Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Fast forward to last year when I used to work with Sarah, a horticulturist at the greenhouse where I volunteer. She always grew her crops on the drier side of usual. A week ago while buying a new package of peas, since more than half of those I sowed on February 15 have now rotted, I talked to the proprietor about soaking pea seed. He suggested never soak the seed more than one hour and rather than watering them into the soil, use a mister to keep the soil barely moist but never dry. If you are using peat-less potting soil, it may have some moisture in it straight from the bag, mine did. Keeping what he said in mind and the success Sarah had with her drier growing methods I tried it. I sowed the seed on February 26 and now 8 days later nearly all have emerged with the few remaining beginning to push up the soil so I can already see I have 100% germination success!
So from now on I will be keeping to this procedure:
- I start my pea seed in plastic cell packs indoors to keep slugs from mowing over the emerging crop.
- I soaked the peas for 1 hour or a little less, not more. This time I am planting Cascadia snap peas.
- I used standard organic potting soil as pea seed is large enough to push through the chunkiness of potting soil, (tiny seeds like basil, lettuce and tomato will do better in a fine seedling mix which contains peat). Make sure your soil of choice is organic with no fertilizers or wetting agents added.
- I used a mister to add moisture rather than a watering can only as needed, keeping the soil barely, slightly moist.
- I put the planted cells in a recycled “clam shell” food container (I think it had baby croissants in it from the bakery originally) to hold in moisture so I actually didn’t have to mist much at all. If you don’t cover your cells you may need to mist a little more often. A plastic dome like cover works like a greenhouse and recycles its own moisture which will collect on the top and drip back down to the soil.
- I did not use a seedling heat mat this time but have in the past. Peas don’t really need it.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
To prepare your peat pellets, soak them in warm water for 20-30 minutes or until wetted completely through. Do not peel off the netting. There is an open top and closed bottom. Let them drain, give a little squeeze which releases extra water and gently roll it between your fingers to slightly break up the peat allowing a little air into the mass and you can create height to the pellet if you are planting larger seeds like beans. Place your seed in the top indentation and scrape some of the peat over the top to cover it. For bigger seeds, press the seed down into the center of the pellet and again, cover with some of the peat.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
It is a heath. E. carnea is native to central and southern
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
~Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969, 34th
The coir bristles are good and stiff. I wondered if they would hold up when wet unlike the loofa. They do. The store offered the brush in two sizes. The one shown here is actually marketed as a nail brush per the tag but I thought it a perfect size for my smallish hands. There is another larger size marketed as the veggie scrubber this one was a better fit. The bristles are so tough I actually wouldn’t want to use it as a nail brush. That skin surrounding your nails can be pretty tender. Matter of fact these bristles are a bit too rough for the tender-skinned new potatoes or freshly dug sweet potatoes but are great for the tougher potato skins.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
~ Ani Gurnee
Friday, August 3, 2012
~Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady and wildflower advocate, 1912-2007
For years I had an Echinacea plant, barely alive in a sunny spot on the sunny south side of my house. I couldn’t figure out what was keeping it from thriving. I moved it to a slightly less hot, sunny spot but still it just sat there and looked worse and worse. Finally I decided to get serious so I moved it again to a different sunny spot. I also planted about 5 more along side, creating a large patch of Echinacea. Since then I have added more and they are all growing and thriving. I think the first two spots were too wet of soil, one being by a downspout and the other had shrubs shading the soil too much. Sometimes it takes a few moves to find just the right place, so don’t get frustrated if a plant seems to fail…try moving it. This is one plant where one just isn’t enough. A single plant seems puny but en-masse it is a sight to behold. Begin with no less than 3 plants, planted in a triangle, 20 inches (51 cm) apart if you want to make an impact in your garden.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
~ Henry Mitchell, 1924-1993, American garden writer and humanist
Here’s two other ways I use these solar lights.