Broccoli in bloom

It’s funny how veg tastes so much better when you grow your own. Purple sprouting broccoli was a real treat over winter, with heaps of servings from just a couple of plants. What came as a bit of a surprise was the pretty yellow flowers that arrived late in May as the seasons change and summer crops prepare to go in. They are apparently edible but we decided to try cutting the stems a bit longer and putting them in a vase instead. I was pretty happy with the result!

Here’s a little look at what the broccoli plant looked like in the ground – there is still more to eat here but we wanted to make room in the veg garden so we were ready to move on.

~Green Fingered Girl x

Meet Martin!

Meet Martin This is Martin. I love Martin!

Martin in pot

Martin gets his own special mention because he’s so pretty. He’s also the gift that  keeps on giving as he flowers all the way from April – October. As well as being a  stunner the flowers are edible and are great as toppings for salads or as cake  decorations. I LOVE MARTIN!

He is perfect for pots so I followed my ‘how to pot plants’ steps when popping him in  my new containers from Harlow Carr (an awesome cheap find for quite an expensive  place), but did a slightly different mix so less sand and more leaf mould (or compost  if you don’t have any), seeing as how he’s not from the Med.

Martin is a viola and should live for years (hopefully!). To keep him looking fresh he just needs watering regularly (I’m going to try a couple of times a week) and snipping off any wilted flowers low down the stem at the base of the plant making way for new ones to grow through in its place.

~Green Fingered Girl x

How to pot plants

New terracotta pots

From bringing life into a living room, to making the most of a decking or balcony area, pot plants are an easy way to get a little green fingered without the commitment of a whole garden.

We were given three large terracotta pots, which we decided to use to create a fragrant finishing touch to our decking. As we use this space to socialize and eat outside during the summer, now seems like the perfect time to prepare a deliciously scented detail that will grow over the season.

New terracotta pots

The plants we chose were a combo of Mediterranean lovelies – lavender (lavender grosso – meaning ‘big’), rosemary and a scented pelargonium with cute pink flowers. They smell amazing and work nicely together, and I’m promised will grow to fill their pots and give a sensational scent. But, to give them the best chance we needed to help them move into their new terracotta houses.

How to pot a plant:

  • I assumed if it rains that means everything in the garden gets watered, but I was wrong! Pot plants might struggle to soak up enough water this way and do need watering regularly (note to self – don’t go overboard on pots otherwise I’ll be a slave to the watering can). As a result of my mistake, the pelargonium was looking pretty peaky before we started potting with some brown, dry leaves. To make sure everything was happy, we ran our plants a bath – a good soak in a bucket of warm water will help ease in to the stress of moving day! Cold water can be shocking to plants as well as humans, apparently, which I can understand. To soak we removed the plant from its plastic shop pot and submerged the soil and roots under water, which caused it to release bubbles as all the dry trapped air was replaced with moisture. We also picked off the brown leaves to make it look a bit happier.
  • With the plant primed and ready for its new home, we started prepping the pot itself. Most will come with a hole at the bottom which is good for drainage but without wanting all the soil to just fall out or wash out, cover the hole with cardboard or something degradable.

Prepared pot

  • Mix up your soil – the mix we used was 1/2 multipurpose compost, 1/4 sharp sand (both can be bought in big bags) and 1/4 leaf mould – which you can’t buy but if you can’t get any then just add more of the other two. This ratio works for these plants as being Mediterranean they were made for drier, sandier places. We used an Aldi potting tray to mix it up, which you do like a cake mix using your hands to rub the textures together like flour and butter. We also added a small handful of slow release fertiliser (kinda like hundreds and thousands to continue the theme!).
  • Fill the pot to a third full with the potting mix. You can then hold the plant in place to check the height and decide if you need to add more soil or if the plant will be well positioned where you are.

Pot a third full of potting mix

  • When happy place the plant in the pot and fill in around it with the rest of the potting mix – you’ll probably need quite a lot of soil altogether as need to make sure the pot is full and the plant is supported and upright.
  • For a final settle in and pat on the back, tap the soil down by picking up the pot and tapping the base against the floor a couple of times – this will help to knock out any air so the roots can get going and get happy in their new home.

Tapping the pot

That’s it! Super simples but I didn’t know how to do this before my walk through. Another awesome idea I’ve come across is to create mediterranean ‘pizza pots’ growing all the ingrediants you’d need for an Italian feast – love this but maybe not a beginner choice!

~ Green Fingered Girl x