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The Garden
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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 1060
Location: Scottish Borders
Audio files: 129

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

plants looking good phobos Smile
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 3660
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I managed to get the first pepper seeds in the ground yesterday and they are now placed inside my incubator.
It usually takes about a week for the first seeds to sprout so I will post updates when that happens.


Here's a description of how I plant my pepper seeds, I use this procedure for some other seeds as well.

presoak:
I first soak the seeds in some lukewarm water. You could add some peroxide or camomille but I found that this
isn't really necessarry for pepper seeds which usually have a high germination rate (maybe I shouldn't have
said that Wink). I use plastic cups which I label with a marker beforehand.

I started with the following seeds.
- Kung Pao [KPAO]
- Habanero manzano [HAB M]
- Numex twilight [NUM T]
- Rain-forest [RF]
- Bolivium bumpy [BB]
- Purple tiger [P TIG]*
- Solanum pseudocapsicum [SOL]
* seeds came from the peppers I grew last year and since they are placed close together
there is probably some cross-polination happening so they could be hybrids.


I selected 3 of the best looking seeds from each and 6 from the Solanum of which I will sow 2 in each cup.
I can't start with much more seeds or they won't fit in my incubator (more about that later). I let them
soak for a couple of hours while I make some other preperations and will at least wait untill they have sunk
to the bottom. Some seeds might keep floating but this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't viable (at least
not for pepper seeds).


sowing medium:
I use regular potting soil and coco coir in a 50/50 mix. Coco coir is available as compressed bricks or slabs
to which you need to add water. It's easy to transport, cheap, can hold a lot of water and unlike potting
soil it absorbs water very easily when dried out. It generally doesn't contain any nutrients so by itself it's
not a great growing medium although it can be used to start seeds and you could add some liquid fertilizer.

TIP: if you use hot water the coco coir bricks will expand and fall apart much quicker. I always start with
a couple of liters of boiling water and use a container with a lid.



containers:
I also use the white plastic cups to start the seeds. I use an old soldering iron to melt a drainage hole in the
bottom and this year I also made 2 holes in the side because I noticed last year that the bottom holes can
get clogged. They might also provide a bit of extra oxygen to the roots. If you use a soldering iron like I do
make sure you have some ventilation. it generally doesn't create a lot of fumes but you don't want to breathe them.


sowing:
I fill the cups loosely with the soil mixture up to the top and then let them soak in a tray with water untill
the soil is fully saturated. Once saturated I use the bottom of another cup to compress the soil and press out
some excess liquid. After that I fill the cup up to the top again with some more soil. I use tweezers to plant
the seeds about a cm (1/2 inch) deep and press the soil down with my fingers. After that they go into my incubator
which is set to a temperature around 23C (between 70F and 75F).


Balcony 2018 - seed starting -01.jpg
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pre soaking the seeds
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cup with drainage holes melted into it
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Balcony 2018 - seed starting -06.jpg
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Seeds planted and getting comfortable in my incubator.
(the crushed cup contains the sensor for a digital thermometer)
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Last edited by PHOBoS on Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 3660
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

so what's this 'incubator' ?

The incubator is something I put together many moons ago and is a so called TiT (Tub in Tub) incubator. They are mostly used for growing
fungi but work great for seeds as well. It consists of 2 nested storage containers (tubs) with an aquarium heater submerged in water
in the bottom one. For mine I used aluminium spacers between the tubs so the top one isn't just floating. I also went a bit more fancy by
creating a polystyrene box to add some extra insulation.

I found some old photos of the building process:


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I also made a lid out of a wooden frame covered with bubblewrap.
This adds insulation to keep heat and the moisture in but lets light through.


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robsol
Stream Operator


Joined: Apr 24, 2009
Posts: 2087
Location: Bristol UK
Audio files: 340

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, that's pretty neat. You are getting good at it too, by the looks of it. Cool
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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

flower


SB bulb.jpg
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SB bulb.jpg



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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It was snowing yesterday except it wasn't snow that was falling down but moss. I was standing under a big tree and
moss was falling down from it around me, so I gathered some. Very Happy I have some moss naturally growing in containers outside
and it always suprises me how resilient it is. In summer it gets full sun and dries out sompletely, in winter it gets covered in
snow and freezes solid. But still it grows great. I want to grow some inside and tried it last year without any luck. I think the
biggest porblem might have been light although I didn't water it very well either, but since it dries out completely outside
that shouldn't necessarily kill it.

Anyway, with moss almost literally falling into my lap I will give it another go. I converted a small wooden crate I got from
the supermarket (something oranges where transported in) by lining it with a trash bag. I also added some spacers underneath
mostly because the bottom was bulging outwards but it should also prevent it from getting too wet and provide better drainage.
The plastic netting that was still attached was perfect to cover up the drainage holes so soil doesn't fall out. I 'planted' the moss
in patches so it has room to grow and I also found some other mosses which I put in the corners. The crate is placed insides a
propagator which is currently under a CFL.

I found some more moss today and some tiny plants but maybe more about that in another post


edit: forgot to mention that before transplanting the moss I first soaked it in a cup of water for about 30 minutes to get it fully hydrated.


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Last edited by PHOBoS on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 1060
Location: Scottish Borders
Audio files: 129

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

love the copper wire SB flower build Smile Smile Smile

Dave.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I also made some macro shots as it is best viewed from close by. Makes for nice wallpapers. Razz


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Last edited by PHOBoS on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 3660
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks dave Very Happy The bulb seems to be growing pretty well.
I think it might be a daffodil which would go nice with the yellow pot.

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robsol
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
Makes for nice wallpapers. Razz


Good idea. Very Happy

I chose the last one.

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good choice dwarf

Here is the one I set as wallpaper which is almost the same but just a little bit more close-up.
And two other macro shots of some very tiny flowers (about 2mm).


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tiny flowers - 02.jpg



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PHOBoS



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Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ok, one more. Similar flower as above (tiny flowers - 02) but on a different plant.
I tried to get the lighting and focus a bit better.


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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Audio files: 550

PostPosted: Yesterday, at 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THE GARDEN OF LIVE FLOWERS

Quote:
'I should see the garden far better,' said Alice to herself, 'if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn't do that — ' (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), 'but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — no, it doesn't! This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I'll try it the other way.'
And so she did: wandering up and down, and trying turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before she could stop herself.
'It's no use talking about it," Alice said, looking up at the house and pretending it was arguing with her. 'I'm not going in again yet. I know I should have to get through the Looking-glass again — back into the old room — and there'd be an end of all my adventures!'
So, resolutely turning back upon the house, she set out once more down the path, determined to keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on well, and she was just saying, 'I really shall do it this time — ' when the path gave a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment she found herself actually walking in at the door.
'Oh, it's too bad!' she cried. 'I never saw such a house for getting in the way! Never!'
However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was nothing to be done but start again. This time she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

excerpt from 'Through the looking glass and what Alice found there' by Lewis Carroll


As some of you might know I am big fan of Alice in Wonderland, or I should say 'Alice's adventures in wonderland' and 'Through
the looking glass and what Alice found there'. I often had ideas for an Alice in Wonderland themed garden (also an Alice in
Wonderland themed synth) but it would require a lot more space than I have on my balcony and actually would require a real
garden. I could make an A.i.W. themed balcony of course but I am already using most of the space for my pepperplants and
(other) nightshades. However, it occurred to me that there is something I might be able to do.

The above excerpt is from a chapter called 'The garden of live flowers' in which Alice comes across a bed of talking flowers.
(Actually all flowers can talk but in most gardens they make the beds too soft so that the flowers are always asleep) In this
chapter 5 plants are named that live in the flowerbed:
1. a Tiger Lily
2. a Rose
3. Daisies
4. a Violet
5. a Larkspur
(also a willow tree, but ehm,. yeah)

As it turns out these are all available as perennials and would actually go together quite nice. So maybe I could plant them all in
a single pot or stack some pots or get creative in another way. This biggest problem is going to be sourcing the plants as there
isn't a nice nursery nearbye, at least not to my knowledge. I could order them online but shipping could get very expensive unless
maybe I could get them all at once. I actually did find a shop that had 4/5 plants but shipping costs are almost 30,- so that's not an
option. I don't want to grow them from seeds (if possible) as it can take a couple of years untill they flower and are more likely to
die in the meantime. But let's get a bit more into detail about the plants anyway.

Tiger Lily [Lilium tigrinum 'Splendens']
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
They can get quite tall (up to about 1m) and produce many gorgeous orange flowers with black specks. They are grown from a bulb
but sadly enough it is a rather large bulb and wouldn't fit through my mailbox, else I would actually be able to get it quite cheap. Maybe
I will come across it someday as it doesn't seem to be a very unusual plant. In the meantime I will keep looking online for a good deal.

Rose
There are many varieties of roses some big some small, climbing roses, some grow more like bushes and there are a lot of colors
available too. In my case I think it would be wise to get a red one or else I might lose my head. I think this would look the best and
most recognizable anyway. I actually did find one that would look perfect but is most likely very hard to obtain. It's the Rosa parade
'Gigi' which almost looks like it has white roses that are painted red (something that occurs in 'Alice's adventures in wonderland')


Probably easier to obtain and not very expensive would be the Rosa 'Nina Weibull' they don't grow very tall and have nice red flowers.


Daisies
The only plant that is given a bit more info about. first of all: she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, so these
would be placed at the front of the container. Also the color is know as a bit further on there is the following section:
'Never mind!' Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, 'If you
don't hold your tongues, I'll pick you!' There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies turned white.
So a mix of pink
and white daisies. It would be tempting to get common daisies [Bellis perennis], which is one my favourite flowers, but they are white
although sometimes with pink tips and I am not sure if they are truly perennials or just propagate by spreading and seeding. I did find a
pink variety which also has flowers that are almost white but as with the rose it will probably be difficult to obtain. It is the Marguerite
daisy 'Comet Pink'. (if labeled correct)


Violet
Probably the most easiest to obtain and there are a lot of varieties, though not all of them are perennials. Pansies would also be nice but
although they are Violas they are not Violets. Maybe something like Viola odorata would be suitable.


Larkspur [Delphinium]
These can get very tall (up to 2 meters) and are available ranging from white, pink and some stunning blue shades. Luckely for me there
are dwarf varieties too. Something like the Delphinium grandiflorum 'Blauer zwerg'. It doesn't have the eye catching spikes of flowers but
is still very nice. I actually tried to grow it from seeds once but wasn't very succesful. (maybe I still have some old seeds I could try)


Maybe I can find something that does get tall but no too big, they probably won't get huge in a pot anyway.

a willow tree isn't an option of course unless I would get into bonsai but I better not start with that. Maybe I could get a miniature one
like the ones they use for model trains. also:
Quote:
Alice didn't like being criticised, so she began asking questions. 'Aren't you sometimes frightened at being planted out here, with nobody to take care of you?'
'There's the tree in the middle,' said the Rose: 'what else is it good for?'
'But what could it do, if any danger came?' Alice asked.
'It could bark,' said the Rose.
'It says "Bough-wough!" cried a Daisy: 'that's why its branches are called boughs!'

so a piece of willow bark or a branch would be fun too. Laughing


I don't know if I will be able to obtain any of these plants any time soon so it is more of a long term project. Maybe it would be a good idea
to start with a rose and try to keep that alive as they do require some special care and my balcony might not be very suitable for it.
Also to have a bit more space I could plant them or some of them in my 2 larger planters. However, I am not able to move those away
to protect plants from too much heat, rain or cold. (having a rose in it's own pot would probably be best anyway).

btw. I could also deviate from the book and use the 1951 animated disney film for inspiration which has a lot more flowers in it.
You can find a list of them here. I already have some get-up-in-the-morning glories.

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