Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

More new seedlings

September 29, 2013

This year I have resolved to keep better gardening records of what I planted when, and what works and what doesn’t.

Ok so I know that sowing basil seeds does not work in June, but it does work quite well in September with the aide of some black plastic (recycled from a bag of potting mix) to help keep the soil warm for germination. I have never grown basil from seed before – in fact this is only the second time ever that I’m growing it at home. I know, what kind of Italian am I?! I just had it in my head that herbs are more fussy to grow than fruit or vegetables but I’m slowly getting that out of my head – last night I picked a bunch of thyme, rosemary and oregano to put in some chicken cacciatore I made, the freshness really brought the dish to life. I am hoping I can grow enough basil to make pesto at least once. But I have a long way to go before that happens:

Basil seedlings

I have these in a large terracotta pot, mainly because I wasn’t using it for anything else, and I thought the bright green basil leaves would look “so mediterranean!” in the terracotta.

The other thing I have learned is that the BIRDS (the same BIRDS that drove me to install netting over my veggie patch) love pea seeds so much that they will actually dig out my sweet pea seeds from the ground no less than 10 minutes after being sown. So, I took extreme measures and sowed them in an old 3″ pot and tucked them in my veggie patch for protection. Two weeks later they had sprouted and were ready for transplanting.

Pea sprouts

I wanted to post this photo because when I upended the pot, even though the leaves have barely even started to unfurl, the roots had already reached the bottom of the pot & started circling around looking for some place to go. Seeds will never stop amazing me!

And with the (slightly) warmer weather this has brought out my pear & apple blossoms which I can’t stop taking photos of. Apple blossoms are just so photogenic! No idea what the apples are going to be like, but I’ll try my best to protect them from the birds and codling moth so I can at least get some apples.

Apple blossom

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Garden Update

August 3, 2013

Well, almost 5 weeks to the day have passed since I direct sowed a bunch of seeds in one of my new garden beds. I thought you’d like to see the progress of the seeds so far:

Clockwise from left: Arugula, Mizuna, Radishes, Spinach

Clockwise from left: Arugula, Mizuna, Radishes, Spinach

As well as the radishes & carrots (not pictured – they are still pretty small) in my tutorial, I also sowed spinach, arugula (rocket), mizuna, and basil. Everything has sprouted now except for the basil – I suspect the soil it possibly still too cold for the basil to germinate. Still learning new things even after 10 years of gardening!

So far I am most impressed with the rocket, I’ve never grown it before so I didn’t know what to expect. But the germination rate is quite high, the growth is lush and quick, I’ll be harvesting some for a salad or three within a few weeks!

Another new-to-me crop is mizuna, which is often found in mesclun mixes at greengrocers. I don’t want to spoil any future blog posts, but its one of the prettiest salad crops you can grow.

Radishes have been a mainstay of my Spring gardens over the years, there’s pretty much no other vegetable that gets me in the mood for fresh zesty salads grown at home that grows almost as quick as I can eat them. And the spinach, while I have grown it before, I haven’t ever grown it from seed, so that was another good learning experience. The seeds are large and gnarled-looking, and the seedlings can only be described as looking like oversized carrot seedlings – but thankfully with the emergence of their first true leaves I can see they are definitely not carrots after all. The spinach should grow rapidly if we have a moist spring.

Apart from the basil, I’ve very pleased of the progress of my seedlings! Not in the picture are 3 rows of carrot seedlings, and a somewhat sparse crop of brown onion seedlings (well there are actually quite a few seedlings but the seed leaf is so fine they are quite hard for me to see!), and a few oak leaf lettuce seedlings that are not enjoying the cold weather so much, I will sow more when it starts to warm up.

I am so impatient for the warm weather to come! At the moment I will have to be content in watching these little seedlings grow.

Finally, some vegetable gardening

October 11, 2008

Well, after my abysmal germination rates with my warm season vegetables (read: none) I got fed up & went to the garden centre up the road & bought fifty dollars worth of seedlings. I planted eggplants, capsicums, spinach, celery:

pak choi, mesclun, basil, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers (those 3 actually sprouted for me), tomatoes:

(Gross Lisse, low acid yellow, Roma, Tommy Toe), and sowed some more radish seeds because they germinated really well for me:

The onions are doing really well, getting bigger finally:

And the raspberries are all also coming to life, you can even see the flower buds forming in the centre that will hopefully become raspberries one day!

Also high on the agenda this weekend is the weeds in the garden beds which are really starting to take over. Here is the patch I was focussing on today:

And after weeding:

Still so much to do but it will just have to wait for another day.

In other news, my dad bought us a brand new barbecue today so we had a bit of a braai (south african barbecue) with marinated chicken wings, roast potatoes, and cheese & tomato toasted sandwiches (‘toasts’) and also a nice green salad. Would have been nice to make the salad from my own produce, but you can’t have everything I suppose!