Friday, January 22, 2010

My Favorite Plant Blog of All

Just thought it was about time I mentioned it!

Whether you're an expert plant geek, or just a beginner geek, this is the blog for you.
Trust me. ;)
Just . . . make sure you have a few free hours to waste before you click the link and start browsing. You'll need them all!
I've been reading his blog for a few years now and always learn something new or cool from each post, most often with a twisted bit of humor thrown in. Some of you may already be reading it . . .

Plants Are The Strangest People.

Kudos for such a fantastic blog, Mr. Subjunctive. Huge kudos!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Graham Rice on 'A Brand New Vegetable'!

Really, how cool is that - a brand new vegetable!

Graham says, "It’s a hybrid between kale and a Brussels sprout!"

It's called Petit Posy™ - it makes fluffy buttons - and you can read about it on his blog here: Transatlantic Plantsman.

No GM . . . Bonus points just for that!

You can get seeds or small plants, but not in North America. Rats!!

See how those Brits are - they want to keep all the cool stuff for themselves. :)

TSC Soil Sale and a $5 Coupon

Yay!!! I cashed out my pittance survey bucks (they changed from paying cash to points. Say Wha?!) and I finally got my potting soil for Winter Sowing!
I am so freaking happy . . . you have no idea!

Ok, so someone local posted on a forum that Tractor Supply Company had Miracle Gro potting soil on sale for two bags for $7.

I already knew about the TSC printable coupon (goes to your email so you can print whenever) for $5 off $25, (expires April 2010) which was changed recently from the $5 off $20 one that expires Jan 31. Well, idiot me didn't want to waste ink if I wasn't going to use the coupon so missed the off $20. Yes, smacking myself in the forehead.

But, I now have 7 bags of MG to WS with!

~Doing the happy dance~

Oh, and a package of 'Early Sunglow Sweet Corn'. Well, I had to buy something to make up that last 50 cents so I could use the coupon. :)

Without all three things lining up, I wouldn't have been able to do any Winter Sowing this year. So, Woohoo for me!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Schlumbergera Seed Pictorial

Since people seem to be really interested in how to grow Schlumbergera from seed, I thought I'd put together a quick pictorial.

This project started over a year ago when I hand pollinated a few flowers. Since I couldn't bare to pull a flower off any of the plants and destroy it, I moved two of the plants close together and gently 'smooshed' the pollen from the pistols onto the center stamen of each when the flowers were at their very freshest (one or two days after opening).


It didn't take long for the base of the flower to begin to swell and form a bright pink, hard seed pod.
This was left on the plant for one year to mature. You definitely need patience for this step. Even though it still looked very firm and hard after a whole year, when squeezed it was soft and pliable. A bit like a slightly over-ripe blueberry.


The pod was gently pulled from the plant. If it doesn't come off easily with a gentle tug, it may not be ready.


I sliced the pod open with an exacto knife. As you can see, these make many seed.


The seed are very small and a little hard to separate from all the 'goo' that holds them. Just remove all the goo possible and wash them off as best you can with plain tap water.


I didn't bother to dry them off since I was immediately spreading them onto damp medium. I used a very tiny pot, then popped the pot into a zip lock bag and sealed it. They sat in a warm room under a plant light that was on for 16 hours a day.


They germinated in seven days and these are one week old:

Here they are at 3 weeks, still under the plant light:

As you can see, they are very slow growers. I slowly opened the baggie to let a little more air in each day and finally took it off completely.
Now the challenge becomes keeping them alive and happy.

Happy growing!!