South Park Self

here comes the sun

It's really cheating to garden in this climate. You fling a few seedlings into the ground, wave some compost at them in a desultory sort of fashion, douse them with water occasionally, and stand back so that the "whoosh" of vegetative life reaching for the ferocious African sun doesn't actually singe your eyebrows. I planted tomatoes less than a month ago. Behold:

This is before I went in there with a machete and a train of native bearers to hack off all but the main shoots so that some of the fruit actually gets to see the sun through the jungle, and the spring onions aren't completely overrun.

Also, I grew this pomegranate from seed, which I stuck into the soil in a waywardly experimental mood about a year ago, when a tray of supermarket pomegranate seeds in the fridge Went Bad, or at the very least set up their own illicit still. They sprouted like mad things; I've given seedlings to several people, and this one is outgrowing its pots with enough fervour that I suspect it of being part Triffid. It also looks ridiculously healthy, suggesting that it thrives on the above regimen of wholesome neglect.

Also, I love pansies. They have sweet little velvet faces, which they produce in a tasteful array of deep jewel tones which almost exactly approximate my taste in clothing colours. They're evil aliens and I thus grow them only in pots in a slightly shamefaced way, but I planted the right-hand pot in April and they've been blooming ever since, which I suspect is probably against the rules. The left-hand pot are the Next Generation, planted a few weeks ago. Anyway. They make me happy.

This post brought to you courtesy of a recent, random re-watch of Sunshine (tense, philosophical space movie that does amazing things with light and Cillian Murphy), and a major Soundgarden ear-worm which the Beatles subject line was a futile attempt at dislodging. Bugger.
  • Current Mood: calm ineffectually druidic
I went away to HBD and when I got back everything had doubled in size! I also have tomatoes in a tub and was thinking last night that they could do with a pruning as the carrots, parsley and chives planted underneath them are getting a bit shaded. Which branches do I trim?

Also, I would love a pome grenade (as seen at Rosmead Spar) seedling if you have any to spare :).
Re: Garden!
I have one extra pomegranate planted in a bed, but it's a horrible space and it isn't doing well; I'll see how it takes to transplanting, and if it survives, you are welcome to it!
Re: Garden!
Bugger, sorry, forgot to deal with the tomato-trimming query. I trim mine on a principle of vaguely remembered suggestions from Tanya, and the fact that I need to tie them to the wall. I try to leave one or two main stalks with each plant, and to trim off the smaller ones lower down, and the ones that try to grow straight out away from the wall, as I then won't have anything to tie them to. Trimming branches is supposed, iirc, to give you a better crop of fruit on the ones that you leave. Or something. As I say, not an exact science here, more the school of somebody told me + practicality and thumbsuck.
Re: Garden!
What kind of tomatoes do you have? I have cherry tomatoes (unsurprisingly). I was inspecting mine last night and there's a main trunk and then smaller side branches. I've staked the main trunk and the side branches seem happy to just hang out. The trees are now just about a meter high and don't seem to be getting any higher. There are millions of tiny green tomatoes, nom nom nom.

Also, have you seen the new ones at Starke Ayres? They're yellow and kind of a hanging vine thing. I'm intrigued.
Afri Can
I learnt recently (either in the Economist's article on the fact there's 7 billion of us now, or on a Newsnight doco about Zambia; I forget which) that if Africa increased its agricultural productivity to just 80% of the global average, it would be a food exporter. I'm sort of hoping the double-edged sword of Chinese yuan flooding into the dark continent will push Africa into making more of its resources. See this space, circa 2030, for more details... :-)

The plants look fantastic, btw!