Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quiet day, so far.

Expecting rain today, which means there won't be a lot of outside time. Good thing its not supposed to be heavy rain.

I moved the new plant tower out to the driveway to catch any available sun before the clouds take over completely, and this time i strapped the thing to the post of the basketball hoop with a length of stout airline cable my hubby had for tying down the bicycles when the neighborhood kids were in theft mode.

If that doesn't hold i down i will have to stake it to the ground i guess.

Here's the one that behaves:

I need to move it out to full sun soon as well and then the covers can probably come off when the rain moves on.

Pictures of sprouts:


buttercrunch lettuce

shallots and Welsh onions

the rosemary that wasn't expected to do anything

I added my seed stash list yesterday, it is going to take some time to finish it. I am amazed at how many different seeds i have. Total junkie. They aren't all veggies either. But a lot are old and i tried to use those up this year -not expecting much of them.
I also ordered more herb and 'stuff' seeds from Richters...

I have been trying to find one plant for about 16 years.

It was a plant i saw when i was visiting my sister when she lived in San Diego, CA. It was some sort of  silvery colored mint that had a bergamot look to it, had those whorled clumps of flowers... i had picked a single cluster because i liked the smell and i brought it back with me and kept it in the console of my car for a few years before it disintegrated.

  I have tried a few plants that turned out to not be it, from wild monardas and cultivated bee balm, to pennyroyal, jerusalem sage and even leonits leonura....    i think i may have finally found it, maybe. It is a leonotis but it is siberica  (Siberian Motherwort) i am trying it out this year. I'm pretty well anchored by smells and i think if it is the right one i will know right off... the leaves are different from monardas- which is how i was also pretty certain they were not the ones as they were growing from seed...
The smell was a little citrusy, minty and herbal.  I am also trying out monarda citrodora just in case.

So, we will see.  But its been a very long search and it might not be over yet.

I prepped up 3 more flats to re sow my herbs that got bunked yesterday. I ran out to the Miracle Grow seed mix so i had bought some Jiffy.  Big difference in textures. The MG seed stuff is much like regular potting soil, spongy and heavy. The juffy mix is very light and almost pure vermiculite and powdered peat.  I'm used to using peat pellets so i am not very well versed on the pros and cons of different brand mixes. But i really like the fine texture of the Jiffy mix. If it works out well i might use only that from year to year.

It does seem dryer though, and if i were to spray it with a regular spray bottle to water the seeds, it would just blow away. I even bought the bags that felt heaviest to be sure i didn't get mix that had dried out too much. I watered the bottoms of the flats heavily and i am going to see if the mix will draw up the water so i don't have to spray,  if it was sunny out today i'd put the flats on the driveway with the clear domes on top and that would evaporate the water to the top. But they are just sitting on my counter for now....  does not look or feel like the mix is pulling the water in yet.  I need to buy a pump mister anyway, i need it for seedlings, but it could also help with this.

I hope my dad will be able to get the tractor out this weekend to rototill the plot....  we need to get that ryegrass tilled under and decomposing. The weeds need to be disrupted too... later any survivors will meet the Mantis tiller, then planting can happen and then i can get the hoops up... or i'll hoop it first.  Have not decided.  I also wanted to lay down some plastic to get the soil warmer faster...  but i think i have 45 days left and when i can only get help on weekends,  we are running out of them.


It is all very exciting for me cause i love this stuff.

1 comment:

Faith said...

Fun! I have also spent years looking for certain plants. I love it when I finally KNOW what it is.

The worst thing about some of those potting soils is getting them to actually soak up and hold water. I bought some cheap stuff once, and it was nothing a but a frustration that I finally tossed out.

That smell sounds lovely - citrusy minty herb. I've got to get out in my herb garden. I long for those smells. It's like a treat for the senses to walk through herb gardens.