Saturday, 18 May 2013

Staking Up Chillis plus progress

I have been staring at the Crossley Special chillis for the last few weeks thinking they were getting close to requiring staking up so they don't fall over (and, as a side-thought also doing the same for the Moneymaker Tomato plants but I also need to pot them up and today I'm not doing that) and today I dragged myself into action to do this.

I've also got some good progress to report so I'll crack on with this update right away.

This is the first Crossley Special to receive the staking up treatment; those little plastic ties which I bought from Wilko's last year are really proving very useful and they are confirmed at the top of my "things you should buy that are really simple but really awesome".

Three of the Crossley Specials nicely staked and enjoying a rare glance of some sun.

Now some updates, starting with those self same Crossley Special Chillis

Every Crossley Special now has little flower pods starting to develop, this was the best picture I could get of one and I am very excited by this; it looks like they are going to be fruitful once again.

The first flower has opened on the Moneymaker Tomatoes and you can see that there are other flowers developing on this plant; this is actually the one which fell on the floor twice (as described earlier in the blog, regular readers will recognise) but it is the first to reach flower stage (though it is shorter than the other plant.

The late starting Gardeners Delight is now starting to really live up to its name and is developing fast. The other seed has not shown any progress at all yet though.

The other Moneymaker Tomato is very tall, but no flowers yet; I am thinking this could be because the other one has much more light, so this is trying to grow so it gets more. Maybe I will move this one onto a front wall window where the light is better and see if it gets stubbier, but with flowers.

The Geraniums have started showing some patterns on their leaves; I'm interested to see how these continue to change and develop over the next few weeks.

Very spikey Globe Artichoke leaves standing proud; this really is an incredible plant to watch grow and I can't wait to have a whole load of these plants. I am reading "The Self Sufficient Gardener" by John Seymour at the moment and these are apparently perennials which you can let settle over winter and will come back; sounds like my kind of plant.

Most excitingly (and once again proving that patience really does pay off) the other Globe Artichoke seedling looks like it is finally poking through! I will be keeping a very close eye on this.

A top down view of the stars of my previous blog, the poor little Birdseye Chillis. One thing however; can you spot what might be fresh growth on these little blighters.

I appear to be having 100% success so far with the Peppers; all the seedlings have now shown up for the party. I know this is very late to start these, but never mind. I'm still saving seeds from peppers I eat.

These are the seed grown Coriander looking very leggy and not very edible; I think these should have been put out into the garden ages ago; now they are busy producing seeds.

Finally for this update another shot of the Begonias growing in pots still on the spare room windowsill.

So there you have it; my most excitement is either the Tomato flower or the fact the second Globe Artichoke is finally starting to show green.

Keep growing, keep reading.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Birdseye Chilli in detail

So for a few weeks now I have been muttering and complaining about the bad progress of my Birdseye Chillis and the other day I managed to knock one of the leaves off using the mighty power of a drop of condensation from the lid of the heated propagator.

So this morning after being woken an hour early due to day break (but not sunlight) streaming in through the window I decided to take some detailed photographs of these seedlings and see if any of you lovely people may have some advice as to why they are doing so badly..?

So, here you are:

This is the Birdseye seedling which lost a leaf to condensation drippage; you can see the leaf under it to the right. The surviving leaves are all a bit crinkly and feel dry to the touch; not soft as leaves should be but stiff...

The other Birdseye seedling is in an even worse state with curled up leaves which are turning brown in the middle.

Another shot of the first Birdseye though this makes it look healthy! It isn't.....

Both Birdseye seedlings in this picture; each is only about 2-3" tall (contrast with the Crossley Specials which are all about to about 8-10" and have lots of leaves)

This is the second Birdseye and you can clearly see the brown on the leaves, with the completely shriveled leaf dangling down in front.

I have put this one in just because it is arty farty and I lied the picture.

One final picture of the more unhappy of the two Birdseye seedlings.

I really would like some advice/suggestions about this so please don't be shy.

By way of contrast these are the Ghost Chillis which are thriving, in the propagator box sat right next to the Birdseyes which leads me to believe it is not a problem with the amount of light they are receiving or the temperature at which they are being kept.

Finally, and slightly off topic, while taking these pictures I spotted the following little fella poking his way out through the compost:

This is the first pepper seedling to appear. Not bad only a few days after they were planted :) here's to the other three showing very soon too.

Thanks for reading and please do send me any advice.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Potatoes showing green plus other outdoor progress

For some very boring reason I won't bother you with I had to go into the back garden today and, as is my wont, I went round the plants to see what progress I can spot and, wouldn't you know, something exceptionally exciting has occurred. As is also my wont, I went and grabbed my camera and have done this blog for you.

So... the big news is (not that it's given away by the blog title but yeah....).....

I have some potatoes showing green!

Here are the pictures as evidence:

The Rocket Potatoes are the ones showing the most so far; there are actually four plants poking through but I couldn't get them all in shot inside the bag. I am quite excited indeed.

The other Potato showing is the Maris Piper, but only this solitary little splash of green is evident in this bag.

The Charlotte Potatoes are not showing at all yet, but hopefully they are very close to breaking through also.

While I was outside I took the opportunity to take pictures of everything else... obviously... so:

The Lettuce is now growing fast and soon will be eatable; I should plant some more really.. I keep saying that don't I....

The Carrot is still outside and does not look like it is doing too badly; this is one experiment I hope has some good results....

The Parsnip is similar to the Carrots; not doing anything amazing but not dead, yet.

Unfortunately in the week I had a bit of a disaster with the Onion; something (probably that damn cat) had knocked the planter over and there was soil all over the ground, with some of the Onion spikes out too; I was able to save it and stand it upright and this, taken just now and a few days after that discovery, appears to show that they have survived. It is also evidence of just how well they have started growing.

The Broccoli continues to be the outside plant which is doing the best and is now really thriving.

The Shop bought Chives which  I planted out is doing ok; well it's not dead yet at least.

A similar story with the shop bought Coriander which had been picked to death to feed me... hopefully it will settle in and do what my old one did at the old house.

Last but not least, the very unhappy looking Foxglove. The same day I went out and found that the Onions had been spread over the yard I noticed that it looked like this had been dug up by something... I'm suspecting the same cat (which woke me up in the night last night howling; you can guess it's not my favourite creature right now huh)... I have re-bedded it in and it does look a little happier now but yeah; maybe this should have been planted outside later and not coddled in the heated propagator.

Anyway, there you have my update.

Thanks for reading

Keep Growing your Own

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Flowers of Spring

Today I have a short but very sweet update for you.

With Spring (or is it Autumn) finally upon us I have some very nice flowers on a couple of my plants which I thought you may be interested in seeing.

The Citrus flowers which I spotted and posts a photograph about have now started to open and are looking very pretty; there are a LOT of flowers but this was the best picture I took.

The Citrus Tree is still growing well as you can see; with lots of new growth. I am tempted to prune this down at some point.

The seed grown Coriander has probably not been watered enough as it has started putting out tiny little white flowers on the top of each plant.

Well, that was the flower excitement... now for some more normal update pictures:

The late starting Gardeners Delight Tomato seedling has put out more leaves and is growing fast. Hopefully it will catch up and produce some fruit. There is still nothing at all from the other seed yet.

Both Geranium plants are looking very similar; they have very large leaves now which are soaking up whatever sun comes to them on the windowsill.

The five Begonia plants are all enjoying the new experience of having sun on them.

The Birdseye Chilli seedlings are really weedy and pathetic looking still. I really am not sure why they are so sickly still but I have moved them to a more sunny location so fingers firmly crossed.

Last but not least the Globe Artichoke is now really quite tall and seems to be thriving. Each new leaf seems more spiky than the last. I am quite excited about what will happen next and when the "globe" part of its name will become apparent.

Anyway, that's all for today. Thanks for reading and remember to keep growing your own

Monday, 6 May 2013

Bank Holiday Excitement

Happy bank holiday people.

And what a lovely day it has been. Who says bank holidays are always rainy and horrible.

The sun shining in through my bedroom window this morning encouraged me to get loads done today and, as such, this blog post is super long so I'll crack on with it without any more fuss.

First task for the day was to plant out the shop bought Coriander and Chives, and the Foxgloves.

It's the first outing of the year for the All Steel Spade, here after the planting hole (slightly too deep as it happened) for the Chives has been dug.

The Chives plant (not looking very healthy but worth planting out) watered in to its new home.

I dug a shallow trench for the Foxglove and put potting compost into the bottom of it.

The Foxglove nestled into the trench and with dirt tamped down around it.

Digging the planting hole for the Coriander with the All Steel Spade

The Coriander watered in and tamped down with dirt.

The three plants bedded down into the soil; you will notice that I have deliberately not taken all the weeds away; this is down to inspiration from The One Straw Revolution which is a book I got for my birthday and have read through without any pause; I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The lettuce are starting to actually look like lettuce now.

This is the broccoli, almost unrecognisable from the tiny little plants that were all that were there before the sun finally came out and they have exploded into life.

The Onion spikes are still tiny but they are growing again I think.

Today I also moved the Carrots and the Parsnips outside (I have put a cover over each to stop birds taking the seedlings) so hopefully these will now also start to thrive.

A panoramic photo of the growing things in the back garden. From left to right: Coriander, Foxglove and Chives in the bed, Broccoli and Onions in the terracotta pots, Parsnip and Carrot in the square white, Lettuce in the round white and finally the Potatoes in the green planters.

So, that is the update and planting from outside. The next thing I achieved today was last week I saved some seeds from a Pepper I used whilst cooking.

The Pepper seeds saved from cooking last week drying on kitchen paper.

All the seeds separated from the casings and ready for planting or storing.

I've used my last empty TicTac box for the Peppers.

I have planted four Pepper seeds into my empty Heated Propagator trays.

The Heated Propagator is now on the bedroom windowsill which gets more direct sunlight than the dining room window which is effected by the kitchen extension blocking the sun.

The two Ghost Chilli seedlings in the sun; I am sure that with the increase in direct light these will have a growth spurt.

The Birsdeye Chillis have now started showing some second and third growth and as such are looking much healthier than they were a few weeks ago.

Three Crossley Special chillis in a location which gets solid afternoon sun and demonstrating just how much they enjoy the sun; shortly these will have to be staked soon to stop them collapsing as they have started to do so.

One of the most exciting updates is the Citrus plant has suddenly got LOADS of flowers on it; fingers crossed all of these will turn into fruit. I am expecting to have to self-pollinate, but maybe I'll just keep opening the window next to it.

This is the middle Begonia seedling, and I picked this picture to show the tiny hairs on the stalk .

All five Begonia seedlings with two very well established at the edges, and the others much smaller; the picture above is of the seedling in the middle of this tray.

This detail of the Bromeliad shows how the red leaves start brightest at the centre, and as they spread out and down they start to lose their red colouration and turn green (look to the bottom left of the picture).

The Gardeners Delight seedling which has finally sprouted has already put out second growth; I think this is going to sprint now to catch up with its Moneymaker brothers.

And here is one of its brothers; the Moneymaker Tomato.

Lastly for this monster length update this is the Dining Room window sill now; with (left to right) Moneymaker Tomato, Geranium, Gardeners Delight Tomato (not sprouted yet), another Geranium and finally the Gardeners Delight Tomato which has sprouted.

So, there you are; it's that exciting time of year when everything starts growing and gardeners get outside after the freezing cold of our extended winter.

I did take some other pictures of the trees in the garden showing shoots but thought you'd probably have enough pictures to look at here.

Keep growing, keep reading.