Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This Morning

I've been meaning to do an update post on the general state of my garden and the parent's landscaping - but life is contriving to keep me from getting to it :/

So here' just a micro glance at what I paid attention to during my morning tending:


Lucky for caterpillars I like butterflies and have a fear of accidentally killing off the last of an endangered species (and a buddhist buddy who would shake his head at me) - so I relocated it to a hefty Sunflower leaf that can survive it's infancy. It had been munching away on a cabbage - lucky for cabbage I wanted to harvest some outter leaves for a coworker to steam. Darn those purty white butterflies I saw last weekend! Great - a quick internet search tells me they may have been Small Cabbage Whites - and there were several all over my crop area! AH!

BTW that was one of the flower beds I planted about a month ago and I'm happy to report all green children are doing well! The calendula is already blooming and the statice isn't far behind! Although the cosmo seeds never came up o.O I did plant some zinnias in their place, and used some of the dill the other night.

I found this lovely lady chilling out on a celery leaf :) Said bug was under my poor aphid infested cauliflower and hopefully defending the celery from invasion! I've been randomly seeing ladybugs in my personal area - some of them stuck around hoorah! Don't know if they're from the ones I collected at the beach or the batch I bought a couple weeks ago at the nursery...


I ended up putting the whole thing into the green bin :( I was afraid of them spreading to my healthy plants. At least there is another cauliflower soon to be harvested :) And darn it I just remember I forgot to trim the quinoa that had leaf miners again grrrr....

That is all for today :) Have a swell week peoples

OMG! Coolest Card EVER!!!

I was just searching for instructions on how to make a nice Bday card for a friend and came across:

They come folded into what looks like those tourist packets of a set of postcards, from which you slide out the main card and unfold. There is a hidden PVC tray with a paper board to use as the growing medium. It comes with cress seeds which are easy to sprout and yummy to eat. They say a Postcarden should last about 2 weeks and is fully recyclable.

It's made in the EU and there's only one US distributor: B5+10 Postcarden who's selling it for $12.95

If only it weren't too late to order it for the Gin Master's Bday!

...I shall have to try to make my own...mwuahahahahaha......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nasturtium Data for the LOTB Experiment

After a coupel of weeks of hearing about Nasturtiums in various blogs I finally bought a couple packets of seeds - then the next day Fern announces the LOTB Seed Scarification Experiment. Since I had already started growing some figured I can keep track of the data for her (even though I couldn't find the 'Spitfire' variety). So here goes my Nasturtium log:

April 5, 2010 - set 6 Nasturtium seeds to soak overnight in tap water straight from the faucet. 3 'Alaska' and 3 'Tall Single Blend' from Botanical Interests.

April 6, 2010 - Sow each of the 6 seeds in its own paper cup in Miracle Grow Seed Starting Mix. Set all six in the bathroom where the temperature is a nearly constant 66F and there is alot of diffused light.

April 11, 2010 - 1 Alaska Nasturtium sprouts (6 days from soaking, 5 days from sowing), the other 5 have not. Moved the sprouted Nasturtium to a south facing window to adjust to the light and heat.

April 12, 2010 - Move the 1 sprouted nasturtium outside with my other seedlings. The other 5 Nasturtiums have still not sprouted.

April 15, 2010 - Alaska nasturtium outside is doing fine. The other 5 still have not sprouted! Considering moving them to the south facing window sill in my workroom...but would that negate the value of my experiment data?

April 20, 2010 - NONE of the other 5 nasturtiums have sprouted!!! 15 days after sowing!!! I have relocated them to the south window in my workroom, perhaps the warmth of sunlight is needed... The Alaska that did sprout is doing well with the other green babies outside.

April 22, 2010 - Another Alaska finally sprouted! The other 4 are still dormant.

April 23, 2010 - Moved the Alaska that sprouted yesterday outside with the other green babies.

April 24, 2010 - The April 11 Alaska is doing great. I moved it into an 8" pot with a couple of radishes and out among my other big green children.

April 25, 2010 - Have a laugh with the Gin Master as she tells me they are called "nast-ERshums" not "na-STURDY-ums" *d'oh*

May 3, 2010 - My hope is renewed! One of the Tall Single nasturtiums has sprouted FINALLY! Moved outdoors to gather sun with my other Green Babies. The second Alaska that sprouted is doing well and its leaves are getting big. The first Alaska in the pot seems to like it's radish neighbors.

May 18, 2010 - Sorry for not updating this bit earlier: about 3 weeks ago the Tall Single that had sprouted kicked the bucket due to a heat wave it couldn't take :(
I added decorative little stones to the first Alaska nasturtium pot to brighten things up.

June 8, 2010 - However, the two Alaska in their pots are doing well. Both sort of stalled in growth for about a month when moved to pots, but are now gaining some height. Returning from a weekend trip I found the Alaska which sprouted April 11 has flowered! Bright yellow with a hint of orange. The stones are helping the soil to retain moisture far better than I expected! I can water every-other day except in the hottest weather (8" pot).

August, 2010 - Tried something different. Used the nail file method to make a soft spot in the seed coat of 3 Alaska and 3 Tall Single nasturtium seeds. NO soaking. Just to piss me off all 6 sprouted immediately and are flourishing of course. Happily one of the Alaska is a neon red, that will help change things up - the two from the spring were both yellow gold.

September 21, 2010 - I started 5 more seeds with the file method of a Night and Day variety. Two have sprouted already. I am sticking with the filing method for all future nasturtiums!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some Cheap Finds at Big Lots

A friend and I took a walk around Big Lots the other day and made a few good finds. Number one is this set of 3 glazed pots sizes 10.2", 7.5" and 5.5" for only $10. They come in some nice colors too! It was very hard to resist:

The other was a nice wire folding shelf I'd like to hang on the wood fence for some of my little pots, or perhaps seedlings. It was a steal at only $4:

That folding shelf became an even better deal after I saw it's high-end counterpart at the nursery the next day for $52!:

Ok, the second one is made of good quality welded metal and very sturdy...but my $4 one has 3 shelves instead of one! *neener*

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tomato Tubs Update

The other day I wandered into Pier 1 to look at their clearance items and immediatelly noticed this:

They come in coral red or green (pinkish color in the pic is from bad lighting) and are going for $69.95. Whoa. That's a lot of dough to spend for a cool container - though to be fair I think it's meant to be used as a cold drink tub and stand for entertaining. Still a lot of dough and honestly about $50 of that is just for the metal stand part.

It made me very proud that I was able to make my own very pretty pair of metal tub containers for under $20. Here's an update on how those are growing in:

The above pic is the first of the pots I planted. It has Bradywine tomato, purple basil and Scarlet Nantes carrots. Sadly three of the carrots I transplanted into it died the first week (weather got too hot with the metal tub) but I sowed new seeds in their place and you can see some of seedling coming up. The grass mulch was added after the first carrots died.

This one was the second tub I planted about a week later. It's got a Jelly Bean tomato plant, two cinnamon basils, and I sowed carrots around them all. I think the grass mulch I spread is blocking the seedlings from coming up though...

Soon I'm going to put together a post on all the awesome finds I've gotten from the thrift shops....

Mary's Gardening Calendar