So I think it’s time for a winter garden update. First let’s talk about Dwight the Mandrake. I mentioned in another post earlier this month how my nephew was taking care of Dwight and how Dwight was looking awesome when we got home from vacation. Then within a week, Dwight wasn’t looking nearly as good. I discovered it was because my nephew was watering him with purified water. I began doing the same and have not had a brown leaf since. Of course about the same time I was realizing this, Dwight’s grow lamp went out and because he’s in a room where other grow lights are on, it took me about two days to notice Dwight was in the dark. Mandrakes don’t like the dark, just FYI. Then the fabulous Harold from Alchemy Works suggested a foliar fertilizer, which I’ve been doing. So since Dwight was looking well today, I decided it was the right day to re-pot him. He is, after all, a Saturn plant, and today is Saturday. You can see a picture of his root there. He does, in fact, kinda look like a man, but with only one leg. Maybe another year in the pot will produce a second leg. Regardless, next autumn I’ll re-pot again and perhaps take some root cuttings for new plants.
In the meantime, Dwight will sit in his pot, under his light. Another two years or so before he begins to flower or develop seeds. Once I get seeds I’ll attempt to germinate some of them. I sincerely hope I can keep him going. If you’ve ever seen a mandrake flower – they’re gorgeous!
On that note, I have both lettuce and pepper seedlings. I initially started seven pods of lettuce seeds in the aeroponic garden and only two of them germinated. I’m a bit miffed about that, but it wasn’t a complete loss because I decided to grow two tomato plants with the lettuce. I should know if the tomatoes will germinate in the next week or two. Both of my pepper plants germinated and are in the seedling stage. One of them just got its secondary leaves. I have no doubt I’ll have two viable, pepper producing plants before too long.
Here you can see the lettuce and the tomato pods waiting to germinate. And in the next picture (below) you can see the pepper seedlings along with my wormwood and lemon balm. I’m hoping those seeds will germinate in a week or two. Might have to set up the big grow lamp this winter yet. In other news, I brought the sage in. I would have left it outside (where it’s been all summer and all autumn), but figured — why should I let it die back for the winter since it still looks healthy? So I brought it in. She’s quite happy by the window with the other houseplants. The bamboo was a brilliant move on my part and does well in the indirect light of the family room. The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), which I usually kill because they need more light than I have and more water than I usually give, is also doing well. I’ve even managed to keep a small areca palm among all my philodendron’s alive for over a year. Even the venus flytraps, the sundew, and the pitcher plant are all still alive and well since I put it under it’s own little grow light. I think I’ve mentioned before how lacking in light my house is. Hence my need for a greenhouse and all the grow lamps.