All posts tagged: Plant

seed starting tips

I’m beyond giddy.  This is my very favorite time of year. Between packets I had, packets I picked up, and a special care package from my dad, I have most of the seeds that I need (thought I still need to place a last minute order from Johnny’s). Last week, I started… Marketmore and Sweet Marketmore cucumbers California Wonder 300 and Orange Sun peppers Russian Tarragon Tomatoes: Mountain Magic Vine Hybrid, Ananas Noir (won from Down to Earth Digs), Best Boy, Supersweet 100 Cherry Hybrid, Amish Paste Heirloom, Crimson Cusion Beefsteak Heirloom, Burpee Big Boy, and Brandywine Red. Red Velvet Celosia Marigolds Nasturtium: Jewel Mix and Empress of India Gigante Verde Tomatillos I’m particularly excited about tomatillos.  I’ve never grown them before and I love them as a snack if they are fresh from a garden (not the ones in the grocery store – ew). We have a grow light shelf similar to this one, only deeper and with four shelves (and we bought ours on Craigslist a few years ago because the price is …

sweet little garden additions

We did really keep our planting relatively (I do stress relatively) simple this year, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t add anything at all.  We can’t live without a few annuals and…okay…a few perennials too. We put the flower boxes out on the front porch.  Last year, I planted petunias and other various annuals that kept withering up and weren’t all that pretty.  This year, we kept the boxes really simple with red begonias and vinca vine. Last fall, we dug up our dahlia bulbs and saw how they had multiplied.  We kept them in the coolest part of our basement over the winter.  I can’t wait for them to bloom.  They make the most beautiful bouquets.  I planted the largest bulb clumps in very large pots on our back deck. The smaller bulbs were planted in the front flower bed and in a pretty little blue pot in a now-empty spot where the spring daffodil bulbs have withered up. My parents had given us gorgeous antique urns that my father refinished as a …

thank you, mother nature

Every spring, I prune and prod and weed and water.  I spray my roses to ward of thrips. I do my best to fight grubs and move plants around to fill areas out.  I spend a lot of time plucking new maple seedlings from the ground and fertilizing, fertilizing, and fertilizing with worm poop and Neptune’s Harvest (though eek – just realized Neptune’s Harvest is fish-derived, so I guess I may need to find a new one).  Very time consuming, but oh how I love looking at the fruits of my hard labor every year. This year, mother nature realized that I just had bigger priorities, so she helped me out. Everything simply exploded this year. I am not talking about vegetables or annuals, but rather my perennials.  Bit by bit, I’ve accumulated lovely plants.  Many came from my childhood home in Upstate New York.  Rather than leave their beloved perennials when moving, my parents potted them up and I drove back to Boston one April day with a small SUV LOADED with our family’s favorite …

tough love with seedlings (and chaos management)

I, girl who loves to talk about compost and hike in the mountains, just spent nearly two days at work in an all-day seminar on product management.  The seminar was as interesting as a corporate meeting can be, but as the minutes ticked by I panicked about all of the things building up.  I could almost see giant pop-up email notifications in my peripheral vision. VP of foolishness: At one point during the day, I found myself mentally starting a to-do list, responding to an email request from one my colleagues on my Blackberry, tweeting out a review that had just gone live, and looking up the new address for my doctor’s office on my iPhone–all at the same time (and I’m not kidding).  I was simultaniously handling two phones, one social media site, email, a power point in front of me, and a guy using phrases like “perceived value” and “‘win/loss analysis.”   Self-evaluation When I realized what I was doing, I had to actually laugh at myself.  I’m so important that the office can’t function without me?  Hardly.  I caught myself before it could get any …

a week of spring: lilac

Saturday I came home feeling under the weather yesterday, so I wasn’t able to post.  I’m sorry for missing a day of my “week of spring!” This last picture of the week is of a little lilac bush that is less than one foot high, but full of new growth. My vegetable plants are important because I spend so much time growing them from seed and I enjoy the harvest so much. My perennial flowers are enjoyable because they brighten up my home and it feels like finding secret treasure when they bloom. But I do have an emotional attachment to some of my plants, this lilac included.  It made a long journey to Boston from Windsor, New York.  When my parents decided to sell the home I grew up in, I took a few bits of memorabilia: -a forsythia bush I gave my father one year for his birthday -an indigo I gave him for father’s day that I had purchased from The New England Wildflower Association -a lupine, because my mother and I …

Grow Great Grub

If I ever meet Gayla Trail, I might just have to hug her to show my gratitude.  I found myself in a hospital waiting room with my father pacing…anxiously…and ready to crawl the walls.  We found little ways of getting each another through those 5 hours, one of which was thumbing through this wonderful book together to pass the time and think happy thoughts. If you thought you were a plant geek prior to reading this, brace yourself.  You’ll be dreaming of warm summer days, tomato sandwiches, and ways to fit in a few extra pots for herbs you may never have even heard of yet (Shiso? Count me in!). Seriously, Gayla Trail has a very approachable way of introducing her readers to container and small-space gardening.  Mark my words, she really knows her stuff.  From inventive ways of starting your seeds to growing your favorite flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit (ranging from pest control to companion planting), you’ll be so ready to go when your last possible chance of frost passes.  Aside from legitimately solid information and …

heartstrings to seedlings

I’m sure you can tell by the weeks that have passed without a post that something has been going on.  I don’t have the courage to write about everything just yet, but let me just say it has been the most intense and scary few weeks I’ve had in all of my 32 years thus far. Life has a way of organizing and prioritizing your time and energy for you. A few weeks ago, after I read this article, Chris and I sat down to list out some changes we wanted to make.  It is true, you have to make time to make changes. From which credit card to pay off first and how often we’d actually sit down and eat at the dinner table together to where we’d go on vacation this year and how we could afford to start an organic veggie farm in 10 years, we hashed out a real plan of change.  Two days later, I got some news that threw every possible plan out the window.  When something big happens …

10 weeks from planting day!

SEED TIME! I’ve been waiting for March 5th like a child waits for Christmas.  My father and I placed our large shared order from Johnny’s back in January and I’ve been staring at the packets longingly ever since they arrived. I have since planned my garden out in detail and purchased soil.  I even scrubbed my seed trays out and cleaned out my little indoor greenhouse.  All this prep and finally, this weekend I got to get down and dirty with my first batch! I’ve also noticed some other bloggers gearing up for the big event and even getting started.  A recent blog I came across: Vegan Activist already has nearly all of her seeds sprouted!  You Grow Girl (one of my favorite gardening blogs) is also ready for spring and recently directed readers to her archives, where you can find great info about starting seeds (click here).  Since I’m in New England, I’ve chosen May 14th as my official planting day, so I’m working backwards against that date.  I wrote reminder cards out to …

Carrots Love Tomatoes

Every vegetarian gal or guy that has any space at all should try to grow some of her/his own vegetables either in containers on a porch or in the yard.  How have I gone so long without such a must-have, classic book?  This rare treasure among a sea of gardening guides?  Written originally in 1975 and updated in 1998, Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening , published by the well-respected Storey Publishing, should be the bible which we all refer to when deciding where to thoughtfully place each plant in our garden.  Who knew that beans and onions would hinder the growth of one another?  And how did Louise Riotte know that planting celery near cauliflower would deter the white cabbage butterfly?  There are no flashy photographs in this book nor dreamy prose.  Yet there is such a wealth of information here dispersed among simple and informative drawings.  If only I had known last year that dill may affect carrot growth in a negative way, I may have ended up with carrots that weren’t the size …

love and delphinium

Yesterday the touch of the frolicsome breeze seemed harsh, my beloved, and the sun’s beams seemed weak, a mist hid the face of the earth, and the waves of the ocean roared like a tempest. I looked all about me, but saw naught but my own suffering self standing by my side, while the phantoms of darkness rose and fell around me like ravenous vultures. But today Nature is bathed in light, and the roaring waves are calm and the fogs are dispersed.  -from the passage “Resurrection” in The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran This week has not been a good one.  In fact, the last few weeks have been full of fog and rough waves.  Work, sleep, health, guilt, work, stress, late, cold, obligation, forgetting, fears, thoughts, hurry, work.  Sometimes life seems to be moving so fast and racing thoughts fly by so quickly that we are lucky to be able to reach out to grab hold of one to focus on. Get an oil change, clean the house, make dinner, get the project done, …