Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Here I was chomping at the bit to get things going, and now that I've gone and done it...I'm in a complete state of panic.

Buddleia-144 little squirts going gangbusters.
Rhododendrons-If I got out the magnifying glass (don't laugh, it's quite possible, if I could find it), I'd probably see them sprouting, too.
Yellow lily-2 sprouted and I know the next 4 aren't far behind. (they are the cutest little things!)
Amaryllis-growing like a monster.

What have I done?! One side of my brain is overjoyed to the max (it's having a celebratory margarita), the other (if it had a foot) is trying it's damndest to give me a swift kick, muttering, "You idiot! It's much, much too soon! Look, there's a good 10 inches of blowing snow out there and it's still accumulating. Gardening = sun, heat!"

Ok, so I only have to test my gardening skills on keeping everything alive for, ummm...4 more months. Uh-oh. (I'm completely ignoring the fact I'll be starting veg and flowers inside soon enough, so don't mention it!)

I'm not sure which side of my brain I should listen to. Maybe I'll just ignore the both of them and go talk to the plants.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's Their Hurry?

My azalaes germinated already!

I'm a little shocked at how fast they've decided they needed to start.

Anyway, it was only 8 days ago that I sprinkled those tiny seeds from The Willow Garden onto carefully prepared peat/coffee ground soil. Maybe they're happy with the soil, maybe the containers.

Years ago, My Aunt, aka The Plant Lady, showed me how to make these self-watering pots out of juice and soda bottles for rooting cuttings. Or, any kind of container you could cut through that would work. (Hacksaws are a grand thing to have hanging around!) She showed me this because, dummy me couldn't figure out the "moist, but not too wet - moist, but not too dry" formula for making cuttings happy.

It's very simple: You cut something in half, like a 2 liter soda bottle (which is perfect), flip the top upside down into the bottom (making sure the cap part-that's now inside- hits the bottom), fill upside down one with soil, make sure the bottom (under the upside down part) never runs out of water, and voila! You can either pull the top edge of the bottom piece out and squish the upside down side in to add water (whew! Did anyone understand that?) or just cut a hole a few inches up on the bottom piece and water through that. The whole setup works perfectly for keeping soil moist, but not too wet, as it wicks up from the bottom (where the screw-cap was).

Making a fill hole sure sounds like the easier way, which is why that's exactly what I do. lol. But to each his own.

Well, it hit me that it would be the perfect environment for starting rhododendrons and azaleas! Duh! Just add a clear storage bag over the top with a rubber band around the bottom of the bag, and perfectly moist soil with 100% humidity!

Well, the seeds obviously like it.

Tinker with the idea. I bet you'll like it and get some spectacular results. I do!

Man, That Really Bugs Me

Over on Garden Rant, Elizabeth mentioned that Dave's Garden has been sold, as Dave himself explains, or rather, announces, here.

I like Dave's Garden, always have, (it's chock full of good info) but there is a very fine line between like and peeved with me and this site - I like it until I get peeved. My visitation to that particular site has, shall I say, declined in recent times. Why? The membership 'fee'.

I know gardeners - they are some of the most generous, and not just with their knowledge, people on this earth. Most of the time you can't get a gardener to shut up when they've gotten started-forum, blog, face to face, whatever. And that is a very, very good thing for other gardeners, and even (as yet) non-gardeners, alike. Their generosity overfloweth.

Even a garden center or nursey owner wouldn't charge for answering a question or giving insight on growing a certain plant, or any plant for that matter. Gardeners and plant centers simply want you to succeed at the art of growing. But paying for gardening or plant information?
Unless you're buying a book or hiring a landscaper, I don't believe in such a thing!

Yes, I understand that someone, somewhere, has to make money to keep the site running unless they have some really deep pockets. But, to me, it amounts to a gardener holding out their hand and expecting a quarter to be dropped on their dirty little palm each time someone asks about a plant in their yard.

There is no feeling like clicking on some information and being immediately informed that there are a bazillion answers to the question you've just asked, but guess what - you haven't paid, so you're answerless! Ugh!

Since there is a world of free information out there on anything from asters to zinnias, I'll use it.
My personal first gardening commandmend? Thou shalt not payeth if you don't have to! (because you don't have the money to, anyway!)

Rant over.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Onwards & Outwards

I got around to getting some more WS containers out, so my total is now at 36.
The poor milk jugs are under 6 inches of snow.
Not cool that I look out and can't even see them, but I know they're under there waiting patiently for spring.

D is going to build me a nice plant stand this year with these Plant Stand Instructions.
Of course, he's going to overdrive the lights for it. I think it's a 'more power' man thing. But, I'm not complaining - the more light the better!

Now I just have to save up enough pennies to get it done before March so I can get my inside stuff started on time. Kim sent me some really yummy sounding veg seeds that I'm dying to try. I suppose I could WS them and be done with it, but I want to see something growing. That's the only problem with WSing - it's pretty much fuss-free and hands off. Not good for wanting to get my hands dirty and baby some seedlings!