A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Spring Fever

Everyone's sick, except my husband.
We finally got a PO Box, how cool is that? It's about the time that gardening cataloges ought to arrive, but no sign of them yet. Yesterday, I went to the Johnny's website and saw that they've had a delay in mailing. So I looked over their website. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/
I've been mostly looking at herbs. Lotsa stuff finds it too cold here. But I'd like to put in an herb garden eventually. Probably not this year, but hey, what better to do on a sunny January afternoon surrounded by snow than dream of future garden plots?
There are some very pretty herbs that are tolerant of zone 3 or are annuals. I could grow Calendula, bee balm, and coneflowers, just for starters. Many of the standard cooking herbs are going to be confined to pots, though. They're just too tender for our winters. My mint and oregano seem to be happy enough in the south window, though, so I'll hope that the others will as well. I looked at mullein, per Serena's recomendation, but it only tolerates through zone 4. So I'll just have to pick it wild when we visit my folks.
I haven't changed my address with any of the other cataloges, yet. I'd like to eventually get some dwarf trees suited to indoor life, maybe citrus (Meyer lemons, particularly), but not yet. I was very happy with the seeds I got from Johnny's last year, and my dad always has been, too.
I've still got a pot of peppers--cayennes--blooming away in the window, though I've had trouble getting the flowers fertilized, and a stuborn pot of tomatos that won't bloom. I guess I don't make such a good bee. I've got extra seeds from last year, so I won't need to order too many of the vegetables I'd like to try.
Oh, and I also signed up for the Ambleside Online mailing list today. That'll be interesting, for sure! http://amblesideonline.org/


  • At 8:35 PM, February 01, 2007, Anonymous Doom said…

    Actually, that does sound fun. I'm not the gardening type, but I enjoy fresh herbs as I am the cooking type. I'm a bit nervous about starting an herb garden since I'm not exactly sure where to start (gardening wise), or even if you can start an indoor herb garden in the winter (Iowa zone, -6 F currently). As is, I keep about 40 dried spices on hand, but fresh sprigs of this or leaves of that would be quite nice.

    Just thought I'd drop by and say hello to a total stranger and have a little conversation. That's fun too, and I already know how to do that. Plus, your thoughts sounded interesting and cheerful and warm somehow.

  • At 2:09 PM, February 02, 2007, Blogger BoysMom said…

    Hi Doom,
    I'm glad you came by. You don't seem a total stranger to me, but then I read a lot more than I comment, and you frequently comment in places I read.
    You can certainly start plants indoors in the winter. Any northern gardener that grows their own outdoor plants from seed does this.
    Pick something that's easy to sprout, like basil, to start with. (You don't want something like rosemary, which has a horible germination rate.) If you have a sunny south window, that's your best location. There are lots of websites that will tell you how to use supplemental lamps, if you don't have a sunny window. Many seeds won't sprout if the ground is below a certain temperature and usually the seed pack will be labled.
    If you get a pretty good quality potting soil for four or five bucks, and about a four inch pot, just fill the pot up with the soil to about two inches below the top, then put four or five seeds in at whatever depth the seed packet says (some are 1/8 inch, some 1/2, and so on), water well, and cover with plastic wrap. Put it in your warm sunny spot. The seed packet will say how many days to sprouting. You want to keep the soil moist. I usually take the plastic wrap after the first set of true leaves have appeared. As the plants grow, you'll move them to a bigger pot.
    Don't be surprised if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it. I still have problems with too much or too little water. I've probably got some old posts from mid-March last year about starting plants.

  • At 1:41 AM, February 03, 2007, Anonymous Doom said…

    Well then, I may have to force myself out and pick up a few items. It would be nice to have a variety of green plants around the house as well. The last of my specials is dying so that all I have left are the apothos (sp?). Though I'm rather utilitarain, a little life jazz, sunshine, crystal, and spit and polish round it out the nature into a handsome utility. Thanks!

  • At 9:38 PM, April 17, 2007, Anonymous Doom said…

    Well, I'm not the fasted turtle in the pond, but... I finally planted a few herbs, namely hyssop (especially good for lamb), marjorum, basil, and parsley (with seeds for thyme and an ongoing search for cilantro and other seeds). It's only been a few days so I haven't seen anything sprouting yet. But, I wanted to let you know I had actually gotten to it.

    Oh, and it was pretty easy. I just had a few questions about this and that when buying supplies (and I just used small yogurt cups which I happily emptied, I need to empty another for the thyme, the cap can work as a water tray and a few holes with a nail makes a perfect little planter).

    I hope your spring is good:)


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