It has been an educational few weeks, I must say. I have learned some lessons. Here they are:
Lesson number one – always buy seeds from a reputable company.
Turns out the Jamaican pearl seeds I ordered were not quite what they seemed. Actually they appear to have been seeds for rubber plants. Oh dear. To be clear, I did not order from Sensi Seeds, and I should have done. Them or Seedsman anyway. If you are in the UK where it is illegal to germinate seeds you have no comeback if they are crap – use somebody reliable – don’t be scammed. Don’t believe me? See me looking like a total lemon here.
And I haven’t named that ‘seed bank’ by the way. For some reason they’re not replying to my emails.
Lesson number two – cats are the enemy. Wire mesh helps.
Cats will screw with your stuff – whether that means eating your plants, knocking down your pots, or even shitting in your plant pots. (Oh yes.) Don’t let them. Use some kind of wire mesh to protect your babies if you have cats in the area.
Lesson number three – birds are the enemy. Wire mesh helps.
Birds will also eat your plants. I lost at least one plant this year to a very keen sparrow. They wont get through wire mesh though.
Lesson number four – rain can be the enemy. Keep an eye on the forecast.
Storms can have a nasty effect on your plants. Too much rain can wash nutrients from soil, as well as over supplying your plants with water, which is not good for them. Be ready to move them undercover if there’s a big storm coming.
Lesson number five – keep a close eye on your plants for infestations.
Aphids and blackfly are attracted to young, luscious plants, so if you’re growing Lowryder for instance then you run into problems sooner rather than later. They love the buds, just like us.
You could buy a spray from the shop, or mix up a garlic and water spray which seems to put them off for a while. Depending how many plants you have you can just flick them off using a soft paintbrush. They lay eggs on the underside of the leaves. Bastards.
Not the most amazing growing advice I’m sure but these things caused me trouble – and can be avoided.
Lesson number six – bigger pots mean bigger plants. Obvious really and so true…