Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Berries and Currants!

This was also a Sainsbury's buy, bought alongside the Goji Berry plant (pictured behind).  Its not done much except have some exceptionally green leaves and get a tiny bit taller.

Blueberry!  I've started adding coffee grounds to the soil because I read it helps with acidity, and the blueberry is loving it so far.

I've also noticed these buds appear in just the last few days.




Here's my quinoa plant:

Quite the sprawler.  I'm pretty sure the birds have been at the grains too, but I've not got around to harvesting yet.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Yummy Peas

Well, I recently planted some new peas (Variety Avola).  Peas are the one thing that I've already had a decent harvest out of this year so far.  I had germinated them in cell trays and then re-potted into smallish pots of around 15cm diameter, placing around 3 plants in each (some were mixed in with broad beans instead)  They grew well and produced well too, but the heat really got to them (and the slugs got to the broad beans) so I lost them all.

But around a week ago, I planted some new pea seeds, but I don't plan to re-pot at all, I've just planted them in block form in a huge pot (almost a foot diameter), and they're growing incredibly well (and fast) together.  I've also constructed this net to give them some support, its designed to be looser at the top so that it can expand when they get higher.  I'm hoping to get some production out of them before it gets too cold, but I'm hopeful because Avola in my experience is a quick grower and producer.  If this works well I think I'll continue to plant them in this block style format, because it seems so far that they're doing better than the 3-to-a-pot strategy.


I love this little dude.  I'm so impressed I managed to germinate a random almond I bought in-store.  I soaked a bunch of them in water overnight in the fridge, then planted them and this is the only one who made it.  I've recently pulled a bunch of the bigger leaves off to give it a chance to grow some more of the smaller ones.  It has taken months to get this tall, but I've just moved it to a large pot outside the greenhouse so hoping it grows up a bit more soon, as I'd like to keep it outside over winter if possible.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Goji Berry

I bought this as an itty bitty Goji plant around a year old from Sainsbury's.  I was impressed that they even stocked them!  Well, since my attempts to grow them from seed were unsuccessful this year I thought, "Why not?" even though I find it much more rewarding to eat from something I grew myself entirely from seed.

This has come along really well, it seemed to barely do anything over the summer, and now that Autumn has hit, it has shot side branches out all over the place AND its also grown super tall, way past the 1m canes I have for supports.  Hoping for some flowers and berries next year from this one.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

What are these??

So, I planted a ton of seeds in February and many of them never germinated.  I recycled that old soil when I bought some dormant berry bushes, and so now I have some plants which eventually germinated alongside the berry bushes and I have no idea what they are.  Please let me know if you have any idea what these are!!

So this one is pretty small and weak seeming, but the stem is actually kind of woody, and the flowers are small and white like the picture below:

There's also this which was hiding beneath the blueberry plant.  On close inspection it looks like there are tiny berries growing on it, but there's been no flowers, so I'm not sure if that's what they are.

The stem is on its way to becoming woody, but its still very green, and since I moved this into its own pot away from the blueberry it seems to be suffering, so I'm thinking it maybe needs a more acidic approach to the soil, as I've not been treating it that way.

Does anyone have any ideas what either of these plants are and any growth tips?

An achievement

So, I was about to throw out these out, since I don't have anywhere to put them (in the ground), and don't have any larger pots for them anyway.  But then I saw THIS:

The male flowers have appeared on the sweetcorn!  This has never happened before.  I've grown sweetcorn before which grew far bigger than this feeble attempt, and it never flowered, so I'm pretty thrilled.  Not really expecting much as I haven't seen any female parts of the flowers appear yet, and the wind is mad around here so they'll probably get broken off soon anyway.

Anyone know how far apart the male and female flowers normally appear?  (in time, not distance, I know the ladies are lower down.)


So yesterday I gathered up some ingredients to make my first ever perfumes (or scents to add to other cosmetics later).  I LOVE the smell of tomato plants (who doesn't?) and thought it would be an interesting and refreshing scent to add to some cosmetics later on.  (Not so much as a perfume alone)  So I ordered some Perfumer's Alcohol, which arrived a few days ago and set to work tidying up my tomatoes.  As my entire crop seems miles behind everyone else (I sowed seeds in February and again in March, and again in April for the ones that didn't take because we basically had 2 foot of snow from January to May this year where I am) tidying up the plants should also help them devote energy to the fruits anyway.

So I gathered a bunch of unnecessary leaves, twisted and broke them to get the juices flowing, and literally just filled a tub with a screw lid with perfumer's alcohol to the brim.  Apparently this has to sit somewhere cool and dark for THREE MONTHS.  This is why I'm doing this now, as I planned to make cosmetics for Christmas presents.

I also decided to make a floral scent, so gathered fresh petals from the roses growing in the front and back gardens (I don't know the varieties because I'm certainly a veggie gardener over a floral one, and they were all planted in before we bought the house last December by the previous owner.)  The mix I managed to put together smelled divine, very fruity and floral.   To get the juices flowing on them you have to tear and crush them, then do the same and fill the container with them and the PA and leave for 3 months.

Lastly I did one with orange, and got a whole bag of oranges, peeled and cracked the peels and did the same.  So those are my three scents to play with come the start of December, so hope to keep you updated on those!