i finally got a new camera. how thrilling! optimistically this will reflect in a superior quality of photographs.
or not. i’m still working out how to use it, and accordingly the photos are pretty terrible.
i had an epic day of balcony goodness yesterday – we got more soil, so i could fill up quite a few more of the pots, and plant out the strongest tomato. i have no idea what it is – it’s either a principe borghese or a black russian. i guess i’ll find out. i’ve staked it with my high tec left over scraps from our floating floorboards that the tradesperson kindly left on the balcony for us. strangely and accidentally useful, tradie! thanks.
there was also a very unpleasant discovery: stagnant water. this, i have realised, is a problem with self watering pots, which i think is caused by me not being careful enough at checking soil moisture levels. i have been watering the plastic self watering pots at the same level and frequency as the unglazed terracotta. this is a dumb idea, because they don’t need as much water at all. oops. there was this really horrific smell, that i had put down to left over brewing waste, which we’d used as organic matter on the Unkillable Aloe (which survived two years of not being watered). it grew mould. so i dug it into the soil, and it fixed the mould issue. the smell remained. i went to move one of the self watering pots – the notorious Pot That Kills Everything, Despite Having The Best Soil Ever – and splashy splashy, out comes this revolting smelling water. fortunately, there was some cardboard floating on the balcony (yes, i have no idea why) and i used that to soak up the spill. the coriander self watering pot had the same thing – only much smaller, so not as revolting. lesson learned: water self watering pots with LESS water than unglazed terracotta. well done, Elizabeth.
i found two tiny slugs in one of my baby basil pots, and aphids on two other basil plants. high pressure squirty water thing seemed to remove them, so i’ll stick with that for now. i also have dipel, ready for cabbage moth season. i am Not looking forward to that. on the upside, we finally got blinds. YAY!!! so we can actually block out night light, and discourage the moth friends from being attracted to the windows.
in better news – i had a diggers order that i screwed up – accidentally ordering indeterminate tomatoes. i donated these to a friend, and … i got a surprise tiny chilli plant! so, even if i have a complete chilli fail from my seedings, i definitely have one!!!!! it’s a black.. something or other. it’s in a terracotta pot, so should hopefully avoid overwatering. fingers crossed! one of my fridge-germination chillies has germinated! well, no leaves yet, but i can see the white stalky loop. so, it has germinated – but not leaf-ed?
PHOTOS NOW. they are not great. sorry!
My pumpkin is growing awesomely. amazingly fast – i dunno if it’s the soil or the position, but it’s going great guns. i am so proud of it, after writing it off.
i have been waiting for my beautiful nasturtium monster to finally flower. and here’s a bud. now, i am beside myself with excitement. growing something from seed, and finally seeing it produce flowers is thrilling.
there’s something like twenty strawberries on this thing. i think i have just found the dream position. the other one is not quite as amazing as this one – it’s got about 10 fruit on it, but it’s breathtaking.
The excellence continues. i had seriously considered not bothering with strawberries this year – in terms of economy, buying strawberry plants is a bit lame, because i’ve never had one plant produce as much as a punnet – and one punnet costs less than a plant – but i think these will prove me wrong, and illustrate that they can, in fact, be amazing.
my slightly excessive tomato … obsession is proving better than expected. there are at least a few of each variety. the middle one is called ‘mr stripey’ which is the main reason i bought it. ‘florida basket’ seems to be coming last, but it’s also a tiny variety which could be to blame. Volunteer Patrick at work suggested that i can grow at least a few varieties in a small polystyrene box. he knows more about plants than i, so i should take his word for it – plus most of these are tiny. i would like to grow non-cherry tomatoes, but honestly, the balcony has limitations, and i think full sized tomatoes are one of those limitations. a wonderful friend has a garden that most of these (if they survive) will be going to live in.
This is handspun Navajo Churros/Angora (not sure of ratios) from the amazing Charly at Ixchel Bunny which is easily my favourite fibre supplier. amazing service, and even more amazing product.
and THAT is my first attempt at Navajo plying. this is in Lush Bunny – also an Ixchel fibre – organic merino 18m (60%), tencel (20%), angora (10%) & cashmere (10%). it’s far from perfectly balanced, but the twist set really well after letting it sit for a few days, so it’s not too terrible for a first attempt!