Monday, July 16, 2007

Tiger nut haircut

First a photo from my own balcony. It's more minimalistic than the french balcony I showed you a couple of days ago. I had other things to do in April and May when I normally plan and plant my outdoor stuff. The strawberries had survived the winter and the pansies were coming along nice, so I decided to stay content. Right now I think it's boring and am planning the autumn and next summer (wine or blackberry, hmmmmmmm...). The chair is a gift from the company where my hubby works right now. They gave him two for the summer, and since they seemed to match the balcony I left them there. (If anyone from this company reads this I wouldn't be ungrateful if you decided to give us a complimentary folding table ;-) )

Today I made some major works on the garden haunted by thrips. After three weeks of treatment with soft soap spray it looked like this.

The common purslane had turned quite old and the nasturtium seemed to consist of withered leaves, eventhough green ones where budding at the end of the branches. The only things thriving was the tiger nuts, so I decided to tear everything away except them.

It's a shame throwing away such big heap of things that would do better in a compost. The longer I'm working with indoor gardening, the more I feel the need for composting. Unfortunately my flat often is too warm for a vermicompost, so I've started to look for ways to use a real one indoors instead. Colleens (In the Garden Online) variety seems promising, eventhough I have a feeling I'll have to store it on the balcony. (Since there are flats without balconies I feel like it's cheeting using mine.)

I gave the tiger nuts a haircut too. They looked like a dull tuss of grass (and that's what they are) so I decided to spiff them up a bit. Don't you think this hairdo looks nicer on the windowsill? I'm not sure the plants will survive the stress being cut down like this but the prognosis is good; tiger nut is a weed to fear. In the rest of the soil I sowed the last of my Alaska Scarlet nasturtium seeds. This time I didn't put up with 'frills' like putting seeds in water 24 hours and presow them, I just put them into the soil and covered them up. The last thing I did was to sprinkle osmocote tab fragments over the surface, and then realisie that they looked edible. I spent quite some time trying to cover them up without disturbing the seeds (twoyearold in da house...).

I took this picture to show how I've started to document my cultivations. I'm not sure on what to do with the facts gathered, or if I should copy them to something else, like a notebook. These days I'm only documenting to get a feeling for how long it takes between sowing and harvesting and how different kinds of soil and fertilizing are affecting the plants. (I haven't made a note on this box, but I do know that this contains the cheap seedling soil that packs together and suffocates the plants if I'm not keeping it moist.) Note the green line between the dry and the wet part of the barrier between the soil and the leca; it's algae. This is the last time I fluff the soil, sow some stuff and tell myself it's gonna work. The next time I'll have to empty the box, sterilize everything and start a new garden from scratch. This is something that will be an indoor gardener routine.

No comments: