Newspaper pots!

Newspaper Pot!

With Gadzuki sick in bed I’m continuing the project I started yesterday:

NEWSPAPER POTS!!

What could be better than recycling, composting and starting your seeds all at once?  I feel like I stumbled upon a life long skill.   Here’s the youtube.com video I learned from:

And here is a photo of my finished product!

Newspaper pots w/ seedlings!

 


Like Mother, Like Daughter…

Future Seeds!

Its a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I’m going to spend it collecting seeds to dry and save from my flowers. Some of my earliest memories involve collecting marigold seeds from my Grandmothers house with my Mom.

Every spring my Mom sends me seeds that she has collected from her garden the previous summer.  My parents live in Idaho and have a BEAUTIFUL home and garden. (hopefully she sends me some photos that I can share here.  hint, hint!) Obviously a lot of what she sends me doesn’t grow as well in our climate, but I always give it a whirl.

Saving seeds is as easy as collecting the dead heads from the flowers you like.  I dry them in the garage and put them in plastic bags.  This year I scored some cute little containers from Savers for their hibernation, photos coming soon!

There are two types of Seeds – Hybrid & Heirloom
The good news is BOTH work for re-seeding.  I know this is a hot topic in the gardening world, and frankly I’m not trying to start any heated debates, so here’s some basic information:

Hybrid – These seeds are produced by companies through careful pollination of two specific varieties. Normally, this highly selective plant breeding is done to bring together two traits in each of the chosen varieties so that the resulting seed has both of the traits.  Plants grown from hybrid seeds typically do not produce seeds that can be used to grow the same type of plants.  From what I understand these seeds will revert back to the basic characteristics of one of its parent plants.

Heirloom – These non hybrid seeds come from plants that are naturally pollinated. Some of these varieties have been around for centuries and will produce plants whose seeds will produce more plants that look the same as the parent plant.

If anyone has any additional info on Heirloom vs. Hybrid seeds I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  I think in the future I’ll try to buy heirloom when possible… but also look forward to seeing the results I get from the hybrid seeds as they revert back to their “parent” state.  It could be fun!

NEXT: I PROMISE the house plants are coming soon…


Growing in the garage!

After the hound dog had her way with the last round of seeds I started… I gave it another try.  I am happy to report that this time its been a resounding success!

Even if I’m not going to grow my tomatoes COMPLETELY by the book (literally Leslie Doyle’s book about growing Tomatoes in the desert).  I did learn how to start seeds in the garage from her workshop and it produces AMAZING results!

I started with the $0.11 Seed packets that I’ve been getting at the Dollar Store on Decatur & Charleston.  This time I planted Zinnias, Bachelor Buttons, Daisies and Sweet Williams.

For Steps #1 – #4 check out my previous post about starting seeds here.

Today we’ll pick up at what to do after they’ve sprouted-

Step #5: Brings us to germinated seeds in less than 48 hours after the containers were placed on top of the shop light in the garage!  WILD!!  After you’re done marveling at how fast the sprouts came up…  you should take them outside during the day and put them in a sunny spot to “Harden Off” as they say in the gardening world.  Sounds funny to me.

Step #6: Today I made some more starter soil (Tomato Lady) and filled the used 6 pack containers from the veggies I bought over the weekend with it.  Poke six holes with a pencil in the dirt in each section of the 6 pack.

Step #7: Ever-so-gently… being carful to only touch the leaves or the roots (not the stem) pick out each sprout and  replant it.  Rinse & Repeat!!

Step # 8: After its full, drench it with water from a spray bottle and set under the shop light in the garage during the night and outside in full sunlight during the day.  Eventurally when the plant is more established we’ll leave it out full time until we replant in the flower garden.  Viola!!

Later this week: we’ll revisit the compost and delve into the world of House Plants!


She who walks between the rows…

LEFT: Radishes - RIGHT: Carrots

So here’s the verdict on the watering by osmosis vs. watering overhead experiment.

Before Thinning

Watering by osmosis (i.e the carrot seeds) didn’t work for me.  The seeds never came up.  Its because either the seeds dried out, were planted too deep, or blew away (we did have some heavy winds).  In any case, we will have radishes and LOTS of them!
The radishes sprouted exactly as the package said, about 5 days after they were planted.  I put them in the ground, created shallow trenches on either side and watered them with a fine mist overhead everyday until they came up.
(see photo at LEFT).

 

TOOL

On the 9th day they were 1/2″ -1″ tall and it was definitely time to “thin” the rows… But I just couldn’t see the point in aborting all of those “would be” radishes so I got creative.  These were the tools I set out with:  One little Rake, My trusty gardening gloves and a pencil (see photo at RIGHT).

Originally I intended on maybe planting them where the carrot seeds had been (Right Side), but after getting down and dirty I decided to take advantage of the rows in between.  Since watering by osmosis clearly wasn’t something I was going to continue doing.

 

SPROUT

When I put the seeds in the ground I basically just drew a line in the soil and sprinkled the seeds along that line.  BOY was that the WRONG thing to do.  When the sprouts came up they were only about an 1/8 of an inch apart at best.  I needed to thin them to roughly 1″ apart.

To do this I had to be careful to pull up each sprout individually by one of the 4 little leaves.  Easier than is sounds, but still time consuming, all the while being careful not to touch the trunk.  Then with my pencil I created shallow holes all along the little trenches on either side of the row.  I then transplanted as many seedlings as I could.

AFTER

 

If things go well we should get 300 radishes all together from this modest 3’x3′ planting area.  Not bad!  Considering we’re about 10 days from when they went in the ground we should be feasting like rabbits in about 15 more days!

So we’ll see in a few days if the “trench seedlings” live through the water collecting in them.  But if it works, it’ll be a great way of taking advantage of a small space.

Next:  We’ll explore propagating some Ivy for my friend Hank’s yard!