Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Re-potting Cacti and Preparing the greenhouse for Winter .

 Remember this ? I bought it at a boot fair years ago maybe 15 or twenty years ago .
  Two cacti in a heavy glass vase . .... not really the best way to grow them !
I should have re-potted it straight away .... but as you know time flies..and it seems to have been quite happy and has flowered for me many times .

  Anyway , I finally gave myself the kick up the backside to get on and re-pot the poor old thing .

 After sliding a knife aroun the sides of the vase , they both slid out quite easily and I pulled them apart  . . . I wore a pair of thick gloves for this bit  , but then found them easier to handle without gloves , since the roots were so compacted .

   Nice fresh cactus compost moulded around the sides and bottom of the pot .

                              Making a well to gently drop the cactus into .

I managed to do this without getting prickles in my fingers ...because the roots were so compacted , it was surprisingly easy to handle ....with bare hands  !

                I planted it leaning to one side with the babies uppermost .....

                         .......... to give them space to fill out as they grow .

Sadly I couldn't find a nice pot for the other one ...sigh .....so into a black plastic pot for the time being .

    I cut the top off it with the scissors , the part that was dead and crusty ....maybe I should cut it down lower still  ? Cacti usualy respond by putting out new growth ..in this case from the base of the plant .
  It does look a bit rough doesn't it ? I wont be entering it any shows  . However , let's give it a chance to recover .   Plants aren't always perfect out in the wild either and in my opinion that's what makes them so much more interesting !

They look better already and I topped them off with a nice mulch of horticulteral grit .

         So next I have these two Opuntis to re-pot  ....  not so friendly these !

To make things even more difficult the one one the right has leaned over and put roots down into the pot of the one on the left !  The one on the left has particularly vicious spines and glochids .
   I stood and looked at the pair of them ....this is going to be tricky .
Plant them together in one big trough/pot ?    Seperate them ?  I need to give it more thought .
                                              Aah ! Do it tomorrow !  :)

   And with that , I put everything back and continued tidying and preparing the greenhouse for winter .
        To be continued ..........

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Veg-Trug update - End of August

 The Veg-Trug has been great growing for a fine selection of salad leaves this year . Lettuce , Spring onions , Coriander and Dill  .

I,ve managed to keep it going since Feb/March and another sowing of seeds , a week or two ago , are beginning to germinate .
 All of these prefer it to be cooler or else they will bolt  . Lettuce will not germinate at all if it is hot .

 So the trick is to keep everything cool and well watered during these hot end of August days . I,m using environmesh to keep it just slightly shaded from the fierce rays of the sun .
  We have enjoyed lots of good salads and wraps from the Veg-Trug.....and it is a nice  easy height to work with . I,m a bit worried that it will be difficult to empty and refill with fresh compost....hmmmm......we'll cross that  bridge when we come to it .

                                               Have a great week all !

Friday, 16 August 2019

End of August Veggie garden update

We,ve had a tough couple of months since I last wrote on here . . . our dear little dog and faithful Jack Russel friend came to the end of her days aged 17 years , passed away peacefully .  I am feeling so tearful ...we are all feeling so sad  ....the garden feels empty , yet the cottage feels like she is still here ...but she is not.....grieving is cruel .
 I have not been able to write ...apologies .... I know that time heals .

 It has been a struggle to carry on , but I have really tried hard to tend to the vegetable garden , we need to keep the vegetables coming  . Good  "fresh and healthy for us " food .
  See in the first photo....that is my first ever Cauliflower ! Small , but just the perfect size for the two of us ! ( and it was so good and tasty too ! )

 The recent gales smashed down two heavily laden branches from my Plum trees . ..I was so shocked and saddened when I first noticed this ....I hope the torn and jagged tree trunk can recover . Both trees were too badly torn to bind back together  and I,m not sure if I should paint the damaged parts over with something to seal the wound or  leave it to heal naturally . There are differing thoughts on this .
  I harvested a huge bowl of beautiful plums and there are many more for the birds and squirrels , wasps and butterflies to enjoy .

 In the Solar shed we are having a good steady supply of Tomatoes and Cucumbers .

    Lots of Runner-beans and French-beans , which I am freezing up as fast as I can .

                       Brussels sprouts are doing fine mostly under cover .
                                  Oh !...... but they are such a worry !

                                  Blooming Cabbage White Butterflies !
I have left a couple of sacrificial plants uncovered to try and attract them away from my main area of my Brussels sprouts crop .
 When I,m there I find myself chasing them away ....  shoo !  shoo  ! ..but I couldn't harm them .

        See how cleverly they hide underneath the leaves and lay their eggs .

The caterpillars  hatch out and munch away and leave all their messy droppings and very soon your brassicas are ruined ......

........but underneath the netting .....my perfect sprouts are growing  !

 Ruth Stout experiment .... in which one doesn't need the garden fork, nor spade .  You just pull back the straw with your hands...lets see .......

                       Squeals of delight at first !......but ....hmmm.....

 Not so good  lol !...next year we will go back to planting them under the good earth and earthing them up again .

 Onions ....lots and lots of beautiful onions , I cook with onions everyday , I can never grow too many .
 I am about to try a sowing of an onion called Toughball , for some fast and tasty Spring Onions .
 I got my order in for my Autumn planting Onion sets -Yellow Senshyu and Red Blood ..they should be arriving during the first two weeks of September .
   I cant believe we are nearly there already !

                            I,m really going to miss this little sweetheart .

                                            Tender French-beans
 This morning I planted out lots of Kale, Purple sprouting Broccoli and Cabbages ahead of the heavy rain that is forecast . . . . planting for my winter vegetable garden .
 More seeds to be sown on the three legged table in the Woodshed .... dont ask ... ( Husband says it will be o.k ! ....hmmmm ....I,m not so sure )  lol !
We are also very busy splitting  , chopping and stacking up logs for our Winter fuel .

    I also picked as many of the French-beans and Runner-beans as I could find ......they hide !
    The wind is picking up as I write this and I,m afraid they will be smashed down  .

   I wanted to make some Lavender bags ..but I think now the rain has come , I may be too late .  I picked a bunch to go into a vase on the table and some to go under my pillow for sweet dreams .. I rubbed my eyes and now have one very sore eye , beware of this in future ! The bees and butterflies are enjoying them  !