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Tag Archives: gardening

Garden Fruit

8 Jul

For all that I like to hike, and dragon boat, and I get so grateful to finally be able to escape being inside when work is done, I am not really an outdoorsy kind of gal. Shocking I know! 😉

This extends to being in gardens. I like gardens in theory, but in reality they are filled with bugs, and spider webs, and wind, and too many icky things for me to enjoy myself. I never relax in gardens because I’m always keeping an eagle eye out for the next bug to wander my way. And yes, I know I am crazy.

My landlords were away for a while and they asked me to water the hanging baskets because the sprinkler system they have set up wasn’t working properly and two baskets were being neglected. They also asked me to keep an eye on the strawberries and pick the raspberries.

Pick the raspberries!

So, not only water some plants but touch them! Touch! Eek!

I put it off for as long as I could but eventually I had to go out there and water stuff, and pick fruit, and you have never seen a person look more uncomfortable than me picking raspberries.

Turns out flowers in hanging baskets are kinda delicate so they may not recover from the time I “forgot” to water them…I am much better with cacti. Indoor cacti that is. I have two and they are doing great, even with the cat chewing on them now and then.

The strawberries, well, I don’t know how to gauge how well the bush is actually doing. It is super tiny but it did create these…

strawberries

The little one was still attached so I left it. The larger one had come off the bush so I took it inside. I would’ve put it in the compost but my landlady kept texting asking if I had eaten it yet so I scrubbed that sucker so clean there was no way there was any trace of a bug footprint left and I ate it. It was actually pretty good. Smaller than strawberries from Safeway but more flavourful.

Then the drama of the raspberries! I’m in the backyard plucking the raspberries from the bush and every time I slightly change the angle I am looking at the bush by I see more raspberries ready to be picked. They were hidden amongst the leaves, near the back of the bush, generally in harder to reach areas that involved my hand going deep in to the bush to be able to grab the fruit. I was so not ok with this. Then! Oh the horrors! I was picking a raspberry and an ant got on my hand! My hand! I did the whole shaking my hand thing and that ant went nowhere, clung to me for dear life. So then I continued to shake the hand while the rest of my body started to move and jerk around and I almost came in to contact with a spider web! A spider web, just right there, in the open, waiting to ensnare me and make it easier for the spider to creep from the web on to me, *shudder*.

That was when I called it quits.

raspberries

This was my reward for my dramatic time in the garden. I could have gotten a lot more for a lot less stress at the grocery store…just sayin! They are quite tasty though, and free since all I had to do was pick them and not buy the bush or put effort in to growing them lol.

I am so incredibly grateful that raspberry bush is in the backyard and out of sight…

spider gif

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Try It Tuesday: Grow Something!

26 Jul

A couple of months ago I bought a sweet potato and somehow didn’t eat it. Distressing enough. Even more distressing is that when I picked it up it was sprouting things, *shudder* I find the sight of a potato with shoots growing from it highly disturbing. Normally when this happens I throw it out. This time, for reasons I can’t explain, I had an urge to see if I could grow another sweet potato from this one.

After much research, thank goodness for Google!, I learned that step one is to chop the potato and put it in a water bath. Basically you chop off the end, stick toothpicks in the potato, then rest the potato in a glass (I put mine in a small tupperware container) so that the flat part is immersed in water but not touching the bottom of the glass (or in my case, tupperware). You have to change out the water every couple days or so and have the patience of a saint because you are waiting for roots to grow. The roots look like thin, stringy, pale white / almost see through hairs…think something that looks like it belongs to a jellyfish.

While waiting for the roots to grow the shoots kept getting taller and taller, to the point that the tallest one was flopping over so I piled tupperware beside it so it had something to lean on. Along the stalk / stem there were these very tiny little bumps, I have noooooo idea what they are, or if they are good or bad, but I’m leaning toward good because, well, the idea that they are something gross and were living in my kitchen for months is distressing. 😛

So finally, roots have grown, yay! Back to google I went and I learned that growing this thing in a pot is going to take a bit of effort, sigh. If it was not yet full on summer, when I planted it I’d have to make a little tent over the dirt it was planted in to help the dirt stay warm enough for it. I kid you not! A freakin tent! Lucky for me it is summer, full on summer, lots of heat happening over here, so no tent is needed. I however did have to buy a pot, and dirt, and take care of assembly.

Another way I lucked out is having a friend that grows stuff, lots of stuff, an entire garden worth of plants and veggies and fruit. She basically knows everything there is to know aaaaand has tools!

Mr. Pots and I (that is what I named the sweet potato) went over to her place, along with the dirt and the pot I purchased and she helped a lot!

This is during transport. You can see in the picture on the left the toothpicks that were in Mr. Pots. I put soaking wet paper towel in a small container and rested Mr. Pots on top, I couldn’t travel with the water because it would slosh everywhere so that was my compromise. I added the picture on the right to show how tall the one shoot got. Oh and see that spade at the bottom? That is my one and only garden tool, it still has the tag on it and I still haven’t used it cause my friend had a better one lol

Once at my friends place she pulled out her drill and kindly put four holes in the bottom of the pot for me. See, when growing a sweet potato in a pot you need to water it a lot because they are thirsty little guys but you have to provide an escape for the excess water so you don’t drown the sweet potato. They are a tad finicky. Also, you have to line the pot with a mesh sheet so that when the water drains from the pot the dirt doesn’t go with it. Lisa, my friend, had some of that stuff also, I swear, she has everything!, so she let me have some. We lined the entire pot, I would have only thought to line the bottom but she suggested it go all the way up the sides of the pot so that is what we did. I bow to her knowledge. 🙂

Once the pot was lined I used her massive spade shovel thing to fill most of the pot, then we made a bit of a hole, plopped in Mr. Pots sans toothpicks and wet paper towel, buried him and voila! We planted a sweet potato!

Because I was going to be bringing him home in my suv we gave him some water but not too much, didn’t want to mess up my vehicle. Once I got him home I thoroughly watered him and got him a snazzy spot in the garden. He has to be watered every day but I don’t have to worry about that because my landlords, whose garden Mr. Pots now resides in, have their sprinkler system on a timer so Mr. Pots gets watered every morning around 5:30am. I check on him every couple days, make sure his dirt is wet, and basically leave him to do his thing…not that I know what that is…I did notice some ants crawling on his dirt which worries me, what if the ants hurt him? I don’t like him being outside and exposed to things but he seems to be ok with it because he has noticeably grown since being put out there. I figure he’s highly enjoying photosynthesizing, since while in my place he wasn’t able to do that and we all know that’s what leaves like to do.

2016-07-20 12.29.44

Mr. Bartholomue Pots

He is much taller now, and those short little shoots you can see in the picture have shot up, I’m taking that as a sign he is thriving.

Now I have to figure out how to tell when he is ready to dig up, that is something Google has yet to teach me but I’m sure I’ll find an article somewhere. So far everything I read mostly talks about how to grow sweet potatoes and seems to assume once it is growing I will psychically know how to figure out the rest…silly internet, thinking I know something! lol 😉

 

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