Monday, 29 September 2014

Bugs Are Being Mean To Me

So this is happening to my poor innocent little carrot plants:
I'm most upset about it, so I thought I'd make a garlic bug repellent spray based on this recipe here and a recipe I was given via Twitter (which unfortunately I forget who gave it to me, but thank you!) which used grated dish soap.
I used this spray bottle:

Minced garlic out a jar:

Normal cheap cooking oil:

And dishwashing liquid:

I filled the bottom of a small saucepan with oil (about 4mm deep) and put in a big heaped tablespoon of garlic:

Meanwhile, before I turned the heat on, I put the kettle on to boil. I turned the stove on and gave the garlic a good stir to evenly disperse it. When it just started to fry, I got the now boiled kettle - how good is my timing? so good! - and filled the saucepan to about 1/3 with boiling water:

I let it bubble until everything smelled of garlic, even my hopes and dreams, then I pulled it off the stove.
I put about this much dishwashing liquid in the bottom of the spray bottle:

Then filled it to about 1/3 with cold tap water. I stuck a funnel in, lined with paper towel to catch the garlic bits, and poured the contents of the saucepan in:
It dripped through slowly and it was quite content doing that. Look at it's smug little face, being all content:

And I, being me, got impatient and balled up the paper towel and gave it a squeeze to help it along and the paper towel burst and now I have some garlic bits in it anyhow, but not nearly as many as I would have.
I went outside and sprayed my carrots liberally.  I'll have to do that again every time I water them and every time it rains.  I'll let you know how they go.

Garlickly yours,
Cassandra Louise.

Friday, 26 September 2014


If you've been reading my blog for a while, you are very patient, and also you know I'm a crazy plant lady, in much the same way some people are crazy cat people or crazy dog people. My plants are my babies, I talk to them, I give most of them names (I don't often name short-lived plants or plants that will get pulled up for food, such as carrots). One plant you may remember is Leonard.
Leonard the chilli plant

Unfortunately, Leonard didn't survive the winter. Chilli plants are very sensitive to the cold. I did everything I could think of including bringing him inside at night, but he died. He's now in my compost bin so he won't be wasted.
It's not all bad news. A few months before Leonard died, he was quite laden with fruit when a severe storm struck. All the fruit dropped, and some sprouted. a few of the baby chilli plants survived the winter. Determined to keep them alive and hopefully see them grow up and become big, healthy plants, I made a little mini green house out of a plastic water bottle:
And stuck it in the pot over the baby chilli plants.
I watered the pot thoroughly and the little plants under the cover have been thriving ever since. They grow slowly, but I can see they are growing. I'm going to keep them covered until they start to really flourish.

That's what I've been up to, how are things in your garden?
Happy Gardening!
Cassandra Louise.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hello Humans and Very Smart Cats!

I'm writing a little update because I just approved a bunch of your comments on previous posts which lets me know I've been missed. I'm feeling the love!
I have a few posts in the pipeline, some recipes, some about my garden and a couple of posts I would classify as "articles" (quote marks are so you don't expect too much of them, I assure you they will just be rambling).

While I've been away I've been doing a lot of fiction writing- I'm contemplating setting up a blog just to let you read my stories, if you'd be interested- and even had a short story published as an ebook.
[Update: my blog of stories is live! The first story can be found here]
I've progressed in my teaching studies and am now studying the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and care.
I'm growing peas and carrots in my garden at the moment. The peas are nearly finished and the carrots are having trouble getting started as something is eating the tops.

More to come later, I promise you aren't forgotten.
Worlds of love,
Cassandra Louise.