Sunday, April 26, 2015

Successes and failures

This blog posting has taken a few weeks to happen, but at last I can report on a magnificent failure, plus two very satisfactory little successes.

Projectionist! The failure slide first, please...

A failure? Yep, nothing like what I was hoping for. This, folks is a pot of failed radishes, grown from a little punnet of "Micro Radish" sprouts which I spotted at my local giant market-dominating supermarket. The gardener in me said "go on, have a go at growing them into radishes". And when I also spotted some "Micro Chervil" sprouts and "Micro Coriander" sprouts, the grand experiment began...

Here's the punnet of micro radishes, cute and fresh little
zingers which are nice tossed into a garden salad.
Plucked from their punnet they sit in their own
little pot of growing medium, which is kind of
like compacted cotton wool, sort of.
And here's the failure in action: no little round
radishes at all. It's a nice pot of leafy greenery
with red stems, and the leaves taste peppery, like
mustard greens, so I can still use them in stir-fries,
but the experiment was to grow radishes, and
in that attempt I didn't do all that well.

However, I didn't collapse into a funk of despondence, because at the same time I was tasting bitter (or, more accurately, peppery) defeat with the radishes, I was also savouring some, well ... savoury success. The coriander and chervil experiments have turned out quite nicely.

At $1.49, my chervil sprouts are cheaper than nursery
seedlings. More usually they're $2.98 a pop, which is still OK.

The potted chervil is belting along, loving the deluge of rain
which has soaked all of Sydney to its sandstone bones.

Ditto, the coriander sprouts, they're doing well too.

The chervil sprouts look great in the punnet. You can see some
long, thin black chervil seeds still attached here and there.
The trick with planting them up is to divide the punnet into
clumps. Don't bother with trying to separate out individual
sprouts, that's too much like hard work, and it's also too
much handling of the tender sprouts. Instead, just break this
kind of clump into four or five mini clumps, and plant these.

Here's how that single clump looked after being divided up
and planted out. The next trick is simply to keep the sprouts
watered. Some Seasol or Eco-Seaweed once a week is also
a good idea, as these solutions encourage roots to grow.

It's the same story with the coriander. 

It's the same story with the coriander. Just
divide the punnet into several clumps, not
individual seedlings, then plant them out.
Water often, seaweed solution weekly.
Both the coriander and the chervil should last for months, if planted now. As I've said many times before in this blog, coriander loves winters in Sydney and lasts for months in the cooler weather. In summer it grows too fast and turns to whispy-leafed seedy stuff in a matter of weeks. So now is the best time to plant some coriander.

And chervil loves winters here, too. It's also one of the better herbs for growing in part shade or at least gardens that don't get a full day of sunshine (which is the case in many inner-city gardens).

At the prices the supermarket is asking for these mini sprouts, this way of growing them is easier than seed and cheaper than nursery-bought seedlings. Good luck!


Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

That's brilliant! I'll have to work out which supermarket giant you bought them from as I haven't seen them at my one. :)

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

If ever I see punnets of micro anything I reckon I shall have a go with this idea.

Padaek said...

Why on earth did the radishes not grow heads? These micro punnets are a great idea. Thanks Jamie!

Jamie said...

Lanie, my local supermarket giant oligopoloy/retail leviathan is Woolies. I found the micro punnets in the salad section

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Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

Thanks Jamie. My sorrel, coriander and chervil are going great guns!

Jamie said...

Glad to hear it Lanie. Fun, isn't it!