@Creativetruth's March Garden Journal [Gardening Photos]

in Natural Medicine3 months ago

img_20210328_103734597_hdr.jpg

Don't give up!

This is the theme for my March gardening strategies.

Follow me, as I guide you through the various things I have been growing for my garden this past March 2021.

Almonds

img_20210301_162526329.jpg

This month I began by opening up the fridge to investigate my cold stratified seeds. One of the Russian Flowering Almond seeds finally cracked open and pushed out a root.

After weeks and months of damp, dark cool temperatures most of my seeds kept in the fridge have been showing signs of mold and mildew damage. Still I have hope for these Almonds. I decided to plant them up into a pot with compost and stick them outside where it is also quite chilly at night, but also warm and sunny in the day time.

Even though I had little hope for this seed, I recently found it pushing the hull up out of the soil surface, and a long root seems to be poking out the bottom of the pot. Even though it's been sitting safely on my deck under the sun and rain, I might need to be protect it from the my neighborhood squirrel who might choose it for a tasty snack. A plant cage should work.

Tomatoes

img_20210304_160507225.jpg

Almost all of the tomatoes I have grown from seed have been growing successfully.

img_20210309_161407294_hdr.jpg

Last month I had picked out the strongest seedlings from the domed cell pack, and poked them into some deeper pots, and they have bounced back with renewed vigor. My timing must have been just right, waiting for a second or third set of true leaves before handling them.

img_20210304_160500875.jpg

These surface roots have been appearing all along the stems. Even though I buried them as deep as possible, more roots appear along the stems due to the high humidity I provide. With a plastic cup over the pot, I only have to water them once a week, and they never dry out completely or become soggy.

img_20210316_221534165.jpg

Many varieties growing. Marriage Marzinera, Roma, Beefsteak, Momotaro, Money Maker, and a cherry variety called Sweet Aperitif.

img_20210316_221428366.jpg

Even though I am dying to bring these outside, and into the sun...

img_20210316_222258582.jpg

... I must be patient and wait!

March is too early for growing these plants outdoors. Some of the evenings are near freezing. I must wait for May when our climate is warm enough in the evenings for their roots and leaves to not become stressed.

In the meantime, I grab my snippers, and clip away at anything outgrowing their space under the little cup domes. Doing so now will fatten up the stems to become a more sturdy and bushy plant, which I prefer. A sturdy tomato plant can hold taller limbs and more fruit off the soil.

img_20210316_222250532.jpg

Peppers

img_20210304_160551187.jpg

This year, one of the viral gardening fads is Bonchi. Basically growing peppers as a perennial indoors, and training it like a bonsai tree.

(Bon-Sai + Chi-li = Bon + Chi)
Chi is the fire-from-within you put into the world.
Chili is the fire you put into your mouth.

The hardest part about growing a perennial pepper plant indoors is that they hate the dry indoor air, and they need lots of sunlight, so Winter is the pits.

The Aji Rico Chili above has been growing like crazy once it acclimated to the windowsill area it likes. Prior to this I had growing very close to a pair of 100W bulbs, and I was misting the leaves twice a day with water. Ever week or so a new shoot grows up, and I trim it back down to the nearest node, and two new smaller shoots form from there.

img_20210304_160558371.jpg

Yet this other pepper hasn't changed for nearly four months. The only change is has had it the leaves have enlarged, and a set of flower buds appeared, which I pruned off.

Even though it has finally acclimated to the indoors, it seems to be having a hard time transporting nutrients up through the woody stem. It could be a soil or root problem too. When new buds form, they tend to dry out. If it could bury the stem deeper, I bet that would help it grow better.

img_20210316_221157042.jpg

Two new peppers are sprouting up quickly from seed. I am still looking for some sweet peppers with a flavor that I like. A bit of mild heat and juicy flesh is ideal for my tastes.

img_20210329_234652757.jpg

Fifteen days later, look at them now!

NuMex Joe E Parker is a New Mexico Heritage chili with medium heat and medium size.

Marconi Rosso is a sweet Italian pepper. Hoping it taste good with pizza or spaghetti.

Primrose

img_20210312_152900895.jpg

One of my students at the Ballroom Dance studio gifted me with this yellow Primrose. She told me it was a flower that comes from England, like her, so she wanted me to plant it to remember her when it comes back every year. Since she is elderly, it was a tendersweet gesture.

Plant gifts to your friends and family are sometimes a wonderful way to commemorate a blossoming relationship or special memory. Its ongoing longevity will bring you peace and joy when a person experiences it, to reminisce over the past, present, and future.

img_20210312_152906765.jpg

Something about Primroses that I learned is that you can afford to handle them a bit roughly. Divide them up by splitting them down the center. With this plant I was able to get two plants out of one. As long as some roots are still attached, it can survive. Pull off any damaged flowers, and new ones will quickly bud back and bloom new ones.

I planted them in a shady spot where the Corsican Mint has been spreading across a perpetually muddy surface. The boggy soil surface should keep the moisture greedy roots of the Primrose happy.

Nicotania & Daisies

img_20210304_160707897.jpg

These are some of my favorite seeds to grow. I'm not sure why. I think because Nicotania taught me how to grow seeds indoors better than other vegetable seeds, and if you handle them right, you end up with the most brilliant, fragrant, sweet flowers that last all summer long.

The key to growing Nicotania is high humidity, sterile low-nutrient soil, and water as little as possible, to mimic the hot and humid Southern plantations they originated from.

This top photo is a day or so after the seeds first sprouted. It took about 10 days before the seeds germinated. They do best when only lightly dusted with moist, but not wet soil.

Top row is Santa Barbara Daisy, followed by Perfume Nicotania Mixed Colors, Marshmellow Nicotania Mixed Colors (supposed to change color from white, to pink, to red as the flower matures), and Starlight Dancer Nicotania (forms white trumpet flowers).

img_20210316_221232595.jpg

Ten days later, their leaves are still tiny, but the stems climb up searching for the light.

I added a few organic iron fertilizer granules to each cell, and with all organic granular fertilizers, they soon rot and mold inside a humid environment.

Not good!

So the solution is to spritz with water lightly to dissolve any surface mold down, and then sprinkle the soil surface lightly with cinnamon.

img_20210320_195402424.jpg

A week later, I pick out any stems that have fallen over. Larger true leaves are beginning to appear. To keep the strongest plants from falling over, I carefully filling the gaps with with some pumice gravel.

img_20210320_195421588.jpg

Nicotania (more commonly known as Tobacco) is a wonderful flowering companion plant to grow. It is one of the most powerful natural insecticides that exists due to the nicotine toxins that kills ants and aphids. Pests will be deterred by their hairy stems, yet bees, butterflies, and birds will flock to the honey nectar hidden in the fragrant, multi-colored flowers.

img_20210320_195445019.jpg

Be careful handling the leaves, as it is toxic to the skin. It may cause an allergic reaction for some people. It is okay for most people to touch in small amounts, but too much handling and it can cause a rash. Wear gloves if planning to prune off many leaves or stems. Dried leaves may be added to garden water to function as a foliar insecticide spray.

img_20210320_195437532.jpg

One sole survivor from last year's seeds belonging to the Perfume Mix. I believe these seeds quickly became less viable as time went by.

Also, I have a harder time with seeds covered in a clay pellet coating, as it does not dissolve fast enough for the seed to germinate through. Carrots give me the same problem when pelletized.

I noticed the newer Nicotania seeds I purchased this year were not coated in that clay pellet, so maybe the grower has improved the seeds due to past customer feedback and testing.

img_20210320_195431203.jpg

The daisies are continuing to grow very low to the soil level, and do not need any aid to prop them up.

Planting Seedlings Up

img_20210328_103020549_hdr.jpg

On a warm, cloudy day, I decided to attempt to remove the largest, most crowded flowers from the cell pack, to give the roots more room to grow.

img_20210328_103025866_hdr.jpg

Clearly the leaves are hungrily absorbing as much natural sunlight as possible. This is the first day they have ever been outside.

img_20210328_103524126_hdr.jpg

Even though I have not watered these in about a week, getting the loose and tender soil out with roots in-tact was a challenge. Improvise and use whatever tools work best. I chose a narrow spoon and knife to gently lift the soil squares out. A few casualties are unavoidable.

I do not dare separate the plants or roots out from one another. I don't even tease the roots from the soil edge. They are too delicate, and the cell walls will collapse if flexed too much. In fact, I had to rescue a few of the casualties that fell off of the lifted soil squares, and attempted to tuck them upright into the new potted soil as best as possible.

img_20210328_103734597_hdr.jpg

Each set of plants is laid on top of a mound of pre-moistened soil, and I gently pack in additional soil. The medium I use is a sterile seedling mix of mostly peat and perlite.

img_20210328_104243840_hdr.jpg

Something I learned the hard way, is to be very careful after bringing the plants indoors again. It let them bask in the sun for an hour, and even this might have been a bit much for the first day shock.

You see after bringing them in, I misjudged and spritzed the surface leaves with water, and they shriveled up immediately, like a Witch's curled toes. I think this is because the leaves had acclimated to the colder wind-chill outside, and even the tiniest splash of water was too drastic of a temperature change after they were already stressed a bit.

Still, the next day they looked as right as rain once again. They are doing well indoors, sitting on the windowsill, with plastic cups on top acting as domes to keep air humidity high. They continue to grow larger.

img_20210328_104806914_hdr.jpg

Everything else not big enough to plant in cups, I left it undisturbed, to continue growing inside the dome indoors with the others. When the domed seedlings become strong larger, I'll replant them too.

That will allow for a successive planting strategy as outdoor temperatures allow for the strongest plants to go outside first.

img_20210328_100753083.jpg

Pussywillow catkins flowering in March.

img_20210328_100728114.jpg


This post is in response to the Garden Journal challenge, hosted by @riverflows, that you can find here.

Please check out all the interesting articles posted in #gardenjoural this month. #March entries are due this week.

img_20210328_100746123.jpg


Post Beneficiaries:

This is my way of thanking each of you for your friendship and support. By sharing my talents on Hive, I can also share to help with your needs.

Let my success also grant you some happiness too.

#tomato #tomatoes #tomato-plant #nicotania #tobacco-plant #tobacco #flowering-tobacco #daisy #daisies #pepper #chili #chili-pepper #roma #beefsteak #flower #flowers #catkin #pussywillow #almond

CreativeTruth.png

Sort:  

Great post, full of useful info! I've been wanting to grow tobacco for quite a while, I think with the info you gave here, next year I will finally give it a try.

Bonchi sounds like a cool little experiment! Now I might try that with some chile cascabel or rattle peppers that I'm growing.

Are March entries due this week? I need to read my own rules again hahah - I only run it for one week in a month! The next one starts in April, maybe after the weekend - I'm more than happy to include this though if you drop the link when the challenge opens again.

Looks like you are getting super prepared for Spring! I have been gifted some tobacco seeds but not sure I'll bother - they are pretty but not sure what I'd do with it. Love the 'bonchi' portmanteu - that's super cool!

Guess it doesn't really matter to me how the contest was intended. There always seems to be a stipulation that trips me up, but I participate anyway to promote, share, and engage.

My preference is to allow entries all month, and then mention winners when the new challenge month is ready to start.

I have to look up what portmanteu means now. Sounds french.

That's a really good idea, and I think I'll take that on board! For me, it's having time to make sure I catch every post, and it worries me I won't as I have so much else going on in my lifeand on HIVE. So i kind prefer a once a month thing!! Sorry for any confusion, and I totally know what you mean!


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

So much playing in the soil! So far, I am living vicariously through others' seed starting, as I have no infrastructure yet...

Love the pussywillows and the primroses.

Manually curated by EwkaW from the @qurator Team. Keep up the good work!

Congratulations @creativetruth! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You distributed more than 10000 upvotes.
Your next target is to reach 11000 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

Hive Tour Update - Governance
Support the HiveBuzz project. Vote for our proposal!