Re-potting on the balcony

I got myself a coffee table for the balcony which I can also use for re-potting and other jobs like that.

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

One of my co-workers wants some of the seedlings (stone pine and ginkgo so far), so I prepared them for her. I got some bonsai soil, too, because she wants to give it a try and I will need it anyway. The pine seedling on the photograph is the one from the video.

One of the Granny Smith’s Apple seedlings came out nice after the first pruning, so I’m keeping it as well.

I had actually planned on sowing rapini (broccoli raab) – I had ordered some seeds and they had arrived yesterday – but the sowing period is July to September. What a disappointment.

New Source for Net Pot Planters

Firstly, I might have to mention that I work for an on-line shop that sells Italian delicatessen, wine and food stuff in general to people in Germany and Austria.

Today, we tasted new cheese products (ricotta, provolone, caciocavallo) and the fresh ricotta came in a pot that I immediately called, because it looked like a net pot planter and it was rather small (6 cm in diameter, as you can see in the photograph).

Net pot planter from recycled cheese pot

Net pot planter from recycled cheese pot

I’m happy to announce that we will sell this ricotta soon, because this means that the supply is quite secured. Everybody loved the fresh ricotta, so I can ask my co-workers to save the pots for me, if they buy it. I will buy some too, especially now that I know I can recycle the pots. Net pot planters in that size are difficult to come by and they’re supposedly helpful for bonsais to get their roots growing.

I had to re-pot my sad looking olive tree into it:

olive bonsai

Olive Tree Bonsai

Maybe I could post a recipe for some ricotta stuff soon… ūüėČ

New Seeds: Medlar – and others too

Yesterday, I got one of the medlar fruits from their stratification container on my balcony, because it is too warm during daytime anyway to call it stratification. I put the seeds into water overnight and sowed them today.

I also gave the ginkgo seeds from the egg carton pots proper pots, because the egg carton had started to rot and I was a bit concerned about my health. And I put the date seed that had germinated in vermiculite into a proper pot with proper soil. (Sorry for labelling the medlar seeds as “quince”, I had forgotten the name in English.) I only cut the egg carton “compartments” apart and put them into the new pots with the soil and the seeds.

medlar, date and ginkgo pots

medlar, date and ginkgo pots

Then I prepared a little something for my co-worker from Sicily. He had shown interest in the lemon seedlings, so I’m giving him one and one of the two pine seedlings. They’re his favourite tree.

pine seedling lemon seedling

Pine and lemon seedlings


New Timelapse Project Started

When I looked at my ginkgo seedling in its egg carton pot today, I decided to do two things:
Re-pot it despite its young age and to make it the protagonist of my next time-lapse video.

ginkgo bilboa seedling

Ginkgo seedling

The re-potting gave me the opportunity to take a picture of it in its full dimension, roots and ginkgo seed and all. And quite a strong root it has compared to lemon trees, for example.

Setting Up The Time-lapse Project

RPi Camera setup

RPi Camera setup

Then I set upon arranging for the next time-lapse video. Made some place for the ginkgo pot and the Raspberry Pi with the camera module.

This time, I tried to get a better image section right from the start. Last time, in the time-lapse of the lemon seedlings, they grew to tall for the section.

I encountered a bit of a snag when I entered the source code into the Raspberry Pi command console: I wanted to take pictures for 40 days, but apparently somewhere between 21 and 28 days, there’s a limit. So I settled for 21 days. However, I have already made a note in my calender 21 days from now to restart the sequence. A picture will be taken every 2 hours.

So, in the end, the command line runs as follows

raspistill -o ginkgo%03d.jpg -tl 7200000 -t 1814400000 -w 1280 -h 720

Bio-degradable Pots II

I have to say that I am disappointed in the bio-degradsable pots I used for some of my seedlings. The soil is always drier than in the plastic pots which means more watering and at the same time the pots are always moist and have started to mould.

Moulding bio-degradable pots

Moulding bio-degradable pots

I had anticipated that, because they are bio-degradable after all. Some of the lemon trees, like the one in the picture, still seem to need more water. I put most of them into plastic pots now without removing the bio-degradable ones. Unfortunately, I have run out of plastic pots. I checked Ebay for small ones, but decided for 15 clay pots, which only have a diameter of 4 cm, but they’re more environmentally friendly than the plastic ones, I guess.

I suppose the bio-degradable pots are okay for getting vegetable seeds to germinate (like pepper or tomatoes), but not for keeping seedlings inside for a longer period of time. Maybe, to long-time gardeners, that was obvious from the start, but I want to give everything a try and make the experience myself.

More Singling Seedlings

I just realized today that I used the wrong word when I wrote about singling out the lemon seedlings during the weekend. I wrote re-potting which wasn’t quite correct. Sorry, my gardening English is developing the same speed my plants are. I hope I got it right now. Anyway, they actually moved to new pots…

bio-degradable pots

Bio-degradable pots

Singling Out Seedlings

lemon seedling

Lemon Seedling with roots

So, I got my bio-degradable pots today – 2o of them – and new soil. So I singled more lemon seedlings. I came across this nice example with some side roots, which I want to share. The others mainly had the one vertical root – I’m sure there is a special name for that too – and only rarely one more horizontal root. This one, however, had four or five horizontal roots. Good boy! (Or girl, or both…)

Bio-degradable Pots

I like those bio-degradable pots. For one, they’re not made from plastic and their colour is kind of earthy and warm. The black plastic pots might have the advantage of turning the sunlight into warmth better and even storing that warmth a bit. The greatest advantage of the bio-degradable pots might as well be their greatest disadvantage: They’re bio-degradable! Who would have thought?! No, seriously, you don’t need to remove them for re-potting, they will degrade in the next pot. I’m just afraid that they will start degrading before their time because of the watering…For me, another advantage though is their size. Because they’re slightly smaller than the plastic pots, I can get more of them into the platter (is that the right word? the green bottom of my mini greenhouses).

Anyway, I will keep the plastic pots, in case I want to give the seedlings away next summer. I have way too many.

New Attempt to Grow Chestnut From Seed And Some Re-potting

Second Attempt to Grow Chestnut From Seed

About a week ago, I bought five chestnuts at the supermarket – some of the last ones in fact. I had brought one from my trip to Turkey, but it has been in the soil for October 16th, but no germination so far. To improve my chances of getting chestnut trees, I decided to “cheat” a bit by buying some chestnuts and try to get them to germinate. However, the Turkish one might still sprout later. Anyway,¬†I cut them cross-wise at the pointed end, put them into water and waited. I changed the water daily, because chestnuts like acorns give off a slimey substance when stored in water. I have no idea, what it is, but it is quite disgusting. When I checked yesterday, I saw that one of them seemed to germinate. So, I took that one out and put it into soil, pointed end downwards, because in my experience so far, this is where the root comes from.

Sprouting Chestnut

Sprouting Chestnut

Re-potting Lemon Seedlings

The kitchen was already a mess with all that soil, so I decided to re-pot some of my lemon seedlings. I already have 25 and some seeds haven’t germinated yet. I’m waiting for 5 more to sprout. I only re-potted five, for several reasons: 1st – I ran out of soil, 2nd – some of them are too small to re-pot (10 cm is recommended) and 3rd – I didn’t re-pot those in the pots where I still wait for their “siblings” to germinate, because I don’t want my numbers to get mixed up.

Lemon Seedling with Lemon Seed

Lemon Seedling with Lemon Seed

Anyway, as you can see in the picture, some of them still had the lemon pip attached. One was a special case, where two seeds germinated very close to each other. The second is only about 1cm tall and the first about 8 to 10 already. So, hoping to get a joined trunk one day, I re-potted them together. Just like the last time I re-potted a lemon seedling, the look a bit withered now. But I think they will be okay in a few hours.


Lemon Seedlings, Pomegranate Seedlings, English Oak Seedling

I’ve ordered more soil and bio-degradable pots for the next day of re-potting. And as you can see, it is such a beautifully sunny day, I have to dash to catch some of those sunbeams.

Selfmade Pots and More Seeds Germinating

Some days ago, I ate that pomegranate and kept some seeds – 29, to be precise. I wanted to sow them, but I had no pots left. However, I had eaten some Greek style yoghurt which came in nice flat plastic bowls. So, instead of dumping them, I made pots of them. They’re flatter than the pots I bought, which I think is of an advantage, because their roots won’t become as deep as the ones before. And bonsai trees don’t need deep roots anyway.

You need: yoghurt bowls, hand screw driver,
old piece of wood, Stanley knife

Drill some holes into the bottom of the
yoghurt bowl for drainage.
Use the piece of wood to prevent
your table to get spoiled.

As soon as the drill has penetrated
the bottom, you can take  the bowl into
your hand and finish making the hole.

Make as many holes as you like.
More are probably better than less.

If you like, you can leave those thingies
as they are, otherwise…

…use the Stanley knife to carefully
cut them off.

I let the 29 pomegranate seeds in warm water overnight and put 14 in soil into one of the thus made pots and 15 into the other. I couldn’t get all the fruit stuff of them, so I hope that they won’t mildew.

Some of the seeds from the first batch have started germinating. One pomegranate and two myrtle. I thought they were done germinating and had already collected about 10 of the “dead” pomegranate seeds and dumped them. Some of them might have germinated still. Well, too late.