Saturday, August 04, 2007

So, how's it going? 2007-08-04

Well, that's the question. I've taken pictures of all my working gardens to show the experiment in progress.

Here's my herbgarden. Currently I'm growing lemon balm, thai basil, parsly, chives and sage. As usual the lemon balm and basil are growing like crazy, but not the sage. The sage brought some kind of illness from the mall, and haven't recovered at all. The herbgarden is not to its best. I've been ill lately, and haven't been able to spray the gardens with water. The result is that thrips has taken over my lemon balm. Today I cut away the most affected ares (the buds, of course) and sprayed a lot. I'll do some extra spraying with water for three weeks to see if that's enough to scare those pests away.

This garden is also filled with gnats, who thrives in the moist soil. Their precense is probably stressing the plants, making them more vulnerable to other pests. One way of getting rid of gnats is to inplant nematodes, and I have tracked down the swedish company selling these things (worms, actually). It wasn't easy, since the full name of the company isn't "Predator" like everybody's calling them, they are called "Lindesro AB, parasiter och predatorer" and their website is minimalistic.

This week I cut down the thai basil and made pesto. It tastes like ordinary pesto, although more bitter since I had to thicken it with more pine nuts than was originally intended.

What I've learned from this garden so far:

1. Spray the plants with water at any cost.
2. Get rid of those gnats!
3. Learn to sow your own plants from seeds even for those cheap herbs available at the mall.
4. Do have some almonds at hand when you are making original pesto. (Oh boy, will the genovesians kill me for this...)

I couldn't resist this angle when I took this picture. This is the box where I grow tiger nut only. It's also the first box that is half the size of my ordinary boxes, and with a weed the garden seems to work fine. I may think these plants needs a haircut, but I keep my hands away. This is the special garden for my son. He has started to help me with the plants, and he's seen this ever since the seeds grew. Every day I bring it down from the shelf, show him how it's grown and then he sprays it with water. These are things twoyearolds like.

What I've learned from this garden so far:
1. A twoyearold can handle a spraying can and likes to see how the garden grows.
2. Using a box half as big is fine.
3. Weeds are growing like, well, weeds.

And here's my garden unbrushed. I've sown turnip, carrots and scallion close together and now the different leaves are tumbling over to each other making complicated braids. It's time to thinning this out for the first time. At this stage the roots are thin like threads, and pretty weedy, so I'll make a leaf sallad for the family. The scallions and the carrot leaves will be used raw, but I cook the turnip leaves like spinach (surprise!). In this box I have too few, and to much trouble picking them.

I have a few gnats in this garden too and one turnip leaves have a dry spot. On the other hand this is a lot less than I've had before.

What I've learned from this garden so far:

1. Spraying water to prevent thrips works.
2. Turnip should be grown in bigger quantities as single crop in their box.

Do you recognise my thripsgarden I complained about some time ago? Don't those nasturtium leaves look dashing? I sowed them after I'd torn up the garden and I've watched them like a hawk to see if any of the pest has survived in the tigernuts (which I left) and started to affect them. So far so good. The soft soap spray seems to have worked, eventhough I didn't follow the recipe to the letter.

I'm planning to thin this out a bit, but I haven't decided if I'll take entire plants or just cut some leaves. The tigernut plants survived their haircut, and are ready for another one.

What I've learned from this garden so far:
1. Soft soap and water is enough.
2. Tigernuts do survive haircuts.

And the calamondin. Since I started to spray it with water its leaves has stayed on the branches instead of falling off en masse. (I once swept the floor in the room and got a heap of leaves and some pine cones instead of dust...) It's still suffering from cloros and I have changed the water in my spraying can to softened water to see if that's making any difference. The water of Uppsala is heavy with calcium and I suspect the calamondin is absobing the calcium through the leaves. (Calcium makes it harder for the plant to absorb iron, which makes it 'anemic' - it gets cloros.) Most of the flowers has fallen off, and dark green fruitlings are hiding beneath the leaves.

What I've learned from this garden so far:
1. Calamondins wants to be sprayed with water.

As you can see I haven't included a picture on a gigantic pot filled with strawberries. I haven't planted it yet. My biggest challenge right now is to keep the plants alive untill I get started...

And don't forget the poll in the margin ;-)

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