Multiplying strawberry plants

A couple months ago, I planted some of the runners that had sprouted from the strawberry plants. Shortly after, I started my long summer pause from the blog, and so I hadn’t yet shared these pictures with you.

Runners are horizontal stems that sprout from strawberry plants, at some points those steams grow like a small plant as you can see in the picture below.

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When planted upon soil, these small plants grow roots and become another strawberry plant.

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For some weeks, we had this puzzle of strawberry plants, all connected!

IMG_2385Then, a spot in the middle of the connection between the mother plants and the new plants started to get dry and brown and I guessed it was safe to cut the runners and could rearrange the pots.

More runners have been appearing but I haven’t grown all of them because I couldn’t end up with 20 strawberry plants! However, today I have seen one more runner… so maybe I’ll plant one more!

What has me surprised is that the plants keep flowering and producing strawberries but like one every two weeks or so. Which is very funny because I am like “oh nice, a strawberry!” and I just eat it. I have been meaning to look it up, to know until when the plants are supposed to keep producing but I haven’t yet, I’ll be sure to tell you when I find that out 😉

Have a nice start of September!

Jara

PS: Maybe you want to see when I planted them or when we first picked some strawberries!

 

My plant files – New file: Basil

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Sweet basil is a bushy annual with glossy opposite leaves and spikes of white flowers. This herb is one of the main ingredients in pesto sauce and can be used to add flavor to many recipes, it tastes specially good combined with tomato.

– If you want to grow it from seed you can do it outdoors after the last frost, or indoors if its still cold. I have read different instructions as to the planting: one that says to sow about eight seeds per pots and then thin to four seedlings when they start to sprout, and then another one recommends to plant two or three seeds. In my case I hadn’t yet read this when I started the planting so I think I went a bit crazy and put like… ten seeds in each of the two pots I planted… and I didn’t thin any seedlings. I hope the plant grows anyway… I’ll keep you updated on that so you can learn from my mistake!
Also about growing it from seed, at least in my case, it has been veeeery slow. I mean, I planted the basil the same day I planted the  parsley, and while the second has grown a lot, the basil is still the seedling you see in the picture below.

– It’s a good idea to pair basil with tomatoes and with pepper because it is said it improves its taste and repels horn worms and aphids.

– About watering it is advised to keep the soil damp, but not soaked. Basil does best in well-drained soil, and should not be subjected to standing water. The best one can do is water the basil plants once a day, in the morning, so the water has time to soak in and evaporate rather than sitting on the plants overnight.

Maybe you will like to read when I sown basil indoors on yoghurt pots, when I planted it outdoors, and when I planted another basil seedling in a re-purposed water bottle (sadly this last one  didn’t make it…)

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Sources:
– “The Edible Balcony” book by Alex Mitchell.
– http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/basil-growing-guide
– http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Basil
– http://fichas.infojardin.com/condimentos/ocimum-basilicum-albahaca-alhabega-alfabega-basilico.htm

My plant files is kind of my own “small encyclopaedia” where I record what I learn about gardening and the needs of each plant I have on the balcony. Its a work in progress where I keep adding thing I learn, I still haven’t had the time to do one for each of the plants I have on the balcony… but I’m on it!! 😉 You can see more about this, and the files I have already done in this page or on the sidebar on your right.

Hope you like it! And of course, would love to hear advice and feedback 🙂

Jara

Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell

 

Good and bad growing issues

Last Friday afternoon I went to water the plants and found the lettuces looking this bad.

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At first I didn’t understand what had happened if only a few days ago I was so proud of how good they were looking. Then Sergi said that the night before had rained a bit of moody rain and really we started noticing that all the plants were covered in brown dust. We though, of course the lettuces look like that because they have been all day under the sun covered in this dust! The other plants have more resistant leaves, so they had beared the dust much better.

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So I started watering the all the plants, to wash them of the dust. When I got to the lettuces, as I was poking the leaves around and I saw that some of the roots had rotten! So apparently the problem was not only the muddy rain after all…IMG_1654

My hypothesis is: the lettuces have been growing so fast we are not able to eat enough of them to keep them small and lately, as I showed on the last post they are actually bursting from the pot, this has caused that some leaves are stuck under the others, touching the soil and rotting there…

So I decided that the best I could do, and basically the only solution I could think of, was to cut all the dead leaves and take out all the rotten roots. And that I did, it was a bit of a butchery but I kept telling myself it was better to cut some than see all of them rot.

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On a more positive note, the mint has recovered from the aphids attack 🙂 if you remember because of the aphids the mint had dies down to almost nothing and I had to cut a lot of branches… but it has recovered and now it looks green lush again!

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The tree however has aphids again… but this time I haven’t get so stressed out about it, I have just sprayed it with soap and water… and I’ll keep doing this for a few days and see if l get rid of them for good!IMG_1633

And to end up, another happy picture, the peas plant has sprouted a lot of small white gorgeous flowers to bring some spring spirit to the balcony 🙂IMG_1641

Hope you are having a nice week,

Jara

Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell

Finally… the plant files!

Today I publish my “small encyclopaedia” where I’ll be recording what I learn about gardening and the needs of each plant I have on the balcony.

This will be a dynamic work where I will keep adding information as I go. For each plant I make a brief introduction, I list the things I have learned about how to care for it, I explain the state of my own plant and I will add the links from posts that have to do with it too.

So far I have made a file for spinach, mint and lavender… but I am working on the rest, and I will for sure tell you when I have them. I am publishing it on this post to tell you, but I’ll have it as well explained on a page, that I’ll keep editing it to add the rest of the files.

I hope you like it and that I can be useful for someone who as I have wants to start from scratch in this great edible gardening universe! Obviously, also to anyone else interested, and of course would love your feedback, ideas and advices!

Click on any picture to see the file on the plant 🙂

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Have a nice start of weekend!

Jara

Bugs on the peach tree!

Yesterday, while watering the plants I noticed something weird on the peach tree, like a reaction or something. When I stopped and took a closer look… one of the black things moved!! Arghh! Bugs!!!

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I looked around the web for solutions and among others I found this page that proposes natural remedies. Since I didn’t have time for doing a maceration of nettle, or for brewing onions I tried the easiest of the ideas: spray the tree with a solution of neutral soap in water.

If it doesn’t work I think I’ll go for the onion or the garlic brew… basically because these are the next easy ones… since I have those in my kitchen unlike the stinging nettle!!

Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?

Please cross fingers with me for it to work!! 😉

Jara