Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Risky business...

Maybe it was early onset Spring Fever...  but i did it.  In early February, i tempted fate and granted the mail-order plant company with one of the worst reputations about $39 of my own money in exchange for some miniature citrus plants. 
According to my account, the plants will begin being shipped within a few days:

I don't like to be skeptical, cause being skeptical insinuates that i should have known better. But i feel i need to plead some sort of insanity...  of course i am also holding out that this company, despite all the evidence against it, will man up and send me something alive and in generally decent health.
I'm not expecting the Rutaceaen version of a mighty sequoia to be shipped to me in a box with fruit ready to be harvested...  but i would like to get more than a scale covered stick that dies within 2 weeks.

I have ordered from them before, with so-so results. I admit, at the time i ordered from them, i was even more a novice then than i am now. Some of he items came bare root and looked like something i fished out of a clogged sink...  but other things looked fine.
If i remember correctly i got some Japanese Toad Lilies, some English daisies, Ranunculus and i ordered some Manchurian Apricots.

The toad lilies did well enough and bloomed the year i got them. I think the bare root daisy may have had a better shot had i known what i was doing.  But it was a bust.

The ranunculus grew but never flowered.

The apricots never arrived. I was told they were backordered, and when it was shipped, i was sent a really nice looking forsythia by mistake.  I was told i could keep it, so i gave it to my parents- but they never planted it. That really bugged me because it was actually pretty nice.

They ended up sending me a store credit for the price of the apricots (about $7) that i never used, because the following spring they had filed for reorganisation bankruptcy or sale - and were shutting down during that time. So i kept the voucher but never used it.  I had planned on buying their multi packs of old fashioned lilacs with that voucher, but in a way i'm glad i did not because when we bought the new yard, i ended up with more lilacs than i could give away!

But i will try to be optimistic that i get the correct items, that  they arrive healthy, if probably smaller than i'd like, and they ship quickly because our weather is a bit odd in this "El Nino" year.

I am eagerly awaiting my Richters order. I want to get some of those seeds started. A number of them are hardy types that can be sown now. I got the ship notification on the 9th, so it should only be a few more days.

I think everything in the greenhouses did ok overnight. Before it got too cold, i put a heavy blanket over each one just to keep in whatever heat the containers had absorbed.

I need to write a list of what has sprouted already, just so i won't forget next year.  Many things have been up for a number of days, but i have been too busy to write down small details like that.

The Buttercrunch lettuce looks like it will be edible quite soon....

I cannot believe that these Tomatillo seeds as old as they are, are sprouted and look pretty good!

  A bit fuzzy, but i think these are the Polfast. The stick is facing the wrong way for me to read the name and i forgot already.

Pruden's Purple tomatoes

Yellow Pear tomatoes

Gypsy broccoli

Welsh onions and Mirage shallots

Collards...  i should have had faith and sown one seed per pellet. Now i have to thin them. Glad i only sowed two seeds each. I have had great luck storing seeds, so i tend to think of every thinned seedling as a whole plant wasted since i can keep my seeds in high germination ratios for many years.

Pak Choi...  I can't wait to grill up a few of these!  I need to do successive sowings of this!

Mixed flat of the front on the left is Burdock, on the right is Kolrabi
in the back i can see the tag for the Oregano, but no sprouts...  on the right, i can't remember what that is and i can't see the tag, but its obviously some sort of cole crop.
See why i need to write everything down? lol

Some brave little  tomatoes are sprouting in there...  both from seed that is over 7 years old.

Mixed flat...  the Swiss Chard and Point One cabbage are waking up.

Finally, the Rosemary...  it has been cold, but they have made it very well.  Now that i have the light setup, i might bring them inside.  I will need to pot them up soon or i will damage them too much if their roots get tangled.

The Electric Fence kit i bought from Tractor Supply has come in, i just need to go pick it up. Maybe later today. There is no real rush since i can't install it yet- nothing to guard.... and i don't want to have it too long before installing in case the warrantee is too short.  I have at least 30 days before i will need it and most return policies are "within 30 days".  So i won't get it until we can test it some weekend.  Lay it out and make sure it is sturdy and complete.

I saw my first cabbage butterfly yesterday...  i felt kind of bad giving it the stink eye as it merrily fluttered across the yard.  I covet my future broccoli and cabbage plants, if the electric fence keeps the woodchucks out, i don't want to lose everything else to caterpillars! Even with the row covers, i don't want to have to use a bunch of bug killers to fend off a plague.

Soon i have to clean out the Worm Farm.  The red wigglers have been happily munching away at kitchen scraps all winter. The topmost bin is looking quite full. I am not sure i know how to remove all that black gold without losing half my worms.  Its too cold for them to live up here through winter, so if i lose any to the garden they won't last. I know they are just worms, but they do such a good job :0)

Well i have cleaning to do and if i get it done before nap time is over, i might get to read a little too! Yay.


Faith said...

You really have quite the garden menagerie, there! It looks so good.

LOL I got one of those Manchurian Apricot trees, and it was likely from HF, too. It's in the ground and has been growing there for a few years. It is not a very good apricot tree, no matter who you buy it from, but it was my very first fruit tree - I think I got it free with an order from them.

I have ordered from them several times. I would not buy difficult to grow items, but common ones I've not had any trouble with.

Catching up on all your posts...


icebear said...

i noticed you haven't been reporting lately, i assume things have been busy-- in a good way?