this is the capsicum of optimism – i was convinced the bugger wasn’t going to fruit – the first flowers were too staggered between each other to pollinate so nothing happened – so i started hand pollinating Everything on the balcony (especially the eggplant!). and then, two, only two of the capsicums finally started growing! they are still green – lovely, lovely green, and i’m so excited about watching them change.
i spend a lot of time staring at the pot with the beetroot seeds in it, waiting for them to start growing. nothing yet. it’s been two days though. gardening is good for patience.
most of my mind though, is taken up with planning for winter-crop. seriously. if someone could do a cross section into what i am thinking about most of the time, it’s – dinner plans – plants – craft. i’m surprisingly anxious about it – i want to get it right. the more planning i can do, i’m thinking, the better it will be – but i don’t even know where to start planning. i’m still stupidly new to this. the main things i want to try for winter are:
- beans/peas to fix the soil and be delicious
- nasturtium – my first mostly-ornamental plant
- possibly sweeds
- english spinach
i don’t know what else would be good for pots in winter. herbs are another thing i want to try and grow more of – though how, i’m not sure. i’m also not sure how to grow most of these – i know a lot will be from seed, and i’m Not Great at that. though… the tomato plant i started from seed has fruit on it. i am so, so excited.
when i look at blogs talking about container/small space gardens, with larger, better setups, i get garden-envy. i also almost beat myself up a bit for not being so well set up, or so organised, or so aware of how to grow things that well – huge tomato yields, eggplants that stay alive (well, where more than one stays alive!) beautifully designed spaces, no pile of spare soil and mulch shoved into a corner. early days i know. i need to be gentle with myself about it, and not too impatient. the space i have is… well.. limited doesn’t even cover it.
the part that gets sun, has 4-5 hours direct sun a day – and within that, due to the white walls, parts get very hot, and others, not hot at all. the edge has fried plants this winter – nothing i put up there thrived until i moved it down. it gets very, very windy – though it gets some protection, it doesn’t get a lot. it’s very small, and the majority of the space is in full shade. so, all in all, i sometimes feel slightly despairing of it – wanting a bigger space, or even a better one, that’s more enjoyable to sit on. but one day.
however, there are a few things that make up for this. this includes basil. even if my basil has not grown as big as the reported basil from other people i know – but the image above is one of my babies – carefully pruned for Maximum Basil-age. i have about 20 basil plants, and doing that was one of the smartest garden moves i made. even if i need to keep those pots clear over winter (or put a clove of garlic in) i’ll be growing basil in the same quantity next year. damn, i’ll grow more if i can.
and – the mighty victory. this is the Pot That Kills Everything. i cursed it after my attempts in 2011 to garden ended in me completely neglecting all my plants – i had some happily growing kale which i’d grown from seed which i killed through neglect. Terrible Effort, novice-me. since that point, this pot has killed eggplants, and basil. killed isn’t the right word – you put stuff in there, and it just doesn’t grow. it doesn’t die, either, but it goes … nowhere. i don’t know if it’s the position i put it in for this summer, or if it’s the level of the soil in the pot, or the quality of the soil. i have set it aside for kale this year – but then, something… strange happened. two itty bitty plants have sprung up. i know, it’s probably weeds – but i’m wondering if they are baby marigolds, because i had a marigold in the pot that didn’t die prematurely (they are all dying off now, but i’m guessing its the time of year?). i’m going to let them grow until it’s kale-time anyhow just to see what happens.
craft will be upcoming! i just ordered some circular needles to make a jumper or cardigan with. i’m currently debating between three possible patterns…