I didn't leave the celery stalk soak in water overnight as is indicated in the article, but instead, it sat there for probably an hour or so in water before putting it in the pot with soil, then covered completely with soil and watered.
I must say, I'm just as tickled pink about seeing this growth as my kids were this morning!
milesdt, DG website has this really cool (and I find, very useful for a newbie like me lol) to find out when your last frost date is for your area code. I'd start there to see when your last frost date is, since most seeds I've seen mostly just say "plant after last frost date"
Yeah, I thought this was a really cool idea with the celery too, but, I must admit, I wasn't too sure it would work since it was store bought, ya know... all the "preservative" chemicals and junk they spray on store produce and all. But, to my surprise, it seems to be working! I posted the same link about the celery on my google+ wall (similar to facebook, but I think is way better lol. anyway..). I follow this guy's newsletter, his name is Doug Green, and hes a master gardener. He's also in my "circle" of friends on google+, he commented on my link I posted on there about the celery saying you can do something similar with your cabbage plants as well. Instead, when you harvest the first head of cabbage, cut it close to the ground (but leave a little above ground) and do it so you disturb the roots. Then, quarter the part thats still above ground into quarter sections, and continue to water as normal. He said, each section will regrow another head of cabbage that way!
Here's a copy of his actual comment about this, just in case I miscommunicated anything lol!::
Doug Green - Next time you harvest a cabbage, do it with a sharp knife (don't disturb the roots) - cut a cross in the remaining stalk from side to side about a quarter-inch deep. Each quarter will produce another small cabbage. How big is determined by the variety and how much vigor it has.
I will say, doing it this way, it does seem to be a "quick grow" method, in my opinion. I just checked it again this morning, and found that it has almost doubled in size compared to my picture above, taken on Friday.
I purchased some bok choy & when I cut off the bottom of that
it looked like there were some small leaves coming up so I'm going
to give that a whirl. Will let you know if it does as well as the celery.
From seed celery is 125 days so this would be a real time saver !
from what I understand in the blog post that I read about it in Linda... it regrows the whole plant, leaves, stalk, etc. This is an experiment for me personally, I've never done it before, but I can keep ya updated here on the progress! I'm also posting on my DG blog the progress of it as well.
That's cool Cris! Keep us posted on how it goes!
LOL I think if this celery method works out the way I hope... I'll never have to buy celery again! LOL!
Anytime Honeybee! LOL I'm super glad I came across that article, not sure what made me go searching for something like that, but hey... its an awesome idea I think! LOL like I said... if this works.. I may never have to buy celery again LOL!
My kids got over-excited the other day and broke off one of the stem leaves. My son felt SO bad about it, but I told him that it would be ok, it will just grow some more LOL! Here's a picture I took of it today... now about 10 days after potting...
Thats great news Gymgirl! Glad to hear it is working for you! I was just talking to my MIL about doing that with her cabbage but she said she gets late harvest cabbage so she didnt think it would work out well for her, but if she gets an early harvest type cabbage, she might try it.
These pics were taken 2 days ago. I planted it in a new pot today
and peeled off a few more of the leaves from the old bottom that
are starting to rot away. I give it a mist every day but you can
see from the pics the top is drying out anyway.
Ok, I just read that bok choy is a Chinese cabbage, but the stalks resemble celery without the stringyness and the leaves resemble romaine lettuce... so, QOTD for me would be... whats it taste like? LOL!
When you harvest the leaves, rough chop them into sizeable pieces. Use both the leaves AND the white stem (it is more tender than other cabbage types).
Throw a pat or two of real butter in a heavy skillet, and sautee' 1/2 to 1 tsp. chopped garlic for about a minute. Don't burn the garlic!
Once the garlic has been sauteed, toss in the chopped cabbage and continue sauteeing.
While that's going, mix 1/4 cup Soy Sauce (Regular or Light Sodium), 1-2 tsps. sugar, and 2 capfuls of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small microwaveable cup. Nuke it for about 30 seconds, or long enough to dissolve the sugar.
By that time, pour the sauce into the cabbage and garlic mixture.
In another heavy skillet, melt a pat of butter, and sautee some crushed Ramen Noodles until they are toasty, golden brown (I throw away the SALT-LADEN spice packet...)
Spoon the cabbage and sauce over a bed of cooked white or brown rice. Top with the toasted Ramen Noodles.
Variations include: adding some cubed, cooked chicken breast meat; adding some cubed carrots, frozen or fresh English peas, celery, bell peppers, etc. to the sauteed cabbage.
Bok choy is, without a doubt, one of the finest members of the cabbage family. Easier to grow than many, and has much of the same high nutritional quality of its relatives.
Stalks have a bit of a cabbagey-radishy kind of flavor, but very mild, and a bit sweeter than the sweeter varieties of radish. Like celery, which they resemble in appearance when cross-cut, the flavor is not very assertive. In stews and stir-fries, it will tend to soak up some of the flavors of the other ingredients.
Leaves are a bit more flavorful, but also on the mild side. More savory than sweet, especially the darker green they are. Somewhat reminiscent of turnip greens and mustard greens, but again, quite mild by comparison. "Plays well with others" in the stewpot, frying pan, wok, etc.
If you've eaten at a Chinese restaurant more than once in your life, odds are very good you've already eaten bok choy, and didn't know it.
I mean... C'mon, Mrs. Lidwell, just go ahead and buy some and try 'em out, okay?
If you have kids, it'll be like the old Life cereal ads: don't tell your kids "it's supposed to be good for you," otherwise they'll be chanting "Let's get Mikey!"
Lol I'm sure but I'm not overly worried about its survival at this point. Was just an experiment to see if it would grow at all being from a store bought potato... didn't think it would what with all the chemicals and crap they spray on produce nowadays. Now that I know its possible, if i have enough room in the garden in the spring, I'll retry then, aiming more for produce
Next time, if you can, purchase organic potatoes from the Whole Foods Store. Less likely to have been sprayed with anything...and you get to pick from the spuds, so you can get really nice ones with LOTS of eyes on them!
These are from "seed" potatoes purchased from the "Potato Patch? Farm?"
And, yes, those are old washing machine tubs. The holes made for great drainage!
OMG GymGirl How clever is that idea - washing machine tubs!
I'm always amazed at what people come up with.
Mrs Lidwell I don't think I really have much to add - apparently there
are several bok choy enthusiasts here. I myself use it in stir-fry,
egg rolls and in Egg Drop soup (possibly the easiest soup ever to make).
Do give it a try :)
(p.s. @ Gymgirl, Those sure am some fine-lookin' spuds.)
The only time I tried growing potatoes, I discovered I'm probably not cut out to be a potato farmer.
I mean, all that digging was difficult enough for me when I was much more able-bodied. It would be impossible for me now. But for those who want to try it the old-fashioned way, here's how I did it 20 years ago:
Got some nice fresh-looking Yellow Finns at the food co-op. Not sprayed with growth inhibitor to keep them from sprouting at the store, obviously, considering how well I did with them, and IIRC already had a few teensy sprouts forming at the store.
Cut them up into pieces with one or two eyes on each piece. (Except for the smallest ones, left whole.) Set them aside for a few days for the cut surfaces to dry and firm up.
Dug a trench about 18 inches deep, stirred up the soil in the bottom with the garden fork, worked in a wee bit of bone meal. Piled up the dirt I had dug along one side of the trench.
Placed the cut potato pieces in the trench in a zig-zag pattern so each was about 10-12 inches from the other. From the pile of soil, tossed down enough to cover pieces with a thin layer of soil about three inches deep. Worked in a wee bit more bone meal, watered the bottom of the trench thoroughly, and that was it. I might have added some dried leaves from previous autumn to loosen the soil a bit, don't really remember.
I had read that in England, the traditional planting time for potatoes was Good Friday, so that's when I planted. Checked on Easter morning and I could see cracks in the soil above the potatoes. The tomb opening wide, as it were. Interesting symbolism (?)
Continued to throw down more dirt from on top in small increments as the plants grew higher, until the ground was level again. Harvested a very tasty little crop of new potatoes after about three or four weeks. Was too busy with other things thereafter to check for harvestable potatoes, except once in late November. Didn't find any in the top few inches of soil, didn't bother to dig deeper.
One lesson learned: Growing potatoes in a large container of some kind is said to be a lot less trouble, and I believe it.
I'd still need help, but the help wouldn't have to work as hard. In New Mexico, I'd choose a light gray or white container so it wouldn't get too hot, and I'd place it someplace that gets shade for part of the day.
That would be way too expensive to buy potting mix for the whole container, though, so I'd use a mix of good topsoil and a smaller quantity of potting mix. Good drainage holes, definitely keep mulching the soil surface heavily as the plant grows; probably use grass clippings for mulch.
Everything else just the same, except for one thing: harvest. Just turn that puppy on its side, spill it onto the ground, start pawing through it for potatoes.
Well, potatoes are cheap in the stores, aren't they? Only two things would justify that much trouble for that little savings, to my mind:
(a) Homegrown potatoes ALWAYS taste better. (b) You can grow varieties that are really hard to get any other way.
I'm still aching to try to some yellow fingerlings, chopped into large "home fries" chunks and sauteed in oil, garlic, parsley.
Don't wanna hijack the thread. Would you please dmail me your egg drop soup and ANY other EZ oriental cooking recipes you might care to share. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE oriental cooking, and dearly want to learn to do it at home. I'd eat that and seafood every day!
Sure do appreciate sharing with you guys here. Ya'll seem to be a nice bunch!
That sounded like a very tasty dish gymgirl!
I read an article somewhere that some lady grew potatoes indoors in a tall kitchen trashcan. You can do a google search for "trash can potatoes" and come up with a all kinds of articles and I think some YouTube vid too
I thought about trying that
How long have they been in water only? I only left mine in water for a couple hours before putting them in a pot with dirt (though, the blog article that I read that originally sparked me to try this, the lady said she left hers in water overnight, before covering them in dirt in a pot)
I'd say, go ahead, give it a try in the pot with dirt. They will probably do better once you do because they will get more nutrients from the soil.
MrsL, what a wonderful idea, I didn't know we could do this with celery!! Hmmmm, makes me wonder now about the state of the bunch in my fridge right now.
I've done this with organic store-bought garlic too. Where I shop, I get 2 fists in one package. Separate each clove from the fist and plant them root-side down (pointy side up), covering them with about 1-2 inches of soil. I read somewhere that, if they are planted in late Fall they'll be growing well come Spring. (sorta like we do with bulbs). Well, I planted mine around Thanksgiving, however, considering the lack of Winter weather I've been having, mine started sprouting about a month ago, and now are about a foot tall! We've had freezing temps on and off, and finally had some snow the other day (just a light dusting), but they are still alive and well. ...Wonder when I should consider harvesting them..?..
I'll be giving the celery a try today, thank you! :)
speediebean - I purchased some garlic a few years ago and have reset the largest cloves every fall since. They do grow for a little while during the winter months, and then take off once warm weather arrives. Once the tops have turned brown, they are ready to harvest. Mine are usually ready around the end of June - beginning of July.
The larger the clove you set, the larger the final bulb will be, so I usually collect about a 100 or so of the largest cloves and hide them from my hubby, otherwise he would eat them! He LOVES garlic!
Yep I figured you could do the same with garlic too after last year when I bought a whole bag of garlic lives from Walmart garden center that looked just like the cloves you'd get in the produce isle. I didn't get to plant them tho, forgot about them and didn't store them properly so they went soft :( glad to hear yours are doing well though!!
My celery, mint, carrot tops and an onion bottom all found dirt homes today. Keep your fingers crossed. I also put all of my seedlings out in the garage to start "hardening off" with the hopes of planting them in my bales next weekend.
I'm pretty much just starting some herbs indoors right now as I'm trying to figure out what else I can start now that won't be too early to start. Last year, I started things WAY too early (got over excited and impatient for spring to come lol!) and lost a lot of plants in the process. So, now I'm trying to be a little more careful for this year.
Update of the celery and potato. I've decided to get rid of the potato and try again in the fall since I have no more room to allow it to grow and mature like it needs, and put the celery in the pot that the potato is currently in. Kids weren't happy with my decision, but the potato roots are already coming through the pot,s drain holes lol
Aaaw that's sorta a shame about the potato, but then again, if it's got nowhere to go when it grows up... ya just can't leave a tater homeless!!
Okey dokey, MrsL, I put my celery bottom in a small shallow dish of water yesterday, and you should have heard Hubby when he got home from work and went to the kitchen sink to wash his hands! Haahahahaaaa!! "Heya, Dear? Would you come here and explain something to me please?" LOL, heeheeheeheee *giggle*. So, it soaked over night and is now in a 2-quart growers container snuggled into the growing mix. I'll open the verticle blinds at the back slider door a few hours a day to let it soak in the sun... anything else I should be doing for it? (or *to* it?) ;) Oh boy, this is so exciting and fun!
Albeach, fingers, toes, eyes, and ankles are crossed for your newly potted babies. =)
After I potted mine, I gave it some Miracle-Gro furtilizer ( I fill a soda bottle up with water and put a scoop of the miracle gro in the water and let it dissolve every few weeks) in the water. I do this about every 2-3 weeks or so. Other than that, sounds like your off to a great start to me! The soil mix I decided to try was I mixed miracle gro potting soil with some seed starter mix (mostly just mixed in the seed starter mix since it seems to hold moisture well), and I water it about every 3 days.
Yesterday I started some sweet basil, cinnamon basil, oregano and some mystery seeds (i got as a trade but they must have come out of their package and spilled in the bubble mailer. Wasn't able to tell what kind of seeds they were, so.. another experiment! YAY!! lol!) into the same soil mixture as I did the celery and potato in, and put them in 4 inch pots. Crossing fingers I can make these herbs grow better this year than I could last year LOL! Last year, though, I think I overwatered them lol.
Been itching to start some more things, but just not too sure what I can start now in my growing zone LOL! Spring can't come fast enough!!
I'm not too broken hearted over the potato. Originally I kind of figured the pot wasnt large enough, I was just doing it more as an experiment to see if you could grow more potatoes from a store bought potato with eyes. Didn't really even expect it to grow to be honest, because of the chemicals and all, but, seems to be thriving well... and would be better off if I have something deep enough to keep it in lol! We'll probably try again outside later this year. Already coming up with some ideas on how to do it without having to physically put it in my veggie garden (other container ideas, for outdoor purposes though)
I'm thinking about starting some of my Little Finger carrot seeds in a pot of some kind here soon, since I know they only get to be about 4 inches long. Might be an interesting little experiment for me... who knows, if I can get them to do well in a pot, then maybe I can grow them year round and have fresh home grown baby carrots for soups and stews even in the winter months! How cool would that be?! LOL!
MrsL, did you start your little carrots yet? :) How's your celery doing? I would love to keep seeing updated pictures of it, it's such a cool idea! I need to download my pics into my puter here 'cause after only 2 days my own celery is starting to put out new sprouts/leaves, Yippeee!!! I guess alternating it between the back slider (for morning sun), and a front window-sill (for afternoon sun) is sufficiant. I got so excited about the progress of the celery that I looked at my new head of green leaf lettuce in a whole new way, LOL! Yep, the bottom has been lopped off and is now potted up beside the celery. (I do so hate to see anyone sitting around all alone). I started it over-night in water on Friday night, and potted it up yesterday morning. I'm really excited to see how it does! =)
I have updated pics of the celery in my blog. Forgot to post them all here lol. I need to take another pic of it in a couple days, but first, I'm going to repot it into the bigger pot I think. Just got a feeling that the pot it is in isn't going to be big enough, even though I'm using the size pot that was mentioned in the blog article I read about this idea from lol. It has started to grow a bit more slowly now, hense why I think it needs a bigger pot. I don't see any roots coming out the drain holes yet though.
My spices did start to sprout though! Excited about that! My daughter noticed it yesterday before I did LOL!
No, I haven't started the carrots yet. I might try those out in another week or so, in a pot. See how that goes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that since these seeds I got are only supposed to grow 3-4 inch carrots, there shouldn't be any reason for them to grow well in a 6-8 inch pot?
If you mean a 6-8 inch deep pot, then there is every reason why they SHOULD do well. =) It's enough depth for the carrot and a bit of some tiny little hairy root fibers, just don't over-fill the pots with too many plants.
Your spices are sprouting? All of 'em? =D I think this year at work I will focus more on
"deadheading with a purpose" the edibles like the basils and chives etc.
Yeah, I meant 6-8 inch pots. I was figuring that should be big enough (and hoping... think thats the biggest pot size I have left LOL!)
Yep, a few days ago I planted some cinnamon basil, sweet basil, oregano, and some seeds I call "mystery seeds" that I got as a trade but somehow came out of the wrappings the trader used to seal them up, and spilled throughout the inside of the bubble mailer. I planted them anyway, just to see what it was LOL! All have sprouted. The oregano just looks like little tiny green dots so far above the soil surface, but everything else is starting to form their first small set of leaves. I'll snap a picture of them later and post them up to show ya's. I'm keeping them indoors though, no intentions of planting out.
I actually planted 2 pots of sweet basil and oregano... so I can have one of each, and my MIL can have one of each LOL!
Yeah, the spacing of the carrots will probably be where I fail a bit. Having never done carrots before at all, then to boot, never doing them in a pot, I'm not sure how many seeds I should be able to plant in a 6 inch pot with sufficient spacing between them. Will be yet another adventure, I think LOL! I have done some reading up on it though, and by the sounds of it, one of the biggest reasons for spacing them a few inches apart is to help them grow straight. Personally, I dont really care much if they are "straight" LOL! As long as they are edible... I mean, its not like I'm planning to sell them or anything LOL!
Ves... what kind of carrots do you grow in pots? I'm doing "baby" carrots this year. How far apart do you space them in the pot?
I have used the 12 inch square pot or bigger. Seeds are a couple of inches apart. Plant one seed at a time and the germination has been great. Have planted Danvers Half long, Tendersweet, Sugarsnax and Kuroda at different times.
Ah, I don't have any 12 inch pots... all the pots I look at that are bigger than 6-8inches are way more expensive than I am willing to pay. Might see if I have anything around the house that will work instead, though. I'm starting to save my empty gallon milk jugs now, washing them out real well, to use as containers for plants.
The carrots I'm doing are called Little Fingers. I personally like the shorter carrots' tastes better than the "full grown" sized ones. They seem to have a sweeter taste, and the kids seem to like them better as well.
For the carrots you are growing those pots will work just fine. I have bought my pots when they were on clearance or I couldn't of gotten them either. Another place to look for big pots are at thrift stores.
Yeah, I checked Family Dollar for them last fall, hoping they'd be atleast around the $10 range or less... but even then, they were still going for about $20. I didn't really see the sense in spending that much per pot, when I could have just as easily just bought $20 worth of plastic storage containers and punched some holes in the bottom lol. I didn't do that yet, but thats the route I'm seriously considering doing now.
Yeah, I think for now, I'll just start collecting the larger plastic containers from other things. Right now, I'm starting to collect gallon milk jugs and the 33.5oz canisters of Folgers coffee to use. I'll keep an eye out on the larger pot prices though. I do need to get a bigger pot soon for my dracaena tree anyway.
Gallon milk jugs with the tops cut off are just the right size and shape (square) to make great containers for a lot of plants. It's best to cut the tops off in such a way that the container is about as deep as you can get it. Even if the handle means that the soil space will be oddly shaped, the plants won't care about that. But no plant benefits from being forced to be shallow-rooted.
Because the plastic is translucent, you maybe want to think of some way to wrap it in something that will keep the soil in the dark. Light = possible algae growth = no good. (Even our beloved ocean kelp has to be used in the right proportion for the task at hand.)
Oh Oh OOOH, MrsL, pop into your favourite local nursery/garden center and see if they have any growers' pots left over lying around. If not, ask them to hang onto some for you when they get some emptied out. I know at work we get tons of 'em gathered up and hang onto them in case someone comes along and needs them. (Like ME, for example!) =)
This sounds weird, but I keep my eye out for the plastic or ceramic square tissue (kleenex, et al) box holders at thrift stores or yard sales for $1 or $2. I turn them upside down, put a piece of screen or a flat rock across the hole that is now at the bottom, and voila, a durable and attractive plant pot with drainage. They are not big enough for a lot of our gardening needs, but are nice for herbs, lettuce or maybe small carrots anyway.
"I thought you were supposed to cut just below the handle base?"
It's not a question of supposed-to or not-supposed-to. It's your project and you should do it however you want.
I'm just saying, I wouldn't. From your plant's point of view, more cubic inches = more space for roots to grow into = more roots = bigger, probably healthier plants. So what if it looks funny? The plants don't care about that.
Oh Lise, what a wonderful idea!!! I bet if I can find some plastic ones they'd look nice along that back fence of mine, alternated with watering cans! =) Thank you!!
Petronius, "So what if it looks funny? The plants don't care about that."... I'm sorry to say that my plants do care, they are very self-conscious and like to look their best. Heeheeheee, J/K. You're absolutely right, of course. The trick is to balance out the space ya give 'em for their roots and the space up top for their .. errr, ... upper bodies. :)
You're welcome, speediebean (love your nick). I try to find solid color or abstract designs that look good even when upside down, or the pots can end up looking a little strange, lol. I was going to take a photo of mine (I have four or five now), but my herbs look so bad I don't even want to show you! It's not the pots' fault though, I forgot about them on a windowsill that was out of view and now I have dried herbs, lol.
Never mind, you know what tissue box holders look like.
Gymgirl, it's all MrsL's fault, I now *do* have nearly a whole salad started in my basement. My celery is doing very well, I started a green leaf lettuce (looked at the bottom of it and thought "Heeyyy!!") the other day, and as of today I took one look at the sprouting butt-end of a carrot and thought "Oh why the heck not!?" The celery has several new leaves (or, just a few all bunched close together, heehee), the lettuce has got new leaves on it now (after 3 days), so we'll just have to wait and see what the carrot does. Hopefully 3's a charm! AND IT'S ALL MRSL'S FAULT!!!! < =D
(Thank you MrsL!) =)
I had heard about the celery bit just last week and stumbled across this thread today. Sounds like kismet to me. I have limited garden space for veggies but I can sure do containers. And I just bought some organic 'Kaleidoscope Mix' carrot seeds yesterday with the intent of growing them in a pot (there's a little pot on the front of the Burpee seed packet). All of your wonderful posts have got me motivated to give the celery, potatoes and bok choy a try! Thanks!
*note to self: celery seems to do better around about 72 degrees?*
Had some probs with our heater the last few days, woke up this morning to find my celery dying off... only reasoning I can come up with is it being too cold for it after our heater having issues (was very cold in my house this morning, still haven't figured out what's goin on with it...thank god for space heaters!)
Will be buying more celery and doing it again though lol
Gymgirl... thats actually how I thought most people did it with the gallon milk jugs... cut them just below the handles then use the top parts to rest over the plants to act as the plant's own mini greenhouses LOL! Ok, inquiring minds want to know LOL! What are you growing in all those milk jugs?! LOL!
I've been sitting here the last couple days cursing our weather LOL! I'm SOOO ready for spring! Not entirely sure what else I should/could start indoors NOW, that wouldn't be too early to start. I also have to plan for "transplanting" things atleast about 2 weeks later than usual this year, to give my hubby enough of a "grace period" to put together my raised garden bed we are planning to do this year. I'm HOPING he gets to it early enough in the season so whatever I DO start indoor seeding early, doesn't die off before he gets the raised bed completed and ready for transplants lol.
Oh, and... in the words of my son... "It's not my fault! I swear!" HAHAHAHA!
That's really cool about the lettuce! Woulda never thought to try that LOL! I'm a bit skeptical about how the regrowing carrot will turn out though, since arent carrots actually considered to be a "root" veggie anyway? You'll have to keep us posted on how it goes though!!!
Quoting: I've been sitting here the last couple days cursing our weather LOL! I'm SOOO ready for spring! Not entirely sure what else I should/could start indoors NOW, that wouldn't be too early to start.
Yeah, I feel your pain, I've been doing the same thing. I figure today I'll get to some basic housework (if I can ever pry myself away from DG that is), then... I was thinking... (DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!) ...hmmmm, there must be another more appropriate place I can post my ideas, so I'll do that. ;)
Meanwhile, MrsL, don't listen to your son, haahaahaahaaaa!!!!!! It's all your fault that I'm having so much fun growing salad, accept it! =) I'm so sorry to hear about your celery though! :( Yes, time to go shopping for more, and get a head of lettuce with a nice fat bottom too, while you're at it! =)
I've got each baby in 1-gallon sized pots. The lettuce is in a wider one, but the celery and carrot are in slightly narrower and taller ones. What sized pots are yours (going to be) in? I'll look forward to keeping up on your new babies' progress.
Honeybee, my Mother in Law taught me a neato trick with egg cartons; She has always had a Haayy-ooooooge earring collection, so she stores them in egg cartons. First cut the top from the bottom. Depending on the size of your earrings, you can store one pair per "cup", or a grouping of same-style earrings in each cup. Eg: I've got like 15 pairs of little teeny roses, but all different colours, so I've got them separated my colour group, the pinks are in one cup, the reds in another, greens in yet another, etc. These stack nicely to make a mile-high tower of earring cartons. Then, the tops of the cartons are stacked separately, holding things like necklaces, bracelets, and pins. :)
I think the next celery I try, I'll put it in an 8 inch diameter pot that I had the potato in (cleaned it out, of course LOL!). If I get a head of lettuce to try out, I'll probably cut one of my old, cleaned out, gallon milk jugs to try that out in.
You know, I read somewhere a long time ago that you can use those egg cartons as seed starting pods. I haven't tried it personally though, and probably wont, just because I give all my egg cartons to my inlaws who have chickens, and they give us 1-2 dozen eggs in exchange LOL!
Hiya! =) Okey dokey, tomorrow I'll get new shots of the lettuce *and* my celery for you. And a big THANK YOU for that really cool link, it gives me wonderful ideas! When I want a mass planting of something, I could use a cardboard egg carton (or 2), sow appropriate cups (depending on how dense I want my growth), and when it's warm enough, just plant the whole thing out there, carton and all! (that's why we get the cardboard one). Wheeeeeeeee, MrsL, you are a genius!! =)
Cris, that is such a cool and attractive idea, but I don't think I could ever bring myself to actually drill holes into my siding!! I've been toying with the idea of having DH build me some 'stair-steps', like we use at work for displaying our plants, and using those for a container collection... once I actually get enough containers, that is! =) I'm really looking forward to seeing your bok choy now though!
Ok, here's my little salad as of this morning...
First pic is the celery, Second the carrot, and Third is of all 3 together (lettuce, carrot and celery). I took several of the lettuc alone but none of 'em came out clear! :( I'll have to try that one again when he grows up a bit more.
While I wouldn't consider doing that to my home either, the idea is really neat.
What I was thinking was to have a huge artist easel set up with gutters attached
to a board and propped up against the frame.
Portable & no bending, no weeding, no garden critters eating your salad!
Can someone tell me what I'm seeing in this pic? This is what I found today when I looked at my dead celery that I told ya's about earlier. What are those little pod things on the base of the stems? Assuming they are some kinda pest eggs since I also found teeny tiny (thin but kinda longish, maybe 1-2cm long?) Crawling around there too. Any ideas?
Ummm, well, the carrot already had a tiny bit of sprouting on it before I planted it (I should get to those carrots faster, huh?), but I will say, the sprouting *has* grown since being in soil.
As for your little pod problem, it looks like something laid eggs in there, though I couldn't tell ya what. Maybe it got over-watered? Eeeewwww!!! I think I'll go downstairs and take a closer look at mine! =/
It may have gotten overwatered, but I just don't know what could have got in there and laid eggs. I haven't seen any spiders, ants, ANYTHING in my house in a very long time! And, the soil that I used is gardening soil mixed with a little seed starting soil that I bought from walmart last year and put inside a plastic container to keep the possibility of pests getting in. Just don't know what more preventative maintenance I could have done to stop this... nor do I know what that is to even find out how to prevent it in the future! Its making me worry about the herbs Ive started though, since I used the same soil mix. Haven't seen anything going on with the herbs yet though, but again, it looks like that kinda stuff starts under the soil and works its way up?
I just joined Dave's today and this is the first forum I visited (as I am definitely a beginner) and have loved reading this thread...going to go through my frig's crisper drawer and see what I can start. This is such a friendly group and you've all provided wonderful inspiration..thanks so much!
I agree this is one of my favorite threads too. It was the first thread I started following when I joined two weeks ago. Everyone is so curious and encouraging! . My celery is going in dirt tonight! Hooray!
Wow! Well, welcome to DG GrowingNVegas and 6Michaele3!!!
My son's school aide and I were discussing these little white critters yesterday too, and she had mentioned that when she tries to grow celery, she has problems with fruit flies too. I just can't understand how, if that's what it is, how they can miraculously appear out of thin air! I havent seen fruit flies in my house since, oh gosh, last summer! I can't imagine how they would have gotten into the soil since I keep the soil in one of those 2-3lb. buckets that cat litter sometimes comes in, and keep it sealed with the lid. Its actually why I opted to dump the soil IN that container in the first place, instead of just keeping it in the bag in the basement... to help prevent any critters from getting into it!
And, if its celery maggots... my question still remains, how in the world did they even get there? Like I said, I haven't seen any bugs of any kind in my house in a long while, no spiders, no ants, NOTHING! Its like, whatever this is, just started growing out of thin air LOL!
Regardless of what it is, I know I need to figure out a way to "fix" this problem. Any ideas? I'd REALLY not like to have to use any pesticides (like my son's aide said today when I said this to her... you grow your own stuff to try to get AWAY from all the pesticides LOL!)
If you all have any ideas on how to prevent/stop this problem I'm having, please let me know. I'll even pretreat the soil prior to planting the next celery if need be.
I must admit though, it has me a bit worried about the herb sprouts I have growing. I used the same soil mixture for the herbs as I used for the celery. (on a side note... I didn't see ANY problems like this with the potato I threw out. No pest problem what-so-ever... which makes me wonder if gymgirl is onto something.. maybe celery maggots?) I don't see any "early signs" of anything bad going on with the herbs yet either, but then again, I didn't notice anything wrong with the celery until week 3 after planting either.
Could these things have been attracted to moisture? When I dumped out the soil from the pot outside along our one tree line, I did notice that the very bottom of the pot it looked like it was VERY moist still. Even though the pot had good drainage holes and I only watered it about every 2-4 days. Discovering that, and noticing that even though I haven't watered my herbs for atleast 3 days or more now, I've slacked off on the watering for the herbs. The soil for the herbs is still looking/feeling moist. Maybe I should pull out my tester that tests soil moisture/pH and see just how moist it still is. Hm.
Hehe! I'm glad to see so many people are enjoying this thread!
I too am looking forward to seeing how well the carrot does! I would have never thought you could regrow carrots... but then again, I never thought you could regrow celery or lettuce either LOL! Learn something new every day!!
I am curious about the fungus gnats/fruit flies in potting soil. I potted up Amaryllis bulbs along with some cuttings in Nov from a bag of potting soil (not kept as pristine as yours, MrsLidwell) and noticed a swarm of whatever after a week or so of watering the pots - in my house, in my little greenhouse and even at DD's house in MI. I put out yellow sticky traps and caught most of them and the numbers are down but still have a few flying around. I water only once a week now that plants are established but perhaps that initial drenching of the potting soil started the whole thing.
I have organic celery and carrots to try this weekend so I'm looking forward to your experiments!
I used to have an amaryllis around last Xmas. I don't recall having pest issues with it though... hut I also bought it as a kit that included a pot and soil for it (dunno if that's the difference or not). I also didn't keep it in the mini greenhouse. Instead, I put it on the kitchen table (that side of my house gets about 6hrs or more sunlight). At night I'd turn my stove on warm (lowest setting) and place the pot on the stove top to get some bottom heat (this worked out well for me since I'm literally up all night checking my sons blood sugars) for a few hrs.I gotta get another bulb tho cuz mine died over this winter (hubby kept watering it while I was trying to give it a dormant period... which kept sending it into growth period then die back period lol)
My best suggestion would be when ya get the flies thing under control and gone, try taking them out of the greenhouse. Maybe that'll help some?
Well Howdy and Welcome 6Michaele and GrowingNV! This really has been a fun thread to follow, I've learned some new things (and it's ALL MRSL'S FAULT! =D ), and been really enjoying chatting with folks.
KYWoods, Okey dokey, I'll keep updating here. So far its sprouts are still green on top, nothing's died yet, but no new-looking growth yet... which surprises me. I put all 3 of the babies outside on the deck yesterday because it was so warm and sunny. We had a nice rain last night, and today is around 70* or so and sunny, perfect conditions for encouraging growth. Well, though the carrot might not be in the mood so much, the lettuce and celery sure are! =)
1: Celery, looking "much muchier".
2: Lettuce hasn't lost its muchness either.
Very Nice speedie!!! (and no, its Not my fault... its GOOGLE's LOL!)
Went out and bought some celery yesterday, so once I use up most of it, I'll re-try this again lol. This time, maybe I'll water it every 5-7 days or so instead of 2-4 like I was. Lettuce wasn't on sale, and I wasn't willing to buy a head unless it was on sale (cuz I knew the main reason I'd be getting it right now would have been just to try this idea out with it LOL! We do salads more during the warmer months than colder. Didn't want the majority of it going to waste either! LOL!)
Keep us posted on how the carrot is doing too! Super curious about that as well, though, personally, I probably wont do it myself, just because we get the baby carrots at the store more than the "regular" ones. Everyone here thinks they just taste better LOL. That's why I'm wanting to grow the little ones this year lol.
I just popped out onto the deck to see how things are looking after another nice rain last night, and everyone is still green and happy. The carrot's not died, but it doesn't seem to be doing much either. I'll give it about another week or so, then give it a tug to see if it's rooting at all. I've nosed around in the soil in all 3 pots too, just to be safe, and so far it all looks healthy. Pheewww!!
Planted my Romaine and Celery yesterday before going to work. I swear I did. Came home last night and in a bowl of water was sitting another Romaine. I'm thinking what? Then realized when DH made our salads he very nicely put the end of the new Romaine in too soak! LOL
Found this link for homemade insecticidal soapy spray... at the bottom it says you can add garlic and pepper to this to make it more powerful. My question is... has anyone ever tried that, and does adding the garlic/pepper to the spray change the taste of the plant you spray it on?
MrsL, my guess would be, if there's any sort of soap on edible leaves, then you'd end up eating the soap unless they're washed really really really well beforehand. Also, for the oil, if the leaves get a lot of sun exposure, especially when it's hot, the leaves might burn. Think along the lines of "hot skillet/oil/leaves=burn". The soap wouldn't really be necessary anyhow, as far as bug-killing goes, it just helps the stuff to stick to the leaves better.
And transpiration through the leaves can be affected as well if the oil is very heavy. Horticultural oils come in basically two densities - one for smothering pests when plants are dormant and one that's lighter for using during the growing season.
Gotcha. So, any suggestions for homemade insecticide then? I'd just rather not go buy chemical stuff, and if the organic stuff prices are anything like organic food prices... don't wanna break the bank lol
I just popped out onto the deck to see how things are looking after another nice rain last night, and everyone is still green and happy. The carrot's not died, but it doesn't seem to be doing much either. I'll give it about another week or so, then give it a tug to see if it's rooting at all. I've nosed around in the soil in all 3 pots too, just to be safe, and so far it all looks healthy. Pheewww!!
Aren't carrots slow growers anyway? This will be my first year doing carrots so really don't know, but thought they were slow growers?
My hubby just told my tonight (after I had to PRY the "secret" outta him lol!) About a place that had seeds on sale 4/$1. Might go pick up some extra packets of stuff in case I screw up a couple attempts at some seeds LOL.
I had read a month ago about making a soil drench from mosquito dunks that contain Bti - a beneficial bacteria that attacks the larva of insects in the fly/mosquito family (yep - they're both in the same family). The fungus gnats/fruit flies are included in that family and the larva live in the soil. While I don't have the exact directions handy (basically dissolving part of a mosquito dunk in water with some stirring or aeration from a cheap aquarium filter/air stone), there might be some info over in the garden pests forum or definitely online. As for flying critters, I try not to minimize use of spray insecticides as much as possible (especially for edibles), resorting to the yellow sticky traps. I know there are instructions out there on how to make your own as well (if budgets are lean). I know nothing about celery maggots though as I've never grown it before.
LOL! Speedy... thats why my hubby was trying to keep it "hush hush" when my MIL was telling him about it LOL! He didn't want me to go shopping! Can you believe it?! HAHA!
I'm HOPING to be able to get down there and pick up a whole bunch of stuff... but... not sure if I'll be able to before the sale runs out. First off, dunno when the sale is over... second... My hubby works from today (saturday) through wednesday, then Thursday we will be in the other direction of where this store is, all day, for my daughter's speech and OT therapy appointments as well as grocery shopping. Then Friday, I've gotta make a trip to Huntingdon, PA (a good 1-1 1/2 hrs away, one way), and will be there all day for my daughter to see this special audiologist to get her hearing checked and get evaluated for something called Central Auditory Processing Syndrome. And the following week is just as crazy. Saturday thru thursday will be the same "schedule" as above, but Friday I've gotta take my daughter out to Wexford, PA to see a Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrician associated with the Childrens Hosp of pittsburgh.
I'm also wanting to see if they have any bulbs and things out yet. Haven't seen anyone have those out yet, or for that matter, no one I've seen so far even has garlic bulbs, lima bean seeds, and strawberries. Those are the last three things I need to check off for my list this spring. But, I probably wont find the strawberries for another couple months, I'd imagine lol.
Here's a question for you all...
You know how Topsy Turvey has those hanging planter things that you can put strawberry plants in and will grow the plant hanging? Anyone ever tried putting some of the "vining" veggie plants, like squash, pumpkin, or gourds? My son wants to grow blueberries and pumpkins this year, and I wouldn't mind growing some gourds, but I don't have the room in my garden this year to do the vining or bushy plants lol, so been trying to figure out a way to be able to do these things without taking up a ton of gardening space lol.
I would guess that pumpkins absolutely MUST have a patch of actual ground to grow on (as opposed to a hanging container environment), because the fruit is so heavy... let 'em hang there and they'll fall off before too long, maybe ripping out/off some stems along with 'em. But for blueberries, those should be ok in any sort of container, and probably the bigger the better. If it's hanging, it doesn't have to be an upside down one, unless you like that look. ;)
Blueberries need quite acid soil - a lot of peat moss - to lower the soil pH far enough for the plant to thrive. I'm not thinking it's a good candidate for a topsy turvey though. A large pot would probably be better to capture all of the moisture it's going to need and the space for it's roots to grow.
Lol I think my son is trying to tell me something! He came home from my I laws house tonight, and hidden in his diabetes bag, there was a packet of butternut squash seeds, lettuce seeds, bean seeds, and cucumber seeds! Lol lil stinker.
HAHAHA! Well, I was informed last night that my inlaws plan to send us a TON of soil from their farm (good soil... weee!!!!) for our raised garden bed. If that's the case, I just might be able to expand the garden out more than planned this year. Told hubby that one of the things I wanted to do was set each of my kids up with their own 4ft x 4ft gardens so they can plant anything they want! If we get as much done as I'd like with this project this year... that dream might become a reality, for all of us! *does happy dance!!!*
OH BOY!!!! I am Happy Dancing with you!! Wheeeeee!!! Fresh farm soil, aaaaaaaah, the smell can't be beat!! And, I guess you'll first have to roll around in it for a while before you plant in it? (or is that just me?) heeheeheee!!
I live in Amish Country, so I think real soon I'm going to hit up one of the farms to try to get my truck's bed filled with composted manure. Yeah, I can get a load of compost for $23, but I also want manure too. (greedy little sucker, aren't I?)
EWWW!!! no sling shot!!! LOL! I don't mind rolling around in dirt... but manure?? No thank you! HAHA! Just get some of those "if it fits, it ships" boxes... let the mailman try to figure out what the smell is HAHAHA! (ok, that was kinda mean of me LOL!)
On a side note... I'm assuming now that my little pests that "ate up" my celery, aren't celery maggots after all. While watering my herb sprouts today, I noticed more of those thin, long white critters. Must be something with my soil, I guess?
Trying to decide now how to SAVE these herbs... or just give up trying, go buy a bag of new soil, and try again... throwing out all the soil I currently have :(
I hate to say it, but I would suggest being safe and disposing of all the herbs (or whatever else you've got growing in that soil), along with the soil, burn everything, scrub your pots out very well, and start over fresh. =( In the long run, it'll save you more money, not to mention time and heartache.
We are currently working out where to put our burn barrel this year, in a safe location on our property for burning. We tried to do it last year, but with as dry as everything was, and all the trees surrounding/in our yard, it proved to be a bit difficult. About caught a tree (that's technically on township property lol) on fire. Hubby says itll be ok though, providing we don't have another dry season like we did last year. The herbs aren't really big enough to worry with burning anyway. Still just seedlings. I can just pitch them in an area in my yard where I don't grow anything, I think, and that should be fine.
Come to think of it, I did have this problem with my seedlings last year as well, with this same soil... even when it was first bought! I can't imagine Miracle Gro soils being contaminated with anything?? Because of this problem last year... this year I decided to wash out all my pots using bleach.. figuring it would kill off anything on the pot surface. That said, guess it was my soil after all :( Maybe, if I have time to get to Walmart this week, I'll buy some more soil.
I also planted some Aloe plants that I received as trades in this soil mixure as well recently... While I still havent seen any evidence of these pests in those pots yet, but knowing that it seems like they don't emerge till about week 2 or 3 after planting... do you think it would be ok to just take these baby aloe vera plants out of the potting soil, rinse off the excess soil from the roots, and repot them in fresh soil? Or do you think I should just throw them away as well? =(
I would try rinsing them and re-potting them, however, 2 things:
1- rinse in a weak h2o2 solution
2- DON'T use Miracle Gro stuff.
Ok, there's a reason I say not to use Miracle Gro products, but it's a personal one. MG is all about chemical fertilizing, and I am all about organic. Find a good organic soil/mix and I think you'll be a lot happier. =)
No MG here either. Some folks find the quality to be pretty variable on that product. But I don't want their fertilizers either.
Encouraged by all of the posts, I planted a celery base today. I did cheat and put a little rooting hormone on the bottom to coax the root formation a bit. Planted it a mix of perlite and vermiculite to get it started, in a plastic cup with a lid to keep the air humid.
I've been reading ya'lls thread, and seeing your fun growing these "parts". Looks like you've been having a great time doing so.
In an effort to give you hope and as little frustration as possible, let me jump in for a minute or so.
"do you think it would be ok to just take these baby aloe vera plants out of the potting soil, rinse off the excess soil from the roots, and repot them in fresh soil? Or do you think I should just throw them away as well? =("
Aloe is very forgiving, and extremely hardy. If you wish feel free to pull them up and do as you wish (within reason!) and repot them. Even if the roots break off they'll regenerate new ones. And while looking at the first one you pull up look for those eggs/worms in the soil (and yes, that is what got to your celery). If you don't see any then there is a good chance the rest of your potted aloe is just fine, but you can easily poke around the root system to check for any more eggs/worms.
Yes, there is a chance you had something in your bagged soil mix, especially if it was just sitting around Walmart, especially if it was the lowest bag on the pallet, more susceptible to insect/bug invasion.
You mentioned "I used is gardening soil mixed with a little seed starting soil" ... did you mean gardening soil from your outdoor garden, or a bag of soil marked "topsoil", "garden soil", etc. If so, those types of soil are usually not a sterile product and are more designed for in-ground garden beds, not containers nor seed starting, so yes that in itself may also have contributed to your egg casings.
As for M-gro products, there are bags of M-gro potting mixes that don't contain fertilizer so if you buy them just look for the label stating whether it "feeds for 3 months" or whatever the latest blurb is. Personally, like speediebean, I don't buy them either, preferring Metro-Mix or Fafard or the like.
Hope this is helpful.
And folks, if you go to MrsLidwells member page and see her family portrait you'll see a wonderful picture! Two folks happily in love and two of the happiest most content kids I've seen in a long time. Congrats on a good life, MrsLidwell!
Thanks all! I'll see if I can find some Metro-Mix or Fafard.
Shoe...no, I didn't use garden soil from my outdoor garden (because I've actually got to either repair that soil, or, in some area's, I've decided to do a raised garden bed because the soil is so bad lol!). Come to think of it, I'm not sure if it was "potting soil" or "garden soil" MG soil that I used, because I know I bought a bag of each last year, and ran out of one early on, then used the rest of the other to put in the container with seed starting mix and mixed well. Hm, it may have actually been MG "Gardening Soil"... I just can't remember now =( I think it may have been MG "gardening soil", though, as late in the season last year, I had figured that it might be best to try starting things in that soil indoors till they got big enough for transplant, thinking that it would be close enough to the soil that it would be introduced to (where I actually DO have decent soil, thanks to previous owners of the house lol), and would maybe minimalize shocking them when I transplanted them (thinking about potential variations of pH levels in outside soil. I tested various area's of our "gardening areas" last year to see what the pH lvls were in about 3 different garden area's I was planning... and found out that the front and side garden beds pH was right in and around 5-5.5 and the back side garden area where I originally wanted to try turning into my veggie garden but the soil isn't good there for veggie growing there.. was 6.0-6.7, thanks to years and years of exposure to some kind of evergreen bushes we had removed, as well as a pine tree we have semi close to our house).
I do think that I will probably quit using MG soil though. The last three bags of MG soils I've bought, if I recall correctly, has given me this problem with my plants. Last year was the first time I bought their "garden soil" mix, and every year before that I was buying just their potting soil. Now that I'm thinking about it, I had the same problems every year with them, regardless of the type of mix I was buying. In fact, the first year I started "playing in dirt" (as my hubby called it LOL!) when I looked closely at their potting soil mix, I could see small clearish/white ball things throughout the soil, and I was afraid THAT was the culprit of our pest issues (same pest issues I'm having now)... and those ball things, you could squish and a liquidy substance would squish out of it, and it would make a popping sound upon bursting. But, after thinking about it, and reading up on some things, I figured instead, maybe that was what was actually holding either the furtilizer or acted like some kind of moisture controller or something (lol maybe I was just trying to be optimistic? LOL!). Then, I thought, well maybe these pest problems are due to a bad bag of soil I bought from Family Dollar (as, at one time, I bought 2 bags of MG soil from Family Dollar because its closer to me than walmart, and was cheaper). LOL Hubby even asked me if the soil I used was from that batch, and I told him no, I blew through that soil early last year before finally giving up and tossing it into our "heap" away from the gardening area.
Does walmart carry Metro-Mix or Fafard? Or is this something that I would need to go to a nursery/garden center for?
If I have the time this week to pitch these herbs, wash out the pots, check and repot the aloe, and can stop by the store sometime to pick up some different soil, I will.
"And folks, if you go to MrsLidwells member page and see her family portrait you'll see a wonderful picture! Two folks happily in love and two of the happiest most content kids I've seen in a long time. Congrats on a good life, MrsLidwell!"
thanks for the compliments on my family's picture =) That photo is actually a couple years old so the kids are a bit bigger now, but just as happy and full of energy as ever! Me and hubby were actually just commenting to each other about how happily in love we still are after almost 6 years of marriage )7 years being together, we met exactly one week after Valentines day 7 years ago! Little romantic that he is, brought me a bouquet of red roses on our first date and said "I got these for you because you said no one bought you flowers for valentines day".) We were discussing this because I had recently read an article about the statistics of divorces among families with children with disabilities... and well... we have TWO kids with disabilities. The statistics of marriages breaking up is staggering, and made me thankful to know that I have a wonderful, caring husband who sticks by me and our kids through thick and thin. And to boot, the statistics of divorces among families with children with disabilities was based on one child being disabled, with more than one, the statistics look much more grim! I told him that, according to the statistics I read, not to mention the statistics of divorce in general regardless of having children with disabilities, it seems we have beat some "marital milestones" in our time.. and it feels good! I thank my lucky stars every day for having such a wonderful, understanding, caring husband! Although, *he* likes to consider himself to be a *jerk* LOL! Men... guess they all gotta little macho-man-ism in them! LOL!
Cindy... YAY!! Keep us posted on how your celery does!
Ya think that since I gotta toss these herb plants out and start over again... this would convince my hubby that I need to go shopping again and pick up those 4/$1 seeds? LOL!
Actually, I got to talking to him about those seeds the other day. He just doesn't wanna get them on sale I think. He thinks they are probably on sale because they are left over from last year's seeds, and may not have as good of a germination rate as say burpee seeds that are 1/$1 at walmart. LOL! Like I told him though... I have seeds in my fridge right now that we bought last year... or heck, even got some pepper seeds that I bought TWO year's ago, that sprouted just fine for me last year (though, didn't go much further than that thanks to my realization of how high the pH is where I wanted to start my veggie garden lol)
Goodness Gracious, where to begin!? Cindy, I second MrsL's "YAY"!! Do please keep us posted on how your celery does... with pictures! =)
Shoe, thank you for popping in!! Any time I read one of your posts I know I'm gonna learn something good! =) Eg: I had no idea that aloe was so hardy and forgiving.. which means I'm adding "WS some of my aloe seeds" to my TO DO list for today! =) I've never heard of Metro-Mix or Fafard, maybe they're not products sold in my area? Personally, MrsL, if you're looking to successfully grow stuff and not spend a fortune, I might suggest nothing but a combo of compost and perlite. Now, this would be for your containers. At about a 4-1 or 5-1 ratio. There's just so many reasons why I don't like MG products, especially the fertilizers, the biggest one being that they not only do NOT feed the soil (which should be thrivingly alive), but the way those fertilizers works end up actually depleting life from the soil in the long run. MG is made specifically to feed **plants**, (and not even well, either), completely ignoring the soil's needs or the fact that it's alive. Tsk tsk tsk.
And, as for those seeds... (heeheeheee), I think you should check them out, at the very least. Just look at the expiration dates on the packages and you'll know if they're old ones from last year or not. And, if they are, just sow 'em NOW!
Of course, I **had** to take a look at your BEAUTIFUL family photo, and Shoe is right, what a GORGEOUS family you have!!!!!!! The Love really shines out of all of your happy faces!! < =D
I have actually been considering making a compost pile/bin for quite some time now. My problem? 1. not sure of where I would put it (is this something I can do in my basement, or is it better to do it in an "out of eye-shot" area in my yard?). and 2. I'm not quite sure exactly HOW to do it. I've read articles after articles about this, but... I'm a noob and need it broken down into "Making Compost for Dummies" terms LOL! I think if I can figure out how to do this, this would be a great thing for my garden, as well as cutting down on some waste, not to mention, give me a reason to reuse the coffee grinds I accumulate so much of (that just wind up in the garbage lol). I go through a good 2 12-cup pots of coffee a day on average. I actually just came across this wordpress blog (literally, just now! LOL!) on how to dry/store/reuse used coffee grounds. http://groundtoground.org/2011/04/17/how-to-dry-and-store-us...
I am really starting to fall in love with that blog. It is so informative on the reuse of coffee grounds!
Oooh, I have JUST the book for you!! http://www.amazon.com/Composting-Dummies-Cathy-Cromell/dp/04...
(amazon to the rescue!) That should cover just about all the questions you might have, but if not, then WHILE you're working on your composting pile/bin, then of course ask your left-over questions in here. (like my hint?) ;) My college-attending son finally moved off campus this year into a house with roommates. One of the very first things he did when he moved in is start his own compost pile out back. =) (I'm so proud of my little Tater Tot!)
That is a really cool site about drying coffee grounds, but I wonder... if they're just gonna get thrown out into/onto the compost pile, do they really have to be dried first? Couldn't ya just toss 'em on top and mix 'em into the top layer? We don't go through as much coffee as we used to, since I quit smoking (the association was just too much for me to take, LOL!), but I used to just take the used coffee grounds outside and dump 'em right into the bed. ;) ... Come to think of it, I wonder why I stopped that!?
Oh yeah.. so, this would definitely be something you want to do outside, not indoors. You can make a simple pile, somewhere out of eye-sight but still accessible. When ya mow your lawn, dump the clippings into a pile. Mulch leaves with your mower? Dump 'em onto the pile. Coffee grounds? Dump 'em onto the pile. Left-over (UN-dressed) salad greens? Onto the pile. End pieces and non-edible bits of veggies fresh veggies? Onto the pile. You get the idea. Anything "clean", as in, not buttered or covered in salad dressing et al. Using a gardening fork, "mix" the pile every couple of weeks. If you are anything like my Dear ol' DH and don't want "food" in the pile, then simple grass clippings/twigs and leaves will work well... along with shredded paper and/or cardboard (cut or torn into semi-smaller pieces). (DH has had bad experiences with his Grandma's old composting days... we won't go into that... but it's why I've been very hesitant to start a pile myself).
Anyway, that should get ya started! Now, get out there Young Lady! < =D
Thanks! HAHA Didn't know this even existed!!! I bought/downloaded the kindle ebook version of it (oddly enough, was surprised it was cheaper than buying the actual book! Most of the time, it seems like it doesn't always work out that way LOL! Though you would THINK it would, since it lessens the costs of publications since they aren't using paper!)
I don't have a lawn mower bag on my mower to collect grass clippings, unfortunately :( one of these days.. i hope!
I think one of the reasons for drying coffee grounds is probably because, atleast according to most things I've read about composting and using coffee grounds... the whole pH factor. Too much coffee grounds and other "ingredients" thrown into a composting pile/bin can cause the end product to be too high in pH/alkaline? So, from what I gather, ya gotta be a little greedy with it sometimes, depending on how acidic you want it to be. Plants that require high alkaline soils like blueberries and rose bushes would thrive on mulches with a higher alkaline concentration where other things may die off if the soil is too acidic.
Other than that, if you wanted to just wanted to throw your used coffee grounds in your compost pile without drying it (since the compost pile would be moist anyway?), I don't see why that would hurt, as long as its not being done too excessively (that whole pH balance thing!)
This is actually where the majority of my questions/concerns lie when trying to make a compost pile... keeping things balanced out correctly! That, and, if I were to try to do this in a bin... would I need to add worms to it in order to aide the decomposition process? I guess it would be obvious that if I just did a pile in an out of eye sight location, nature would provide the worms and other critters to help with the decomposition? But if I were to try to do it in a bin, in order to keep things a little more contained... would I need to add worms to help with that? Also, about how long after you start a fresh compost pile does it become usable mulch/compost? Also, other than the natural "ingredients" you mentioned above to toss into the compost pile... is there anything else I would need to get to add to it from time to time? I've read some places recommend adding things like vermiculite (or something like that? lol) and other things I've honestly never heard of but read on DG and other places that experienced gardeners use in their gardens and soils and such?
Will start reading that book you recommended as soon as I get my daughter off to school!
Oh, and as for the 4/$1 seeds, my son picked up some for us to do (remember the earlier post lol lil stinker!) and I checked the exp date on them... says "Sell by 11/11".
On a side note, thought you all would get as much of a kick out of this as I did.
My daughter just told me "Mom... my arm is hungry!" I said, "your arm is hungry? no other part of you is hungry?" she said "nope, just my arm" lol good thing she goes to school soon and will be getting breakfast upon arrival! Don't want her arm to wither away to nothingness! LOL!
Her arm is hungry!?! Haaahaahaahaaaa, how CUTE!! =)
Compost pile... ya don't need anything special, just stuff that God would normally put in there. That's the beauty of it! =) Any non-diseased plant matter, water, and mix, or "turn" it once in a while, and heat does the rest. Yep, it'll get warm, that's what happens in the breaking-down process, so ya give it a flip once or twice a month. In about 6 months to a year ya got compost.
My back hill on the south side is good for grass clippings and have raked and hauled plenty from it. So much at times DH uses the trailer. Then I use it for mulch! Love it but not some of the seed heads at times. Oh well what are a few weeds!
Will take pictures of my celery soon. It is growing good. The romaine is lots slower.
Oh Ves, thank you for reminding me, I did Romaine the other day too! =) I'm looking forward to seeing your celery, I bet it's doing great! I've had mine outside for the last few days 'cause it's been warm enough (at least in the 50's), and not cold enough to freeze at night.
I'm sure the compost book will spell it out but make sure you get enough brown stuff into your compost pile. Grass clippings and coffee grounds are high nitrogen and you'll need enough leaves, shredded newspaper, etc to balance it out. Ever see deep piles of grass clippings smoldering in the hot summers?
I save most of my coffee grounds and just dump them in a big empty flower pot outdoors during the winter and then haul them to the compost pile when the weather's decent. Also good as a top dressing in the garden and it's easier to apply if dried out.
How big of a pot did you put the romaine in again? Maybe it needs more root room?
I don't know that I would really want the grass clippings from *my* yard in the compost pile anyway, to be honest. Not until I fix some of the major issues we have with our grass... if thats what you want to call it LOL! My whole yard is FULL of moss (so much so, I often wonder if I've got a yard of grass or a yard of moss and weeds! LOL!), and we always seem to get some sort of mushroom popping up all...over...the...place... by late summer early fall. What I really need to do is just kill off the whole darn yard and reseed LOL! I could probably ask one of my neighbors if I could grab a few handfuls of their grass clippings though! There's no way I'd rake this whole yard anyway. Would take too long. I try to get the munchkins to rake for me, but haha, they start then lose interest LOL! Hm, maybe I should start giving them an allowance for raking? LOL! Besides, I think hubby told me that we have about an acre and a half of property, thats just too hard for me to do anymore with my bad back. I actually sit on the ground to do all my gardening because of my back! (I got a compression fracture in my lower vertabrae 8 years ago and now my dr says it didnt heal properly which is what is causing all my back pain (though I think arthritis might be setting in too lol) I've actually had to go to PT last summer because it got so bad I literally could hardly move, couldn't stand up straight cuz of the pain, and couldn't even do my housework due to the pain!)
Cindy... I was actually aware of the coffee grinds being high in nitrogen... thats part of why I'm a little nervous about putting all my coffee grinds into a compost pile when I DO start one (Dont recall if I said it on this thread already or not, but I drink 2 pots of coffee a day and just dont want to see the spent grinds go to waste any longer, but I get so confused when all the websites I read on when it comes to making compost (or like on DG... making your own soil mixes lol) when they use ratios, for instance, 4:1, and mention all these different things to add to the mix using these ratios... but not specifying which "ingredient" should be the "more" of that ratio, and which should be less, if that makes sense lol! That's why I've been looking for a "dummied down" version of things LOL!)
However, I didn't realize that about the grass clippings! Thank you! Now that I know that the use of leaves will help balance things out, I'm not *as* nervous. I guess, worst case scenario, I should be able to use my pH tester to see how balanced it is? Would that work, or would I need to look for a different kind of tester?
Also, I know there are "compost thermometers" out there to test the compost's temperature... but, could I also just use a regular soil thermometer just the same, to test the compost?
I also read somewhere (i think on that blog this morning) that the use of used coffee grounds in soil/mulch/compost can help deter/lessen the presence of pests in the garden as well. I'm thinking, since I know that these herb plants, atleast some of them, are already infected with whatever those critters are that killed my celery, but the herbs themselves appear to be pretty healthy still (so far anyway!), maybe I'll sprinkle down a little bit of used coffee grounds on/around the plants and see if that will have any affect on these pests, yet still keep my herbs alive and thriving. Might be an interesting experiment! Good thing I didn't go overboard and use up all my seeds LOL!
I did just notice today, while checking on them and taking pictures, that it seems that once these pests outgrow that "thin, long" phase... they turn into teeny tiny white bugs that "hop" LOL! UGH!
Don't drive yourself crazy over the compost pile. General rule of thumb is nitrogen to carbon ratio is 1:4. You want more brown stuff than green stuff and coffee grounds counts as green stuff because of the nitrogen. If your pile is at least a couple of feet tall (4 ft is ideal but don't sweat it), sitting in the sun, enough moisture from rain (or add water from the hose), aerating by either turning over with a pitchfork or nifty compost tool and the brown stuff (fall leaves, etc) is shredded enough, it should work just fine. Rather than layers of your compost material, you want it mixed up. Unshredded fall leaves will just take longer to break down. Stuff like egg shells are going to add nutrients and won't necessarily affect the pH or nitrogen to carbon ratio. My compost pile sits in the shade (except for the winter) so it never gets hot but I still get compost in the end - just takes a little longer.
Because coffee grounds are acidic, make sure your herbs can handle a reduced soil pH. They might like the pH a little higher but I'm definitely no expert when it comes to herbs. I am interested though in whether coffee grounds has an effect on soil pests. Hmmm - I'm always asking questions.
Hm, everywhere I've read, I could have swore it said that the coffee grounds could cause the pH to actually become higher the more coffee you use?
I don't plan to use a lot of coffee on them, and I dont plan to dry out the coffee grounds either , I'm just going to sprinke maybe 1/4 inch worth on top and see what happens. That shouldn't be too detrimental for them. And if it is... well, lesson learned LOL! I'm very much a "learn by doing" kinda chick haha! I may not get around to trying this until the week after next though, just so ya know, as this week and next week is going to be ultra busy for me and my family. But, I'll let you all know when I do test this out, and see how it goes. I have a couple "doubles" of one or two herbs that I started, so I can leave one untreated and treat one of the same kind of plant with the coffee grounds, and see what happens with these pests (and see if it actually kills my herb LOL!) I've also considered, instead of sprinkling the used coffee grounds on top the soil... putting some in one of my "rags" that I have that used to be old Tshirts and steeping the grounds in some water, then watering the herbs with it... that might be a better option, to ensure it goes from top of soil, all the way down to drainage holes and everything in between. Hmmm... options options! LOL!
About how long does it take your compost pile that is in a shady location take to turn into usable compost? My pile will HAVE to be in a shady location lol.
Your comment about the acidity of coffee grounds had me curious. This is what I found - http://www.gardensalive.com/article.asp?ai=793 Other sources say that it's the unbrewed coffee grounds that are acidic and that brewing removes most of the acidity so at best, it's close to neutral. You might want to check out the composting forum for more information.
The trick to speeding up the composting activity is to make sure the brown leaves are shredded before adding to the pile. Here, I have mostly oak leaves which tend to be leathery. If not shredded or mixed well, they can form a mat that can take up to a year or more to break down. I rebuilt my compost area last year so it contains stuff from late summer and fall. Mostly chopped brown leaves but some not. Already seeing some compost sifting through but I won't be really digging into it for a few more months. The warmer temps and rain of spring will speed things along. I'll probably start sifting it towards the end of May. The pile won't be totally decomposed since it's always an on-going process.
"But then we were sent some test results that showed grounds to be neutral on the pH scale! To find out what gives, I called Will Brinton, founder and Director of the Wood’s End Research Laboratory in Maine, the definitive testers of soils, composts, and raw ingredients used in large-scale composting. Will solved the mystery instantly. Woods End, it turned out, was the source of that neutral test! Ah, but some follow-up investigation later revealed that it hadn’t been coffee grounds alone, as the person submitting the material for testing had stated, but grounds mixed with raw yard waste, the classic ‘dry brown’ material that is the heart of a good compost pile.
It turns out, as expected, that “coffee grounds alone are highly acidic,” says Will, who saved all the grounds from his Lab’s break room for a week recently just to test for us (“Eight o’ Clock” coffee, which I remember fondly from our old A & P neighborhood supermarket). They came out at 5.1, a perfect low-end pH for plants like blueberries that thrive in very acidic soil. “But that’s the most gentle result we’ve ever found,” Will quickly added, explaining that the other 31 samples of raw coffee grounds they’ve tested over the years all had a pH below 5, too acidic for even some of the so-called acid loving plants.
“And in some ways, the grounds are even more acidic than those numbers imply”, adds Will, who explains that the coffee grounds they’ve tested have also had a very high residual acidity; so high he recommends adding a cup of agricultural lime to every ten pounds of grounds BEFORE you add them to your compost pile. (High-quality hardwood ashes could be used instead of the lime, and would add more nutrients to the mix than the lime would.) "
Sounds to me like its not so much the "brewing" of it that removes the acidity, but rather the other ingredients in the compost, that help lessen the acidity overall for the compost, however that coffee grounds alone are still very acidic. Still leading me to believe that if you overdo adding coffee grounds to your compost (too much coffee grounds, not enough other "dry browns") your compost can still be too acidic.
Dunno if you guys can see this in the picture... but I found this rather interesting!
The DAY I planted my celery (that died), I threw another bottom piece of celery outside (well, actually, I had the kids dig a hole and pitch this and some old potatoes in then cover).
What shocks me the most about seeing this... We've had a good hard snowfall since then! But look at the bright green color! Showed hubby and he and I agree, this looks like the celery sprouted! LOL! (Covered leaves and all up again, though. Actually kinda hoping at some point it will just die off and decompose. This is where I had originally thought to start a compost pile, since itll be partially hidden by trees, and its close to lots of leaves that have piled up over the years LOL!)
I'm hoping that the celery actually sprouts some roots. When I was planting mine the other day, I was wondering if there was enough residual energy (or whatever) left in the bottom of celery to get the inner ribs to grow - more of a temporary phenomenon. Hope not.
YAY!! Looking forward to seeing the picture speedie!!
I'd have to say that if its sprouting leaves, it would be safe to say its also producing roots? That would seem logical, to me.
If you want, if I have time, I can go dig up that celery that I found growing in "the pit" (LOL!) and see if it has also developed a root system. It has much more leaves than I recall throwing in there, so I can take a peek at it for you all if you want! Keep in mind though, it may take me a couple days to get around to it, as we have a busy next couple days coming up and I'll be out of town all day tomorrow.
With your busy schedule, don't stress about digging up the celery to take pictures. I'll take a peek at mine on the weekend to see if there's any root growth. The very center of mine is pushing the leaves out. With celery, I'm guessing the leaves had already been formed and the moisture and warmth is just forcing them to expand.
Quoting: >At this point I have rooted celery, carrot, onion, chive, mint, and mango. We will see what/how it will all grow!"
Albeachrealtor, your celery..was it a stalk? The root? A stalk won't create another stalk; a celery root won't grow another plant but will put up new growth, usually leaves and/or a couple of tiny thin stalks. The carrot will tend to grow foliage and sometimes an elongated root but what happens is the root will have a very hard core (inedible) and the top will begin flowering and go to seed. Can you tell I've done this one? :>)
Your onion, if it was a bulb it will rot but will give you some green top to cut off and use in a nice stir fry!
Mint will definitely root and give you a whole new plant, or plants.
Mango? Do you mean you planted a seed? If so, prepare to wait 10 to 20 years for a harvest. Mango trees take a long time to produce but it could be fun to have a beautiful tree/plant in a container as a house plant for a while, similar to what some folks do with avocados, another pretty plant to root and grow.
Ironworker, you'll have to be more specific which type of cuttings you are interested in so we can give a more precise answer.
My tendency is to believe him, no matter how sad it makes me. ;) The best I'm hoping for is for my carrot to go to seed so I can collect them, and for my celery and lettuce to put forth at least a few tender baby leaves that I can add to a salad and feel proud of my contribution. =)
If you're using seed to grow carrots Ves, then you are ok and should have no problem with success. However, if you're trying to grow them from tops, then according to Shoe, all you can expect to get out of it will be seeds. Whatever root you get from growing tops will not be edible.
Was kinda afraid of that in terms of the celery. Have organic carrot seeds to start so I won't try to start the tops of store-bought carrots. The celery would have been nice but I wouldn't have been able to grow enough for our consumption anyway.
I went outside with DH earlier, to show off my Hollyhock sprout (heeheeheee), and he was admiring my salad. Well, upon closer inspection, I found that I actually have a baby stalk growing, it's about 2 inches tall now!! A **real** stalk!!! OK, now I'm really excited! =) Cindy, don't give up hope!
I figure, whether or not we actually DO get stalks or not, it will still be an interesting little experiment... and heck, one my kids are/were loving LOL! I'm still interested to see just how far this will grow. And, ya know, if I get nothing but seeds from them, then that's still A-OK with me. One less seed package I gotta buy LOL! Will be a fun experiment either way!!
I've never used the leaves in anything, but after reading that article, I'm thinking I might try to save some... maybe even toss them in the dehydrator and dry them out to use in soups and such for seasonings :)
Earlier I mentioned a book I have about growing kitchen veggies, and I just ordered an updated version from Amazon. Ebay has it, too. It's called,
"Don't Throw It, Grow It! 68 Windowsill Plants to Grow from Kitchen Scraps".
You should all check it out!
The book sounds interesting. Does the book go into detail as to what kind of result is achieved in terms of quantity/quality? I love the idea of experimenting but, with limited vegetable gardening space, I'd like to maximize the result.
Well, today I "watered" one of my pots of sweet basil sproutlings with what I'm calling a tea of coffee lol. I took some used coffee grounds and put them in a new coffee filter, tied it off, and let it steep overnight in a cup of water. Today, I watered just one pot of sweet basal sproutlings, hoping itll rid that pot of those pesky pests that all my herb seem to have attracted (same pests that I initially found in the soil of the celery) Not sure this will work, or if it will wind up killing the seedlings, hense why i'm only trying it on one pot. A girlfriend of mine said it sounds like its some kind of mite and to spray them with diluted dish soap and transplant them. Problem is, they are too small yet to transplant. Only have first set of leaves. Sigh.
Good luck with the basil seedlings and watered down coffee. When the temps are above freezing outdoors, I water down any leftover brewed coffee, 4 parts water to 1 part coffee, to feed my Hinoki cypress. It kinda sits under the house overhang and can use the water anyway. It does suffer some winter damage so the gentle feeding hopefully helps it recover some of the lost foliage.
Ky - you'll have to give us the scoop on surprising kitchen scraps to grow. :)
I did check in on my celery yesterday and it does have a few roots on it. The inner stalks with leaves are about 2 inches taller than the cut surface. I keep it in a clear plastic Wendy's cup with a lid to hold moisture. Sorry - not a big picture-taker.
Well, the coffee treatment didnt kill my herbs... but, it also didn't kill the insects either. I have noticed though, that with more time between waterings, it seems like the insects aren't nearly as bad. Next chance I get, I'll get some kind of insecticidal spray or something to try to kill them. I hate having to go that route, but, if need be...
It does seem like I'm "flushing" some out with waterings. I see them floating on the top of the water when I go to dump the drip tray.
I will say this much though, I am wondering if these little stinkers might be stunting their growth some. Most still only have their first set of leaves, even after all this time! The only ones im seeing that are STARTING to get their second set of leaves is the oregano, but still, those are still very small in size. So small, in fact, that when I water them, they just kind of flop over and lay on the soil for a bit before straightening themselves out (they arent growing UP). The oregano does seem to be the ones with the least pests though (atleast, the fewest being flushed out through the drainage holes.)
I think, though, since this week is supposed to be in the 65-75 degree range during the day, I'll let them hang out outside for a bit during the day and bring them in at night. Maybe getting some good sunlight will help them out some.
Sounds like your seedlings are way too small to transplant yet into different soil. The little varmints could be feasting on growing roots. The fact that they're being flushed out with watering is promising but still doesn't sound good.
I'm going to try some kind of insectiside that wont harm the herb plants, and see if that helps anything. Just gotta figure out what insecticide I should get, I guess. lol. OY! I mean, the seedlings do still look pretty healthy, they just seem to be growing slowly. For all I know, it could be normal. This is the first time I'm trying to grow this, so, I'm not entirely sure what to expect. They appear to be nice and green, don't seem to be too leggy (though, I'm sure after a few days outside, that'll help them tremendously!), they are just growing very slowly, in my opinion.
Yeah, I let them hang out outside for a few hours today, nicely protected by the indoor/outdoor greenhouse I move around lol. I'll most likely do that every day this week since its supposed to be between mid 50s to mid 60s or higher all week this week, with the occational rain.
I'm thinking (not always a good thing) that your seedlings could go outside when it's in the 60's or above for a few hours. 50's might be a bit chilly for some of the babies. While rain is a good thing for bigger plants, it sounds like your seedlings are still too little to sit in the rain as they'd get knocked down. Can they go under a shelter of some sort?
Yeah, after posting that, I thought twice about giving them a drink of rainwater lol. I can just put them in the indoor/outdoor greenhouse so they can still get some sunlight, the greenhouse will keep them warm (was shocked at how warm inside that baby was yesterday, even though the highest the temp got was 59!), and they wont get smushed by the rain lol.
Ive read that you can start herb seeds (some anyway, the ones i have in particular) outdoors once daytime temps reach 70 degrees and night time temps are above 50. So, I don't see how putting them outside in the greenhouse when its in the mid 50s outside could really do much harm, as long as I put them in an area that would be warmed by the sun. That's what I did yesterday.
So, how's everyone's regrown celery doing? Haven't heard anything from ya's in a while! Inquiring minds want to know! LOL!
I've now got 2 celery bottoms that I can pot up and re-try this experiment... just as soon as my hubby brings me home some new potting soil lol! I asked him to pick me up some on his way home from work today, that and seed starter mix. If he remembers to do so, then this week I'll pot up my celery and start my tomato seeds, and maybe peppers lol.
Amazed at how well our weather has been holding up this week! It's maintained low to mid 70 degree days just about every day this week! Today it's only supposed to reach 64 and have a chance of some storms moving in, but still!!! Makes me wonder if spring has sprung early for us this year! LOL! It's been so nice, in fact, that I've left my potted herb seedlings outside in the indoor/outdoor greenhouse since tuesday! They seem to be doing pretty well still.
My MIL told me I should be able to put my bulbs in the ground now too, so, I might start that project this week as well.
My one celery "plant" has sprouted roots and the interior of the cut base does continue to grow. I started it in a mix of vermiculite and perlite (like I would when rooting cuttings) and will have to think about actually planting it in some soil. Been too busy with outdoor cleanup to do much else. The outrageously warm weather here has me really hopping to get the cleanup done since everything is emerging/blooming early. And while it's oh so tempting to start veggie plants, I still gotta go with last average frost dates 'cause there's still a chance for snow over the next few weeks.
I just returned from Lowe's and Home Depot (searching for different varieties of daffodils) and the garden depts. were swarming with plant buyers. You're right, it's still early, and Mother Nature can be cruel.
That is so funny 'cause that's what DH said when he peeked at the picture as I was posting it. It's funny 'cause he LIVES WITH ME, and yet STILL doesn't know that it's actually a gecko pot-hanger. LOL!!!!!! Can you tell he's not as "into" my gardening stuff as I am? ;)
Haahaahaaa, ok, even though it's pitch-dark outside, I **had** to go outside and get another shot of my little buddy, so you can tell that he's a Gecko. ;) Thank God for flash!! =)
Cute pot decoration. My local raccoons would probably try to eat it. :)
You might get some nice production from your lettuces. I've been growing leaf lettuces in my little GH from seed started back in January. Using the "cut and come again" technique, they're still growing decently. Cut enough leaves just last night for a salad for dinner. I also did spinach but it's really limping along. Not much leaf production even though they're under lights 17 hours a day.
They are looking great guys!!!! I've been dragging my feet a bit lately. Had a lot going on the last few weeks, and now my son's blood sugar levels are just bonkers at night with no real pattern showing up (with no pattern, i cant make adjustments to his insulin). I think he's hit yet another growth spurt and its causing these funky bg's lol... which is causing mommy lots of sleepless nights lol.
I am excited that my MIL brought up a truck load of dirt for me for my garden though! Now I need to level it out, get some lumber and make a raised bed, and ask her for another 1-2 truck loads LOL! Had planned to go out there today and level it all out, but then this morning my shoulder, back, hip and knees started hurting, so I abandoned the idea. Think I overdid things yesterday lol. I spent yesterday making homemade fresh squeezed sugar free lemonade for the kids, zested a full bag of lemons so i could dry and save them for future use, made a batch of potpourri, made rice pudding and cookies lol... on top of the other household chores! Yeah, yesterday, for whatever reason I actually had a huge, long lasting, burst of energy, so I took advantage of it. I wanted to get all that done plus go out and do some stuff in my garden, but by that time, the kids came home from school and i was just beat!
It'll be there tomorrow though :) We were supposed to get some rain today... but it never came.
Oh yes, and Welcome to the official first day of Spring!
Goodness Gracious MrsL you've been a busy little bee!! =) It feels good though, huh, to get a bunch of stuff like that done when you've got those bursts of energy? Nice!!
I hope your son's blood sugars straighten themselves out soon, but you're probably right, another growth spurt and all things go haywire! =) I had a very good friend in high school (and beyond) who was an insulin-dependent diabetic from just about birth, and I can remember being in school helping her check her blood sugars and find a new spot for her insulin injections. =) What a wonderful Lady she turned out to be!! =)
LOL Ya know... even though yesterday I was dog tired and didnt really wanna go out and get yardwork done... I still went out and loosened up the soil in my front flowerbed, levelled out MOST of the farm soil my inlaws brought up, and put my bulbs in the ground... and started to rake the leaves up in my front yard... but then the kids came home and I had to get dinner going and all that, then took a much needed nap after dinner LOL!
My son is on the insulin pump now, and he just loves it! He flat out refuses to go back to shots lol, and he HATES when, on the rare occation that we do have to, give him a shot (usually only when his ketones are so high that nothing else we try doing works lol... so maybe once a year, if that lol)
Today, as soon as im done chattering with my brother on facebook anyway lol, I plan to get back outside and do some raking again. It'll take me forever to do my whole yard (about 1 1/2 acres), but, it needs done so I can throw down some grass seed. I have one of those sweeper things, one we have to walk behind, but its broke. I'm hoping hubby will fix it this year so we can use it this fall! Not holding my breath much on that though LOL!
I was walking through my yard yesterday and found our "first sign of spring!" The first picture is of some wildflowers I planted last year (and reseeded) in my front flowerbed. I tried to bury them last fall, but appearently I didnt do a very good job LOL! The second picture, I'm not sure what that is, but its growing in my flower bed next to my side porch. I can only assume its something that I had planted there last year that reseeded, but I dont recall much of anything growing there. I know I did plant some snapdragon seeds there last year, but they didn't take off. I also planted some cosmos along the boarder, but not that far back to reseed that far back. The last picture is, again, something I have no idea what it is lol. Must be some kind of wildflower that got carried by wind and reseeded, cuz its in a location I havent planted anything in! In fact, they are growing up threw a pile of leaves the kids made and left LOL! My daughter saw them yesterday and picked them though... gave them to her brother LOL! Such a thoughtful lil girl, I tell ya!
Aaaaaaw, what a Sweetheart she is!! I hope you get more of those little blue pretties to bloom 'cause they are certainly lovely!
And, I'd have to agree with your son, the pump has *got* to be the way to go! Julie (my high school friend) eventually got a pump, but they were not available back when I was in school... just a "few" years ago. ;)
Don't you love those little flowering surprises!? I had some Dianthus pop up last year that I KNOW I didn't put there. THANK YOU little birdies!! =) I've not had time yet to get outside again, working and going to the dentist.. ugh. I've got a handful of bags of compost in the back of my truck that have yet to be put where they belong. =/ And DH has got plans for a date tomorrow during the day, (I'm off work this weekend), so hopefully I'll have time when we get home. =)
The pics are of the 'surprise' Dianthus (annuals) that I had pop up in my driveway-side bed last summer.
I had some of those in my wildflower mix last year! They really are a pretty little flower! I don't remember those little blue flowers being in that mix though... but, I wouldn't be surprised LOL!
Yes, the pump is defintely the way to go! We love it, and it has opened up so much more freedom for him! I just heard that the FDA has approved clinical trials for the artificial pancreas too (and on humans now... outside the hospital setting!) I'm still not completely sold on that idea as of yet. To me, it mostly sounds like a glorified insulin pump and CGM. I dunno, think I prolly just need to do more of my homework on it before I get a sound, educated opinion on it.
I didn't get to put the lime down on my lawn yesterday like I had planned to. We had to take my daughter to her therapy appointments, then get her registered for kindergarten next year! Didn't even get to do our grocery shopping yesterday! Gotta do that today lol. Since it's supposed to rain tomorrow though... I prolly should do the lime today lol. The day before yesterday, I had also "raked" up a bunch of moss from my front section lawn, both by hand and using a kind of rake thing. I told my hubby, I will NOT do the rest of the lawn like that! Man o pete, that was hard, tedious work! I got a lot of it up though... filled up almost half a 30 gallon kitchen trash bag of the stuff! Now, question is, how do I dispose of it lol. I don't want to throw it in the pile that I want to start a compost pile. Might not be good for making good compost LOL! Maybe I'll see if hubby is gonna find a better location for the burn barrel he brought home from work last year, and burn the stuff lol. Hubby wants to go grocery shopping today, and stop at best buy for something... think if we have time, I'm going to ask him if we can also stop at walmart or something and see if they have garlic, onions and lima beans out for planting yet. Thats all I need left from my list of things we want to grow this year lol. Might also see how much a bag of grass seed will cost us lol.
Oh oh oh, WAIT!! Don't do your grass seed now, I beg you!! < ='( I've been going over this with customers at work left and right, Fall is the time to over-seed, now's the time to work on weed prevention and spread your compost. We mostly grow Fescues in my area, which are a cool-season grass (yeah, some of you will be surprised that some people actually grow a tall fescue on purpose, LOL!), so I'm guessing you grow cool-season grasses in your area too. If you're not opposed to corn gluten for crabgrass prevention, then throw that down, water it in lightly, then top dress with compost, and lightly water again. Dr. Earth has organic weed killers if you find a need for that this Spring, but otherwise, wait until Fall for your over-seeding and at that time, another top-dressing of compost. =)
Have to agree with Speedie. Cool season grasses should always be sown in the fall. We had to break the habit of seeding in the spring. Summer comes on too fast for baby grass plants. Putting down corn gluten for crabgrass has very tricky timing. If put down too late (crabgrass has already germinated), it won't do anything to kill off baby crabgrass plants. It'll just feed them.
I had some bad habits to break when I started working at the nursery, and Spring seeding the lawn was one of 'em. I had no idea of all the "why's" behind it, so I just figured, seed is seed, whatever. HA!
Thankfully I was an early bird and got my corn gluten down about 5 days before my neighbor's Forsythia started blooming, and theirs was even early, it started blooming nearly a week before I saw any others in my area blooming, so now all I have to deal with is Oxalis and Chickweed! =)
I am just now starting a compost pile, so I don't have enough for the whole yard yet :( I have no intentions on buying it for an acre and a half of land, plus garden area LOL! Its just too expensive from what I've seen. With all the other projects we have to do (and some we just want to do), I'm a bit on a budget this year.
I can wait till fall to throw down the grass though, that's no biggie, but, I can put lime down now, can't I? This front area of land is very acidic. I just checked it with my pH tester and it was about 4.8
Most of my weeds in my yard consist of moss and dandelion. At this point, I'll take a yard full of stinking dandelion over this moss! It literally covers my entire lawn! Not a whole lot I can do about it though, since I can't get rid of a lot of the trees that cast the shade in my yard (technically they are on township/borough property). I think we are going to check into seeing if they will remove atleast some of these trees, the nearly dead ones, this year though. We have several that are close to the house but on township/borough property that are dying.. branches falling off of them every year (sometimes big branches). Will soon become hazardous if not taken care of. I'm always so worried that a branch will fall on the house or our car.
Anyway, all the trees casting shade in my yard is whats causing the moss to grow. The moss has taken over my lawn mostly. I used a metal rake thingy on the front patch of the yard to get the moss up and have a good 1/4 kitchen trash bag full just from there (and this front patch isnt very big at all!). There's no way I'll do that on the rest of the lawn though. It killed my back, was sore for several days after that. And, if I have to wait till fall to throw down grass seed, I don't want to mess with the moss now then just have big patches of dirt all over my yard LOL! Bad enough the front yard is gonna look like this all summer LOL! Sigh. I ever tell you all how much I hate my yard? LOL! Its so difficult! LOL!
On the plus side, I did get the 2 celery butts in some GOOD new soil hubby bought yesterday! Also started some seeds (though, some of them I prolly started too early, but, I just couldn't wait any longer LOL! Got antsy. Atleast I have loads of seeds left if they do die off lol!)
We have a lot of trees and moss as well and we've been working on our lawn (albeit moderately) over the years. Yeah, you can put down lime for your soil pH. One thing I would recommend (based on experience) is to aerate your lawn in the fall to improve the soil condition. You can put down any mild fertilizer (no weed-killer though) and sow your grass seed. If you can, it's also a good time to top dress your soil a bit and improve contact between the grass seed and soil. You could top dress with compost or composted manure. I think the general "window" for this is between Aug 15 and Sept 15. Yeah, you'll have to keep the seed watered but really just enough to keep the seed damp most of the time. You could use a moss killer in the spring if you're so inclined. We grow a clumping fescue so that while it may look sparse when it sprouts in the fall, it'll start right off growing in the spring.
My one celery plant is actually growing into petite stalks at the moment. I did move it from rooting medium into potting soil so it should really start growing well now.
I have had a tremendous problem with chickweed for the past couple of years. And you're right! It out-paces creeping Charlie quickly. Time to get out the trusty Bernzomatic this week and tackle the stuff while it's blooming.
CindyMzone5 wrote:I have had a tremendous problem with chickweed for the past couple of years. And you're right! It out-paces creeping Charlie quickly. Time to get out the trusty Bernzomatic this week and tackle the stuff while it's blooming.
Uh-Oh, the Flaming Rambo is back!! < =0 LOL!!!!!!!
I have GOT to get an up-to-date picture of my celery, it's really growing well!! The 2 lettuces, .. not so much. I ended up poking around in the soil the other day to check on them, and when I nudged them they were so loose in there I gave 'em a 'tug' (to check their root-ed-ness in the soil), and OUT they came!! I guess they either didn't like what I put them in or they just don't grow like that. (seems I may have heard that from someone before, **wink**). My celery, however, has got a good number of baby stalks and oodles of really flushed-out leaves, AND it's really rooted in the soil very firmly. My carrot that I have out there has only got a few thread-like roots and isn't growing so much, but it's not dead or rotted! LOL!!!!!! I had some left-over green onions that I didn't have any immediate plans for, so instead of letting them go to waste (like I knew they would), I potted them up and they're doing really well, too. I think I'll snip some off and use 'em in a salad this week! =) (but, I'll take pictures first!!)
speedie - carrot tops - I put some in my worm compost bin a few weeks ago and they sent out roots! Don't know if it's because they were in the dark or the moist and possible nutrition in the worm bedding with compost prompted that or what. They were organic carrots so don't know if that made a difference. No, I'm not digging them out of there to grow on. :)
MrsLidwell - did you ever conquer your soil critter problem?
No, but it doesnt seem to be bothering the herbs that much. I didn't repot or throw out those herbs that I spotted the critters in. In fact, those pictures are of the herbs that had the critter problem. I still see some things crawling around the soil, but not nearly as bad, and these critters look a bit different than the ones I was seeing before. The only thing I did was cut back on watering frequency and I put the pots in the greenhouse and put the greenhouse out on the front porch in a partly shady area for a couple weeks. I did have to bring them in last night though, because this week its going to be a bit too cold for them. But, so far it seems like things are going well, with or without critters lol.
Yeah, I'm thinking cutting back on the water and increasing the a out of sunlight and warmth might be what's controlling things. The herbs sure do look a lot healthier now lol. I'm hoping this cool weather spell don't last very long do I can get them back outside in the greenhouse again lol
I got home from work yesterday to find that **someone** (musta been those DRATTED squirrels!!!) had been DIGGING around in some of my babies on my deck!!!! Ooooooh, if I'd had a shotgun at that moment, bullets woulda been FLYIN'!!!!! Even one of my pots of Chaste Tree seedlings had been dug into!! And my ONIONS had been dug into, too!!!! I thought they didn't like onions!?!? Thankfully most of my Winter Sown containers still had their tops over 'em, but they (or it) had dug into one of my WS jugs of Veronica seedlings too, man oh man. And they dug up my little carrot baby, but thankfully they left my celery alone. Sheeeeesh, gonna need to "hair-ify" EVERYTHING now!! =( Time for another trip to the hair dresser. **snff!!**
DD was down from MI over the weekend and of course we had to go to one of the garden centers. This year, she's gardening on her rental's back deck (as opposed to her for-sale property in TN) and is discovering squirrel problems. She bought some bird netting that she can cut to size and drape over her pots. They don't seem to bother much here but they don't come up on my patio anyway.
Oh, nooooo, speedie, that's terrible! I sure know how you feel. I have taken to gardening on other peoples' property, 'cause of just that scenario. I have been yanking weeds and transplanting all afternoon at my sister's neighbors place. They live in a condo community, so there aren't many critters around.
So far it's been working really really well! I stick hair into all my bulb-planted pots and areas and the squirrels don't bother those, but I was getting low on hair, that's why all my babies on the deck were hairless. But, NOT ANYMORE!! Muuaahahahaahaa!!
I learned from my hair dresser today that the hair is also supposed to be good for deterring deer! She said that one of her customers collects hair regularly and puts it into plastic shopping bags, then hangs the bags around on her fruiting trees, and the deer don't touch 'em. Neato! =)
Prolly started some of this too early, but... got cukes, tomatoes, peppers, triple curled parsley, oregano, beans started... the cukes are the tallest, tomatoes are sprouting too, and beans should pop up any day now! Oh, lettuce is poppin up too lol!
Your lettuce is popping and mine pooped out. Haahahaaa!! Those "butts" from heads that I had sown did not make it. They were healthy and all, but when I nosed around in their pots, I found that they were not putting out any roots, and there was a cone-shaped hollow up into the base of each one. Hmmm, odd. There were no critters or anything funky growing in the soil, they just simply hollowed-out in the middle, even while they were putting forth new baby leaves. Anyway, they are gone now, BUT, the celery is doing VERY well. I really should have taken pictures when I was out there yesterday; I'll try to remember to do it this morning before I leave for work. The carrot.. I dunno, the greenery on it is still green, so other than watering it, I try to just ignore it. ;)
I started my tomato seeds last night and peppers a couple of days ago. Have been soaking my parsley seed before planting (read that somewhere) but have to make up a few paper pots for those. Have to be careful of the tap root when transplanting and, since I'm clumsy and inpatient, they're better off in paper pots that I can just plop into the ground.
I did start lettuce seeds a few months ago to grow indoors and have gotten several salads from them. They haven't bolted yet so I think I'm good for a few more weeks. The spinach however didn't last long before bolting and not a lot of leaves either. Have already tossed that one.
Celery bottoms I put in milk jugs about a week ago. So far so good it seems :-)
Ky... I'll bet u can use Dixie cups the same way :-)
Have heard of other ppl using them as seed starters, tho I dunno if its OK to plant cup and all in soil. Never tried it, mostly cuz I didn't have anything to put under them to catch water drainage lol.
Ky - I'm sure there are videos out there but I'll give you the rundown. I have a wooden pot maker that I've had for years but you can use a soda or beer can instead or even a beer bottle. Don't wrap the newspaper too tightly or it will be hard to slide off of the cans made from soft aluminum (or whatever). Cut newspaper (try to avoid colored inks if possible) into 3.5" x 10" strips. I always eyeball the dimensions. Roll the paper around the can, leaving enough hanging off of the bottom of the can to fold all together to make the bottom. I use the tiniest bit of tape to hold the bottom together. Then slide your paper pot off of the can. You can adjust the height of the paper pot depending on whether you like them shorter or taller. If you want to develop really deep roots, make your pots a little taller. I have found that, once off of the can/bottle, the top of the pot wants to unravel a bit. I make the pot a bit taller and then fold down the top edge, sort of like a cuff, and it'll hold together a lot better and be a little more sturdy. Now you're ready to fill them with soil and plant your seeds. You can use them for small transplants as well if you run out of small pots. I have used 9 oz plastic cups in the past when I'm planting "up" and do reuse those every year but sometimes I just don't have enough and hate to buy more plastic. Make sure you poke holes in the bottoms of any plastic container (I use a metal skewer.) I generally use paper pots for seeds of plants that dislike root disturbance because I can just plant the pot and all in the ground. Sometimes I'll tear off the top edge of the paper pot so that it doesn't stick up from the soil or act like a wick. And I generally pack filled paper pots pretty closely into a tray which generally helps prevent them from drying out too quickly. Hope my instructions aren't too garbled.
Thought I'd take a few pics of what were growing so far :-)
First pic is of the second attempt at regrowing celery.
Second pic is of our flat of lettuce, beans, oregano, triple curled parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and lemon balm. The lemon balm and beans don't seem to be making it tho.
The flower is a tulip my kids picked for me at their grandparents house this weekend and gave to me for easter. And in the 4 small pots, are the herbs I've been nursing lol, basil and cinnamon basil, and some mystery seeds I think are also basil lol.
Alas, my poor celery plant succumbed to intense heat in my little GH over the weekend while I was gone. :( Had it sitting in the sun (which has been pretty strong for this time of year) and I'm sure the temps got to above 90 in there. I'm also thinking the root system just hadn't developed quite enough to supply the plant with enough moisture. Always more to try though and it was a fun experience.
We haven't talked about our celery growing experiments in a while so I thought I'd bring this thread back to life by giving a little update on how mine is doing. Yes, it's still alive and kicking! It got re-potted up and put on the benches out back in dappled sunlight and WOW it's happy!!! Here's how it's looking now... I think he'll need to be eaten soon! =)
The first pic shows it in its entirety, and my goodness it's tall! It's about 18" tall or so.
The second pic shows a bit closer-up view of how the main stalk looks. True, I don't have a bunch of stalks like they come at the grocery store, but I plan to eat this sucker just the same. I'll let y'all know how it tastes! =)
Thank you! I'm really amazed, to be honest. It seems that once DH and I got that back bed finished and got the benches in there, all the stuff I put back there really seem to be taking off, including this celery. I re-potted it before sticking it on that top shelf there, and for the most part have simply been ignoring it for the past couple weeks since I put it there. Good thing I went to check on it on Sunday! =)
I remember reading somewhere that someone (don't remember who now... Horseshoe, maybe?) had said something about celery not doing well this way... darn, I wish my memory were better! Anyway, I guess my thumbs are greener than I thought. =)