Category Archives: The Plot & Garden

#WeekRead is returning with IKEA hydroponics

I’ve realised that as soon as my maternity leave ends, our little Alice starts in daycare and I will be back in employment, that I will have absolutely no free time so I’m now trying to grow a habit of making time to my own projects, and then hopefully – HOPEFULLY – it will stick when summer comes and everything goes down.

One of my heartfelt projects is the #WeekRead where I tip you readers with easy to read and interesting reads and links you can spend your Saturday morning digesting with a cup of Joe.

This weeks #WeekRead no. 6 comes from IKEA. Yes, you read it correctly the first time. Come this spring IKEA launches a hydroponic series enabling you to grow your own vegetables indoors anytime of the year. It’s good news, especially for dim Copenhagen apartments, that don’t necessarily have access to a vegetable pad or multiple window sills with access the sun for most of the day. You can read more about the project here.

We actually bought a house, so I will not be concerned with regular window growing this season, apart from sprouting and propagation, so expect some good updates from our new garden this year.

If you haven’t read the previous 5 #WeekRead posts click here.

To sum up the principles of the weekly #WeekRead, every other Friday evening I link to a piece of content from either another blog or news site which I find extremely interesting or useful. The only rule is, it should be an easy to read, digestible article that can be read in 5 minutes. That way, when you enjoy that first cup of coffee tomorrow morning (you might even do some morning pinning?) you can read the #WeekRead easy while waking up.

Guide to growing succulents indoors

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This weeks #WeekRead no. 5 also comes from one of my favorite blogs. If you haven’t read the previous 4 #WeekRead posts click here. To sum up the principles of the weekly #WeekRead, every other Friday evening I link to a piece of content from either another blog or news site which I find extremely interesting or useful. The only rule is, it should be an easy to read, digestible article that can be read in 5 minutes. That way, when you enjoy that first cup of coffee tomorrow morning (you might even do some morning pinning?) you can read the #WeekRead easy while waking up.

So let’s get to this weeks read. You have probably guessed it already. Yup, it’s about growing succulents. For those of you that have been following me for the last 6 months, you know how obsessed I am with succulents. It all started in San Francisco last year in October. Damn they do amazing succulent terrariums in San Fran. That city sure has the right conditions for growing succulents as well. So what to do when you live in a basement apartment in the middle of grey London? It’s not exactly widespread sun rays that hit my windowsill, I have to say. Well, click on this link to go to the best garden site online Gardenista, and read this article. So very very useful if you like me are obsessed with growing succulents indoors. You will find a lot of information in this article. For example, did you know that the greener a succulent is the better it is for indoor use? Also, indoor succulents need space around them, so don’t overcrowd the pot. They need as much light as they can get, given that they are indoor and susceptible for less direct sunlight. There you go – now go fetch that brilliant article. And have a nice weekend!

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How-To: Planting succulents

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Last weekend I was working all Saturday, and have been putting a lot of hours at work in general that week. Sunday however, was a total bliss. The work I had going on that day was fulfilling work in my garden. When setting up for the blog post about my collection of succulents, I thought I would show you how I’m planting succulents in pots.

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1. Be creative
I think succulents are so interesting to look at. They can be so many shapes and colors, it almost demands a nice pot and a little creativity to support the plant. My point is, be creative with the pot. I found the facetted white pots at a local japanese design shop. They are from Bloomingville. I think they fits the succulents perfectly.

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2. Watch the pot
So once you have chosen your pot, you need to make sure it has drainage, so it can transfer the water away from the roots. If your pot does not have a hole in bottom of the pot and a “saucer” then you need to create drainage in the pot. Put some pebbles or potsherds in the bottom before you fill it up with soil. This will create some “air layers” in the bottom so the excess water can evaporate and the risk of rotting roots as well.

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3. Fill it up
With soil. I’m sure that there is succulent specific soil, but I’m using a compost-based soil. So far that works for me and the plants. Remove the excess soil from the succulents roots and plant it neatly into the pot. For an indoor installment make sure it has plenty of lights. Voila!

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The indoor garden: Succulents

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This is my recent obsession: succulents. I love them. Full stop. I have a childhood memory of my mum giving me and my brother succulents in nice pots for our rooms, I think mainly because they are so easy to care for and look after, and need a minimum of water. This way we had the best precondition for managing a real living plant in our teenage rooms. Needless to say, succulents was the last thing I had on my mind, and I surely did not appreciate them. Wow, was I mistaken.

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Now, as you can see, I have a small collection of succulents and cacti. I’m not entirely sure of how to care for my cacti, and watering is happening when they look particular dry, so I’m still to learn how to understand that species.

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My succulents on the other hand, I have some knowledge about. Succulents storage water in their leaves unlike cacti who stores it in their stem. This is why you can propagate new succulents just by cutting of the leaves of the “mother plant”, as they will form roots (and will have water to do so) if treated properly. They need plenty of light, and are happy to be outside during the summer – who doesn’t? However, these plants are also suitable for the indoor garden especially if you have a sunny window sill.

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I’m still to learn a lot in this area, but are hoping that increasing my collection will result in greater knowledge and experience. If you have any experience in the field, please by all means share your best tips in the comment field below.

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My Notting Hill Garden

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I haven’t really showed you my garden here on P&P yet, so I thought it might be about time to give you a sneak peak into what is going on in my small Notting Hill garden. It’s not much really, and especially not after pigeons and snails have eaten my salad and radish seedlings. Bastards.

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Anyways, let’s not dwell on the past. My garden is actual around 50 square meters, but given the height of the neighbor houses around it, it’s not a garden with full sun blast for 8 hours a day. This also means that I need to be really strategic about what to plant where. Most of my crops are in pots except for the pumpkins I’m trying to grow this year. The bed they are in used to have extremely poor quality soil with very little nutrients, so this year I have mixed in both compost and topsoil, hoping that the soil will improve significantly.

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On the opposite side of the garden are my potato bags. I rarely eat potatoes, unless I grow them myself, and every bite is priceless after having nursed them for a season, waiting for the small roots to appear from below the green lush plants. Pure bliss.

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Another great passion of mine are the beans. I love beans. If I had to chose only one veggie to eat for the rest of my life, it would be beans. And broccoli. This year I have experimented with four different varieties. However, it seems only two of them will actually give some yield this year. Oh well, you win some, you loose some.

The other crops I’m trying to grow are peas, radishes, carrots, beets, salad and spinach. Even though I’ve been growing for three years now, it’s still pretty much trial and error. But that really is the fun of it also. And I don’t have any plans about stopping just yet. So much more to learn.