TannieSpace

geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about balcony

Just a few more weeks

As mentioned before I have a few weeks before the windows get replaced. I have done my best to stick to my plan of 1 day off, 3 days off cleanup, and have at least managed some cleanup-days. Not as many as I’d like though. I had another project that ate up a lot off energy and had an annoying headache that lasted a week.

I spent some time away from home to avoid having to spend a few days in non-stop drilling into my walls on the outside and the following insertion of isolationspray (some foamy material). After returning I discovered that they had shifted the schedule and found myself spending a few annoying days in nearly non-stop drilling anyway. The earplugs helped with the sound, and not with the vibrations.

On one of these days they sprayed the foamy into the wall from the roof. I live on the top floor of my building and thus instany discovered the gaps between my windows and the outside wall in that area. The tiny black sticky foamy balls sprayed out of the gaps onto the balcony, like black snow. It stuck to the windows and the plants. I had not cleaned up the balcony yet and the mess became a mess.

I did my best to remove some of the sticky black foam-balls, getting them to unstick. At some point I moved my curtain. Big surprise there, sticky black foam-balls had found a hole towards the inside and stuck tothe curtain.

yuck

At least I managed to mostly clean that up myself. The isolation-guys came by to clean up the balcony and though they didn’t get all, they got a lot.

I keep telling myself, just a few more weeks… 1


  1. Although, right now, I think the drama will never end, because I also need to do something about the broken tiles in the bathroomfloor and the radiators need replacing too. The joys of homeownership. 


Gardening

One might think I went a little overboard on the plants this year.

I’ve planted all my seedlings outside because the weather permitted it. We’ve had a lot of sun, very summer-y, for the past month or so. I did however appreciate the amount of rain we got this week and my plants did too.

Every year I seem to end up with a lot more plants than I can place, especially because I also get some plants from TG’s father who has an allotment and usually plenty of extra seedlings. I have about eight extra tomato-plants, on top of the ten or so I had already grown myself. I also got some lettuce and greens which comes in handy because my saladboxes seem to have stunted (probably the heat, the saladboxes seem to thrive in typical Dutch weather — rain and a bit of sun). I’ll resow them and see if I get some tasty greens out of them.

I also received some melon-plants. I wonder how to deal with those…


Mouse near my house.

A mouse on my balcony.

It storms a bit today. Lots of rain and wind. I’ve decided to stay inside, apart from the quick trips with Nano. When I looked out of my window onto my balcony, I saw this little one. It scurried about, probably looking for either food or shelter. Managed to snap a quick shot of it before it ran of because I scared it with a camera in its face.

It did come back a few minutes later though, trying to access the house. Hmm…


Easy peasy beans.

I’ve grown a few bean-plants on my balcony (more than a few actually) and have looked for the best way to get them to germinate. In the beginning I tried sticking them in the ground and just keeping the ground wet, and though that did work for some beans, it also failed plenty of times.

Lots of times my beans got eaten by the larvae of the bean-fly (oh how I hate them!). I went looking for a better way and found something that works very well. This will probably work for other seeds too, and will give you a good idea about the germination rate of your seeds (if you have old seeds you sometimes want to check). I’ve had no problem transplanting the resulting sprouts, just keep in mind you will have to transplant them at some point. Not all sprouts like that.

Kids will usually love this too. Use beans though, they sprout fast :)

You will need: - a ziploc bag (or another type of firm plastic bag) - some toiletpaper or paper towels - something to spray water with - beans! Put beans on paper. Take the toiletpaper and put down several layers. Place a few beans on the paper. Spray thoroughly with water until the paper becomes moist with water, but does not drip.

beans, germination in a ziploc bag. Fold the paper, with the beans in the fold. It helps to not line up the edges so you can check later on. Keep the bag open (very important) and place it in a dark warm place. Most people prefer the top of their fridge, I used a kitchen-cabinet with pipes behind it.

Nothing happens the first day.... After the first day you may or may not see little roots coming from the bean. Check daily if you prefer, or every other day, to make sure the paper stays moist and to check for beans that rot (it sometimes happens, especially with older beans, they smell bad so it’s best to remove the asap).

5 days later... A few days later, however, the beans have sprouted!

Carefully take them out. Take it out of the bag, carefully. Make sure not to break any roots.

Not all will have sprouted.. You’ll see here that not all beans sprouted. Two of them rotted (I felt very sad), but the others shot up! The ones on the right I deemed plant-worthy and planted them outside. I took the risk with the two on the left as well, but left the other two (barely rooting) in the bag for a while. If the roots have gone through the paper, don’t worry! Just rip the paper and plant it with the bean-sprout. It’ll dissolve quickly enough.

Some beans take longer than others, perfectly normal. However, if after a week to ten days you see no action at all, and the beans have gone mushy, they failed. They’ll smell bad too.


So many tomatoes!

Harvest :-) Yesterday I harvested 241 grams of cherry-tomatoes. This brings the total for this one plant to roughly 450 grams. And this is just one plant. Very pleased with how much it produces. I left a few orange ones on yesterday, but from the looks of it, I could probably harvest those today too.

These cherry-tomatoes taste so much better than the kind I buy in the store.


Salad.

Salad After harvesting a bunch of tomatoes and basil I made a tasty salad with mozzarella cheese and some mild peppers (from a jar, yes). It tasted great!

As a dressing I used a simple balsamic vinegar / olive oil mix.


New addition to the garden.

Apple or pear tree. The latest addition to my balcony-garden is a pear-or-apple-tree. We don’t know yet. It might take a year or two before we do. I placed it next to the bay-tree, I’m sure they’ll get along.

I will document this tree as much as possible, who knows what it’ll do!

The plants in general grow really well. I can harvest roughly one salad per week, very nice :)


The plants, they grow.

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[gallery link=”file”] I got a pretty good harvest today, thanks to the sweet pepper-plant I bought. I harvested two of those small peppers, one small cucumber and three little tomatoes (I grow mostly small varieties because the plants usually also stay smaller). What started out as a way to keep the sun out in the summer has turned into this contest with myself, seeing how much of my own food I can grow on my own balcony. No need to blame the recession here, I enjoy doing this ;) I have watched tons of movies on Youtube and read websites about growing your own food and the more I watch the more I realise I could still grow more!

I have this feeling people start to look at me oddly, as if I’ve gone crazy… I haven’t, really ;)


Gardening.

Bee on my flower. My balcony garden seems to do well. The weather goes from sunny to cloudy to sunny again, and I have watered when needed. My seedlings seem to grow very well, I blame this on the southern location of my balcony.

My drawing-rhythm seems disturbed so I use my garden as my creative outlet. Seems to work out well. I keep a gardening journal at MyFolia which helps me track the progress of my plants.

Still very tired and barely have the energy to do the stuff I need to do, not to mention the stuff I want to do (the gardening seems my max now). Going to the doctor again on Tuesday, for recurring eye-issues. I wonder when my body will stabilise… (dear body, it’s about time. Really!)


Playing with photos.

A collection photos of my balconyThis past week I’ve mostly played around with my digital photos (I have so many…).

I bought the bundle at the MUPromo and it came with Posterino. Playing with it for a while I managed to create some cool collages of photos (from my balcony) and combining it with a template I made in Pixelmator I created a little card with a polaroid-effect. I may have overworked myself a little cause I went a little nuts with scanning paper for the effect and the colours and such. But at least I enjoyed it :)


Balcony finished (basically)

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[gallery columns=”5”]Today I installed the last bits of my balcony. I got some more small green pots and planted rosemary, a bay tree (more like a bush), two new types of oregano (makes three in total) and I planted the beans and peas. Also planted the courgettes, and put the rest in pots to give away. My left lower box hasn’t got anything in it yet, and I plan to sow some lettuce, spring onion and beetroot in it. The lower right one has lamb’s lettuce and scallions. I have some basil seeds left (and mint, coriander, parsley and then some) which I plan to sow by the tomatoes, I hear that works out well. This morning I harvested my first mini-cucumber and ate it on a cheese-sandwich, tasted excellent. Looking forward to more of that :D


Seeds.

Over the weekend I planted some seeds for plants I eventually want to plant outside on my balcony. I started out with courgette (zucchini), sage, thyme, rosemary, Tropaeolum, mustard and several types of beans.

Some have already started germination, even the tiny thymeseeds start to look green. Others, not so much yet. Patience….


Hurray for home-grown veggies.

20090506 Bonsaibasil 001 I got the confirmation from the tax-company that I’ll get a (preliminary) tax-return which should mean the money arrives in my account tomorrow or so.

To ‘celebrate’ we went out and got some stuff for my balcony: pots / containers / soil), and seeds and plants.

I got four long wooden containers (they look great!) and the following plants:

  • 4 tiny celery plants
  • 4 tiny parsleys
  • 4 tiny corn salads
  • 1 big cucumber plant (with baby cucumbers)
  • 1 small sweet pepper plant
  • 1 bonsai basil (very nice!)
  • 1 small lovage

and seeds for: spring onions rosemary garlic chives corn salad * courgette (or zucchini or summersquash depending on where you live)

Through a friend I got three tomato-plants, seeds for beetroot, basil, parsley, peas and several types of beans. I’m still looking for pinto-bean seeds, but they seem somewhat unavailable in the NL. I also still have rocket-seed, Tropaeolum and tons of seeds for sprouts (alfalfa, garden cress, etc).

I think I have enough…. (though boyfriend promised me oregano and thyme plants / seeds)

I want a bunch of smaller pots to put herbs in. It’ll look nice and helps to sow in phases.

I’m looking forward to seeding and growing, especially the sprouts. I seem to be able to eat bread again, so that would mean nice summer sandwiches with veggies and cheese and herbs and such :D

I have a balcony on the south, and even though most Dutch people think we do not get any sun, I can assure you we do. It gets pretty hot on my balcony, which I hope will help with the somewhat exotic plants (cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, courgette).

Now I only need a garden-hose, cause I’m not dragging water over every day :P

We haven’t set it up yet, but will take pictures when we do.