Friday, 18 July 2014

Garden Bed / 2013-2014 / Clothesline

Planted out Red Russian and Cavolo Nero Kale. Also Runaway Rocket. And coriander, protected from lying on the ground and the wind, by a milk container. Initially this bed under my clothesline (something I hear is illegal to use in other parts of the world), was covered in Oregano. Oregano tastes like pencil shavings by the way. If you don't have any oregano to put on your food, just sharpen a pencil over it. Don't worry, the lead in the pencil is graphite, not real lead.

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2013-11-08

8 days: Some initial obvious growth, even by this point.

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2013-11-16

44 days: Looking lush. At some point, a Chocolate Mint has been planted in front. And a Stevia in back. The disgusting Oregano is growing back. This stuff is a weed, and people say mint is bad..

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2013-12-22

69 days: The Kale at this point is producing more than I can eat. The coriander and rocket are flowering, and rocket seed pods are already present. I ended up saving the seed from both, and have since grown more of each from it this winter.

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2014-01-16

85 days: Just more growth. Some self-seeding tarragon I think, has popped up. Probably tastes like pencil shavings too.

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2014-02-01

141 days: The coriander and rocket were pulled out by now, and hung to dry. The oregano was pulled out, but it grew back later of course.

Garden Bed, Clothesline - 2014-03-29

The bed now has some fresh rocket sown from the saved seed. It also has two Curly Kale planted, and the Stevia has gone to seed. If the seed is viable, which I am not sure about given it is my only Stevia plant, I'm going to make a vodka based sweetener from it, when I get enough growing. People talk about drying it, and sprinkling the ground dry matter, but it doesn't dissolve. So you get just get grit, and even then it doesn't sweeten anyway. I tried drying a few leaves and adding them to a pot of porridge. It didn't do anything.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Propagation / 2013-2014 / Elderflower

Elderberries, elderflowers, they're something you can do something with. Champagne, cordial, and more. I've got an Elder tree on the north side of my house, but I decided I wanted some more. So as I drove around and passed them everywhere, I took note of the whichever ones looked like they had the most berries. Then I hopped the fence and took some green cuttings of new season growth. These were dipped in my inherited Grandfather's rooting hormone, and then popped in a pot each

Cutting, Elder - 01 - 2013-11-17

The last picture showed their initial propensity to droop. I wondered if they were going to make it, but then they'd be up again the next morning. It was probably just an intial struggle of sorts.

Cutting, Elder - 01 - 2013-11-18

A month later, they had settled in.

Cutting, Elder - 01 - 2013-12-22

And a finally, two months after planting, they were obviously doing pretty well.

Cutting, Elder - 2014-01-16
They will be planted out in another year or so. While my goal might be to have as much variety of plants on my property which provide edible growth, really, if I think about it, I can get as much elderberries or elderflowers as I want by driving around a bit. But then again, it's an interesting experiment in what sort of cuttings will grow.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Planting / 2013-2014 / Hass Avocado

One thing I did a more than a few times over the last year, is to try and both save seed, and grow plants from seed. In this case, I saved two pits from Hass avocados bought at a local vegetable store, germinated them, and then planted them out.

Step one, clean the pit. The idea is to hang the bottom half of it into a glass full of water, and then it eventually sprouts. It is hung by pushing three toothpicks into it from different sides, and then sitting those on the edge of the glass. Occasionally the water is replaced, and the pit is washed. It eventually cracks and the starts rooting. You can see the water line.

Avocado, Hass, Sprouted Pit - 01 - 2014-01-20

Here's a picture a month later. It was put back into the water, and eventually a trunk started growing. When it was perhaps 10cm long, the pit was removed and planted out.

Avocado, Hass, Sprouted Pit - 01 - 2014-02-23

And here is that pit, and another, planted out. Shortly after something came along and ate the trunk off both. A rat? A possum? A chicken? Lesson learned: Cover with bird netting next time.

Avocado, Hass, Sprouted Pits - 2014-03-29