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Posts Tagged ‘horticulture’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were planning to start our seeds the other day and I was about to go dumpster diving for containers when I got “Monday-ed.”  By that I mean that somehow dinner got ruined (don’t buy discount tortellini, okay?) and we had to order delivery. (Note to self: be more prepared for last-minute menu changes) As a bonus, Pizza Hut puts their wings in these nifty metal trays perfect for lots of things! Yes. I save them. Don’t judge.

So here we are creating masterpieces with dirt. I sprung for the Jiffy Mix because we had so much luck with it in the past. The girls had marigold seeds they collected last year and a gift of Lilly seeds from Pookah’s friend (thanks!). While they were busy planting those, I worked on Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi. It’s easy. Just put water and seeds in the starter mix. Detailed instructions here.

Pookah & Tootsie starting flower seeds

Pookah & Tootsie starting flower seeds

We put a single seed type into each container and then wrap with a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Pookah wants to remind you how important it is to label each container. Then place them in a warm spot where you will remember to check them daily. Guess where we keep ours.

Always place them where you will remember to check daily for signs of germination

Always place them where you will remember to check daily for signs of germination

You can see the condensation beginning already. That moisture is not going anywhere. And now we wait…

Actually, we have some cleaning up to do. We made a fabulous mess.

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MISTAKES & RETAKES

I think it was a water issue.  I’ve been adding more water and development seems to have picked up a little.

Broccoli 4 weeks after planting

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Instead of traditional Spring Cleaning, I’m joining Tsh at Simple Mom for Project Simplify this year.  That means that starting tomorrow, Tsh will assign a “hot spot” in the house to organize all week.  The secret hot spot will be revealed each Monday for the next 5 weeks.  At the end of the week, I will post my progress. 

I will post photos of my progress.

Hold me, I’m scared!

It’s time to PURGE, SORT, and ORGANIZE ourselves silly!

Anyone else with me?  Then stop crying into your feather duster and get moving!!  Post comments on your progress so we can cheer each other on and laugh along with me as I expose the vulnerable recesses of my home.

Check in tomorrow and I will reveal the first hot spot and hopefully a game plan.  Scary photos to follow.

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Carrots from the SWC

I’d call this a success.  Today, we harvested 4 pretty carrots from the self-watering container we built.  We planted many seeds in succession, several weeks apart.  Now that the mature plants have been removed, their predecessors will receive more light and will be ready to eat in a few more weeks.  I think we should pop a few more seeds in today and keep on going.  We are also experimenting with a tomatillo plant.  If it doesn’t over-crowd the carrots, we will move the container to the greenhouse when the weather gets cool in hopes of achieving the artificial tropic season that it prefers. (more…)

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baby ducks & geese

On a winding road between Prompton and Honesdale, is a hardworking team deeply committed to organic farming practices that call themselves the ant hill. Pictures of the rolling hillside, orchards, grassy paths that lead to a hidden lake, and well-designed vegetable plots only begin to show the hard work and dedication of the contributors to this farm. Pookah and I, along with some dear friends, recently took the opportunity to visit The Ant Hill Farm, stroll the property, and meet its residents. (more…)

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Have you reached your frost date?  Have you performed the hardening off process?  Do the plants look healthy and stable with several leaves?  Then you are ready to transplant your plants to your garden.  Begin with plants that have not been recently soaked from watering.  You’ll want to work with soil that is somewhat loose – not compact from dryness or muddy with moisture.  You will also need a small trowel, compost or bone meal or other type of fertilizer, and a bucket of water.

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You can purchase very pretty self watering containers, but they are costly.  With a little research, we found instructions for many different models that you can construct at home from just about anything.  Here is how we made ours.  We have chosen features from several different models and we are using recycled materials obtained free of charge.  This is an experiment of sorts, time will tell if this structure will actually wick enough water into the soil to keep our plants alive throughout the summer.  It has a utilitarian look to it, but this technique could be used with a decorative container if you prefer.  If you build your own, your measurements and materials will vary as much as your imagination, so please let us know how you built it and how well it worked.   (more…)

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