Stevia Herb

Another one of my birthday presents that is growing on my window ledge at the moment is this stevia plant. It is a natural sweetener that grows as a herb. According to the packet, you can add a couple of leaves to your tea instead of using sugar.

According to the internet, it’s pretty rare to find seeds for stevia as they are difficult to propogate. I planted up the 12 peat pods that came in the growing kit with 2 seeds in each. I have just three thriving plants. Four other pods have seedlings in but they don’t seem to be growing much. Two more have the tiniest hints of green showing but they’re not quite getting to the seedling stage let alone growing into plants. Read more

Seedlings Growing Up

Some of my seedlings have grown up and moved out. These tomatoes and aubergines moved into grown up pots and now live outside in my plant house.

I have another few seedlings on my window ledge that are ready to grow up and move out. I will be potting them up this weekend after I have picked up some more pots for them.

I can’t wait until they grow up enough to fruit. I am so looking forward to having freshly picked produce from right outside my door!

Oyster Mushrooms

For my birthday back in February I received a grow your own mushrooms kit. It’s taken a bit of time to get it started, we had some mushrooms start growing then dry out, and we had trouble with water pooling and going a funny colour.

The instructions said to leave the plastic bag around the growing medium and cut slits for the mushrooms to grow through. This seemed to be the cause of the problems we were having. A large clump of mushrooms managed to grow through a hole in the corner of the plastic bag, which left a big hole when I picked them. I noticed that the next lot of mushrooms was growing well near the hole, but another clump growing under the plastic started out and then died off. I decide to remove the plastic and see if that helped. Read more

Seedlings

I have planted fruit trees and bushes in my garden, and watching them turn green and grow is interesting but slow. Far more exciting are the seeds I have sown on my window ledge.

So far, I have coriander and cumin herbs in my kitchen, and various hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes and aubergines sprouting. Now that the seedlings have come through and I have uncovered them, I have room to start another batch of seeds.

Hopefully this year my seedlings will be safe from the snails that munched them all last year. I hope that starting them inside and moving them out when they’re a bit bigger will give them a better chance of surviving. Read more

Gardening Season

Last year was my first garden, and as is to be expected of first attempts at something, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. I started planting quite late in the season, my seedlings were attacked by slugs, I didn’t water anything enough and it was all quite disheartening. I gave up trying to rescue plants, enjoyed what did survive and left the garden alone completely once the last plants had given up on me.

This year, I’m excited to try again. Armed with experience of what not to do, a little more knowledge than last year, and a lot more enthusiasm, I’m hoping to get much better results this year. We took advantage of a rare sunny day last week to get started, took out weeds and old plants, dug the ground over a bit and planted some fruit trees and bushes that I got for my birthday. Read more

Garden Makeover

Over the last week we have given our garden a bit of a makeover, turning it from a relatively boring lawn, deck and patio into a pretty and functional edible garden. ┬áThis is my first garden, so I have no idea how well anything will grow, but I’m really enjoying planting things and watching them to see how they do.

Here are the before photos:

And here are the after photos:

I also have some trellis to create an archway over near the composter for peas to grow up, and since these photos were taken we have put some seating on the deck.  To see more photos of the garden visit my flickr. Read more