28 March 2010

Going underground

Its been a month and shamefully only 3 posts since I first prized the seed potatoes out of their packet, balanced them in an egg carton and hoped that through a mix of faith, luck and magic they might start to sprout a bit.

You'll like this. Not a lot, but you'll like it (it's not the same without Debbie McGee is it?).

Fan Dabi Dozi!(very much the same even if no grown women are dressed as schoolboys)

So now they're all sprouty and green, best stick them in some dark moist soil.

Advise on the packet says put them 10cm deep, but given the ongoing mixed weather I decided to go an extra 5cm down just to be on the safe side.

As they start to surface in the next few weeks, I'll shovel some more soil into the grow bag, try my best not to over water or ignore them and see if I can get Paul Daniels over to magic some potatoes appear out of the soil.

17 March 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

It's one of my favourite Beatles songs, it truly is, but nowhere in Johns lyrics does it mention that if the strawberry fields don't get a good dousing of water (even in the winter) they curl up, go crispy and just become plain old fields.

Thankfully he was a musician rather than a farmer.

I however have no excuse (other than I am neither a farmer, nor a Beatle) for the dusty, crunchy pots of dirt that formerly held my strawberry plants; well, maybe one excuse but it's a good one. Honest.

Water irritates my neighbour (specifically water running from my balcony to his) and as a result, everything got drip trays, except for the railing based strawberry pots...they just got less and less water, until they got no water at all. In fact the only reason that 3 plants out of the original 8 managed to survive is that they get rained on quite heavily (check out those deep roots!)

With their appetite for lots of water and the niggling thought that I should do as little as possible to wind up the man downstairs, the remaining strawberry plants were relocated to the medium sized yellow planter bag.

A week on an everything appears to have settled down nicely, new green buds are peeping through and all the water/organic feed is disappearing very quickly.

Maybe John did have it right, after all, he was the Walrus.

7 March 2010

Clean, Clear and Under Control

Neglect is a terrible thing. But so is a cold wind and driving drizzle. This morning was the first Sunday for a long time that the cold/wind/drizzle mix was missing.

With the balcony bathed in warm Spring sunshine it was time to show the greenhouse some attention. Although I have previously expressed some jealousy of the wonderful wood and glass construction at the Imperial War Museum, I do have a rather smaller and less grand glasshouse, which whilst being somewhat less opulent is at least quick and easy to clean.

This is a small but very welcome mercy given the thick film of grot that had built up over the Winter, coating the glass in a heady mix of compost, dust, road grime and drizzle that had combined to make the glass somewhat opaque.

A generous spritz of Windolene and some Bounty (the kitchen roll, not the chocolate bar) later and its good as new.

Not big enough to grow coconuts (mmm....Bounty. The chocolate bar, not the kitchen roll), but it will soon be playing host to some delicious organic lettuce seedlings.

Salads Hooooo!