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Proud moments

August 1, 2011

I’ve killed my fair share of plants in the past, so it’s a proud moment to witness healthy fruit appearing on the vines. Last year, growing vegetables on a patio turned into a losing battle with an army of slugs and rapidly evaporating water, turning me into a slug-killing, overwatering maniac. I’m considering building planters with integrated reservoirs next year, simply because watering pots twice a day is just too much for me to keep up with. The sight of a badly wilting plant is a sorry one and it also stresses out the plant, reducing yields.

This year, although my pots are still a bit maintenance heavy in terms of watering, the pests are virtually zero because of the height of the window sills – no slugs have made their way up, fly numbers are low, and a proliferation of aphids was easily dealt with. Resulting in some beauties:

The seeds came from the Real Seed Catalogue, a company I really like the ethos of so far. Pictured above are the wautoma cucumber, the red zebra tomato, and the Latah tomato.

Views of the garden

August 1, 2011

Despite the lack of land space, some of the windowsill plants are really thriving. I’m having some watering issues with others, especially the courgettes, so am trialling self watering spikes attached to 1.5l bottles in an attempt to rescue them in this heat. For the most part it’s been a rewarding experiment. I’m looking forward to continuing with whatever space I have, modifying techniques along the way.

I love coming home and checking on the progress of the tomato thicket slowly blocking out the light to our kitchen. And of course the attached heirloom tomatoes as well. My flatmate is convinced that their incredible growth is linked with the disappearance of our former mouse resident.

The cucumber vine has had many small cucumbers on it, but as with my courgette plant, I seem to have an issue with pollination – the fruit stay small and eventually die. So far I have progress on one cucumber, and have pollinated the others multiple times with a paintbrush. Problematically, my cucumber wishlist currently outstrips production: one for pimms, at least one for pickling (with my flatmate’s dill), and one for cucumber sandwiches.

Slowgrown Pimms

July 7, 2011

I’m growing cucumbers that I’m hoping will find their way into a pimms jug before the summer packs up for the year. So far this plant has grown steadily in it’s airpot in my room, and is now trailing around the window beautifully.

I’ll get around to repotting the sadly neglected nasturtiums one of these days. (Alys Fowler, you were wrong…) But for now, some lovely cucumber flowers to brighten the day.

Growing from a windowsill in London

May 24, 2011

The windowsill plants so far.  Too crowded, some leggy, but hopefully to be remedied by the arrival of the air pots tomorrow.  Viva plants in the sky.