Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘growing’

Growing stuff – August 3rd

It’s pathetic really.

I don’t know where I went wrong with these tomato plants.

Grew them from seed on the window sill then nurtured them all winter in the living room where they grew to be strong, confident, healthy tomato plants!

They sprung all sorts of little flowers and seemed so healthy.

So why is it now August and this is ALL I have to show for my effort??

One lousy tomato


But on a good note, we have been enjoying eating “local” ( as in from the balcony) when it comes to the greens.  The arugula has been a spectacular success and the mixed lettuce leaves delicious!  We’ve even been adding some of the young chard to the salads and it tastes great!


But now the birds seem to have decided that they like beet greens and have been having a go at them!

I decided to pull up one of the beets, you know, just to see how everybody is getting on.  It was just a tiny thing so I shoved it back in.  Hopefully it will continue to grow!

And then I pulled on one of the stray potato plant branches and found this little nugget!

One potato

Well, I guess it’s still a bit early for the underground things!


Growing Stuff April 20th

I’ve decided to try and grow some potato on purpose this year. 

Last year I was trying to grow cauliflowers when suddenly a potato plant started growning in the middle of them and took over the whole party.  I suspect it was from peels that I had tossed in to compost.

Potatoes growing in the cauliflower! ( last year )

So this year I have a nice little potato with some eyes on it.  I’ve cut it into a few bits.

Potato buds

Then I have planted the bits in a nice deep tub of dirt.

I’ll let you know what happens.



If you look REALLY closely you can see a few tiny weeny Swiss Chard sprouts trying to grow from the new batch of seeds I planted outside.  I really think these ARE chard because they are red!

Chard sprouts


I am happy to see that the oregano plant has a few little leaves trying to grow.  Last year it was completely dead but then came back full blast!

Oregano trying to grow




I found out that a friend of mine is actually an award winner tomato growing expert!!  The things you find out about people! 

Anyway, I had been telling her my growing troubles but commented on how pleased I was with the progress of my tomato plants that I am growning inside from seed.

She told me that it is very important to mound the dirt around the base of the plant.  This helps make it stronger for when the tomatoes appear.   So that’s what I did!

AND I added coffee grounds to the dirt as a fertilizer

( click here to read from Grounds to ground)





As for the mystry plant?

The concensus is……..that is it some sort of sunflowers!

Rogue Sunflowers!

Weekly update April 13

I just realized that it is Friday the 13th!!

I don’t think plants care about that!

Well, I think that I figured out what the mystery plant might be………seems the neighbour kid “Jack” traded his family cow to some questionable character for some lousy beans!  And he hid them in MY flower pot!!!

No…..not really.

Truth is, I still have NO idea what the heck these are!   ( If you are just joining us, CLICK HERE to catch up on what I am on about )  But it seems they grow bigger by the day!

Mystery plant

And now they seem to be developing a bud of some sort! 

Mystery bud on mystery plant

 I think I will keep them indoors till they flower, because I know the birds will go crazy on them if I put them out on the balcony!

I planted some “new” Swiss Chard seeds in a bigger pot outside and am trying again.   So far nothing has sprouted and when I came in yesterday I noticed that “someone” ( pesky squirrel) has been digging in the pot!  “Why I otta………”

But I am pleased to report that the tomato plants are coming along wonderfully!

AND the little container of “micro greens” which is really just lettuce that you cut before it grows into its real self, are doing just fine too!

Micro greens

Although I have had to take extreme measure to protect them.  Seems birds LOVE micro greens!

I think it will be warm enough to start planting some other things really soon!

Can’t wait!

Balcony garden

Well I’m back home now after my various adventures in Montreal and Toronto and need to get back to living my regular life.

I was so happy to see that while I was away, things have started to grow on my balcony.  Over the years I have experimented with trying to grow all sorts of things and you would be surprised what you can actually grow in unlikely places!

Oregano and mint

This is oregano ( on the left) and mint ( on the right) that I planted three years ago now.  It grows up and I hack at it all summer, using it however I fancy, then around November it appears to die right off, but then in spring it grows right back!  And now the mint seems to be taking over most of the box!!

I started my by balcony garden by combing the garage sales and picking up different kinds of vessels.  Window boxes, buckets, big flower pots, and then things to put them on, like children chairs and tables and little shelves so that things are at different heights.  It is a fun pursuit to furnish your garden.

But my favorite things to grow in are my recycling bins that I brought with me from Toronto.  My “blue box” and my “grey box”.  I got them fresh and clean one earth day when they were giving them out in the park and never used them for actual recycling so they are perfectly food safe and they already have wholes punched in the bottom which are great for drainage.

Then I took my knapsack and went down to the beach and filled it with as many small stones as I could carry……actually I made several trips to get enough stones to fill all the bottoms of my vessels.  You need the stones both for drainage and for the roots to have some space to breath because straight dirt can become too compacted.

Then away you go, you can grow all sorts of things.

Last summer I was so excited because I got some little broccoli plants and was thrilled at the idea of growing my own.  The plants were growing like gang busters and it was so fun watching the little heads of broccoli emerge from the centre.  I watched them and watched them but then had to go away for a week and hoped that they would be ready to harvest upon my return.

Unfortunately they peaked while I was away and by the time I returned they had flowered up like a hydrangea flower!!  I was so sad.  And who knew that broccoli flowered like that??

Broccoli plants

Flowering broccoli

So keep an eye on your garden or things can get out of hand!

One thing I had a great success with was cucumber plants.  I just got four little plants at the store and planted one in each corner of the container.  Two made it and two didn’t.  But the two that did, grew like crazy and we enjoyed many cucumbers well into the fall.

Cucumber plant

I always try to grow a tomato plant or two but it never really gets warm enough for them, so I am lucky if I get a red tomato or two by October.

But now’s the time to start planning.

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