The Good Life: Make $$$ in Your Spare Time!

I am a huge sucker for seed catalogues.  So, when my favourite gardening company, The Diggers Club, restocked their selection of Autumn and Winter bulbs, I had to buy some.  Besides, The Boobook had recently purchased a special bulb planting tool for me.

I stocked up on Saffron Crocuses, nine bulbs in all.  Saffron is, after all, the most expensive ingredient on the planet.  At today’s prices, saffron costs about USD$1,500 per pound, about $250 more per pound than gold.  My accountant brain was mesmerised by the possibilities!

I was going to be RICH!

On my day off, I planted the crocuses using the tool that The Boobook had bought.  It was a relatively simple tool to use.  Simply shove it into the ground and twist it until it reaches the desired depth, then pull it out and empty the dirt over the side.  Unfortunately, the ground in my area is as hard as rocks, so shoving the tool into the ground was not the easiest thing to do.  The clay also gummed up the works, making it harder to empty than I had initially thought.

Still, I persevered, and in-between hanging up laundry and feeding the rabbits, I finally got all nine of the bulbs in the ground.

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Behold my glorious handiwork!

Having completed all my chores, I took a nice hot shower and then had a nap.

When I woke up, my arms had fallen off.

This was not conducive to productivity.

You see, arms are essential tools to doing a lot of things, like getting out of bed, for example.  Also, I couldn’t post about my exploits because typing requires hands, and armless people don’t have any hands.

The Boobook returned to find me wriggling around on the couch like a dying fish, arms flopping uselessly by my sides in a futile attempt to get up and cook dinner.  He sighed and then went to fetch the hot water bottle.

The heat on my sore muscles felt glorious.

Also, he sent out for pizza, which was really great.

A week later, the saffron crocus plants bloomed.  Each tiny flower had two little strands of saffron in it.

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Saffron crocus in full bloom.  Each flower is about the size of an Australian 50 cent coin.

Ah well, so much for my get rich quick scheme.  At least I can still cook some saffron rice to make myself feel better.

Spring Planting: How to Transplant a seedling

Red Bravo strawberries after 10 days of planting

Red Bravo strawberries after 10 days of planting from seedling

IT IS SPRIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGG!

The dirt in the vermicomposter has been noshed on all Winter and is now heavy with nutrients and little red wigglers.  The local supermarkets are starting to sell plants by the dozen.

Which means that…

IT IS TIME FOR PLANTING!  (Woo hoo!)

This year, I’m planting some strawberries and pumpkins, the latter of which I got for free at the local cafe.  I’m really looking forward to a fruitful harvest.  Later, when the worms have completed more work, I’ll be planting some parsnips, which hopefully won’t shoot to seed straight away.  And, of course, eggplants, because eggplants are delicious when grilled with miso.

I usually try to grow my plants from seed, which means that before getting put into the main pot, they spend some time germinating in a small plastic germination pot.  When the roots grow out from the bottom of the germination pot, it’s time for transplanting!

An eggplant plant ready for transplanting

An eggplant plant ready for transplanting

Step 1:  Dig a Hole

FullSizeRender_1The first step to transplanting something is, of course, to dig a hole deep enough to put the plant in.  You will want to make it about 1-2 inches deeper and larger than the pot to make space for the roots.

Step 2:  Take off the Pot

FullSizeRender_3Next, remove the plant from the pot.  If it’s properly ready for transplanting, the plant’s roots should hold tightly to the soil in the pot.  This should make it easier to remove from the pot and it should come out smoothly.

Squeeze the soil at the bottom lightly to loosen the roots and the dirt before putting it into the soil.  You should cover up any exposed roots with dirt.

Step 3: Water liberally

FullSizeRender_4Finally, water the plant liberally until the soil has packed around the roots!

Make sure that the plant is kept in half sun for a few days before putting it in full sun, as transplanted plants tend to be a little fragile!

If you’re really into making lots of crop plants, you can look into companion planting, where two plants sharing the same pot don’t use the same nutrients to grow, thus helping each other grow!

Tomato and Eggplants together, not the best companions, but still suitable

Tomato and Eggplants together, not the best companions, but still suitable

Enjoy your spring planting!