Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gardening fail


The lilies we had over christmas were glorious. They were in bud and opened very well and at $6, a bargain.

Over the years I must have planted hundreds of petunias in our various gardens, always with success. However, I had never tried growing them from seedlings here until recently. I bought a punnet and a bag of good quality potting mix and potted them up.

The first thing that concerned me was that the potting mix felt very heavy and not free draining. I proceeded and planted eight seedlings in a pot. Over the next week or so, they started to grow and I removed a couple of the smallest ones so as not to have the pot too crowded. I nipped off the flowers so that they would put energy into growth in their early stage. They reached a size where I started to let them flower and then came the wind, a cold blustering wind, straight in from Bass Strait. It really knocked them. Slowly slowly they died. I removed them until I was left with two, but they were barely growing and moving at their base in the wind.

So, we went out and bought a pot of already grown ones, which we should have done in the first place. The balcony is a harsh environment, boiling hot sun until lunch time and often strong and cold southerly winds, but these already well established petunias just love it.

16 comments:

  1. AS I looked at that picture of those glorious petunias I was so jealous that you had managed to grow them from seed. Boy am I glad I finished reading your post!

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    1. Fun60 (I really need a better name for you), it is quite frustrating to not grow them from scratch. I am not used to gardening failures and if I have had failures, I have usually known why.

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  2. Well done! As much as cut flowers, bought from a florist, look sensational in the vase at home, I think there is something super about growing your own. You may not be able to grow bamboo orchids or yellow ginger, but your own flowers in the garden or in balcony pots do the trick beautifully!

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    1. Bamboo orchids Hels? I don't know about them. Better find out.

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  3. You might want to considering growing mint. They just grow and grow.

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    1. MC, lots of home made mint sauce for roast lamb.

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  4. You can shelter your balcony pots a bit by planting a small umbrella or chinese style parasol in the center of it. It would need to be firmly anchored somehow though, or the wind will just blow it away.

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    1. River, the wind here can be extraordinary. Not from our balcony, but another, a glass topped table was lifted off and dropped over the side of a balcony.

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  5. Wow...the lilies were a bargain indeed. I bought some at a local florist for a whopping $35 and they only lasted a week (much shorter than usual) even though they were only in bud when I bought them.

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  6. Ad Rad, they came from a stall at Prahran Market and the same company has the outlet at Flinders Street Station, where we have also bought flowers. Not everything from there does well, that is last a week, but if you are careful with your choice, usually good value.

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  7. No-one fails at gardening as much as I do. NOTHING grows if touched or altered by my hands.

    I have a fake pot of geraniums on our balcony that never fails to get compliments and am considering getting a couple more!

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    1. Kath, they must look less convincing in the snow.

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  8. Hello Andrew:
    Your Lilies are absolutely wonderful. So very stylish!

    Sometimes bedding plants can die for almost no reason whatsoever and it is always best in our view to just throw them out and begin again. And look now at the glorious display you now have! We are sure that you know to continually dead head Petunias in order to stimulate new growth!!

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    1. Thanks JayLa. Yes, I have been dead heading. They are looking even better now.

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  9. You did everything right Andrew, sometimes plants just kaput for no reason, as you say the wind probably didn't help.. much easier to go the alternate route oui! (I am talking about buying established hahaha!)

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    1. Yes Grace, lesson learnt.

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