garden updates (and seeds, stage 3).

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Casual Spray n Wipe in the background …

I bought some seed trays today, lined them with newspaper and filled them with potting mix (yes I know, naughty, naughty but I’ve really not had any problems using the wrong mixes before).

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seeds. stage 1.

I mash advice together a lot.

A website told me seeds could be easily germinated in the hot water cupboard in a box of seed raising mix.

A customer at work told me they could be easily germinated on a wet paper towel.

So, several yoghurt lids and paper towels later, our hot water cupboard is full of seeds.

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updates on the garden.

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Update one: the tomatoes are getting bigger! Yay!

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Update two: our garden has been taken over by rainbow lorikeets. Aren’t they lovely (well, technically they’re a pest, but nobody reports them because they’re so cute)?

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Update three: we added chilli plants and spinach to our little vege family. The chillis do look an awful lot like the capsicums so I hope when they fruit they look significantly different. I assume they will.

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Update four: the capsicums are fruiting! And they are tiny and cute right now but just as soon as they are big and lovely I will be eating them. And I cannot wait. The hardest thing for me is going to be leaving them to mature into red ones, rather than eating them green … the payoff is worth it though.

pretties from the garden.

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Our first tomato (to put the excitement of this in context, I’ve never gardened before this year)! At this point it was around the same size as one of my fingernails. Now, it has around the same diameter as the length of the top joint of my thumb.

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A glorious red (well, nearly) strawberry.

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We looked after this basil like it was our child. It has rewarded us with a super healthy harvest! Yes! Basil salads ALL SUMMER, YES PLEASE.

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Just for cuteness, my boyfriend found a baby praying mantis on one of our pots, and made friends with it. It was teeny tiny! It lives somewhere in our celery now.

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Today’s strawberry harvest. The biggest one there is, no jokes, the size of the palm of my hand. I couldn’t close my fist around it. A good four bite strawberry (I know they’re not very pretty, but my goodness they are delicious).

the fabulous garden of flat 3/18.

At the start of this year my boyfriend and I and our friend Simon moved into a flat on Auckland’s North Shore. It’s got a massive back yard, and it’s only recently that I decided to start cultivating some yummy things (for some reason, gardens you can eat always made much more sense to me than gardens that look pretty – though those are nice, too).

Anyway, we use an awful lot of herbs, so the first thing we started doing was growing them fresh. I’ve had a basil plant ever since I first had to cook for myself, and I’ve proven quite good at killing them. Interestingly, we don’t have any potted at the moment, but we do have a large variety of other delicious things:

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Mint, for salads and yoghurt dips. Thyme, for casseroles and french cooking. Parsley, for eggs. Oregano, for Italian cooking. Coriander, for Mexican cooking. Rosemary, for the barbecue (that one’s new, and so not as delightfully overgrown as its friends).

Now of course no student kitchen is complete without basil for putting in everything, so we picked up some seedlings not too long ago and have been cultivating them in little pots mainly inside on the windowsill while we wait for the nights to warm enough that we can plant them (though they get to go out during the day to get some proper sun and to be watered).

We also got capsicums and celery, because seedlings were on three packs for $10. O, and I picked up some marigolds yesterday.

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I also figured we’d get some tomatoes and strawberries, which we planted probably six weeks or two months ago, and the strawberries have just started fruiting – the tomatoes are probably a few days or a week off, the flowers are out already.

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We staked the tomatoes just before I took this picture in preparation for them fruiting. They’re the big ones in the back. The strawberries are the little ones in front (packed with straw which apparently makes them sweet). The tomatoes have banana peel around their bases, which supposedly works beautifully as a fertiliser for them. We’re also using matured cow manure from my parents’ farm, which is so far broken down it looks and feels like soil, and makes the most glorious garden material I’ve ever seen.

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Baby strawberries!

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