So I’ve mentioned the garden here and there this week, but I haven’t been giving blog readers the bulk of my tales like I did my Facebook friends. They’ve been getting pictures and updates while my blog readers have just been getting a few tidbits here and there (minus my cloning post).
Here are some garden pics for you. The basil is in pots and I need to cut it back a little (pesto anyone?). It went surprisingly well from the aeroponic garden to soil. I thought for sure the relative dryness of the soil (compared to a aeroponic environment) would cause too much stress on the plants. I thought for sure they’d die. I was hoping to keep the basil going most of the summer (if possible).
Next – no we haven’t started putting up the greenhouse because other chores have needed doing, not to mention we’ve been getting a lot of snow and rain still – not to mention high winds which I’m told is unfriendly to small, lightweight greenhouse panels. I did manage to get extra clips for the panels though and DH and I have decided to caulk the panels in. The fun weather is not unusual for April in Colorado anyway. So here it sits under the tarp until the weather decides to cooperate.
I started the tomato, tomatillo, and pepper seeds. Most of the seeds are already germinating except the peppers. But then peppers do take a bit longer for germination. They do look a bit leggy and I’m wondering if I need to replace my grow lights or if they’ll beef up a bit once they get bigger. After all – they’ve only been in the aeroponic garden for two weeks and have just begun sprouting. I’m finding small sack spiders seem to love not only the aerogarden but all the little hidey holes in the seed starter. I have to clean out the the water unit tomorrow and add some nutrient. There are the same number of seedlings on the other side, too. These are all heirloom varieties. This is my second time trying heirloom tomatoes. The first time I got a few seedlings from a friend and I was a new gardener at the time. So I planted the tomatoes and they got big – but they didn’t start producing flowers until practically September at which time the growing season was almost over. I didn’t know a lot back then. Things like I didn’t know tomatoes needed to be fed, caged, and their water monitored (they need a lot). Not to mention I had them in a bad part of the garden. They probably weren’t getting enough sun. But live and learn. It’s been quite a few years since that attempt, I think I’m ready to try again.
Some other interesting facts about heirloom varieties that I keep hearing is allegedly they just don’t naturally produce the same yield as hybrids do. I find that fascinating. I guess we’ll see. I’ve had fantastic luck with the hybrids in recent years now that I know what I’m doing. I am giving a few of the plants to my Sis in Law. Don’t know if my sister wants any. I should ask. I’ve got quite a few seedlings started and I don’t know if I have enough pots to plant all of them. I also need to remember to get some calcium supplement for my soil. Every year on at least one plant I end up with blossom end rot. I didn’t know what was up until a neighbor told me to amend the soil with powdered milk because it was a calcium deficiency.
And finally, here are my new clones. Just cloned them this afternoon. One is a pine tree that was growing under the fence. Rather than just cut it down I thought it might be fun to try to get it to root, let it develop a nice root ball, and then transplant it somewhere in our yard where we might want a tree. The second is a clone of my rose bushes out front. My mom mentioned wanting a rose bush and I told her I’d be happy to try cloning mine. It’s still early enough in the season that if it doesn’t root I can go buy her a rose bush and plant it for her. Why buy the plants if you can clone them for free? I used CloneX cloning gel. I should know in the next week or so if the clones are rooting. I have to watch for stem rot according to Wheezy.
The seedling house is up and ready to go for hardening off the seedlings and other plants once they’re ready to go outside. I have learned that here in Colorado you don’t plant ANYTHING until after Mother’s Day unless it’s a cold weather veggie.
Finally, screw it, I’m going to announce my forthcoming book which is already underway. My friends Brid and Val (two magickal herbalists who I’ve been taking instruction from and learning a great deal) have talked me into writing a book about my adventures in gardening and working with plants magickally. We’ve been discussing it since late last year, but I only recently gave in to the idea. I look back through my blogs, journals, and pictures from the past ten years and believe it or not – there’s A LOT of plant history there. Ever since we bought this house I’ve been trying my hand at growing this or that. My husband is constantly tripping over my pots or asking me what I’m growing now. He’s even suggested our need for a food dehydrator after large, abundant harvests. Last year I had quite a bit of sage (since we took out the existing herb garden – which will eventually be replaced), Lavender and Lemon Balm. Even before that – I was the houseplant maven. I just found out a few weeks ago that back in the nineties I had the nickname “Planty Steph” and “Aloe Steph” because I grew several exotics in my kitchen greenhouse window. I was always giving people Aloe Vera plants. My greenhouse kitchen window with Northern exposure was perfect for propagation. I also grew Venus fly traps and several other tropical plants. My little apartment was very planty.