This Years Experiment… (2017)

Historically around here, I have at least one experimental garden thing. Last year I had my cactus and Venus fly trap, along with a few new varieties to try outside. This year, I’m going for Sweet Potato.

It will probably fail, so I don’t have any huge dreams of a big Sweet Potato harvest. Because it is cold here. Sweet Potatoes like a much warmer climate than I live in.

BUT I have read of a few people who have been successful. So I am going to grow them in a container in the warmest part of my yard. The patio will help add some heat.

My major issue, I think, is going to be the length of season. That is all in Mother Nature’s hands. We may be able to figure out a temporary greenhouse situation for them for early and late in the season to try and get that length. OR, Mother Nature could just be nice and generous and give us a nice long summer this year.

Step 1… Buy a sweet potato from the grocery store. I found one that had little tiny sprouts starting to happen and picked that one.

Step 2… Put sweet potato into a jar of water. If you want, you can cut it in half and stab some toothpicks in to raise it off the bottom of the jar… I didn’t. I just put the potato in a wide mouth mason jar and made sure the top  (the part with sprouts starting) was pointing up.

Step 3… Wait til sprouts start coming out the top, and roots start showing up in the bottom. 

We will revisit the steps once there is something else to write.

And I will add photos whenever I can… Probably when I next update on this.

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March 22/2014 Garden Update

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It was feeling a lot like Spring around here. Gophers have started to wake up and are chirping away out in the fields. The Geese are making their pit stops here, en masse. The snowbank/drift in our back yard from the storms at the beginning of December was down to about 3 feet tall at its highest point… We could see our patio again. And at work… MUD… So much mud! Then the first day of Spring happened and Mother Nature decided we were getting too used to this “Spring” thing, and hammered us with a winter storm again. Lucky for me, I have Spring in my windowsill. Everything is doing amazing. Now if Mother Nature would co-operate, I can start putting the plants for the Greenhouse garden out there. (We are hopefully getting our soil preparations done later next week over there)

But, without anymore chatter, Here is the updates on my little seedlings. (Tomorrow I’ll cover the Herbs and flowers, just like last week)

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TOMATOES

I may have developed an inability to control myself around seeds. I bought more. But only because I saw the Yellow Pear ones that looked so amazing on the many gardening blogs I read, and I just really wanted them. Right next to them in the display were some Marglobe ones that are an Heirloom determinate variety that I think would be great for my mom. Right next to those were some “Green Envy” cherry tomatoes, and I said to myself “why not”. There may have also been an heirloom pepper in there too, but we’ll cover that in the Pepper section. Then I may have allowed myself to trade some Heirloom seeds… “Boxcar Willie”, “Golden Cherry” and “Black Russian” should be here any day now.  I can stop anytime, I swear (she said unconvincingly).

It took 5 days for the Yellow Pear and Marglobe to start sprouting. Pretty excited for both of these. Green Envy should be up by Monday. 5 days seems to be the general length of time it takes for my tomatoes to sprout.

The Cherry Tomatoes (Hybrid Mix of yellow, orange and red) took a little longer to sprout than I expected (more than 7 days), but once they broke through the soil, they took off! They are very leggy, but I can just plant them deeper when they get potted up.

The Pink and Red Brandywine’s I sowed last weekend, Sprouted on March 20. The Pink ones were a day earlier. Black Krim and Bonny Best are also sprouted. The Black Krim had some spotty germination, but I have 4 solid little seedlings out of the 6 that I sowed.

The Rainbow blend and Roma’s that I had potted up last week, are doing AMAZING. I am experimenting a little with using 1L containers that the coffee cream comes in, so my seedlings can have a very developed deep root system, but I’ll tell you more about that later in its very own post. Also… the Rainbow blend may not be just Brandywine tomatoes… Some have standard leaves and not potato leaves. Weird.

Needless to say I am very-much looking forward to my tomatoes this year!

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Tomato seedlings

PEPPERS

My Cayenne Peppers are doing amazing. They all look like little pepper plants now. I should have a great crop of peppers from them if I do everything right, since I have about 10 plants… AFTER thinning and downsizing to only the healthiest ones.

My Jalapenos are a little slower than the Cayenne, but still great. They were started a little after the Cayenne’s so they have that excuse. I have 4 still in the peat pellet starters and I will be potting them up this weekend.

And since I have minimal self control around a seed display, I have some heirloom Hungarian Wax hot peppers. I started 2x 3″ pots of these on March 20th. Since its been a little colder around the window because of the snow, I wont be too surprised if these take a little longer to germinate.

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Cayenne Peppers in 4″ pots

LEEKS

Amazing as ever! I may need to think about thinning them again soon… REALLY need to not sow the entire package of seeds next year.

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Leeks – almost need thinning again

STRAWBERRIES

Super slow. Not much new to report from last week. The few that have true leaves are getting stronger though. I will be sowing more of these in the Fall, so that they are stronger healthy plants by the time Spring comes around.

EGGPLANT

Did I tell you I found some Italian Eggplant? “Violetta Lunga di Napoli” is sprouting!

My Asian Eggplant “Ping Tung Long” has sprouted and is slowly moving along. I’m down to 4 of those rather than 6. Two of them couldn’t break out of their seed shell and were not looking good, so I put them out of their misery.

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“Violetta Lunga di Napoli” Eggplant sprouting

GROUND CHERRIES

These are working on their true leaves. I am looking forward to them. They are definitely not something you can find in the grocery store around here.

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Cayenne on Left x3
Ground Cherries on Right x6

SWEET POTATO

The sweet potato experiment from last year, is getting a do-over this year. I have a sprouting potato on my fridge, so I should get some good slips from it. The question will be whether I can keep them warm and happy enough to produce some potatoes.

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Sweet Potato producing slips

POTATOES

I waited too long to order my Pink Fir Apples. We went to place the order and they were sold out… So sad. Next year I won’t wait so long. Now the potato plan will probably just be regular varieties you can buy at the garden center. My Pink Fir Apple dreams will have to wait until next year I guess. I will console myself with more tomato plants.

ICEBERG LETTUCE

I had an old packet of Iceberg lettuce, and I thought I would challenge myself to try and get an actual head of lettuce from it. We’ll see how it goes. At the very least, I will end up with something green to eat. They have all sprouted. Soon, I’ll try and pinch out a few to grow on and hope for heads. The others I’ll just have as salad leaves.

Check back here tomorrow for the update on all my Herbs and Flowers.

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Left – “Ping Tung Long” Eggplant
Right – Jalapeno Peppers

 

 

Follow Along Friday (March 15, 2013)

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Sorry this is a day late… But wow are there ever a ton of changes to share:

Apple Seeds:

I took the seeds out of the fridge, and onto the windowsill- And they went crazy! This morning, I planted one into a small pot that I had in my house, but the other ones will have to wait until I get outside and shovel my way through the snow bank in front of the shed. I have larger planting pots in there for them.

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Sweet Potatoes:

Last week, I broke off two slips and put them into water – They grew roots overnight! So I left them in the water until today. So this morning, I took two more slips off and let them soak for about 30 minutes. Two more, I snapped off and put directly into the dirt, so I can see which ones do the best.  I decided that the REALLY long vines, are going to soak for a few days, and then I will plant them into dirt later in the week. They have so much foliage, I am assuming that they would like to establish some of the their own roots first. I also left one tiny area on the sweet potato to see how that one takes off. Who knows, maybe the potato will regrow some more slips.

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Regular Potatoes:

I just had a peek to make sure they weren’t going crazy on top of the fridge, and they are all pretty much the same as the last time I showed you. Just waiting for them to go into the ground!

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Miscellaneous:

The Garlic is doing ok… I should probably pay a little more attention to it and put some of them into larger pots. I will probably do that once I get all the Apple Seeds into dirt. Sorry no pictures.

I have ALMOST all the seeds I have decided on. But I can’t find Kale seeds to save my life here! Maybe there is a kale monopoly somewhere? I may end up having to buy already started seedlings of it if I can’t find any seeds. I also need to start hunting for a few blue potatoes… I REALLY want to grow them again. They were fun the last time I did it a few years ago!

My kittens are still jerks, but super cute jerks. They did get out again after my last post, But I will wait to tell you how in another post. They are to hilarious to not write about! But We have a vet appointment in an hour, so I should go and get ready for that.

Thank you for reading all of my rambling gardening and kitten adventures! I will try and get more baking and cooking posts up here too!

Here are the Links Back to my previous F.A.F. posts:

March 8, 2013

March 1, 2013

February 22, 2013

February 15, 2013

Follow Along Friday (March 1, 2013)

What! It’s March already?

So here is what has been up with all my planting experiments this week…

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The Sweet Potatoes are developing Leaves!!! LOTS AND LOTS of leaves! It is kind of intense how fast the thing is growing right now. Soon, I can break off each of these “slips” and plant them and they will all be individual plants. Nature is amazing. Hopefully we have a warm long summer so they can actually do their thing.

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My Apple Seeds are also showing progress… Although much slower. I have at least 2 that are potential trees… a few more that are showing slightly slower  signs of life (whoa, that was quite the alliteration wasn’t it?). I’ll be happy when they are plants and not just germinating seeds in my fridge!

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The Garlic that I showed you last week… INTENSE!  Not really sure what I have planned for this, but its green and that is a nice contrast to when I look outside and everything is brown or snowy.

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And new this week… My potatoes… these probably won’t be continual from week to week, but I was trying to get them organized and off the shelf in the pantry, so I thought I would snap a picture. Ideally, we (myself and my friend Cal) will be planting them out at the Barn we work at, so we can grow a lot more potatoes than if I plant them in my tiny yard in some kind of container… I just need some blue seed  potatoes and my collection will be complete!… And maybe a few more Yukon Golds.

It is almost time to get some seeds started too… So “Follow Along Friday” is getting more and more intense every week!

Here are some links back to the beginning:

FAF#1 (Feb.15, 2013)

FAF#2 (Feb 22, 2013)

Follow Along Friday (February 22, 2013)

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My sweet potato’s roots are taking off! And there is some slip-growth in multiple places on the top. I have to admit that it is getting a little addicting watching all of these things spring to life.

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The Apple Seeds are also springing to life. Not as dramatic, but there is definite progress since last week. They are still living in the fridge, for at least another week or two (maybe three).

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A new addition this week: Garlic. I had a few cloves that were already trying to sprout, so I put them in water, and over night, they looked like this!! Tomorrow I will plant them into something, and maybe do some research on how garlic grows, so I can understand better.

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I also bought new boots this week. They are being well broken in already:

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Are you starting any planting yet? Have some tips? Share them below