Back in August my mother in law ordered some saffron crocus bulbs after I excitedly pointed them out to her on the internet. She divided the bulbs between herself, her daughter and me. I planted them up in September and during our recent house move
I noticed that there were green shoots coming through.
I have been checking on the shoots and in the last couple of days the crocuses started to appear. Saffron is meant to be harvested early in the morning as the flowers begin to open, so each morning I have crawled out of bed, put on my dressing gown and wellies and wandered out to check on the buds. This morning I found one beginning to open.
Armed with my scissors and a tissue I carefully separated the petals to get to the red stigmas and snipped them off, leaving the pretty lilac flower. The saffron strands are drying in my kitchen and I hope to be able to collect some more tomorrow as there are a few more flowers that look ready to open.
The crocuses were surprisingly easy to grow. I planted them in pots because we were moving house and I didn’t want to leave them behind. They are to be planted quite deep and well spaced, so I have 3-4 bulbs each in large bowl shaped pots that I used to grow salad during the summer. I planted them, watered them in well and then left them completely to themselves. We have had a fair amount of rain so I haven’t needed to water them, and they are growing happily without needing any attention. The bulbs are said to multiply quite rapidly so I should have an even better crop next year.
My pepper plants perked up a few weeks ago and started producing peppers. Yesterday I picked the first ripe ones! I got 3 small purple chili peppers and a small red pepper that I think is a sweet pepper, although I can’t be sure because I can’t remember what I planted. Next year I will label them better. There are three reasonably large peppers growing on another plant but they have yet to ripen, and most of the plants have small buds which hopefully will grow into more peppers.
My tomato plants got a bit neglected through the summer as well, but they seem to be recovering somewhat. I have a few green tomatoes and one that is almost red. Nowhere near a bumper crop, but better than I got last year (a few green ones).
Unfortunately I can’t take a photo as my camera is not working.
My stevia seedlings grew into lovely big plants and I have potted the best six into two pots.
The leaves taste surprisingly sweet and sugary, not at all how you would expect from a herb.
I’m excited to be able to start experimenting with the leaves in my kitchen. I want to let them settle into their pots for a bit before I start taking leaves from them, but they seem to be happy enough so far. I will post back with recipes and ideas when I’ve had chance to try them out.
Tomatoes and Aubergines
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!