Still Alive

Okay, it has been well over a month since I posted ANYTHING here. I am sorry about it, since it is kind of the time of year where I have tons of things growing and all the gardening enthusiasm forever. However… I’ve been going pretty non-stop with making things which keeps me away from gardening. (You can check out the Etsy Shop here to see some of the things!) This was a benefit a little earlier, when I didn’t allow myself to start sowing a million seeds. It’s all fine when they are seeds but then they grow and need potting up and then take up triple the space. Space that I do not have. Plus my creative brain gets to be happy and just do as it pleases.

But it meant that I severely neglected my blog. I tried to think of a schedule that I could try and follow for posts here… but I know myself better than that, and would end up apologizing infinitely for not meeting promises of posts because I got distracted. So instead, I’m just going to do what I kind of already do, and just write when the mood strikes. That might mean I write 4 posts in a day and then schedule them, or it might mean (unfortunately) going weeks between posts. I will try to keep it regular, but sometimes it can’t be helped, and me apologising every few weeks is pretty lame.

I wanted to pop in and show you that I legit do have things going on in the garden. So here are some photos:


Rhubarb is taking off! I hope to use more of it this year.


I rescued some raspberries from a garden that was getting a complete makeover. I wish I had grabbed more of them, as I have room for at least 4 more plants. I’m hopeful these fruit on old wood, and I’ll get a harvest this year from them.


Strawberries are looking good. I still need to figure out how to keep the squirrels off of them.


The Sweet Williams that I sowed last year survived winter and I cannot wait to see them this year. They are for my grandpa.


I bought myself a rose for my Birthday. Partly because it is white and I love white roses, and partly because of its name: “Iceberg”. As you can also see, the delphiniums are growing like crazy too. I even divided them and you can hardly tell I took away anything.


Spring onion patch. These just keep coming back so I leave them. I get fresh Spring onion, the bees get a flower they like, and I get fresh seed. Behind them I sowed the Garlic I had left from my crop last year. They are just starting to poke their heads up now. In the back corner of the photo, in front of the orange bag (full of leaves im going to use for mulch and the compost like), are poppies that survived winter! I’m pretty excited for them and hope they are as beautiful as I’ve imagined in my head.


Both my Taragon and Sage survived winter (in ground-not containers)! Possibly the Thyme, and Oregano too, but I’ll wait til June to decide if they legit survived or not.


I sowed this Lupin from seed! I’m glad to see it survived because my big beautiful one was completely destroyed by aphids last year. A second one also survived as well!


And I started digging everything and getting it ready for planting! AND as you can see in the top left, one hollyhock survived the winter, so keep your fingers crossed for me that the flowers are as beautiful as I remember my grandma’s being.

Ps. My clematis died, so if I still have clematis dreams I’ll have to get yet another new plant.

Update on the Herbs (2016)

I figured it was time for an Herb Update. I’m doing way better with keeping these alive this year too! Here is the big Herb Post where I sowed most of these. I have potted everything up, and sowed some Dill as well.

Spearmint in the back, Lemon Balm in the front

  • Lemon Balm
    • sown: January 23
    • potted up: March 5 (3″ pot)
  • Spearmint
    • sown: January 23
    • potted up: March 5 (3″ pot)
  • Lavender
    • sown: January 23
    • potted up: March 5 (Recycled 6 cell that flowers from the garden center come in)
    •  
  • Thyme
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Summer Savory
    • sown: March 11
    •  potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Sweet Marjoram
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Russian Tarragon
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Oregano
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Catnip
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 7 (Party Cups)
    •  
  • Flat Leaf Parsley
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • ‘Champion Moss Curled’ Parsley
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Chamomile
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (3″ pots)
    •  
  • Rosemary
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (3″ pot)
  • ‘Red Rubin’ Basil
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9
  • ‘Genovese o Comune’ Basil
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • ‘Lemon’ Basil
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • ‘Lime’ Basil
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • ‘Cinnamon’ Basil
    • sown: March 11
    • potted up: April 9 (Party Cups)
  • Sage
    • sown: March 11
    • These won’t get potted up until they go out into their final pot, as they were sown in larger cells that flowers from the garden center come in.
  • Garlic Chives
    • sown: March 11
    • Just like the Sage, these won’t get potted up until I put them outside in their final pot.
  • Stevia
    • sown: March 14
    • Not potted up yet, I’m just happy that I have ONE that has survived out of the 3 that germinated. Scratch that, I’m just happy that my future Mother-in-Law sent me the seeds so I could get this far. I STILL haven’t found any seeds around here.
  • Dill
    • sown: April 9 (Party Cup)
    • Typically, it is recommended to direct sow Dill, but I figured I would  try and get a little jump on the season. I usually miss out on my Dill because I plant it too late, or I forget to take into account the growth of plants around where I sow it, and it gets shaded out before It really gets established. So maybe, just maybe this will help my Dill situation. Worst case, they don’t like getting transplanted, and I have to direct sow. Best case, I end up with loads of Dill

 

Sorry for the lack of photos on some of the herbs; they turned out blurry. Their pictures in the next update will be better (I hope). I hope your herbs are growing well! Spring is on her way here, I even saw a Robin today.

Herbs for 2016

I bit the bullet and sowed some of my herbs. I felt a little guilty having a big hoard of herb seeds and never dedicating any honest effort in growing them. So I did it. I stuck some of the hoard into dirt.

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As I mentioned, on January 23, I sowed Lavender, Lemon Balm and Spearmint. And I recently potted them up from the little peat pellets they were started in. I recommend planting some Lavender, just for the aroma therapy of it. You just have to disturb the leaves a little and the air is filled with a wonderful lavender scent. Do it, you won’t be disappointed. And do the same with the Lemon Balm. Its citrus-y scent is delightful (And you can make a little tea from the leaves).

On March 11, I filled up some little seed cells that I have, and sowed the following:

  • 3x Thyme
  • 2x Summer Savory
  • 2x Sweet Marjoram
  • 2x Russian Tarragon
  • 2x Oregano
  • 2x ‘Red Rubin’ Basil
  • 2x ‘Genovese o Comune’ Basil
  • 2x Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 2x ‘Champion Moss Curled’ Parsley
  • 2x Chamomile
  • 2x Catnip
  • 1x Rosemary
  • 1x ‘Cinnamon’ Basil
  • 1x ‘Lemon’ Basil
  • 1x ‘Lime’ Basil

I also started some Sage and some Garlic Chives in larger seed cells. There is 2 cells of each of those. Also, I will be growing Dill, but I’ll wait until its closer to putting them outside to try and start some inside. I usually forget about the Dill until its too late, and then it doesn’t mature in time to harvest anything more than a few sprigs. I am hopeful that starting the Dill a little early, I can actually get enough to both use fresh, and have some to dry to use throughout the winter.

I am also keeping my fingers crossed that I will find some Stevia seed. I really really want to grow my own sweetener.

Looking at that list seems a little daunting, and I hope that I can keep these surviving until its safe for them to go outside. Ultimately, like last year, if they don’t make it, I will replace them from plants from the garden centre… but lets hope that doesn’t have to happen this time around.

Do you start any herbs from seed? Leave a comment below with any tips or tricks or questions.

 

UPDATE: My wonderful future Mother-in-Law sent me some Stevia seeds! I started 3 peat pellets of them as soon as I opened the envelope on March 14th!! Fingers crossed they germinate!!

UPDATE #2: The Tarragon germinated in 2 days!!!! Not even kidding. 

March 23/2014 Garden Update (Herbs and Flowers)

Yesterday I updated you on the progress of all the edibles, saving today for Herbs and Flowers.

We go through a lot of “Italian seasoning” around here because of the amount of spaghetti we end up having for dinner on work nights. It’s fast, easy and cheap. And the majority of the ingredients we typically use, we can stock up on and keep in the cupboard. I made it a goal to try and make my own. So this year, I am growing all the “spices” listed in the ingredients. The few I don’t have yet (like Rosemary) I will purchase as already started plants.

Sage and Parsley
(started Feb. 15)
They are doing pretty good. The parsley really reaches for the light, so as soon as I have a warm enough place, they will be moving.

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Oregano, Thyme, Summer Savory, Marjoram
(started: March 9th, March 15, March 15, and March 17)
They are all forming little green carpets of sprouts in their little pots. No true leaves yet, but they are only a week (give or take) old.

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Basil
(started: March 15)
Tiny sprouts. Will start more to go by tomato plants in the next couple weeks. I need to replenish my seed starting supplies.

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Basil on the left
Catnip on the right

Garlic Chives
(started: March 15)
I started these in a peat pot and they have been quite a lot slower than anticipated. BUT I usually place plastic wrap over the edges of pots to help speed germination, and these didn’t get that treatment. They are just barely starting to poke through the surface now.

Spearmint
(started: February 28)
These are like tiny little green carpets on the peat pellet they were started in. They have just got their true leaves, and some are starting on their second set. I will have to pot them up soon.

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Catnip
(started: March 15)
Sprouted within a couple days! I am kind of looking forward to having my own catnip plant… I’m sure Ekki and Hali (my cats) are too.

Lavender
(started: March 5)
These are working on true leaves. When you brush your hand over the little seedlings, they release that relaxing lavender scent already. Sniffing my seedlings could become a problem. I may end up keeping one in a pot in the house just for aroma therapy!
2 years ago I had a beautiful Lavender plant in the yard, but Wilson (my little dog) peed all over it an it died. Hopefully I can keep him away from these ones.

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Lemon Balm
(started: January 1)
I could probably spend a good, solid half hour talking endlessly about Lemon Balm. I love it. I have already been “harvesting” from my little plants, to help encourage them to grow bushy, rather than tall.

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Those are all of my herbs so far. Now onto the flowers:

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Viola and Bee Balm

Columbine (started: March 15)

These are slow to germinate… but I think I see some trying to poke through the surface. I may start some earlier next year.

Hollyhocks (started: March 15)

These jumped up almost immediately. They will be ready to be potted up soon.

Viola (started: February 28)

Slowly working on their true leaves.

Bee Balm (started: March 12)

Sprouted a few days ago. We had these in the flower bed at one house growing up, and I remember just watching all the butterflies on them. Fingers crossed that they will attract the butterflies (and bees, and all the other pollinators) here too. If I can get them to maturity… I failed last year.

That is all that is growing right now. As soon as I have more room (and seed starting supplies) I will start more basil and few other flowers. I have been thinking of adding some chamomile to my herb/flower area, so I may try and find some of those seeds soon.

Here is the link to last week’s Herb and Flower update.

Follow Along Friday (March 22, 2013)

Big Week! Mother Nature hit us with some crazy weather. One day it was 15 degrees and all the snow was melting like crazy, and the next we get a crazy snowstorm. Mother Nature must be PMS-ing right now or something… Although, its always like that in this part of the world… The general rule of thumb is: If you don’t like the weather in Calgary, wait 5 minutes.

Just a hint at how crazy the weather has been lately: Huge pile up on QEII!

But things have been growing like crazy around here too!

Apple Seeds

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The one I put into soil last week is doing great! The first real leaves are here, and it has grown already… The other few seeds, I intended to put them into dirt, but they slipped my mind, so last night, when I was getting things organized for today’s post, I finally got them sorted… I hope they don’t die after a week of neglect, they are a bit more scraggly than the first one that I did on time.

Sweet Potatoes:

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Everything seems to be going well in sweet potato slip land… Nothing is wilted or shrivelling up yet so that has to be a good sign right? The large slip that I pulled off and put into water – I have decided to leave it in the water for another week and give it a change to grow a little more root… Then I have a larger pot with it’s name on it.

In other news:

I have pretty much all of my seeds purchased… I just need the weather to start cooperating, so I can get everything planted and start growing all the things!

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I also bought a mini windowsill greenhouse kit and started some Sage and Parsley in there… Hopefully my transplanting skills work out and I can have some fresh Sage again – I really missed having it in the winter, I seem to use it a little more often than the fresh Basil.

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My kittens had their first vaccinations on Tuesday… and It turns out that they are both girls! Also, they are older than we thought, which means that I no longer have to wait to get them spayed… So on April 2nd… No more dealing with LOUD kittens in heat!

Previous Follow Along Fridays:

March 15, 2013     

March 8, 2013

March 1, 2013

February 22, 2013

February 15, 2013