How to grow miniature pumpkins

Aren’t mini pumpkins the cutest? I think so, and I hope you agree with me.

For those of you like me that kinda like gardening and DYI projects, I decided to make some little plots of miniature pumpkins. But please, do not take all my literal words from it, I haven’t really got a plot I should be proud of, just started with the seeds now, but hopefully they’ll turn out ok.

But here’s the method I am following:

First choose a place where they can get as much sun as possible; they might not be big but they are big feeders.

Then, unless you’re using a self-watering container, make sure your pot has drainage holes. Irrigation water should be able to flow freely from the container to avoid creating soggy soil. If your container lacks drainage holes, add them. Several smaller holes work better than one large hole.

Now, this isn’t the time to actually plant the seeds, they are frost sensitive so you should aim for mid-Spring to make sure they are happy buggers.

Get some seeds of JBL – Jack B. Little – pumpkin, and on your pot put 3 or four seeds as the ramifications get quite big and use up some space. Miniature pumpkins are vining plants. If you are limited in your garden space, plant miniature pumpkins where they can grow on a trellis or fence. If you are growing them in a container select a very large one.

The soil should be rich and you should remember to fertilize every week or so – ensure that you keep an eye in so they look pretty and healthy.

Water your miniature pumpkins thoroughly until water runs freely through the bottom of the container whenever the soil feels dry 1 inch below the surface. Plants grown in containers need more frequent watering than those grown in the soil do. Your miniature pumpkins may require daily watering, especially during hot, dry periods.

Each plant produces up to 8-10 cute, little miniature pumpkin fruits. Harvest when they turn completely orange, and the stem has dried and turned brown in color. Cut the stem near the vine with a sharp knife. Be careful not to break the stem.

You can find more information here or here or even here!

Have fun gardening!!!

Claudia

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London Wetland Centre

As you can see, this weekend we opted for a very cultural and eco-friendly weekend.

We visited the London Wetland Centre. Located close to Putney, the centre is quite big with a crazy amount of birds. For bird-watchers, is a haven in the middle of the city! they have otters who swim freely in the centre. Endangered bird species and you can even see cows grazing the grass for them. It’s brilliant.

The centre is filled with colourful flowers and plants and animals just roam around not even a tiny bit afraid of you. I loved it!

There are walking tours available along with little courses such as wild photography and bird-watching. Schools and parents come here alike and the kids are delighted!

The gardens are sustainable and beautiful. Feel free to stroll while you explore and just forget about noisy London and enjoy this heavenly place.

It is also very interactive. You can feed birds, have a net and explore the bottom of ponds. You can climb a tower and look around and be amazed on how such a big place has been unnoticed by most of us.

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It is indeed pricey, but to think they live on that… It’s amazing.

Go there! Visit! More info here!

Claudia x

Growing Blueberries at Home

Living in the city sometimes makes you want to see more green and take care of something that can be both pretty and fives back to you. Blueberries are a perfect fruit to grow at home. Wether it’s in your garden (if you lucky to have one) or pots or containers for a pretty balcony or big window.

There are some things you will need to ensure though. This will be a quick guide for container home grown blueberries.

To start off make sure you choose the sunniest place in your house. Blueberries thrive in sunny places and they should be sheltered from frost and shade. Let’s just say: they are happy in the sun!

Make sure you get a container that it is 60cm. This will be required because you will need at least 2 varieties of blueberries and they will grow quite a lot in the first two years. This is to ensure crosspollination occurs and more chances of a healthy and fertile plant. There are a lot of types blueberries that you can get. The more common are: Bluecrop, Chandler, Duke and Nelson.

You will need some ericaceous compost. Blueberries are very picky with the soil they are in and will require something acidic. The required PH is 5. Always try to get something around this level which is the ones the plant prefers. If you have any questions about this, please see the packaging of the soil, they always have neat recommendations and tips.

Once you have your blueberry plant you have to prepare it before planting. Please let it soak for about 20 minutes before transferring it to the soil.You will need to put some crocks at the end of the pot to ensure good drainage.

Once you have plant it, make sure you keep the soil moist but not soggy – this would just kill it.

The best time to plant it it’s from November to February and harvest time would be July and August. During the first two years pruning won’t be something that you’ll need to do, but you can always trim it, but be careful not to cut the healthy branches – always try to just cut the dead part. Pruning is always better when the plant is more dormant – around December or January. It’s highly recommended that you should concentrate on getting the plant growing in the first year in order to maximise the wood on the plant to bear fruit the year after. Obviously always cut off any dead or broken branches and also any that look like they are going to touch the ground and also any very spindly growth should be removed at ground level.

When watering the plants always try to use the rain water as the tap one is too agressive for it. But in time of need, don’t be scared. Make sure during growing season you keep the roots moist. Then, in late spring when the leaves bloom and open, you will need to feed it a bit of fertilizer. Do not use the same you would buy for tomatoes as they do not have the required nutrients.

If you have to re-pot because of growth, try to do it in Autumn and this should be needed every two years or so.

Be careful of birds, they love blueberries as much as the next person so make sure you have some sort of protection – otherwise all of the crops will be theirs, ah!

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Good luck with your berries and happy gardening!

Claudia x