic, I’m quite jealous of your tress.

    The pots are dead simple to make, there are loads of videos on youtube or I could do a wee blog post for you.

    Beds again, simple treated planks of wood from B and Q, although I have friends who used old railway sleepers and that looks great.

  4. Hi Eli, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Well I must say I have garden envy. Yours looks so neat & tidy. Mine’s is a weed infested mess at the mo. Can’t be bothered after work & too much on at the weekends. 🙁 Did you use one of those wooden moulds that you wrap the newspaper round? I’ll look it up on youtube. I’ve got strawbs at the front of my wee patch but I really want to move them into some kind of planter somewhere else (we have a rather large patio with pots & stuff on it) to make more room for veggie beds. I’ve subscribed to your blog & will await more posts with interest. ps. I make my own bread too & used to make homemade wine but haven’t for a few years. 🙂

  5. Yeah the first year I used the little wooden molds, this year I wanted bigger ones used a jar as my mold.

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