Sunday, 18 August 2013

A really useful link

As I have been browsing today I came across this link.

This has made me decide that I am going to do some winter growing this year... now, to decide what to plant :)

Any thoughts of what you are going to grow this winter? Please let me know in the comments box below.

Some flowers, some Tomatoes and a chill or two

It has been so long since I did a general update that I was going to do one anyway today however, as I was walking around looking for pictures to take I noticed that there was actually quite a selection of interest and excitement to tell you about.

So, as I have a good chunk of pictures for you this time, I'll crack straight on with it.

There are now two large blooms on the large Geranium on the front windowsill, which is a beautiful thing to behold.

The same plant has put up another couple of flower heads and these, from early signs, look to be yellow. I am looking forward to them both being in bloom together. I haven't got a photograph but the other Geranium, that which had fungus growing around its roots, has now started to put up a flower stalk so thank you for the advice from various people to stop watering it so much :)

One of the Crossley Special Chillis is turning orange. I don't know if this picture really captures quite how luminescent it is.

You may be able to see slightly better in this one, contrasting the top Chilli to the lower larger bright red one.

This is the cluster of Moneymaker Tomatoes from which I took the diseased one (that was caused by a lack of water during germination, apparently) And you can see that a small fruit is already growing to replace it. There are loads of little clusters of fruits on this plant now, only one red, but hopefully a harvest of sorts will be possible.

The Citrus tree is still healthy and has one fruit on it, however its main benefit is from the blossom which smells amazing as you come up the stairs. I love it!

One of the Begonia flowers has come out really nice and orange. Lovely.

Most of the Begonia flowers are yellow, however, and profuse as you can see from this picture

This is the one and only fruit on the Gardener's Delight Tomato. I hope I get more than this.

The plant itself is very tall and growing all the time - it goes right to the top of this picture.

Most excitingly of all for this update I have the first of my Ghost Chilli fruits! It looks like I'll be getting some more too.

Potting up was a very good idea as you can see from this, the plant is flourishing again and a lesson learned here is to give far more room to Chili plants than I have been; even when small they seem to limit their growth based on a smaller pot.

So, there you have it. I am quite distracted by the progress I am making towards emigration however I am not taking my eye of the ball and, other than the progress shown here, it looks like my carrots and parsnips are doing well. I will have to check the carrots out soon I think.

Keep growing people

Monday, 12 August 2013

A useful link

This blog post is really short as it consists entirely of a link to someone else's page.

However I thought you would all find it interesting; I did considering all the blackberries I pick and eat straight off the branch..

So, before you go doing any more foraging, check out this link:

How to get worms out of Blackberries

And, kind of on subject, here is a picture of the blackberries I harvested last year.

I wonder how many little worms are frozen inside this lump.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mint flowers, Mushrooms and Tomato update

Happy Sunday morning people.

Today I have another brief post; not much seems to be happening to update you on at the moment and I'm also totally focused on my plans for emigrating to do this full time.

I had some some very useful comments on a previous blog which is what prompted this blog. First of all, the flowers on the Mint, and then the diseased Tomato.

Mint flowers really are gorgeous... and they smell divine too. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the details. I used scissors to cut these off as my secaturs are no where to be found. Hopefully now all the energy will go into essential oils and growing the rest of the plant, and not into making these beautiful blooms.

While I was by the Mint I noticed these little fellas which have appeared in the last day or two at the base of the Geranium. I'm leaving them for now, to see what happens. This Geranium has not flowered yet, I'm not sure if the mushrooms are indicative of a reason.

The other helpful advice was this link to a page about diseases, and specifically ones effecting Tomatoes. I am not 100% sure if this Tomato is suffering from Anthracnose or Sour Rot. Either way I had to remove it from the vine.

Here is a detail of the removed Tomato.

And here is another one. I may chose to keep this and see what happens now; obviously away from the other plants to avoid contamination.

It's not all bad news on the Tomato front though; there are quite a lot of clusters of fruit like this which have appeared towards the top of the plants. Hopefully I will get a good harvest from these yet.

So there you are, brief but sweet.

Thanks for reading.

And keep gardening

Monday, 5 August 2013

Potatoes and Mint

Two blogs in two days!!!

I know... how unusual...

Well I've got a really good reason for the unexpected blog today. I chose to cook and I decided to make use of the Maris Piper Potatoes (as I had no idea if anything was happening apart from lots of green growth.

This is a blog about what I did...

The Maris Piper Potato plant(s) in their silly bags. I really do wish I'd done the Potato Planter idea (linked to in the blog before this one) it is something I am definitely going to do as soon as I arrive in Bulgaria.

I started off by digging my hand in and pulling the root crop out but eventually got fed up and just upended the soil onto a plant bed and sorted through it by hand:

This was the yield. Not great for about five seed potatoes and all the time they have been in the ground. I think maybe I haven't watered them enough... Apparently they are very thirsty plants. Something to think about next year.

Here are the plants, laid across the top of the soil which has been fully searched through. I'm sure I could hav done this less invasively, again any hints or tips please do comment below.

While I was searching through the soil I came across loads of egg casings like these, just below the surface...

I have washed the Potatoes and they are sitting here ready to be put in the pan.

A couple of leaves from the Mint. Finally I am getting to use it, having encouraged it to grow so strongly.

The Potatoes and Mint leaves bubbling away nicely on the heat.

The rest of dinner, one rump and one rib eye steak, and some rounds of onions, fried in oil with a dash of paprika for flavour.

The excellently (if I say so myself) cooked Potatoes pulled out of the water and drained ready for serving....

... and the finished meal.

Let me tell you, those Potatoes were some of the nicest I have ever tasted. The slight touch of mint just added to the flavour and as I sit here typing this I can still taste the bite of mint lingering long after the meal.

God I love eating food I have grown!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Potting up the Ghost Chilli

I am aware that I have been a little slow recently posting to this blog; this is because I have been focusing a lot of attention on the emigration blog (which you can find here) however that does not mean that I have been ignoring the growing things which are in my care right now. The Potatoes outside are still looking pretty healthy, though I do truly wish I had used the trick on this blog post and not used those stupid green bags... Oh well.

Anyway, the blog today is about something which (as per usual) I had been putting off but decided I couldn't put off for any longer. The Ghost Chilli has been growing well but it has stalled a bit and I am pretty sure this is because the pot it is in is not big enough. So I am going to put it into a bigger pot.

The Ghost Chilli has finally started with some flowers, as you can see here. Maybe I will get a harvest from it after all.

As you can see from this, however, the pot it is in is very small for the plant and I am pretty sure it would enjoy growing a little taller, with a few more shoots for flowers to grow on, to improve the yield.

You can see how it has outgrown the pot with the tangle of roots which have grown through bottom.

I was careful to untangle these roots, and not break them, before pulling the plant out of the pot; there is no need to damage anything if you are careful and by not damaging the roots I am ensure the plant does not suffer as much shock.

I have prepared a larger plant pot (actually, this one was too small, once I had put the plant in, and so i upgraded it again but shhh don't tell anyone)

This is the Ghost Chilli in its final large pot (not the one in the previous picture) with the pot it had been removed from next to it; hopefully now I'll really see some extra growth.

So there we have it... fingers crossed I'll get a few chillis from those flowers, and some more flowers from the increased space it now has.

Onto other things, this is a picture of one of the Crossley Specials just on the turn from green to red.

I am not sure what is going on here but it looks like something might have impregnated one of my Tomatoes in some way? Any ideas?

The Mint is now flowering too...

... and has spread into quite a large plant now; I really should make some Mint Jelly.

Lastly it looks like we have an indoor slug, based on these munch patterns on the leaves of the large Geranium, and the slug trails I found this morning..... hmmm... going to have to do something about that.

Anyway, there you have it; I know you have missed my updates I am sure and I will try and be better at it, bear with me though while I catch the emigration blog up to date.