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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

July 2009 Chilli plants update

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Chilli plants in July in the porch

Chilli plants in July in the porch

These chilli plants have been grown from seed, I did think I would lose them all at one time, but since transplanting into larger pots, they started to do very well, and signs of flowers haved started to appear in the last few days.

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Slugs the size of pigs!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

I suppose there a bit like Marmite, not that I ever eaten a slug! You either love them or hate them. These are the size of pigs, I found them hanging around my rootrainers , whilst I was sorting out my flowering plants for the borders. I grow most of my plants exclusively in rootrainers. This year I’ve had very poor germination from Nasturtium majus Milkmaid, the Nasturtium majus Black Velvet I’ve planted I’ve had 100% germinate, but the  Nasturtium majus Milkmaid have been very poor, I think I would be lucky if I’ve got 32 plants out  of 256 seeds planted. I thought it could be because I’ve switched from a peat based seed compost, to non-peat based, to save the peat bogs, but then the Nasturtium majus Black Velvet have been planted in the same conditions. So my mix of black and white plants my struggle again this year in the border, last year Nasturtium majus Milkmaid germinated but turned out to be red and orange Nasturtium majus. I may report the batch numbers to the commercial grower, just to check they’ve not had a major failure!

Tiger or Leopard spotted slugs (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slugs (Limax maximus)

 I did think it could be these slugs I found…Slugs the size of pigs!

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

but I found no seed stalks, where they’d been eaten, and I’ve just not seen any seeds germinate.

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

Tiger or Leopard spotted slug (Limax maximus)

I quite enjoyed photographing and watching these slugs, that I didn’t have the heart to murder them! I’ll probably regret it, as they’ll be back eating me vegetables. So I left them out for the birds!

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Busy Lizzie “Blue Sky”

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

I blogged about them last year The world’s first blue Busy Lizzie “Blue Sky”, so i’ve decided to purchase some more from Thompson & Morgan this year at a bargain price of 12 young plants for £4.99. The plants arrived today by Royal Mail, and I’m a little disappointed in the poor condition, I’ve received them in, the majority of the plants are dead, roting leaves, broken stems. I’m going to have to email Thompson & Morgan Customer Services to make a complaint and ask for replacements to be sent.

Busy Lizzie "Blue Sky"
picture of the received young plants, and this is the best example!

It’s very unusual for rubbish plants to be despatched by Thompson & Morgan , maybe they’ve been handled poorly in the postal system.

UPDATE I’ve had a reply from Thompson & Morgan Customer Services, they have arrange for replacement plants to be delivered in May 2009.  Many Thanks to Thompson & Morgan Customer Services for making it happen.


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Hawthorn hedging

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

I’ll just tell it how it is, after the local council sprayed around the village notice board, the exact same width of hedge behind the notice board died!

After some discussions, ERYC sent me some free plants. Many Thanks to ERYC.

So, I decided to also order 50 x 110-125cm Hawthorn bareroot hedging plants, canes and spirals to patch the holes that have appeared in our old hedge that surrounds the front garden. They were ordered from Scot Plant Direct in Scotland, as they were very competitively priced, arrived the next day in great condition, and been living in moist compost since. But I must plant them out soon.

Hawthorn No.1
110-125cm Hawthorn bareroot hedging plants

Hawthorn No.2 from ERYC
Hawthorn bareroot hedging plants from ERYC

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“Pyrex Cloches” in use

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Here are the glass “Pyrex Cloches” in use protecting my tomato plants. This variety is Totem, a bush variety, suitable for containers and patios.

I’m determine to get a crop of tomatos this year, and hence, I’m trying to get a head start by risking moving two plants outside in late March. In the warm weather the cloches get removed, but I leave them on in the cold wind and rain, and I night I put them to bed and cover them up.

Pyrex Cloche No.4
“Pyrex Cloches” in use

Pyrex Cloche No.5
At night the cloches get wrapped in large bubble-wrap, and covered with a draw-string frost protection fleece.

UPDATE 29th March 2009 It got that hot today, in the first hour between 11.00-12.00, that one of the tomato plants in the cloche, got fried! I don’t think it’s going to pull through! Umm!

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Pyrex Cloche or Bell Jar?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I use them as garden cloches to protect the plants from frost, the wind and rain, I cannot remember how they came into my possession, but I’ve had them roughly 10 years now, they’ve been stuck behind the greenhouse for the last 2-3 years, but I want a head start on my outdoor tomatoes this year, so I’ve cleaned them ready for use to protect my tomato plants from the cold winds and frost.

If you know what they are, answers on a postcard to …

Pyrex Cloche No.1
Pictured from the top, it has a metal pipe screwed into the top, sealed with a rubber seal.

Pyrex Cloche No.2
The makers stamp can be clearly seen. Manufactured by Pyrex, Made in England

Pyrex Cloche No.3
I have two of these glass items, and as you can see, they’ve had special metal frames that carry them. They are open at the bottom, and the glass fits the frame exactly.

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What’s Growing!!!

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Earlier in the year I planted tomatoe seeds, first early potatoes, garlic was planted last year in September. Here are some pictures of the results.

I’m trying an experiment, of growing six varities of tomatoes, six in the green house in growbags using growpots, six outside using growbags and growpots, and six plants planted in 10L pots. This year I’m using double-height Miracle-Gro Organic growbags, instead of purchasing two normal size/width growbags.

Tomatoes Outside in 10L pots
tomatoes plants in 10l pots, outside in the garden.

Tomatoes Outside in growbags and growpots
six tomatoes plants outside using growbags and growpots

Tomatoes Inside in growbags and growpots
six tomatoes plants inside the greenhouse using growbags and growpots

Tomatoes Inside  in 10L pots
tomatoes plants in 10l pots, inside the greenhouse.

Potatoes and Blue Berry bushes
first early potatoes planted in Humax organic potatoe bags by Medwyn Williams, Medwyn was the father of one of the boys that went to my school, and lived a couple of minutes from where I lived! I’ve recently noticed there is an Organic Humax range for potaotes, strawberrys, chillis, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes etc Something to try next year. In the background you can see my six blueberry bushes.

Blueberrys ripening on the bush
Blueberrys ripening…not long now until eating, when they turn blue/purple! Must keep the water on!

Garlic - almost ready for pulling
Almost time to pull the garlic for eating, umm wet garlic!

Blue Bizzy Lizzy Plants and Begonias
Not for eating, but included for interest, the first Busy Lizzie ‘Blue Sky’ plants [RARE] and a few Begonia.

P.S. The chilli seeds/plants were a disaster! I decided to use my fish house and heated propagators to germinate them, the problem was, they spouted in record time, but overheated in the propagators and all died! So next year I need to find a cooler place or not use the heated propagators, or turn off, after they’ve germinated!

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Front Garden Border in early June 2008

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

A little warmth, and lots of rain, and the border comes to life.

Front Garden Border in Early June No.1
We’ve planted a few more plants to fill the border.

Front Garden Border in Early June No.2

Front Garden Border in Early June No.3

Front Garden Border in Early June No.4
There are three different Heuchera Plants, that have grown very well in our alkaline soil.

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Monday, April 21st, 2008

I’ve noticed more tropical freshwater fish shops converting over to tropical marines only, and I hear rumours that our local Maidenhead@York, and Pets@Home are both adding Marine sections to their portfolio!

Also, have you noticed the popularity of CO2 fertilisation kits in stores, once upon a time, there was only Dennerle! Now we’ve got kits from Aquamedic, Dupla, Ferplast, Hagen, Hydor, JBL, Sera, Tetra.

There must be a market for growing plants!

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Arcadia ArcTank

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

This is my Arcadia ArcTank, it’s the first aquarium I’ve ever purchased that has arrived in a box! But I think that most modern aquariums arrive in boxes these days.

Arcadia Arc Tank 3
ArcTank 20L Boxed Aquarium

Arcadia Arc Tank 1
The Arcadia ArcTank includes an ArcPod 9w lighting unit, which contains a built-in reflector which a 9w tube fits into. It also includes an internal filter not shown. I’ve decided to purchase another ArcPod 9w lighting unit because of the plant selection for my aquascape Nano tank, and these plants require lots of light.

Arcadia Arc Tank 2
Only one ArcPod 9w lighting unit is included, I’ve purchased the second to double the lighting for plants.

To help the plants, I’ve also order a simple CO2 plant fertilisation set from Sera, called Sera Plant Care Kit, it includes

  • Sera CO2-Start – ideal CO2 fertilization for aquariums from 60 l up to 200 l.
  • Sera CO2 diffusion reactor and the Sera CO2-Tabs plus (20 tabl.).
  • Sera florena, 100 ml – plant fertilizer with iron, minerals and trace elements.
  • Sera florenette A, 24 tabs – growth promotor tablets with macro nutrients
  • Sera guide “Feeding aquatic plants according to nature”

It works by filling a vessel with CO2 from a tablet, which then diffuses slowly into the water. I may have to cut the tablet in half, as this tank is only has a volume of 20L.

I’ve also purchased a Dennerle Boden-Fluter 4 watts substrate heating element and sera floredepot, which is a long-term gravel substrate with growth promoter for freshwater aquariums. I’ve also purchased some aquarium substrate called AquaClay.

These are the plants I have selected for my Nano tank.

  • Wood with Anubias barteri, Vesicularia dubyana (Java moss) and Microsorum pteropus (Java fern)
  • Cyperus helferi
  • Echinodorus tennellus
  • Rotala wallichii
  • Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
  • Cladophora aegagrophila (moss balls)

I haven’t decided where to obtain these Tropica plants from yet. But I have several local stockists. I maybe able to do a deal with!

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