Friday, June 23, 2017

Online shopping - AGAIN

Yes, yes, I have a problem. Most women buy shoes and clothes, I buy plants.
I found another website that sells plants in pots and went on a spree.
Mostly I bough flowers, but my colleague ordered a blueberry bush and I like the way it looks so I'll buy some of those also.

This was the haul - three types of Oleander (because I saw them before and I love them, even if the sap is toxic), three types of lavender (purple, pink and white), I finally got my potted lilac and also a Japanese Quince with red blossoms (that one was unusual, it's supposed to make fruit in winter but mine will wait until next year for sure).
I was kind of worried because the plants were VERY squished together in the box, but so far they seem to be doing fine. The red and the white oleanders are blooming, the pink one just got new leaves.

Red, pink and white oleander two days after I got them.

Lilac in a pot. Will wait until spring to see flowers.

Updates on my veggies and strawberries

First, let's see how the old ones are doing.

The only bad thing about the strawberries is that the fruit ripe one at a time :)
We have tomatoes! Some (Venus) are a little bigger, but the cherry tomatoes are also alive and well.

Also, the cucumber is blooming like crazy but so far only 2 female flowers. I am hand-pollinating them to make sure i get cucumbers.
I also planted some new gherkin seedlings, but those are small yet.


Red bell pepper

Potato in a bucket
Eggplant flowering
Hot peppers - Habanero Fatalii

I really have trouble arranging pictures in the right spot in this blog :D
As you can see, summer is in full swing and I just LOVE everything!

And because I have an addiction to online shopping, of course I bought new plants - flowers this time. I will make another port about those.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Again, new plant additions

Hm, I am now sure I am addicted to buying plants...
So, I have a few new additions, just delivered.

We have mini-eggplant, bell pepper, another type of tomato (Venus, with purple stripes) and a lime.

 This is an azalea/rhododendron I got from the flower shop because I loved the flowers.

An update on my other plants: the cucumber has flowers! Now I have to figure out which are male and which are female so that I can pollinate it.

The cherry tomatoes are also flowering and I am pretty sure I saw a small tomato forming :D I am jumping with joy!

I also joined a forum for other nutcases like me (apartment gardeners, that is) and one of them gave me three hot peppers - Habanero Fatalii :)

So overall, it's an amazing week :)

Friday, June 9, 2017

New plants and new crops

I have to admit I am addicted to plant buying :)
Pretty soon I will run out of space in the sunny spots, but I am counting on the fact that some of the other things I planted will be done and I can re-use some of the containers/spots. So, when it comes to new stuff I planted, I have cucumbers (gherkin type because they make smaller cucumbers and are easier to grow in pots), a new type of PURPLE beans because they look funny and a horned African cucumber (that is supposed to taste strange) called Kiwano.
I also bought a Cranberry plant (Merisor), a hybrid between a raspberry and a strawberry called japanese Framberry and a  Honeyberry (Boaba de miere). 


I gave up on the spinach for now, I'll try again when it's colder. 
I am also very happy that my strawberries are having fruits - same with the beans. Now I realise that I actually don't like green beans at all :)) but it's so nice that they are growing. 

My tomatoes and my cucumbers are also doing very well, even if for the last few days it has been cold and raining. The tomatoes are flowering :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Planting calendar

I started my balcony garden because I wanted to see if I can grow fresh vegetables, but I did make some rookie mistakes. After I got in trouble with some of the crops I actually started researching and I found a very nice calendar for planting.

As it can easily be seen, most of the things I planted very very late, so they aren't doing as well as they should.
So, I am planning better for the fall.
For example, I plan to try again in the fall with cold season crops - spinach, lettuce, radishes, rucola, carrots, cauliflower, peas and beets, because they seem to be doing better with lower temperatures.
I do have a batch of carrots that I moved inside and they seem to be doing well. I also planted a type that grows small round roots like a radish instead of the long one, I hope it's not too hot for them to grow. I'll move them inside just in case.
However, the tomatoes are doing absolutely great and so are the cucumbers and beans - today I actually noticed that my green beans are starting to show up!
So, if you are thinking about growing veggies, plan before you sow :))

Also, I'll add a list of useful links

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Trouble in the balcony garden

So I have a few plants that aren't doing well.
For example, the spinach and the lettuce just refuse to grow, so I kept reading and looking for reasons. Apparently, the main problem is that I planted them too late in the spring so now the plants are bolting instead of growing leaves.

Small leaves but tall plants for the spinach

Basically, because the temperatures are too high (it goes up to 30C already in the area) the plants are trying to grow flowers instead of leaves. A solution is to keep them in the shade but I was considering moving them inside the room and keeping the AC on during the hottest part of the day and see if it helps.
It really annoys me that I seem to be failing at the vegetables that are supposed to be the easiest to grow :(

The garlic seems to have the same problem - I planted it late, the greens went up to about 5-7 cm and now they stopped growing. I really hate that :( I don't want garlic cloves, i want green garlic, I love it, but it seems it's far too hot for it now.

Bottom line is - I will have to try to re-plant the spinach and lettuce later in the fall when it gets colder.

Another issue I mentioned before is that my radishes aren't creating bulbs, even if the leaves are big and healthy. I found an article  that mentions several reasons, out of which i think my problem is too much nitrogen in the soil. I have been using a fertilizer in the water for my plants but it's a multi-purpose one, so it might be that the radishes have too much of it. I am pretty sure it's not the bolting problem, even if it's getting to warm for them, because they don't seem to be flowering, just growing leaves.
I honestly have no clue how to fix this - I'll probably try to plant a new batch and not fertilise it at all. Maybe that will help.

Time for updates - part three - veggies and greens

The vegetables are a big part of my garden.
 so I decided to add some new seeds to the pots.

The two types of beans I have are doing  well,

Remember the tomato seeds? 
These are the tomatoes and the cucumbers now.


I also got some cauliflowers and two larger tomato plants. In the top left you can see the garlic and onions. For some reason, the garlic stopped growing :(

Also, I planted a potato and it grew like a weed :)) I realised it was getting far too tall very late so now I have a potato that is almost a meter tall :)) On its left are the white radishes.

I planted some bettroot a few days ago

Time for updates - flowers

I got some geraniums as a present for my birthday :) That was a month ago and they are still flowering like crazy.

Also, the Rhododendron scared me when it started to lose the leaves, but new ones are sprouting. This happened to the Camelia plant also - it seems that the plants I get from the flower shops are forced to grow, so they feel the need to change clothes when they get to a new home :)

Dieffenbachia, Peace Lily, Maranta, Hosta, Dacca Palm and Cala Lily, plus some plants I don't know the name for :)

Coffee plant, Camelia and the Hydrangea in the background.

Two begonias and one Impatiens I just got.
The Jasmine is growing, but no flowers yet.

Time for updates - part one - berries

This post will have lots of pictures :) You can click them to see the larger pic.

Huge raspberry plant - no flowers yet unfortunately. To the left there is a rose and in the other black container there is a Josta plant that refuses to grow :(

The Goji plant is doing ok, I have a feeling I have to move it to a bigger pot.
My strawberries are growing :D
I have about 10 strawberries plants right now and most are flowering, except the two i got from gradma, those are just multiplying.

This is the blueberry - it's not dead, it has a few leaves, but it looks kind of sad :(