Awesome, well done! 🙌 I’m currently regrowing a new scoby because I got burnt out on kombucha too and all my other Scobys started moulding 🤢. I gotta try your way now to compare. Got some frozen blueberries, I wonder if they would work…if not can always get some fresh fruit next time I shop. 🙂
I grew mine from a starter bottle, so no experience of growing one from scratch. But fruits do have both natural yeasts and sugars which can be converted to vinegar by acetobacter, which I think are present in kombucha, so I guess in theory it could work? I would love to hear how you got on if you did attempt it.
There are some really cool people on here that are so helpful and knowledgeable. I have spent many happy hours losing myself down various rabbit holes after using the search bar to find all kinds of interesting threads.
I am definitely a huggy person when it comes to a partner. With other people people, it really depends on the relationship. I have hugged strangers before now (they were holding a sign that said free hugs lol 😂). It just depends. One thing I really hate though is when people who aren’t my partner try to kiss me on he lips in greeting. I know it’s common for people to do that with their kids, other family members or even pets (ewwwww) but for me that kind of kiss is reserved for partners only.
My partner does not do physical affection at all, which is kinda hard for me. At times it makes me feel like he just doesn’t care. I don’t think that’s true but it’s hard knowing that whenever I’m going through something hard and could really use a hug, it’s never going to come from him. And on the rare occasions it does, it doesn’t feel as comforting as it should because I know that for him it’s not something he probably wants to do, but feels like he should do.
Anne Miller, they look v much like those ornamental cucumber things. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’d heard of ornamental gourds, which are v pretty, but I don’t get those because I don’t trust myself not to mix up the poisonous ones with the edible but still pretty ones. I got these tiny ones because they’re pretty but I have nothing edible that looks similar.
I would agree, tomatoes are a great plant for teaching how to take cuttings. Also mint or succulents. They’re all super easy to propagate.
I guess corn would be good to teach about genetics and basic plant breeding if you use coloured corn, as you could show how each kernel was individually fertilised and is genetically different to its cob mates. Violas or pansies could work too, as they’re supposed to be very promiscuous 😉.
Trying a three sisters planting could teach how plants can be grown together to help each other out.
Beans are fun. They can be used to teach the sprouting on wet paper towels method, about natural fertilisation methods as they fix nitrogen in the soil, and how much variety there is that just can’t get unless you grow them yourself 😊 They only sell the green French beans in my local supermarkets, but I can grow purple, yellow or speckled.
Pretty much any edible plant can teach how much better home grown stuff tastes.
Hoping you can help. Does anyone know what these really cool, weird little spiky things are?
I found them at my local garden centre, £1.50 for a small cup. They were near the pumpkins/squashes. I have no idea what they are, I’m assuming some kind of curcubit, but I’d love an ID so I know what to put on the packet when I save the seeds.
Today I spotted my first seed germinating of the wild kale I found. I’m stupidly excited about that. I could do with some super hardy, stands up to the aphids and caterpillars, type kale. I just hope it makes it to seedling stage and doesn’t get eaten/rot off/shrivel up in the sun. I did try and take a picture, but it’s too tiny to really show up on camera.
My first sweet peas (Lathyrus) bloomed today. It’s a variety called Winter Elegance that’s supposed to bloom through the winter, so I’m intrigued to see if it does. Might be worth attempting some wide crosses with Lathyrus Tuberosum to increase it’s winter hardiness/height or a cross with the Lathyrus known as everlasting pea, which currently dies back over winter.
Also, my sweet potatoes bloomed today 🥰. I’m so excited. I’m praying it’s a self fertile kind and I can get seeds and start my own UK based sweet potato landrace.
I have a couple pics I want to share but I don’t seem to be able to upload them directly from my iPad anymore, it’s asking for a URL of the image, so once I figure that one out, I’ll be back with pics. 😊🌱
Love, love, love this company. They have some awesome varieties that are different to what I can get elsewhere. Can be a little speedy compared to other places, but for the things I can’t get anywhere else then I don’t mind paying the extra. Am hoping this will be the year I manage to order their oca before it sells out.
I grow in nothing but compost and it works out just fine for me. It may be just ‘dead organic matter’ technically, but the microbes, insects, worms and fungi are all very much alive, as are the plants 😊
My Osteospermums look suspiciously like they are making seeds. Of course, I’m thrilled about this, as there’s less pressure to have to try and get them all through the winter intact if I have back up seeds. At some point, I’ll probably start leaving them outside all winter to purposefully select for cold tolerant strains. It’s been a bit hit and miss in the plants I’ve grown up until now.
We recently went on a day trip to a nearby (sort of) forest and called in at a local fishing village that my partner wanted to check out. I discovered a kind of kale growing out of the harbour wall and at the foot of the cliffs, just growing wild. I got super excited at the idea of adding wild kale hardiness genes to a kale landrace, so I collected some seeds and am hoping v much that they grow. It may be a late flowering variety, as all my domestic kale finished up flowering a couple months back, or it might just flower over a longer period maybe? I have christened the variety “Wild Lady of Staines” as a reference to the village where I found it.
Had a stubby lilac peoniflorum type poppy pop open. It’s gorgeous! Have no recollection of planting that type, so it’s either from a mix I’ve sown at some point or a gift from the bird poop delivery service.
My potatoes have lots of flowers on now. The most prolific one just so happens to be my favourite, which works out well. It’s a darker purple in the middle, which fades toward the edges. I’ve also had a pure purple petal flower, and a few white petalled ones.
I live in a small house, with a small concreted yard covered in containers of compost, which is where I grow. My desire to pursue my interest in plant breeding and enthusiasm for big plants that aren’t all that suitable for containers is somewhat at odds with the lack of space. You gotta appreciate the irony!
This year is the year that I decided to finally actively try to undertake some plant breeding, rather than just read about it and get excited. This year is also the year that the slugs have decided to actively eat my breeding programme participants. It does comfort me slightly to know that Carol Deppe says her plants have accidentally been selected for the ability to outgrow slug attacks, given that she chooses to garden organically. I am more than happy to be selecting for that too.
I have a lot of projects that I want to undertake. I’m currently working on a mini sunflower project (I love red, brown, bicoloured or any other unusually coloured sunflower). I plan to display these on my mini sunflower wall. Some slug resistance here would be very helpful, as slugs keep decapitating my poor seedlings. 😢
Ever since I heard Mark Reed talk about his sweet potato landrace, and how he grows them from seed, I wanted to have a go at doing the same. It might not work here in sunny (or not) Yorkshire, but it’s fun to try. I have slips from a purple flesh variety I sourced from a nursery, a white fleshed variety I sourced from the grocery store and an orange fleshed one also from the grocery store. Had to grow my own slips on those last two.
I’m also wanting to create a colourful & tasty potato landrace that I can readily grow from true potato seed. My potatoes are currently flowering and I have 3 different flower types, so at least 3 varieties. Could be any of the original varieties that I’ve reproduced clonally from a couple years ago (Mayan Gold, Highland Burgandy and Salad Blue or their offspring as I’ve grown from TPS in the same space, so some of those tubers could’ve made it through the winter too.
Last thing, is my Osteospermum breeding project. I love African daisies and I have some that I’m trying to grow from seed as well as a whole bunch of ones from the garden centre. The garden centre ones do produce pollen, but don’t produce seeds. I hear male cytoplasm sterility is much more common than female sterility, so I’m hoping if I try and cross these to some (presumably fertile) seed grown ones that it will restore fertility. Apparently MCS is always transmitted maternally, so if I use the garden centre plants as the pollen donors, it should work out ok if I’m understanding things correctly. Of course, I could be hopelessly wrong too. Did I mention I am a complete amateur at all this?
I will update as things progress. Either that or the slugs/snails will reign supreme and eat everything….🐌
The book is coming in paper form and I will start working through the Kindle version. Yes I bought a extra paper copy just to have a copy to add to the home library. Yes I am one of those people. First furniture I ever bought was a bookshelf. Designer tip, real walls of books take more floor space than wallpaper but they make good thermal, block noise and provide generations of entertainment and education.
I am also one of those people - if I really like the e book then I will totally buy a ‘proper’ copy. And did not know about the noise reducing, insulating power of books. I’m all intrigued now. Currently living in a terraced house so lining all the walls with books to block out the neighbours sounds v appealing to me. Also, a v good excuse to buy more books 😂
I planted some old ginger that was looking quite ratty and dried up in a tray of soil on the windowsill a few months back (maybe Feb?). It didn’t look like it was growing, so I stuck a Chinese cabbage end on top that was regrowing so I could try and get some seeds. Watered whenever the bolted cabbage looked droopy, but not too much as the container hasn’t got any drainage in. A few days ago (June) I noticed that the ginger was actually sprouting and had sent up small shoots, which is v good timing as the cabbage end has just finished up making it’s seeds. Cabbage stalk is now in the compost, seeds are saved and my ginger has the tray to itself.
I don’t know why it worked for me. It took long enough, given that it’s been 4 months. I’ve grown it in pots on windowsills before tho, so it can work. Have you given it enough time? It might just be slow.
As a rule, roots don’t like super wet conditions and tend to rot after a bit, so I’d try and keep things on the drier side (I forget to water a lot, so it’s pretty easy for me to achieve this).
Thank you for the response Heather and for being so kind about it too. I put it back almost immediately, so the only heat the egg has experienced is being in my hand for a few minutes.
There was only that one, so I guess maybe it was their first? I’ll leave it where it is for now and see if I can make contact with a bird specialist, if I can find one. Hopefully egg is in a dormancy phase and doesn’t need heat yet.
Hi, I found a bird egg in grass and being an idiot, I took it inside to show my bf. I now don’t know what to do for the best.
If it’s a ground nesting bird’s egg, I don’t know if I put it back in exactly the right place. It will be close, but odds are not the exact spot. I don’t know if I should leave it outside and pray mama bird finds it again, or if I should take it back and try n hatch the egg. It’s located on a common area where there’s lots of dog walkers, the council mows it with those ride on mowers, and kids run up and down playing there.
I don’t have an incubator,so my only 2 options to keep an egg warm would be inside the house, which is usually between 18-20 degrees Celsius (60ish Fahrenheit) or in the compost bin where it usually reads between 38-40 degrees Celsius (100ish Fahrenheit) in the middle, so I could build an incubation nest on top maybe where it’s cooler, but still warm.
Full disclosure, I have no idea how to raise a bird, any bird, from a chick. I also have a cat. Also, a horrible guilt for moving it in the first place. I don’t want a baby bird to potentially die because of me.
Heather Gardener wrote:Not sure what happened on that last post, the comment that starts “Have you tried growing beans in containers?” is part of a quote too, by Susan Young I think.
My comment starts where I say “I grew a pretty decent crop of runner & French beans….”.
Sorry for any confusion, I’m not plagiarising, honest!
Hi Heather - it's tricky with this platform, I've discovered, to take out a sentence and respond to it . . .
Great picture of where you grow your beans. I've only grown dwarf beans in fairly large tubs - only for the reason that I didn't want to have to provide them with climbing supports and I've enough garden space to grow climbers. You WILL get that large garden one day - or more than a garden if you dream of it? We have two acres - a wild flower meadow and orchard with chickens, small wooded area, vegetable growing areas, fruit bushes and flowers (cottage style meets prairie I would say - - unkempt and a bit wild). It's a south facing slope with a view of the Wye Valley beyond.
But to get back to your beans in containers. I'm very pleased that you posted that information because it confirms that they can be grown in small spaces and do perfectly well. I've even seen a photo of someone growing climbing beans on an apartment balcony and training them high up the wall. Did you need to water them a lot in the containers? - or perhaps, it looks as if the containers might have been in the shade of the wall and so didn't dry out?
Oh wow, your place sounds perfect. A wildflower meadow & food forest are on my wish list, as well as regular garden space. I keep discovering all these cool permaculture things I want to try! I need a small farm probably for all the things I want to try to do. I like the wild style of things too. While I do appreciate the neatness of manicured rows of crops, I can’t help but relate more to the crazy plants that want to grow rampant over everything and live their best life.
My beans caught the sun fairly well, but they are quite close to the house and it’s a v small yard. I don’t remember them taking absurdly large volumes of water, but the compost is fairly deep. Watered every 3 days mostly, unless something was wilting or it was going to rain the next day. That year I was still hand watering and I wasn’t a fan of lugging about 10Litre watering cans unless I had to lol.
I’ve seen everything from tomatoes and egg plants/aubergines to beans and peas grown on balcony’s, it’s so cool what a little creativity can achieve.
I’d like to recommend a YouTube channel called Roots and Refuge Farm. Jess, the lady who does most of the videos, moved to South Carolina last summer, but all her previous videos were at her Property in Arkansas, so it may help you get an idea of what will grow well for you. Plus she’s just super inspiring and a great teacher. I recommend any of her garden tour videos in particular. She also has a Facebook group called Friends of Roots and Refuge Farm.
Ara Murray wrote:Carlin peas are also known as black peas, pigeon peas, maple peas and goodness knows how many other names. They are traditionally eaten in the north-east of England on Carlin Sunday, the 5th Sunday in lent. There is a rhyme for the Sundays in lent which goes: tid, mid, miseray, carlin, palm, paste egg day. The latter has various spellings depending on where you live but is Easter day. I have never tried growing them but regularly eat them.
Oh cool, thanks Ara. You’d think I’d have known about them, living in Yorkshire!
I would love to hear more about how one can grow enough beans in a small space to create useful quantities in a smaller suburban plot.
“Have you tried growing beans in containers? You need quite a large container to give them a deep enough root run, but they would be perfectly happy. Beans are pretty unfussy growers. You'd need to water them well when the beans are forming. Climbing beans will provide a bigger crop in relation to space than dwarf beans, so be sure you grow a climbing bean (although dwarf beans crop in less time, so you could conceivably get 2 crops in during a growing season, if you live in a warm climate). I'd also select a bean that grows taller than some, and that would carry a bigger crop - and also a bigger bean. One of my current favourite beans is called schneekappchen - it's a South German bean, from the mountainous region, so pretty tough and it's a big, bean with quite a lot in a pod. So if you grew that one (assuming you can find the bean seeds) then I think you'd get the maximum crop for your space. It's also really pretty - the flowers are white with a pale lilac tinge - so it would look good in your small yard!”
I grew a pretty decent crop of runner & French beans in a wooden planter with just over 6 ft trellis attached to the back. The only way I can grow is in containers until I can afford to buy a house with actual land. I didn’t get many beans at all from the dwarf ones I grew, but the climbing ones on the trellis produced loads. I forget all the varieties, but I had a red and a white flowered runner, dragon tongue/Lingua de Fuoco Borlotto beans, a purple podded French bean and a green podded French bean.
I don’t have a great pic, but that trellis in the back ground of this pic was the one with all the beans.
Ooo thanks Nancy, Thomas Etty looks interesting! Agree, Chiltern seeds has some interesting varieties. I love their seed catalogues. I’ve taken them on holiday with me before now to read on my sunlounger 😊
I have a bug. I’m signed up to the daily ish email and get it to my email address, but on the scavenger hunt thing on my profile it says I’m not signed up. Attached is picture to prove I am receiving the emails.
Well thank you for stoking my curiosity, just been online to buy some seeds. Apparently it grows well in the UK. We shall see lol 😂 Hope so tho, I’m happy to test it as a normal squash and if I can get it through a mild winter outside (or inside in cutting form).
Tereza Okava wrote:
Bingo. Kale doesn't usually bolt for me (zone 9b) but after a certain point it either rots or just poops out (usually about 2 years in).
I do try this with everything, and most plants can get pushed to about 2 years. Lettuce is not one.
If lettuce doesn't get whacked by the occasional frost we get here, it bolts very quickly in the warmer seasons. I've never had lettuce stay more than a few months. It also just doesn't grow enough that you can take off too much. I grow romaine, oak leaf, and a few other kinds and I can pull leaves maybe 3 times before the plant is done. Romaine maybe lasts the most, and I think is the best kind I can grow here in terms of nutrition, duration, hardiness.
Maybe if you live in some sweet spot where it's 10C all year round....
I’d argue it felt about 10C most of last year in Yorkshire. Mostly it was just wet and cloudy. My baby leaf mustards and chard did ok as salad last year. Did some full size chard that I planted out n autumn and it’s stood all winter unprotected. Pak choi has done well too, still tender even though it’s bolting now.
greg mosser wrote:i lacto-ferment grated sunchokes like sauerkraut. the flavor is awesome, very nicely sweet-and sour. any bits that come in contact with air tend to turn a fairly unappetizing grey-brown, unfortunately. still tastes fine, but not the prettiest food.
Cool, I don’t have much patience for grating, I prefer to chop things really finely instead, but it’s great to know that the flavour will be good. Might utilise some whole fermented cabbage leaves as a ‘lid) to prevent the pieces reaching the air. I don’t think the colour will bother me to be honest, but if it does then I can quickly turn it a pretty red shade with the addition of some red cabbage/beetroot.
Molly, thank you for that fascinating info on the fartichokes 😂 Actually got some in the fridge at the moment. They grow well for me, but not been brave enough to eat them (yet!). As one of my current fascinations is lacto fermenting, I think I’ll chop some up and ferment them and see how they turn out. My sauerkraut turned out amazing, so fingers crossed 🤞 so will these!
You have my sympathies on the onions thing. I too love sautéed onions, but eating too many at once invokes some pretty unpleasant side effects.
Just curious who your favourite seed companies are. I’m especially interested in companies stocking the rarer and less mainstream varieties.
My fave ones are:
realseeds.co.uk - they only sell open pollinated varieties and send seed saving instructions out with your seeds.
Pennard plants - very reasonably priced and a decent selection of more unusual varieties as well as some more common ones.
Premier seeds - I buy from them through Amazon. V cheap seeds, but all grow just fine for me. They don’t come in fancy packets with instructions, so better for the more experienced gardener who knows when to sow things, although it does give some info in the Amazon listing.
Plants of distinction - they do have some lovely varieties, but a bit on the pricy side. Worth it for varieties I can’t get elsewhere.
Not much of a fan of British cuisine, despite being English. That being said tho:
Beans on toast - eat that quite a lot
Sausages & mash - mash has to be buttery, sausages have to be decent (Asda do lovely maple bacon flavour ones. Caramelised onion also good).
Chicken roast dinner. My bf makes it with fried stuffing (omg it’s amazing), mash, fried asparagus and steamed green beans.
I have mealworms. Only on my first generation (which most have made it through to beetle stage). I found that leaving the pupae spread out in a layer of oats instead of collecting them all in a plastic container like I was before means less of them go brown n die. My theory is that they need good airflow in the same way that tomato plants do.
Also regularly check for and remove decaying food detritus or dead pupae.
Not an expert, but my my success rate went up when I figured this out.