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Where does the time go? Was browsing google images and came across some of the garden photos I had posted here ages ago. And I thought - how did I lose track of blogging here. Oops! Maybe because our daughter had a baby girl and we were helping her out with 80 hours of daycare a week!!! And that was just the beginning of a whirlwind of activity. But things have eased and I'm back honing my website: www.herbgatherings.com
and pursuing all sorts of herb, garden and fairy related delights. I have an enchanting fairy blog on my website if you're interested in the wee folk.
I am so excited to finally be starting a garden! My boyfriend bought me a bunch of amazing seeds for my birthday so I could start the garden I've always talked about wanting. I have never tried growing things from seeds, so we'll see how this goes.
I planted the seeds that could be started inside at the end of February and so far they're doing pretty well. I have seedlings for the Delpenium, Forget-Me-Not, Pansy, Viola, and Thyme. That's everything I've planted except for the Spanish Eyes; for some reason they are not growing :-(
I think I am going to plant some tomatoes this weekend. From what I have read it seems like the time to do that. This is all totally new to me and I really hope this works!
So we're starting to see a few more sunny days and I'm starting to get more motivated to get outside and do some things. . .
A few days ago, my friend invited me to come over and help liberate some of her bluebells that have taken over her front beds. . .and being the great friend that I am, I rushed over to help her out. We barely made a dent in her bed and I had about 30 bulbs to take home! I finally got to transplanting them today. . .I had an idea where I wanted them, but didn't realize just HOW many I had until I went to start planting them. Holy cow. I spread them out all over out yard. They should be pretty when they establish themselves in the coming years. . .
The oregano and garlic container is not looking so hot. I'm gonna mix it up a little compost tea and see if that helps. If not, oh well, I guess. The sage is looking pretty perky, too. The other oregano is still looking pretty good and we've still got plenty more garlic, as you can see. . .
31 January 2011 - Day 17 (Round 1) and Day 12 (Round 2)
Back from Montana and a few more things popped up while I was away. . .
Upstairs, the cilantro finally decided to make an appearance (not just in that one corner) and one of the Tokyo Green Onions stood upright.
The Detroit Red Beets and the Golden Beets have finally showed up. There are 6 sprouts (in 4 different cells) for the Detroit Red and 3 sprouts (in 3 different cells) for the Golden. Seed leaves are open on all the sprouts.
Nothing else is showing signs of life in the seed tray upstairs.
I finally got a tomato plant! The Green Zebra decided to come up. . .I thought it was a Sun Gold at first, but am damn glad I marked the jiffy pots! I sure would have been in for a surprise, expecting little orange tomatoes and get bright green bigger ones instead. But no more tomatoes, or peppers have decided to come up. My guess is they want a fashionably late entrance.
No new sprouts for the cucmbers, but the three that have already sprouted have opened their seed leaves and two of the have started budding their true leaves. . .once the true leaves open, I'm going to give them a little watered down liquid fish fertilizer snack. . .and if no others sprout by that time, I'll wait a couple of weeks and plant some more cucumbers so we have plenty this season.
So one broccoli has opened and one is still in the soil. Not sure what's taking that one so long - the other seemed to just spring up and this one looks a little lazy to me. Been laying in the dirt since before I left for Montana.
The Edible Pod Peas have still only sprouted 2, but both are looking very healthy. Hopefully more of those will pop up soon, but if not I'm planning a succession crop of all the peas in another 3 1/2 weeks or so. . .
The Homesteader Peas are all up, but one of the sprouts looks a little brownish yellow, so I don't think that one'll make it and if it does, it may not last very long. All the others look healthy so far, however.
The Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas are doing the best of the peas, by far. All 6 are up and healthy. I'm thinking about starting a growth chart for all the peas just to see how fast the different varieties grow and all that. . .more work, but would be fun to see the change.
The second Mallow pot finally sprouted. Only one so far, but those seed leaves have already opened up. The first pot is doing very well, too.
The Rosemary has emerged and opened their seed leaves. No signs of life in the second pot yet, but maybe soon?
There is some life in the Garlic Chives, but nothing upright yet. Those look like they should go upright in a few days.
The Chinese Lanterns I've got downstairs have more than a couple random sprouts popping up. It'll be interesting to see what they turn into.
And I think I need to grab another grow light and set up another station for the plants. Totally running out of room for the seedlings downstairs and I have only 1 shelf left upstairs. . .
01/19/11 - Day 5
Seeds started this round:
1. Detroit Red Beets (seed tray)
2. Golden Beets (seed tray)
Sowed 1/2" deep in standard mix. 1 seed per cell, 6 cells per variety. Seeing as it's only 55 - 59 days to maturity with these, they should pop up in a few days. . .day 5 for these guys and still nothing. . .
3. Yomogi (seed tray)
These seeds are totally new and I happened across them in a random trip to Uwajimaya in Redmond with my mother, so i figured why not? Following the directions on the packet, it said to sow them 1/2" deep, but the seeds are super tiny, so I'm not quick sure how that is supposed to work. I put them in 6 cells with the standard mix, but not sure how many seeds per cell since they were so small. The packet also says that it's 45 days to maturity, so I should be seeing something pop up out of those cells soon. . .
4. Dill (seed tray)
Sowed 1/8" deep in standard mix. 2 seeds per cell, 6 cells. The packet says I should see sprouts in about 2 weeks, depending on weather & soil. Being that it' sitting in a seed tray on the kitchen sill that gets about 10 hours of light a day, it should be sooner rather than later. . .
5. Celery (seed tray)
Sowed 1/8" deep in standard mix in cell packs. 2 seeds per cell, 6 cells. These guys shoud pop up around the same time as the Dill (or so says Mr. Ed Hume).
6. Italian Basil (seed tray)
Sowed seeds in 1/8" deep in cell packs with standard mix. 1 seed per cell, 6 cells. Not sure when it's supposed to sprout, but I'm not expecting to see anything going on in these cells for a while. . .
7. Husk Tomatoes (3" jiffy pots)
Sowed in 3" jiffy pots with standard mix. 4 seeds per pot, 7 pots. Put these behind the Sun gold tomatoes in my insulated light box in the garage. The packet says they should sprout in about 2 weeks, so right along with the Dill and basil. . .
8. Garlic Chives (4" nursery pot)
Sowed 1/8" deep in the nursery pot in standard mix. located outside insulated lightbox, but near the heat lamp. The packet says they should sprout in 7-14 days. Keeping my fingers crossed as this is another I've never grown from seed.
9. Red Kale (re-purposed 20 oz. water bottles)
Sowed 1/2" deep in standard mix. 2 seeds per bottle, 4 bottles. I placed these next to the garlic chives, outside of the light box since they are more cold hardy. . .not too sure when these are supposed to come up, either. . .another new addition this year.
Since I'm running out of room and containers in the garage, I'm starting to improvise. . .
01/14/11 - Day 0
I got my set up all work out in the garage. . .I took one 8' table and set that up with two saw horses on either end and foil lined a styrofoam fish ice chest to insulate and put that in between the saw horses. I also mounted a 24" grow light (thank you, WalMart, for your wonderful deals) onto a 2"x4"x40" board and set that on the lower part of the saw horses. Since our garage is still cold, and our weather hasn't decided whether it's still Winter or maybe an early Spring, I also got a heat bulb that kicks out a little bit of light, but will hopefully keep the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers happy till the weather evens out.
Seeds I sowed today:
1. Echinacea Purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
These seeds I stratified. . .sowed them 1/4" deep across a tofu container with my standard potting mix (2 parts potting soil, 2 parts aged steer manure, 1 part perlite) and covered with plastic wrap and some duct tape to seal, then stuck in the freezer in a corner. From what I've read, it's supposed to be for a month or more, but I figured a week would be fine to try and if it fails, just direct sow them into the ground come March or April. No harm no foul. . .but if it works, it's all good. ;o)
2. Cayenne Pepper
I sowed these into Jiffy pots (the 3" ones to start) with 6 seeds per pot with my standard mix. I then placed the jiffy pots into clean yogurt containers for additional insulation and wrapped in plastic wrap. These were also placed closest to the heat lamp since everything I've read has said that these will germinate when the soil temp is around 80 - 85 degrees F. The packet said that they will germinate in 10-25 days. . .and since today is day 10 with no signs of life, I'm inclined to think it's more like 25 days in my garage micro-climate.
3. Sun gold tomatoes
These guys were sowed into the 3" Jiffy pots as well (2 seeds per pot, 4 pots) - I remember doing them in the cell packs and failing miserably since they don't like their roots disturbed. Since tomatoes are such warm weather plants, I've placed the tomatoes next to the cayenne peppers (just for their proximity to the heat). Their packet says they should germinate in 5-10 days. . .not so much. Working on day 10 with abo#@!$ely no signs of life.
4. Green Zebra tomatoes
Sowed these guys EXACTLY the same way I did the Sun golds. . .just on the other side of the peppers. Same germination days, same result as the sun golds (so far). . .
5. Lincoln Homesteader Peas
6. Sugar Sprint Edible Pod Brush Peas
7. Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas
The peas were sowed into the cell packs, 1 seed per cell sowed 1" deep in standard mix. 6 cells per pea type. I also left the plastic cover off the tray and placed the peas as far away from the heat lamp as possible so they stay relatively cool. As of this afternoon, I have 2 sprouts (seed leaves and all) from each of the peas. . .even though they're from 2006, hopefully they are as viable as the were last year (100%).
8. Large American Flag Leeks
Sowed the leeks 1/8" deep in standard mix in cell packs (1 seed per cell, 6 cells). Their packet says I should see some little sproutlets show up within 6-16 days. . .nothing yet, but I'm hoping for the best. This is the first year I've grown leeks. . .
9. Lemon Cucumbers
I sowed these in the cell packs as well. . .1/2" deep in standard mix (1 seed per cell, 6 cells). These were placed in the seed tray on the side that was closest to the heat lamp. The packet says should sprout in 5-10 days and 1 showed up this morning! The seed leaves haven't opened yet, but at least it popped up. . .hopefully the others will soon follow suit.
The last ones to go in the garage seed tray. . .I sowed these in the cell packs, 1/4" deep in standard mix. 1 seed per cell, in 6 cells. I picked these seeds up from Central Market in their bulk section (who knew they had seeds for sprouting in the bulk section?!?) so I'm not sure what variety they are, but I figured I'd give them a try this year. . .and if they don't work, then another year of store bought broccoli won't kill us. . .
I've always bought the starts for these in any place I've lived, so starting rosemary from seed is totally new to me. I sowed them 1/4" deep in the 3" Jiffy pots (4 seeds per pot) in the standard mix. These should start in 10-20 days. . .no signs of life yet, but I am pretty optimistic about it. ;o)
I've never been too into growing and caring for flowers (what's the point? You can't eat them. . .or at least most of them), but I do like to look at them. And since I've got all this time on my hands, I figured "why the hell not?" and sowed some. I sowed these into the 3" Jiffy pots (2 pots, 4 seeds per pot) 1/8" deep in standard mix. . .their packet said they should start to sprout in 20-30 days, but I've got 2 cute little sproutlets coming up in 1 pot! And the first one came up two days ago. . .not bad for 20-30 days. . .now if only I could work the same magic with my tomatoes. . .
13. Green Onions (Tokyo Long White)
Before I realized just how big these guys are, I sowed them in a rectangular container with the cilantro (we eat a lot of salsa at my house) 1/4" deep in standard mix. The brown container has been sitting on my kitchen shelf with no plastic covering. The packet said they should sprout in 6-16 days and I've seen signs of life on the green onion side, but no seed leaves yet. Once these guys get big enough, I need to go in and pot them up into containers if the weather doesn't straighten out by the time these guys are ready to move. . .
Because we eat so much of it, and I always end up wasting so much of a bunch, I'm growing this stuff in the kitchen. In the other half of the brown container (see Green Onions, above), I sowed these seeds 1/2" deep in standard mix, aiming for about 1/2" around all the seeds. Not sure how long it takes them to sprout up out of the dirt, but after 10 days, there are no signs of life on that side. . .
Hello....I know there a lot of herb lovers out there...I have my favorites and even grown some I'll never be able to really use...I'm not knowledgeable enough to use them safely...but this book is a must for anyone who grows herbs and may want to use them. Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs There are recipes...history...companion and toxicity. Add this to your library and refer to it, then to be sure ask a qualified herbalist.
Today was the end of my anticipation! Today I woke up to find one of my one dollar rosebush deals in bloom! It's my Snowfire Rose. AND ...it has two more blossoms coming up beside it! The song that comes to mind when I view this rose is: " I'm so excited!" by the Pointer Sisters and yes, I am so very excited! This is the rose bush I didn't think would make it and here it is the very first of the dollar roses to be blooming and not with just one blossom but three!
Here she is..isn't she beautiful?
Here is this star's close up! I'm really pleased with this photo!
The next part of my day was to find that the little herb garden that my grandaughter and I planted together is doing well. It was started in a small box but out grew the box, so I transplanted it to the dollar deal - copper herb box that I got from Wal-Mart Last year. They wilted a little bit when I divided them and I was wondering if they would make it and as you can see by the picture below, they did :) I just loved doing this project with her!
The last part of my Happy Gardening day was long time in coming. The song Oh Happy Day comes to mind when I think of this task! Today I attacked the Ivy Forest with the big guns! We mixed Crossbow with a generic brand of round up, per a professional's advice. Then we added Dawn dish washing detergent as a surfactant. I am really going to be waiting inpatiently to see the results. I didn't have enough to do the entire bank of Ivy but the summer is just getting started here...(muhahahaha) and there is time! If you need a reminder of what it looks like here you go:
It's worse than it was last year but minus the rat family that had moved in. At least we had gotten rid of those. When I see the Ivy dying enmass I will let you all know. I am really hoping to see a big difference!
I also dusted my Moon Flowers and Morning Glories today. I found that something had been munching on them a little and they aren't very big. If I didn't get the critters now, I won't have any vines at all. If I get good results with the Ivy Forest, I will post pictures. That's all for now folks, come visit through the garden gate again sometime. *hugs to all*- CG
I mowed the lawn, I ought to have said the pasture. For my lawn is home to all sorts of botanical species including that unwelcome poison ivy.
Before I took my lawn-mower out, I made a careful inspection of the ground and plucked a small basketful of dandelion greens. I washed them before boiling them in salt water and sauted them serve myself a green side dish.
I am not a health food fanatic but I will not hesitate to take wise counsel from friends who are better qualified and better prepared than I am. I will serve myself the dandelion meal several times before they dry up and then dig up their roots, dry them up to make myself several healthy cups of tea.
There are patches of wild strawberries growing wildly and lustily fruiting in my yard right at this moment. I may not pluck enough to make jams/preserves but I certainly intend to enjoy them with brown sugar and cream.
This is the advantage of living in the country. We have a family of wild turkeys visiting us now and then but I promise, it has never crossed my mind one of them would reach my table. Yes, that is the promise of a nature lover.
First Day In The Garden
The weather was beautiful and since there is so much to do in preparation for the vegetable garden as well as the flower garden I spent most of the day in the yard. Weeds to pull, lawn to mend and mow, sidewalks to edge, patio to fill with potted flowers and planning. It felt good to be outside in the fresh air. There is something to be said for getting dirty, smelling the earth with the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face. The last of which gave me a slight sunburn – go figure – in April!
I am well known for unique combinations of colors and plants in the pots I place around the patio. Although most of the more interesting plants I use aren’t yet available this early in the season I couldn’t help buy but a few of the typical varieties for a colorful pot or two. I can bring them in at night if it gets too chilly. And of course I had help from the pups and interference from the cat. Well, in reality I had interference from them all but Sharkey, in her usual way, looks as if she’s lending a hand.
In one of the pots I used some flat leafed parsley. In my experience parsley likes to take over the herb garden and I have better luck putting it in pots with my flowers. Here it stays a bit more manageable. I don’t cook with as much parsley as I do the basil, cilantro, and other herbs so it’s a good option. It also fills in quite nicely and doesn’t seem to mind when I pinch it off here and there.
I weeded about forty feet of what will be the flower garden, checked the roses – I think I lost one, but will give it a bit longer to bud. The clematis vines are on their way back and this morning there were crocus blooming and what looks like grape hyacinth and tulips coming up! This part of the garden encompasses about 140 feet in total. There’s lots of work to do.
Don't you just hate it when life gets in the way of your online blogging? Wish we could get an "Excused" slip from life...."Please excuse Stephanie from all motherly and/or wifely chores for a period of no less than one (1) hour." Okay so excited about our upcoming visiting relatives! We are searching for fence building quotes, nothing fancy just a nice chain-link metal fence with one gate. The one problem might be we have a very rocky, dense clay yard that slopes quite a bit down the back. The in-laws are coming and my Father-in-law is going to help my Husband build our shed and my Mother-in-law is going to help me get my garden squared away! She has a formal degree in botany!
Now about my mystery bulbs coming up in the front yard, I belive I have identified them. I think they are crocus, hyacynth and a smattering of daffodil's. Only time will tell. We had beautiful weather for a few days and now it is back to rainy, cold, yucky, weather. I heard on the news this morning that there is a chance of flurries!! IS IT NOT MARCH??? ARGH!!! Planning a trip to Lowes today...gonna window shop the plants and seeds. I am planning on a veggie/herb garden in the back yard, except I need it to be a little raised because of the 1) dog watering plants and 2) Dense clay soil. Anyone have any idea's or building plans, lol.
I am trying desperatly to lure birds into my yard, I have a hanging feeder, but they just sit in the trees and stare at it. We also have rabbits in the area and I would love for them to hang out in our yard, my son (and two cats) would love to see more wildlife. Any ideas??
Many doctors are now not wanting to give antibiotics for ear infections which is mostly good news. Here are some suggestions about what I do to get rid of them.
My mom always put a few drops of peroxide in each ear, let it bubble for awhile, put in a tiny bit of cotton and then turn our head in the other directions so it could empty. Then we would do the other side if necessary. I still do that but then follow it with drops of CBG (a liquid of herbs that calms the ear and fights the infection) or Garlic oil.
If anyone else has any herbal helps for earaches or colds, let me know and I will put it on my blog. I want to get as much cold, flu, and related stuff out there before it really hits.
Thanks, Barbara http://barbarasherbbasket.word
Hi all, I haven't had time to play in the garden for the last couple of days - I have been catching up on housework. I am having a proceedure done on Monday and I will be out of commission for a couple of days. It's not serious, just enough to make me miserable. Anyway, I had to go out and get groceries and went to Wal-Mart. On my list was spray for the roses, rooting powder for the lavender and slug bait. Found the spray, couldn't find rooting powder and forgot the slug bait. That was because when I was looking for the rooting powder, I found an herb starter kit. It had a nice oblong tin/copper like planter, herb seeds- basil, parsley and chives and the peat pellets were included. This kit had been $10.00 and they marked it down to $1.00. So I snatched one up. Now I can get started growing herbs!
Well that's about it for now. I probably won't be online much tomorrow, but I will try to read the blogs if I do get online. Hope you all have a blessed week to come! *hugs* -
It was a long winter up here (Winnipeg, Canada), with spring delayed by a few horrible, rainy, cold weeks. Things seem to be finally improving, though on the Prairie one day could be baking while the next is snowing. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Tomorrow I'll be buying plants, but in the meantime my parents allowed me to dig up a bunch of stray lily-of-the-valley plants, which I planted in the north-facing front yard, as there's a big gap between two azalea bushes which are just barely budding now.I hope it spreads into a beautiful, thick mass in the coming years.
We also divided a mass of garlic chives, which I planted by two rose bushes. I'm planning to dot herbs all around the flower beds as part of a companion planting experiment.
Perennial herbs will go in the flower beds, and annuals will go in the vegetable garden, as that plot is dug up every year anyway. Planning some basil and dill by the tomatoes too, so I'll see how that enhances its flavor.
Pictures coming soon! Not much to see yet, and lets hope this weather keeps up.
I'm in Alpharetta, Georgia visiting with my daughter, and last night I ran across an Encyclopedia of Herb Gardening while we were in Barnes and Noble. I snapped it up for less than $10, and I am dedicated to reading and understanding much of it. Of course, when I saw the photos of the herb gardens in the book, I had to chuckle at my little garden that seemed so impressive before. Ha ha. But it is impressive and pleasing to me, anyway.
My husband is caring for my garden in my absence (fingers crossed -- he knows how important it is, and I believe he will do it --- but let's hope it rains anyway. ha ha ha)
A couple of things I've learned already .... there are more herbs that I thought, and more things than I thought are considered herbs (if that makes sense). Secondly, according to this book, "leaf edges are a good clue to help you identify unknown herbs. By incorporating herbs with different leaf shapes into your garden, you will give it added visual interest." I really didn't think about the leaves at all when I planted my stuff, other than to admire how pretty the herbs were in their own different ways, but I will go back and pay attention to that when I get home. I have just learned that there are at least this many types of leaf shapes:
trifoliate, dissected, simple, toothed, entire, lobed, lanceolate, obovate, oblanceolate, linear, oblong, elliptical, and ovate (and combination toothed and lobed)
then there is the leaf arrangement to consider, which is "the way the leaves are placed on the stem":
odd pinnate, palmate, even pinnate, opposite, whorled, and alternate
I still can't tell from looking at the pictures which leaf shape cilantro fits into (sigh), but the book says it has "finely divided leaves." I looked this one up because it is not doing well in my garden. I planted two plants in two different areas, and neither is shaping up. The book says "full sun for seed production but some shade for best leaves." I have some shade in one area, less in the other. Maybe I should check the soil pH. I haven't done that at all yet.
Any tips on growing cilanto?
I spent the morning taking most of my tomato seedlings out of my mini greenhouse and putting them in front of a sunny window. About a dozen have been at the window for a couple of weeks now, having grown too tall to stay in the greenhouse. Soon I'll start the hardening off process - putting them outside on mild days and bringing them back in at night. We're still getting overnight temperatures of about 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
Every tomato seed I planted has now become a vigorous 'teenaged' plant - tall and gangly. I'll be glad when I can put them into my garden, but I won't be able to do that for a couple of weeks yet. When I do, I plant them horizontally: I pick back all but the top tuft of leaves then put the plant into a foot-long trench horizontally. I hold the growing tip up and cover the rootball and bare stem with soil amended with compost. Roots develop all along the buried stem and I find that my plants are stronger and require less water during dry periods. In order to protect them from the strong winds in our area and to concentrate the heat, I save and scrounge all the 1 gallon plastic containers I can find (We buy ice cream in those containers.) and cut the bottoms out of them. I tuck the bucket around the plant and shore it up with soil so it won't blow away. When the plant has grown taller than the bucket, I remove it, leaving the hollow around the plant to collect the rain, and replace it with a cage. I save my eggshells all year, break them up with a quick pulse of my blender and scatter them around my plants in order to keep slugs at bay. I've been using this method for more than ten years with unrivaled success.
I wish I could say I've been as successful at starting herbs from seed. I planted six various herbs in peat pellets, but have only been successful with parsley and basil. I doubt I'll try again. I like to try starting various plants, but it's a lot of work and, other than the tomatoes, I'll simply buy them from a nursery.
Similarly, I've tried to start caladiums indoors this year, but haven't seen any sign of growth yet. I haven't given up on them yet, because I have no idea how long it takes them to form plants.
Well, I'm going out to work in my beds here before heading to the farm to plant peas and lettuce. Happy gardening everyone.
I am so pleased with the blooms on my orchid plants this year. I have a vanda, many phalenopsis, and cattelya in bloom. they are all over my kitchen counter and back porch. It is so rewarding when I look out my kitchen window each morning with the early sunshine streaming on them.
Can I hear from someone else who grows orchids and herbs. My herb collection includes rosemary, basil, french thyme, parsley, eucalyptus and fine leaf thyme- not sure of the scientific name. What a lovely feeling when you can just pluck herbs for dinner each evening!
Just joined the community, awaiting to hear from you out there.