A good day

Feb. 7th, 2011 08:52 pm
This morning I was at the stable at 10 because the equine dentist was coming. Rowan didn't need any work, which was nice. It was very sunny (hurt-my-eyes sunny in fact) and though it was cold and windy too I enjoyed being outside for a while to lunge-work the powney. I rode bareback for about 10 minutes too - only to walk him out, but he was solid and I felt safe on his back (which isn't a given these days, pain makes me a little apprehensive) and it was nice.
Then I went by the garden centre because the sun is making the MUST GROW THINGS part of my brain wake up. Must grow things! Sadly there is planned work on the gallery and thus the ledge must stay cleared of things.. the work was projected to be finished by early april but there's been a lot of delay with the bad weather, so there's actually a reasonable chance I won't be able to put anything outside until well into May. Boooo! Mum keeps saying I should grow things at her place, but that means I'd miss out on all the actually watching things grow, and by the time the plants could be here on the ledge a lot of it would be far too large and heavy to move.


Jan. 13th, 2011 12:48 am
Ordered plant seeds yesterday some should have them in time this year. Bunch of interesting tomato sorts and some other fun bits. Have to figure out a way to deal with seedlings now that I have The Destroyers Of All Things in the house. Some sort of windowsill nursery with a really tall top, ideally sturdy enough that the cats could sit on it? Tijg says tomato seedlings are yummy.
It will have to be tall because I foresee my seedlings will have to stay inside a long time this year. The gallery is getting renovated and it's projected I won't be able to see up my ledge garden until the end of April.

I will need to think about how things got so disease ridden this past year and if there's anything I could do to stop it happening again.
We're supposed to get really heavy weather over tonight - heavy thunder and rain storms and wind up to 80-120km/hr. I lost a big branch off my black cherry tomato plant on saturday when we had a big storm, so I just went out to stormfasten the lot of it. The tomatos are in a pretty delicate stage, either still forming blossom or just about starting to fruit, so I've cased them in with the chicken wire I still had in the shed. Hopefully they'll keep this way. I also stowed all the gear away under the bench and generally made things secure.

It felt really weird doing it though as it's currently almost impossible to believe we could have heavy weather here in a couple of hours (projected to arrive between 6 and 7pm)  - the sky is bright blue and it's 30 degrees and it doesn't feel muggy at all. It felt pretty silly preparing for a storm while my ankles were getting sunburnt...
I finally made some photos! Gallery with more pics is here

Some things are going like a bat outta hell (tomatoes mostly) and other things are going so slow (the cocktail pepper especially) that I doubt I will have any kind of harvest unless the summer is very long. I definitely need to order seed and start things off a lot earlier next year. Maybe order seed around my birthday and start seeding early to half Feb... I looked back and seeded on March 13 this time. Means I need to set things up differently inside so I can actually house larger seedlings. That's not going to be easy with the cats! They eat seedlings and consider the windowsills theirs. Better get a propagator with a tall and very sturdy lid..
Cats eat tomato seedlings, if given the chance.

Damn, damn, damn. And the mystery tomatoes were coming along so well.

Have reseeded and I'm using the snake tank as a cat-safe propagator. Guess that's one advantage to it still not selling. Just wish I'd thought of that yesterday or this morning.

I think I'll plant out the first batch of seedlings this afternoon... forecast is looking good.

In other news: both cats are 100% with the litterbox. Got through the night okay, though Tijgje jumped on me at 5:45. Then Roo kittyloafed in front of my stomach and a while later Tijgje curled up next to my pillow and I snoozed for a few hours.
They're mostly hanging out in the kitchen - not sure it's because they're hungry (dry food is put out) or because they just like it there. They both like to kittyloaf on the kitchen chairs - same chairs Padoek used to love sleeping on. Roo has just started playing a little bit if I make toys move - no interest in balls and other things though. They are both affectionate but not clingy - nice balance really.
My mostly black and dark blue clothes are covered in white hair. Oh well.

The food thing worries me a bit because Roo is skinny. I don't want to indulge them with yummy wet food when the plan is to get them on high quality dry food * but I'm going to the supermarket to at least get cat milk to get some calories into him.

* Once you learn how to label read you can't ever feed your pets Cheapy McChow ever again. The supermarket doesn't have any food that has more than 5% actual meat content! I'd really like to feed something completely grain-free like Orijen, but can't really afford. I've found something within price range that has a decent meat percentage (actual meat, not 'derivatives' ie chicken feet) and of the grains mostly has brown rice, which is acceptable. And the local pet shop sells it, so I can get some on monday. Now let's hope they'll eat it...


Apr. 13th, 2010 11:57 pm
Sorted out the good seedlings from the duds and put the goers in bigger pots. They will be going outside during the day from now on. I seeded two new things - another Old Brooks tomato (because the two seedlings I have are both a bit manky) and, because I could not decide and had a free turfpot ready, a mystery tomato from the free packet of tomato mix I got with my seed order. I hope it's an interesting variety - maybe a black tomato, I'd like to try those. Though I'm not sure if I'll have space for it to find out exactly what sort of tomatoes it'll make. Would three plants do well in a 40cm square (26l) tub or is that not enough room? I guess I could shove it in with the pumpkin and let them battle it out.
Last year I underestimated how much space the cherry tomato needed and it ended up (hindsight!) rootbound and not producing very well so I want to give them all enough space this year so I'll have a nice crop of yummy 'matoes.

Still not a peep from the mysterious 'tropical fruit, black' seed I got from my aunt. Sorry Diek!

Pumpkin and courgette are doing okay outside - I've stuck plastic salad bowls over them at night at we're still having some frost. (though I'm not sure there's actual frost on the ledge - I need to find one of those remote thermometres) Seems to be working; at least they're not dead yet.

I'm miffed that of an entire trough seeded with salad, only about 6 have come up and are doing well. Meh. The spring onions are coming along, though I should probably thin them out some more. They have until the paprika seedling is ready to go out, that's the deadline :-)


Apr. 9th, 2010 10:07 pm
Bought 120l soil today... dragged it all upstairs... discovered 2 of the bags smelled bad (moldy) so dragged them downstairs to dump them (had picked them up in Ede so bringing them back would have cost as much in fuel as I'd have got in returns) and bought new soil somewhere else. Also got strawberry plants.

Filled the big containers in prep for seedlings going out. Planted out the courgette and pumpkin seedlings - they are getting way too leggy inside, so I hope they will tough out the chilly nights and do better outside.

ZOMG I have some space left on the ledge. Currently holds a round container that I plan to put the pepper plant in, but I think it could fit two rectangular pots. Maybe paint buckets or something. *rubs hands and cackles*
We have some more sprouts, both inside and in the salad trough outside. I left the bootcamp herbs outside overnight (mild temps).
I borrowed a drill and made watering holes in all the pots and troughs that didn't have them yet. Then swapped things around - lavender to a seperate pot because it's not a cooking herb. Mint in a seperate pot to keep it from taking over. Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano in a long trough, where they will be joined by chives and basil once those are ready to go outside.
I also bought a big flexitub and made holes in the bottom. Yes, I am really going to try to grow a pumpkin plant. If it proves unmanageable in my small space, I shall either try to talk someone into taking it, or stick it on marktplaats as a come-collect, or just plain plant it somewhere in a public space :-)

All in all things are starting to take shape, and I used the kneel-stool my dad made and it worked quite well. My knees can't stand it for too long, but it was better for my back as long as I wasn't working at ground level. Maybe I need a tiny foldable table to put stuff on.
Both the Ildi tomato seeds have started, and the chives. The rest seems to want to start too, maybe tomorrow then


Mar. 15th, 2010 05:19 pm
Seeds arrived saturday and I set to sowing.. I'm not sure what other people do, how many plants you sow when you just want one - do you sow lots and ruthlessly discard the poorer ones along the way? I decided to go with two of each. I can pick the strongest one to put in the ground outside, and either chuck or rehome the other one. (yes, I am sentimental and feel sad about picking one over the other, why do you ask?)
Pics ! )
I gotta go obsessively stare at my windowsill nursery now. Don't you know that nothing will germinate unless I stare?


Mar. 13th, 2010 12:13 am
Garden centre trip today. Came away with most of what I wanted and little extra - unless you count the big square planter (same as the two I already have) that I'd half considered adding. Now - no more pots! No! Well OK, maybe one more, then I'll have replaced all the round pots. Then NO MORE. For srs.

I got the aforementioned big square planter (for paprika plant), a smaller flat-woven basket of coloured prettiness (for cherry tomato plant), two nice smallish pots, trays for the long troughs (now I just have to drill holes in them!), little turf pots for seeding, a thyme, oregano and a mint plant, sunflower seeds, soil (not enough, but I'm way early anyway and didn't want to carry more home - will make another trip at some point), and found a neat (free!) potting tray that fits fairly well under the little greenhouse cover/lid I got from my aunt. Will be handy by the time seedlings need to go outside during the day.

Just made a new planning picture. 'cause I'm like that.

I managed to resist the small Kumquat tree. Soooo cool! But, you know, fussy and needs to be inside in winter and they're kinda too big for current inside space. Maybe one day - the gallery faces south and the ledge is a really warm, sheltered spot, so it might do quite well. And I'd love to one day have a kitchen with a big Kumquat plant overwintering in the corner.

The herb plants are in the kitchen for now - they're not hardened off, so I will attempt to do that best as I can in the coming week. Herby boot camp. The rosemary isn't dead yet, maybe the "Just DEAL!" thing works. Yeah, I may have the gardening bug, but I'm not sure I'll ever be the plant-nurturing type. GO AHEAD THEN AND DIE, PLANT. I CAN REPLACE YOU. I HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY SEEDS.

Now it's a very impatient wait for the main seed order to arrive! Maybe tomorrow?
This spring my studycoach gave me the seedling of a cherry tomato plant, and I think seeing that happen (I ate some yummy mini tomatoes)  might have triggered my interest in growing more veggies. I don't have a garden, but I have space for a bunch of pots on the ledge in front of the house, so that's going to be my 'container garden' type thing.
The stuff on the left is in sight most so that is what needs the most care, ie the food section. The right is reserved for more robust stuff as I'm likely to look at it less.

A - empty right now. Will have garlic and maybe radish for autumn/winter. Unless I think of something else.
B - (decorative). Physalis alkekengi - Lantern Plant. I just got this because I like the look of it. Will be moved out of the food section by spring, is just standing there because the pot fits nicely into the gap.
C - Salad trough. Have planted Little Gem but I think to deeply, so will redo over the next few days. Probably some veldsla (corn salad?) and some Little Gem.
D - cherry tomato plant. Might look for something with a higher yield for next year.
E 1 Thyme
2 Lavender
3 Lemon balm
4 Will be chives, as soon as I nick some from my mother
5 Don't know yet. Depends on space.
F - (decorative) - planted some nice bulbs here.
G - mini rock garden my mother made for me. It's not doing great and I intend to empty it in spring and reuse the pot, possibly for something largish like a courgette plant.

I'm planning to get a dwarf fruit tree for spring, just haven't decided yet what sort would actually give me edible and tasty fruit, even if not much. Plum perhaps? Cherry? Will see.



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