This weeks Highlights
1. Learned how to grow dahlias from seed - I sowed some in pots but nothing came up - found a video on sprouting them on paper first on the kitche bench - made it look so easy! (AND I have done that already with the watermelon seeds so knew how to do it) The first ones sprouted early this morning - took 3 days !!! – so at 7.30am I was out in my jammies popping 18 sprouted seeds pointy ends down into punnets - the cats thought it was MARVELOUS! . 100+ still to go (will wait till each one sprouts)
2. Sowed some Shiney Fardenlosas (love the name haha) and Snake Beans (have never had any luck with snake beans but love eating them – inspired suddenly to try half commercial potting mix, then bean then top with seed raising mix. Maybe that will help.
3. Felt like a REAL gardener on Monday as pricked out and potted on all my cherry tomatoes (golden ones from saved seed) – thought it would be a QUICK job.... three hours later!!! First time ever doing this. (I needed the pot they were in for one of my chillis)
4. Planted my first plant of the season into the ACTUAL vegetable garden this morning – a Courghette seedling donated by the landlord – the HIGHLIGHT was discovering as I pulled out the weeds in the space where I was planting it that I had things in there ready to harvest! A few broad beans, Leeks (about to set so cut it just above the base so it can regrow). AND actual carrots that survived the winter (out of 60 ish that came up late last summer only 4 survived the plague of armyworms that swept through and completely eroded my gardening confidence – they are not very big but such a lovely colour showing.
OH – and 5. I made some experimental paper for the artisan sketchbooks I make using the pods of an in identified brassica in the garden (that’s it in the photos) – shall be stitching that together today to use as a garden journal. It has dried in a most beautiful shade with fine traceries where the pods have been so I am happy.
It was cruel and unusual punishment to make though – the smell of vinegar and brassicas boiling together for hours was like cooking corned beef (except nothing edible emerged at the end of it) UGH.
A woman who came for one of my peach trees thinks it is ‘Maori Cabbage’ – large individual leaves, non hearting – very peppery – use like ‘collard greens’ she said (might be nice wrapped around beef as hottish like horseraddish – my grandmother used to have horseraddish with beef) I wanted to try the leaves over winter as had no greens to eat – but was scared to try after reading some brassica leaves are poisonous. The seed pods are hot and peppery even more so than a raddish pod. I must put in some radishes – I dislike raddishes but enjoy snacking on the seedpods when they are young and tender YUM
Today I was intending, as it is Wednesday, to Weed and make a Wigwams ready for the beans but ran out of time and energy. Next week I will TRY and NOT sow stuff before the wigwam making happens !
OH – I picked a stem of crimson braod bean flowers for the studio – they smell so lovely I should have planted more as think they will make a nice dye for the papers I make. (need a heap of them to be able to extract the dye)
Anyone have any favourite cucumbers suggestions? I would like to grow some things for making a salad or to snack on.
Apologies this is a bit of a novel- I should try and update daily rather than all at once!