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.

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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 6, 2016

I didn’t have a specific thing I wanted to talk about today, I mostly wanted to jump around and give you a little update on what I have been doing. Mostly this is a record for myself when I am wondering when I sowed something, or when I potted it up, and when I have made my mind up on what varieties I am growing.

Yesterday, I potted up my Lemon Balm and Spearmint into 3″ pots, and the 6 Lavender plugs into a seed cell. All of those were sown on January 23rd, along with 12 plugs of Strawberries. It is amazing how fast the herbs grow comparatively. Only half of the strawberries germinated, and they are still developing their true leaves. The Lemon Balm could use a trim already!

I thought I already had my hot peppers picked out and sown, but then I found a pack of Serrano Peppers. Obviously, I had to buy them. I sowed 2 jiffy pellets of them. The seed packet says: “Serrano is a small, fiery hot Chilli pepper with a delayed fuse. It is one of the hottest peppers available. It is smaller and hotter than a jalapeño… A favourite in sizzling hot salsas and sauces and Asian dishes.” So it should be an interesting mix with the others I already sowed.

I also started 4 pellets of Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries and 6 pellets of ‘Big Dipper’ Sweet Peppers. If you want a fun, hardy fruit to grow, try the ground Cherries. 2 years ago when I grew them, they were amazing. They are a bit tart, kind of pineapple-y? I don’t know exactly how to describe them, but they are great. I made a pie with them and it was delicious! Its definitely worth the space if you can fit them in. They want to sprawl out, but I’m going to try and do some in a container this year. We’ll see how it goes.

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I’ve also got some Mexican Purple Garlic stashed away. I found it in January at 40% off, because Fall is the time to plant them. I might pot them up into some paper pots, and put them out as soon as I can dig the ground enough to get them out. Spring is kind of here. It was nearly 20 degrees (Celsius) out yesterday! I mean, we could still get a huge dump of snow any time between now and the middle of June, but garlic is hardy, so it should be cool. It also needs cold in order to split into a bulb, so planting it earlier will be better in the long run.

My ‘Northern Gold’ onions I started from seed back in December and early January are doing well. Or I think they are. We’ll find out later in the year if all of this was a wasted effort or not. I will also pick up some sets so I get at least a few onions for cooking with. I am skipping Shallots and Leeks this year. I do have some shallots still in the ground and I may leave them there and see what they do this year.

On the flower front, The Hollyhocks are starting to pop up, and so are the Carnations. Still no sign of the Columbines, so my fingers are crossed tight that they will germinate… If not, I guess I’ll chuck a different seed in those cells and see what happens with them.

The little cacti are getting little pokers on them. As you can tell I use all the technical words around here. A few more weeks and I’ll do a legit update on them. As it stands, there isn’t a huge change in them to justify their very own update.

I’ve been picking up a bunch of different lettuce mixes, so keep an eye out for a post about them. Every year I seem to pick one thing that I become a little obsessive about it. This year seems to be lettuce.

It is still early in the day, so I will probably crack and end up sowing a few more things, But I’ll keep a record of it for future posts here. Leave any tips you have in the comments section below, and Thanks for reading!

February 2016 Update

 

Lemon Balm and Lavender

This month has been a little crazy. My grandpa turned 85 on the 8th! I got a long weekend away from work and was able to finally make it back home to visit everyone. I haven’t been able to do that for over a year and a half, so it was extra special for me. Some less happy things happened, but I’m going to stick to the positives here.

I got a tiny bit of work done outside. We have been so blessed with almost an entire month of Chinooks. I tried to leave the majority of leaves on the surface of the soil as a bit of protection (for the soil and bugs that call it home) against the temperature changes we get around here. I found some lady bugs again while cleaning, so leaving the leaves there should help them survive until Spring. While the Chinooks bring the warm, they also bring the wind. Most of the ground is still rock hard, and anything that isn’t heavy or secured to something has blown away. Almost everyday I am cleaning up bags that have blown into the yard too.

Continue reading “February 2016 Update”