Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rosemary pie...?

Before i sowed my rosemary seeds, i tried to read up on how best to go about it. Half of the sites i encountered claimed that rosemary was bordering on impossible to germinate and took forever- better start with cuttings. I even found a paragraph on the garden watchdog site where a person was berating Richter's rosemary seed age and germination rates.

My seeds are from Richter's ... so i was thinking, maybe this was going to have been a disappointing waste of my money, since my Rosemary seed are from last year and not fresh right off the bat.
So i sowed the whole packet, i didn't even squander a precious seed flat on the doomed seeds,  i sacrificed a single pie tin and about 3 handfuls of soil covered with a sheet of clingwrap.  The seeds were planted 3-19-10 and set in the window sill of the bathroom upstairs in anticipation of being forgotten with no regrets and no expectations....

and imagine my surprise when i happened to go to the window and move something...and i saw a few specks of green...

So, since i didn't wintersow them, i have to provide light artificially for now because its too cold to plunk them outside. 

Planting tool....
Ok, so i'd say "i need a hobby" when i get excited enough about a new found tool to blog about it, but its a rainy day and i'm too achy to do much housework and i thought it was such a neat thing i took pictures of it.
But this IS my hobby.


 Strawberry seeds are tiny... not the tiniest seeds on the planet, but very small!
And there are neat things that can be begged off the nurses at the Pediatrician's office.

I don't  know if they simply call it a probe or if it has a special extractive name, but its a pencil shaped tool for extracting things from kids' ears, noses and who knows where else a small child will stuff any number of foreign objects. They come in a few sizes, but this one looked immediately promising from the second i saw it: 
Handy-dandy tiny seed tool.

See how small they are in their cozy little glassine packet?

When i dredge the stick in the packet, it tends to pick up only one teeny seed at a time, exactly what i want. My fingers are too dull to do this job as they are.  So this is an awesome help!

So i was able to plant 27 seeds into 27 Kcups with little effort and i didn't drop any. No seedlings wasted to thinning.  Strawberries are a little iffy in germinating, so this is probably the best way to go about it.

Apple trees.

Hubby went to Home Depot during his lunch break and i had him pick me up a pint of Bonide Fruit Tree spray.  I don't think it is organic, but this year i'm going to simply attack the apple problem with the biggest guns i can find.  I can go organic once i get other preventative measures in place- like deep fertilization, companion plantings-( the ring of chives and welsh onions i plan to plant at their bases) and i can get the trees pruned correctly and get their trunks straightened.  So the non-organic spray will hopefully beat out anything that might add to their weaknesses...


I need to figure out if my soil will be fertile enough to do the square foot gardening system this year. It looks like the method begins with raised beds...which i  am not going to do, and they want you to use a combo of premixed soil, compost and vermiculite.  I need to find a way to make sure that after my large amount of kitchen compost (from the outdoor Darth Vader helmet-like composter) and the worm castings from the indoor worm hotel, plus the horse manure and the tilled-in rye grass will be potent enough to feed my plants in such tight spacing. I also need to look at drainage of the soil....  vermiculite might be a challenge to find in large quantities,  i can get peat moss in large bales though.

I won't know any of this until it is all tilled and mixed together... but i want to be prepared if i have to buy more amendments.

So, those are the things i am thinking of on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.... with 52 days left 'till last frost date.


Faith said...

You and I think so much alike, it's scary. So often I think, "That's exactly how I would approach it and write about it."

Cool planting stick. Great job on the Rosemary, too! I ordered those seeds last year, but they were inadvertently left off my order. I finally picked up one plant at the store last week.


icebear said...

lol, i feel the same way when i visit your blog!

the day the rosemary sprouted, i had gone to the grocery store and searched through the fresh herb packets thinking i could get some pieces to root. there wasn't any rosemary in the display, so i was a little disappointed...then later in the evening i noticed the sprouts. I understand the seedlings grow very slowly, but opinions and experience vary greatly from what i am reading. Some have plants large enough to harvest sprigs for cooking in the first year, some people have reported that it took many years, so who knows! i have also read that the seedlings are finicky - but that varies greatly from article to article.