Monday, January 9, 2017

Mini watermelons and flower seed

Sorry, after the long Christmas break it is taking me a while to get back into the regular blogging. The weather has been hot so I have been busy watering but I have also started putting seeds in trays for planting out in a few weeks - brassicas, alpine strawberries and asparagus so far.

I am waiting on a bit of cooler weather to get out and clean up the very neglected town blocks, they are so messy right now that I am embarrassed and In hope the owners don't get on my back. I need these blocks so I can offer the diversity of seed that I want but I can't wait to find a business partner some time because it is all getting on top of me - and I am so messy and disorganised that I need someone in the business who is neat and organised to offset those flaws.

 I picked my first very rare mini watermelon today. The plant got heavily infested with spider mite and died so the melon is a little underripe and not as sweet as it should be but it is still good.

Since the plant only produced one fruit it is bigger than it should be but still only weighed 1.5kg.
The amazing thing about these melons is the tiny seeds that are as small as passionfruit seeds. You don't even notice them when you eat it.

I still have a couple more plants outside which are just setting fruit now so I should have plenty of seeds to play with next year.

 As some of you know, I have been starting to get into flowers for seed and one that I have started with is zinnia 'Bonbon'.
It is a nice bushy plant to about 60cm tall and the white, cream and yellow, semi double flowers have red specks and stripes.
I would have liked a bigger colour range but they are still pretty. I have had some flowers in a vase for a week and they still look as good as the day I picked them. I love flowers that stay well in a vase but don't shed pollen all over the place.

If these are fairly easy to collect seed from I think I will be planting more beds next year, probably of two or three varieties. My only concern at the moment is that bees are taking no interest in them so I am not sure how much seed I am going to get.

The other flower I am growing for seed is snapdragon 'Brighton Rock'. I love this colourful snapdragon but the dust-like seed is so difficult to harvest.

I have a problem this year that Some of the colours haven't germinated. All the plants that have grownare red, yellow, and red and yellow striped. The whites and white striped ones didn't make it. I will have to buy another packet to mix in for next year to bump up the colours.
I only grew a half row this year to make sure I really want to bother with harvesting seed to sell as it is so frustrating. We'll see.

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