Thursday, 27 August 2015

Macro photos

Broccoli buds

Broccoli flower

Rocket flower head forming 

Buds emerging from raspberry floricane

New oregano

Most of my solanaceae seedlings have now germinated. The only one I haven't got yet is the habanero. 

Looking forward to potting these guys up and watching them grow.

Friday, 21 August 2015

1 week to go...

What a lovely almost-spring day! Only a few weeks and my main bed will be start getting full sun.

My pots doing great. I might move the rocket closer to the hedge as it seems to dry out fastest and I don't want it to bolt too quickly.

My fennel seems to be putting on a bit of a growth spurt now it's getting sun, hopefully ready to harvest in a few weeks.

My radish cotyledons when planted in this potting mix / coco coir mix seem to be extra big, hopefully leading to very healthy radishes.

Tarragon is really taking off. Still don't remember it flowering, maybe these shoots are all from the same underground root system.

My herb bed is really bursting with activity. Everything has bounced back or taken off (except the marjoram?). It's going to be painful to transplant it, then again I don't need to transplant everything, only one of each seedling or a small subdivision. The rest I can dry, freeze or give away.

I transplanted a very root bound tub of a baby beets straight into an empty spot in the garden. I know that they don't transplant well so essentially the whole thing went in in one piece, let's see what happens.

Well I suppose I could eat this broccoli head.

Can't wait to slice these up and eat them. 

The cut garlic shoot is coming back. I planted these guys mid-autumn so hopefully will be ready before summer. It was pretty much just random garlic from the store, so I have no idea what I'm going to get.

It's just after lunchtime and this bed is finally seeing sun. So it's definitely a summer bed. I've topped it with some bagged soil and cow manure and expect the level to drop a few more inches as what's underneath settles and breaks down (seeing a few more fat worms in there makes me happy). Then I'll top it up again with finished compost/soil and plant. It wasn't really a trench compost, only a bag or two of fruit peels and onion skins, most of it what filled it was partially composted shredded leaf/leafmold and the slashed green manure.

I cut back the stems over my over-wintered chillis. These are the two that still looked like they might be alive (stem was green and not hollow). I'm hopeful that they might have some little green shoots soon.

If not I have plenty of these guys. By not using any grow lights I'm hoping they won't need hardening off.

I'm not the only one getting ready for spring! I hope she doesn't decide to swoop me when I come out in the garden. Once this oak is full of leaves should be pretty much invisible.

My Lemongrass has survived winter (I hope) with about 5 shoots that are still alive. I have mulched it with it's fallen comrades. I'm thinking this 30cm pot is maybe not big enough so I may re-pot it in a few weeks. I won't be getting any more 30cm pots, 40cm is a much better use of the space (25 percent wider but double the volume).

 Sun is higher now so that my balcony greenhouses are getting sun on the lower rungs and shaded on the upper, the reverse of a few weeks ago. So I might move them or just work with that arrangement.

 Happy gardening!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Spring countdown

Spring is nearly here! Here's a 360ish view of my garden from the balcony.

This is still quite early morning, and the main bed which was almost fully in shade a few weeks ago is now about half in sun. Yay! I'm a little disappointed in a lack of worm activity in the new beds on the right - maybe the stuff in there needs to break down a bit more first.

Temptation strawberry seedlings enjoying the sun.

Long radishes as a temporary crop in a chilli pot.

I'm probably going to start my potato grow bags in the bottom of these greenhouses, it will provide some weight to keep them from toppling in high winds and should be fine until they've grown a bit and the frosts have passed and then need more sun. It was -3 outside and +2 degrees inside very early this morning, so I'm pretty happy with that. It did register at -1 one morning a few weeks ago inside, but the actual plants had no sign of freezing on them.

I think the bags might even act as a bit of heat sink absorbing heat during the day and releasing it back in overnight. We'll see, I have plenty of extra seed potatoes if it doesn't work.

Need to wear the protective gear when I'm mixing up my potting mixes/mulching etc. from now on as I keep getting respiratory like cold or flu like symptoms that don't develop into actual colds and I think it's from breathing in the spores.

Here's my street - exciting stuff. I think my tree has grown a fair bit taller in the last year, I hope it's from nutrient runoff and not from root invasion!

New pea seedlings in the to be herb barrel. I'm letting the herb bed dry out a bit so the herbs are easier to transplant.

More radish . They're definitely liking the new potting mixture (including about 30% cocopeat).

This tub of mixed lettuce has been going since august. Provides just enough for sandwiches (with spinach and rocket too).

We ate the last of the large buk choi last night. I've transplanted my kohlrabi seedlings here. This bed is going to be for my cucurbits later in spring so I'm hoping to get these guys grown and harvested in a few weeks. With the cover I could probably plant the cucurbits in September and then remove the cover in mid October, but I don't mind waiting.

That's a lettuce I already cut down once in the back, and rainbow chard and beets (not sure which is which, I think the ones on the right are Detroit beetroot).

My wife accidentally harvested this garlic top thinking it was a spring onion. I hope it grows back and I still get bulbs underneath. At least now I know what garlic shoots taste like.

I guess this side is all-iums... bad joke.

The smaller buk choi and leggy/small broccoli seedlings are bolting too, so I guess that many plants stay in the ground for about the same length of time, their sun/nutrients just decide how big they get before going to seed.

These leggy broadbeans are finally getting some direct sun.

This clump I'm pretty sure just came from one seed (and there's a smaller one planted on the left more recently). Still no flowers.

I planted my snow peas too early last autumn. So I got a lot of frost damaged/withered pods over winter. I also have some kind of brown spot fungus on them, and nutrient deficiencies from looking at the leaves. However they are still producing some nice looking peas now. I won't plant any more as I'm going to add some sleepers to this area as soon as it's empty so I can raise the bed level, and I need to remove the peas and their "ladders" first.

My wife has been doing a good job clipping off the bad leaves and slowing the spread.

That's the closest thing to a real broccoli I managed to produce, still didn't get nearly big enough before forming a head. Ah well, there's always next year! I plan to top this bed up about 2 inches with compost and manure and going to plant the tomatoes in the front part of it this year. I will move that perpetual spinach elsewhere (I have also started some seedling so depending on how big those get, I might just do a final harvest on it rather than transplanting). Those in the foreground are leeks that have been in the ground probably 9 months or so. They are very slowly getting bigger. But if they aren't that big by the time the tomatoes are ready to transplant, I guess I'm having some baby leeks.

There's an inconvenient row of carrots I put here, I'm not sure whether I'll pull them to make room for the tomatoes or just leave them. I've read they are good "companions" for tomatoes, but they make it hard to raise the soil level too much without burying them. Maybe I can put in a small temporary barrier like I'm going to do with my garlic and chives. End of season the back of my bed is going to be pretty much all root crops, like mixed colour carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions and so on.

The rest is a mixture of chard and beetroots. I am still not having any joy with beetroot. just can't get the beet part to form.

These have been in the bed since last summer.  Only one is anything like big enough to eat, obviously planted too close together. Still, if I harvest them all at once, I'll have enough to use. Hopefully they'll put on some size in the early weeks of spring.

These sprinkler heads are in a very convenient place for converting into drip irrigation for the beds and hedge. However the kit is only sold in the US and I haven't found a place yet that will post it here, so I'll keep trying. Alternatively I could probably make my own with a riser, pressure reducer and T junction. Something to think about before summer.

This sprinkler head gets the lawn, so it's staying.

These guys still aren't getting any direct sun so are growing but slowly. It's more of an experiment to see which I will do a larger crop of later.

I've replanted a lot of chilli, tomato and eggplant seedlings which didn't germinate with a bit more care (and three seeds instead of two). The ones that did germinate are doing quite well in the window. Here's me having some fun with my macro lens.

Basil cotyledons, just for fun.

Thanks for visiting!