SoS: Upcycling, Weeds, Seeds and a Challenge

We’ve had glorious weather again this week and the night time temperature has not fallen below 10C in our micro-climate. Unfortunately, we’ve had no rain so once again we rely on our temperamental irrigation system.

1. Upcycling Plastic in the Garden

As I’ve been struggling to find plastic plant markers in the shops, I decided to make my own by cutting strips from plastic packaging. These were made from lids.

Upcycling Plastic Lids
Upcycling Plastic Lids

I created these individual cloches from 6L plastic bottles. I only cut the plastic half way so the basic structure of the bottle was still intact.

Cloches made from plastic water bottles
Cloches made from plastic water bottles

2. Weeds Glorious WEEDS!

I should have known better than to buy bags of soil from a pottery shop. But I was desperate. Desperate for soil with more substance than compost. I bought one bag then because the texture of the soil was exactly what I was looking for, I bought two more bags. Little did I think I would be buying bags full of soil with bad sementes. I am tempted to return the soil complete with weeds and demand a refund. Maybe I’ll ask for the complaints book and see what reaction I get. They are probably bagging up soil and selling for ‘cash’ as a sideline.

I first noticed a different type of weed appearing in my newly planted onion container. Yes, I’d topped up the container with the new soil mixed with some compost.

onion container full of weeds
onion container full of weeds

Then the pot I was preparing for my cucumber plants

More damn weeds!
More damn weeds!

3. Nasturtiums

I’ve not grown Nasturtiums since I was a child, however, I recently read you can add nasturtium flowers and leaves to salads to give them more zing! I thought why not? Has anyone tried this?

So… when we were in Lidls and looking for something else (plant markers) I found two types of nasturtiums, Indian Cress ( Tropaeolum majus) which is a climber and a Dwarf bushy mix (Tropaeolum minus).

Nasturtium Seeds
Nasturtium Seeds

4. Growing Herbs from Seeds

So far I’ve not had much luck growing herbs from seed. The basil and parsley seeds I planted in cloches in full sun and sheltered location on the 21st Jan, have yielded nothing more than weeds. Unfortunately, I mixed some of the contaminated soil with compost and I have a pot full of weeds and no basil or parsley. It is the same story for the rocket, and petunias.

Where's the basil?
Where’s the basil?

The Chives were planted in virgin compost (thank goodness) and are now ready to be potted on into a large pot.

Chive seedlings
Chive seedlings

5. French Beans, Radish and Peas

The following seeds were planted on the 7th February.

French Beans Judia: These are a bush variety. There is no mention of harvesting expectations but studying the pictures on the pack I’ll hazard a guess about 90days. Rather than plant directly in the ground I’ve planted these in recycled yogurt pots and then moved to a mini-cloche:  As below I’ve now planted in the raised vegetable area and covered with plastic crates until they have settled.

Judia Feijão Braimar - bush green beans

Peas Dulce de Provenza: these are a bush variety (35cm) which are ready for harvesting in 65 days- planted directly into the ground. Seeds planted directly in ground: These have have now sprouted. OH has inserted pea sticks.

Peas and bean seedlings
Pea and bean seedlings

 

I have since read the bean seed packet and apparently I should plant 4-6 seeds together. Oops!

QUESTION: Should I plant the beans closer together or plant more seeds between each plant?

Radish National: planted in container. Harvest: 6-8 weeks?  Unfortunately I topped up the radish container with the weed infested soil and removing the weeds I think I may have also removed many of the radish seedlings. I planted some more seeds. We will see. ( Taking this photograph, I spy more weeds).

radish seeds and weeds
radish seeds and weeds

6. How to Ruin Terracotta Pots – a Challenge

Last summer in a moment of madness I planted the hydrangeas directly into these terracotta pots. Which, considering the bulbous shape of the pots, was pretty stupid as the only way I can now remove the plants is to let the soil dry out and then dig them out piece-by-piece. Normally I plant in plastic pots and not directly in the containers.

Terracotta Pots
Terracotta Pots

The hydrangeas have proved problematic due to white mold from the outset so rather than continue to fight nature for another summer, I will concede defeat and find plants that are happy with our humid conditions.

 

That’s it for this week! Happy Gardening. Please don’t forget to check out The Propagator’s blog to catch up on other Six on Saturday garden bloggers

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30 thoughts on “SoS: Upcycling, Weeds, Seeds and a Challenge

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  1. I occasionally use nasturtium leaves in a salad. To me they have a slight peppery taste( which I like) , and the flowers are edible too, and give the salad a posh, decorative look.
    Ours grow round one of the lemon trees and I read somewhere they are supposed to be a deterrent against beetles.
    As it’s highly unlikely that Paul or Ringo will ever come visit, I guess the point is moot?

    Liked by 1 person

          1. No sorry.
            It was nothing special as far as the salad is concerned, I think there were mushrooms in it. It was a while back.
            The flowers – orange and yellow nasturtiums – were placed over the top of the salad.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. For french beans ,I usually sow 4-5 seeds every 30-40cm at a depth of 2cm. Rows spaced 60cm. I envy to see your already germinated but thinking of the pleasure of summer, I sowed my purple basil last Sunday and it has already sprouted.
    The leaves and nasturtium flowers are edible. I love them in salad: try it ! … if the slugs / caterpillars don’t eat them before

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So you grow more bean plants per hole but space further apart. I’ll make a note of that for next year. Your basil sprouted quickly! hmmmm I am doing something wrong somewhere. I’ll see how my latest batch of seeds work.

      I’ve never tasted nasturtiums so this will be a culinary challenge

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, I also use cut up plastic bottles for cloches, mainly for tender (and yummy) pea shoots. Your nasturtium varieties look beautiful. I must plant some this year having taken a couple years off since my chickens would tear them up. Now the hens are better contained… Sad to read about that weedy soil mix disaster. Ugh!

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  4. We also upcycle plastic bottles to cover sprouting seeds so birds don’t pick on them.
    I have loads of nasturtiums, they die in the very hot months of summer and obviously self-seed as they are back as it gets cooler. My Mom always used the flowers in salads, and she used to make an infusion with the flowers for coughs and to be used as an antiseptic too.

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    1. I am even more unhappy about the soil since I discovered OH dug out all the succulent plants in one garden bed to deep dig and remove the roots of weeds. He replanted the succulents and topped up the soil with the contaminated soil… needless to say we have a new species of weed growing now.

      I’ve since planted some more bean seeds … we will see. Watch this space!

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      1. I TOTALLY dig nasturtiums, but I get flack from my colleagues because the are a naturalized exotic species on the coast, and many consider them to be weeds. One of my most respected colleagues simply dislikes them because they used to be too common. I don’t care. They are still one of my favorites.
        ‘ROK’ is an old 1980s term that is more often spelled simply as ‘rock’. It describes something as ‘excellent’ . . . or ‘RAD’!

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