New Addition to the Family

Yesterday morning I stopped in at the Hyde Park Garden Fair.  I’ve never been, but I heard a few people mentioning how nice it is and how quickly the plants go, so I figured I’d check it out. 

I got there around 9:00, and the parking lot was full.  As I pulled up I saw many people with lots of plants heading to their cars.  Do I need any more plants?  No.  Right now I’ve got more plants than ground to put them in.   But…I’m still looking for a mini bell pepper plant because I’m thinking it’s too late to start them from seeds.  The first vendor I asked about it had never heard of a mini bell pepper.  I gave him a little homework to do.  Maybe next year he’ll have some for sale.   Hint, hint!

The next vendor had something I had never heard of.   Rosemary “Prostrada.”  My rosemary seeds didn’t germinate too well, and the few that did didn’t make it (may they rest in peace).  These are ladies that were selling a really nice variety of herbs.  Makes me wish I knew more about how to cook with fresh herbs. 

And here she is, my newest baby.  I think she’ll be gorgeous in a  herb basket or container.

I showed great restraint and that was the only plant I bought, but when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, they had hanging baskets marked down to $3.  I even showed great restraint there.  I only got two and I gave one to my mother-in-law.  However, I feel  like I’m getting close to a flare-up of plant-a-seed-aholism.  I’ve already started in the house and planted into the garden lettuce, peas, turnips, mustards, rainbow swiss chard, broccoli, brussles sprouts, flat leaf parsley, spinach, onion (sets), Martha Washington asparagus (tiny  but still alive)  and, of course, the yellow squash.  Waiting to be planted and getting shuffled in and out every day are the tomatoes (Brandywine and Sweet 100), bell peppers (green and yellow), jalapeno peppers, muskmelon, sage, basil (patio and big leaf), corn, egg plant (fingerling), bush beans, zinnias, marigolds, second round of mustard greens, second round of spinach, okra, yard long beans, Armenian cucumbers, a couple sugar baby watermelons, and one last squash plant that had a near fatal accident which I’ll tell you about later when I’m sure he’ll pull through.    Everything grown from seed and most things looking pretty darned good.  I did buy a couple plants.  I found a Stevia, literally hot off the truck.  The Bonnie Plant guys were offloading their truck and had just put them on the shelves.  I divided the plant into three pots and I’m still figuring out where I’ll end up putting them.  And I did buy a four-pack of peppers.  Who could pass up a pepper called Big Bertha?  Not me.  And I shouldn’t forget I’ve got the gladioli bulbs and the Jersey Giant asparagus.

Gardening is my therapist and, boy, am I getting a lot of therapy.

Happy Gardening!!

Seedling Sunday

The biggest gardening activity now is trotting plants in and out getting them ready to be planted in the ground (which I get a three-day rain break).   Too bad it would be committing plant murder if you just took them from inside on the shelf to outside in the ground.   This hardening off process is a little tedious.

Anyhoo…here’s a little update on my babies.

Here are the habaneros (picture taken on 4-14).  They’ve been potted in larger cups since this picture.04-10-09-6

Here are the globe basil (planted 3-18, picture taken on 4-4).04-04-09-261

Here they are on 4-17 growing in egg shells and a few Dixie cups.04-17-09-61

And here’s a comparison of the regular basil planted a couple/few weeks before the globe basil.04-12-09-122

Here’s a picture of the peas growing in the “hoop house.”04-15-09-51

 

 Here’s the ginger.  It started sprouting in December, but I didn’t plant it until about a month ago.04-17-09-41

 Here are the peppers from Annie’s Granny, the transplanted California wonder peppers, a couple globe basil, and one borage being grown in a soil block of sorts.  It was the last seed to germinate, and I scrunched the dirt around it and stuck it in with the other plants.04-17-09-81

  Here are the basil and the petunias.  I had good intentions for an Easter post, but what can I say?  The petunias have growth rates all over the place…big, medium and small.04-17-09-101

 Here’s the petunias (again), the California wonders (again) and the cat grass/wheat grass.  It came up really quick, but I should have planted the seeds thicker.04-17-09-131

 Here are some lettuce and broccoli I just transplanted.   I ended up planting them in the ground yesterday.04-17-09-141

Here are the egg plants started in soil blocks on 4-1 (picture taken 4-10)04-10-09-9

And here they are today.04-20-19

And the tomatoes.  I’m only growing three kinds: Generic cherry, generic cherry, generic beefsteak.  I started them in flats as opposed to individual pots, so I’ve been transplanting and pottting up and I haven’t been diligent about labeling them.  I think I can distinguish the beefsteak from the cherry, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to distinguish between the two cherries.  One is prettier and one has bigger tomatoes.  Oh, well.  Next year I’ll do better, but here’s one of the biggest and a couple of the smaller ones.04-20-19-7

And here they are on the growing rack.04-20-19-4

Lastly, the cucumbers:  Lemon, bushmaster and pickling.04-20-19-3

 

04-20-19-9

That’s it for today.

Happy Gardening!!!!

p.s.  All you folks with your plants already in the ground, don’t laugh at my little ones.  They’ll catch up when we get some warm weather around here.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

I almost missed todays Bloom Day, even though I’ve been waiting over a week hoping these blooms wouldn’t fade.  I guess the relief of getting my taxes filed washed everything out of the memory queue.

Eight weeks old and past ready to be out in the fresh air.

04-15-09-31

  • Started from seed on 2-15
  • First flowers started opening 4-1
  • Blooms, bud formation, roots almost potbound screaming to be planted out 4-15

Happy Gardening!!!!

Habaneros. Mama’s favorite.

A good mother never admits she has favorites among her children. Well, I’m going to be a bad mother today. Don’t tell the others, but my favorite babies are the habaneros.

Just look at them. Aren’t they cute? Nice color and shape. Nice compact growth.

04-10-09-7

I knew last year that I wanted to bring little habanero plantlets into the garden. Yes, this was a planned seedling-cy. I even harvested my own seeds from a surrogate habanero. Here she is with a couple prickly pear cactus (also known as nopales which, sadly, they are no longer with us. They died during rooting.)

habanero-and-bunny-ear-cactus

Because I wanted to insure a sucessful outcome, more seeds were implanted than were needed. Then it happened. It took. The seeds were germinating. Out of all the seeds planted, we had 12 healthy seedlings enter the world. They started out slow, but today they’re holding their own.

Habaneros are one of the hottest peppers known to man. They have a Scoville rating of between 100,000 and 350,000. There are only a couple of peppers with more heat than the habanero until you get to pure capsaicin with a Scoville rating of 15,000,000 to 16,000,000. Because of their high capsaicin level, they can be potentially dangerous when eaten or exposed to skin or orifices. Eating the peppers has the added benefit of stimulating your circulatory system.

In warmer climates the plant can be grown as a perennial and will set flowers and fruit as long as its growing conditions are met, which means just a few months for us northerners.

To save the seeds from store bought peppers (the two I bought were way less than a dollar), purchase a fully ripened pepper. Remove the flesh from the pepper leaving the seeds on the stem area. Let dry thoroughly. After they’re dry, remove the seeds from the stem and store the seeds. Plant as you would any other pepper seed.

Remember. It’s important. Imperative even. WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER HANDLING. Or better yet, WEAR GLOVES. It would be too bad if you forgot and touched your eyes. Capsaicin is what’s used to make pepper spray.

Happy Gardening!!!!

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