Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Battle with Humdity & Air Movement


I forget why, but I used my thermometer/humidistat elsewhere awhile back from my light stand, thus forgetting to check what the parameters had become. It was a low of 45% humidity! Eek! I turned off the fan last night and put up my portable humidifier. I got it up to 55% humidity and turn it down some before bed so it wouldn't run out of water as it only holds a small bottle of water (20 oz). I awoke to the humidity back down to 45% :( I have since cranked it back up to full speed and it has been a few hours already, but it is only at 50% still. I don't want to lose anything to mold/fugus so I have turned my fan back on, but plugged it into the timer so there will be air movement when the lights are on and off when the lights are off. Hopefully this will give my poor plants some much needed boost! I completely forgot that mealybugs like a dry environment. No wonder their population exploded this year! Hoping this will correct the problem!

On another note, I got my first seed catalog already and I am already drooling at the thought of what I can plant next year!


So the lights have gone off and so has the fan. I just checked and the humidity is up to 59%! I had to turn down the humidifier a bit even though I would love to keep it at 60% all the time. I don't want mold to grow in the house!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Late Season Tomatoes

I finally just cracked open my fall issue of Gardening How-To Magazine and inside was a short article on caring for your tomatoes late in the season. I wish I had read this earlier! Maybe if I remember I can try this next year. It said a month efore the first frost date to pinch off all flowers, new shoots and as well as any small fruits keeping only those that are about a month from maturity. I don't know about everyone else, but I have a hard time doing so! I even kept the small green tomatoes this year when I hacked down my Black Krim tomato plant to give to my neighbor's chickens to feast on. They seemed to really like the foliage on the plant as by the next day it was GONE!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Macadamia, Plumeria & Ginger

On September 13th I planted 10 Macadamia seeds. Today is exactly 4 weeks and 5 days. Two seeds have sprouted, but only one has anything above the soil. They supposedly take up to six weeks to sprout. Good thing I bought two packets if the germination rate is only 20% after almost five weeks!

These past few days I also found my red plumeria cutting had rotted completely :( I was really disappointed as the red is so beautiful! The white one is fine, knock on wood! It hasn't rooted yet tho.

The Ginger I brought back from Hawai'i is growing like a weed, which is to be expected! It will outgrow my lights soon as well as the little pot I have it started in! I can't wait for this beautiful Ginger to bloom as it has really pretty flowers that are different from normal Ginger flowers!

Monday, October 17, 2011

What's in Bloom this October

Found in bloom on 10.14.11

Bloomed 10.10.11, even has a second spike coming!

Nice to have some that don't bloom just in the spring!

Today my Neomarica caerulea 'Regina' came in the mail! Looks pretty healthy! Got four orchids at the Orchid Festival this past weekend, a Bulbo, a tropical terrestrial, a hardy terrestrial and a Darwin's orchid!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Garlic is Planted!

So this post will show up a bit late....I really planted them October 11th! I decided to put the super big cloves of the unknown garlic back in the shade. I figured that would give them a helping hand to grow in the shade. I also put German Red next to it since they are good, but I am still in love with Music! I planted some of Music in the area with more sun so the cloves can get bigger next year and I will rotate in the German Reds, maybe. I might just get rid of the reds and unknowns to grow solely Music as that seems to be my all time favorite for flavor! I so need a larger yard with more sunlight! I'd love to have a huge garlic patch! Now I just need to get more pine mulch as it seems they love that stuff the best!

Last year, in the shade patch, I put in cow manure and pine mulch and they grew bigger, but nothing like the area that got more sun with just pine mulch. Maybe I just have to move my plants in that area to the other? The shade patch gets a ton of compost too! I really think it's just the lack of light. Only thing is my peonies can't go into the shade and I'd hate to move my Cypripediums... I need a new yard!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day = Garlic Planting Day!

Unfortunately I did not get to planting my garlic today. Maybe tomorrow! I still need to clear out the area for them though. My neighbor's chickens will be having a feast! I've already given them some tomato plant cuttings to feast on and they preferred it over the collard greens I gave them! I don't blame them, honestly! Those Black Krim tomatoes are yummy! Their leaves have to be just as good too :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Mealbugs got into into my collection thanks to a plant I bought. It's been around for several years, but it was under control. Something happened and this year they have flourished! Most plants that got to spend their summer outdoors are free of it, but those that stayed indoors, especially those that were potted in soil, had the most problems. In the last week, I've taken those plant outside and sprayed them all down with a seaweed, neem oil and soap mixture. I hope that it will take care of those annoying things without having to use chemicals! I've also left them outside for nature to take care of anything I missed. I will soon have to bring them all back indoors and I'm hoping that I will be mealybug free!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bhut Jolokia!

Today's harvest of the hottest peppers in the world!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Macadamias & Plumeria

Well, according to the computer, I am a day late, or not in the case of the Macadamias! Today on the 12th, I planted the red and white Plumeria cuttings and tonight, the 13th (2:05am), I planted the Macadamia seeds that I had soaking for 24 hours in water with a rooting solution hoping to give them a head start! I hope they sprout for me!

On another note, I came home to my acorn squash plant not looking quite as perky as when I had left it. I hope the fruits are done growing if it is indeed thinking of kicking the bucket!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hawai'ian Goodies

Yesterday I brought some goodies home with me from our wedding in Hawai'i. I planted the ginger and bamboo orchids yesterday. Today I am soaking the Macadamia seeds. Hopefully they will sprout and grow! I also hope that I have much better luck with the bamboo orchid this time around. I bought four packs so the odds are good, I hope! I still have two Plumeria to plant. Hopefully they are colors I do not have already! But I won't know until the two I have bloom first.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stink Bugs

They are congregating around my west windows. I have caught very few with my Rescue traps. Probably because they are no longer interested in mating since the traps are pheramone based, but survival at this point with nighttime temps dropping. I am drowning every single one I can find in soapy water or squashing them! I even took a stick to them around the windows. This is insane! I don't think any of the predatory insects are getting any of them or enough of them to keep them under control!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Joy of Gardening

Even though I am trying to downsize a bit it's a bit hard to choose what to keep and what to get rid of. My plants are like my children and I love them all. I can't tell you the joy I get from caring for them. There are no words to describe it. It makes me happy to water them and watch them flourish. The rewards are amazing! Beautiful flowers, fruit, and the pride I get when others ooh and ahh over them :) It's too bad I can't make money off of them because I would truly enjoy what I do then!

Looks like what I thought was a cantaloupe is going to be acorn squash!

Look how big the vine is! It's growing up the fence, through between the peonies and the grill, through the peonies and down the alley between the two houses!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stink Bug Wars

I've declared war on the stink bugs this year. They aren't getting my peppers or tomatoes! Well...at least not as many, I hope! I got tired of fighting them for my ripening fruits. One day a brilliant idea came to mind. I had a bolt of tulle in my attic and I have fruit to protect! Viola! I got busy cutting up the bolt of tulle into 12"x12" squares and pieces of twine. When I ran out of twine I used the plastic ties you can buy in a roll. I enveloped each fruit in a puff of tulle in hopes that those mouth parts on the stink bug aren't quite long enough to penetrate the tulle and still let them ripen on the vine with plenty of air circulation. There are areas where I am not able to protect unfortunately so there are some married fruits.

Tonight though, I found a bunch of them gathered on one of my tulle covered peppers. How convenient! I quickly grabbed the yogurt cup I keep filled with soapy water and ran over to where this congregation was and gave the plant a good TAP! TA DA! They all jumped ship....right into the soapy water! YEAH! Call me sadistic, but I love watching the little suckers drown! Take that for eating my crop!

Normally I am more than happy to share with the wildlife, but these stink bugs don't know how to share. For that, they get death. It's not really that they consume a lot, but when they bite into the fruit they introduce bacteria and what eventually kills the crop is a bacterial infection. Sorry to anyone who thinks I ought to let them live. Don't come over if you can't watch it. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What's Blooming

My Stargazer lilies just opened up yesterday and they smell HEAVENLY! I always look forward to these blooms each year. Almost more so than my red Asiatic lilies. I think I may cull the one type out as I am not impressed by the flower shape as well as they are taking up too much space for my garlic since they grow in the same space!

I finally planted my Black Krim tomatoes (they're in bloom already!) and basil after I dug out all the garlic. I can't wait to have tomatoes again!

Three of my Japanese Neofinetias are in bud! Not in spike, but in BUD! YIPEE!!! They smell awesome too! I love growing these things as they are so easy and bloom so readily for me. The other perk is that they stay SMALL!

The Bhut Jolokia has almost met death twice now with lots of broken branches. This last time I tried to salvage the broken stems by tying it back together in hopes that it will heal. So far, only a few leaves lost, but no wilting, keep your fingers crossed! It's been blooming its head off, but no fruit :( The other peppers are setting fruit just fine! I hope no stink bugs are around this year to eat them. I have not seen as many of them this year, knock on wood!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Garlic Harvest

These were not grown in my usual garlic patch. These were the mix-ups that I had from last year. They could be Music or some other no name type. Strong flavor though! This group got a lot more sun and space and the bulbs were MUCH bigger! I wish I had more sun/space to grow garlic as these are more like the size I wanted them to grow to be! The oddest thing happened with these...we put weed block fabric down and the bulbs luckily and oddly formed above the fabric (but under the mulch)! The roots penetrated into it for moisture and nutrients though!

These are German. They didn't do too bad.

These are Music. They are slightly bigger than they were last year thanks to the cow manure and mulch, but no where near as big as the ones that got more sun and space.

In the place of the garlic, I planted my two Black Krim tomatoes as well as some basil. I debated whether to plant the Dahlia or not and decided to try them in pots this year instead. It would make storing easier without having to dig them up!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gardening Without Samba

This last month has been a rough month. On June 3rd, I had to put my gardening buddy down due to complete renal failure. He was just about two months short of turning six years old. I've tended to the garden more since for emotional therapy, but every time I am out there enjoying the scent of my honeysuckle and seeing things bloom....it's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it just makes me miss him just a bit more as he loved to hang out in the garden and this will be the first year I am enjoying the sights and smells of it without him. I still find myself stepping carefully in the grass for fear of landmines, but sadly...there are none.

I've harvested some of the garlic already, but the majority of the harvest will come this next week. I hope they are big!

This plant I bought at May Market is blooming these beautiful cup shaped fuschia blooms. I love how they wave in the wind. It looks awesome as the backdrop to my blooming lavender.

I got a $50 GroupOn this past spring to Urban Gardeners and used it on some more perennial wildflowers and a much coveted tree peony, even though I have not a clue where I am going to plant it! I hope it tolerates part shade. :S I also picked up a cinnamon basil, which I bought because it had pretty purple flowers as well as a lemongrass. So much for my "landscaping". I am just planting what I love instead!

I am ready to pull out my creeping juniper. It has not done well in its location. I might just plant another peony in its spot! LOL I need more space. I have outgrown this garden, that's for sure!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Garlic Growth

Above is a shot of the garlic that I have growing in an area that gets a bit more light, albeit lately, it has not gotten much light due to the constant rainstorms we have been having, but it sure has made things GROW! This patch is almost three feet tall! You can see that they are almost as tall as the peonies next to it! It's the first year I have planted in this area. My regular garlic patch is amended with all sorts of good stuff and aren't growing nearly as well as they are here!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15th Update

I am missing an Allium this year. The one next to Persian Blue is not in bloom. I wonder if it is a light issue?

The Sambuca 'Black Lace' is getting quite big! I've had to hack it back some each year! It should look pretty nice in bloom this year as long as no crazy rain fall knocks off all the petals!

The native strawberry plant is taking over. I should move some of the plantlets into the area behind the garage. I don't know if it'll grow in full shade, but it seems vigorous enough that it might?

My peony 'Sorbet' is like 4' tall and has TONS of buds! I am excited to see them all in bloom at once!

I don't think my Cyps are going to bloom this year. That weed block really did it in and I'll be lucky if they are alive, let alone bloom!

Most of my pitcher plants have a bud on them except for flava. I'm excited to see my first flowers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Absent Minded Gardener

I just realized tonight that I have, once again, forgotten about my new Cyprepedium sitting there in the fridge downstairs waiting to be potted up so it can GROW! Thank god my friend, Tim, tagged me to look at his beautiful Cyp in bloom! Then as I walked by to pot this poor thing up, I saw that white box again....DOH! The nematodes! They need to be put out and down too! This physics is getting to my head! I hope it isn't too late. I'm going to try and do it tomorrow before my appointment!

On a better note, the Cyps I had to rescue are starting to green up so I hope they are going to be ok!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weed Block Fabric

Last end of summ/fall-ish I succumbed to my fiancé's request for weed block fabric. It was a PITA to install and I hated it. I did not want to put it in, nor did I want to install it! Well...this spring I've been waiting and waiting for my Cypripediums to come up and they never did. Good thing I decided to poke around because I had forgotten about having put that junk down over them! The poor things were looking and looking for sunlight to get up, but found none! They were long and pale underneath that horrid fabric! I immediately yanked that stuff out from under the mulch (once the mulch rotted on top the weed seeds would find a new (better) medium to grow in anyway, so this stuff is just worthless!) and propped up these poor plants so they can green up with some sunlight! I hope I haven't killed them thanks to not listening to my inner voice and that they would still bloom for me this spring!

May Market 2011

Much to everyone's disappointment this year, the mushroom sandwiches were not there this year! :( I was so looking forward to a nice hot cup of mushroom soup with a mushroom sandwich! Thank god the fodant dipped strawberries were there at least! Luckily strawberries weren't all there was to eat. Phipps had a whole stand of made to order food of pizza or tacos! I got the pizza and it was yummy!

I walked around for hours with only one plant in my hand. I know, shocking, right? Well, I fixed that real quick LOL I picked up the following:

Tricyrtis hirtis 'Moonlight' (Toad Lily)

2 Spiranthes cernua var. odorata (Lady's Tresses), I couldn't help it, they were only $4 each!

Viola odorata 'Rosina' (Strawberry Viola)

2 Iris cristata

Fragaria vesca 'Variegata'

Callirhoe digita Winecups

2 Aslepias incarnata 'Cinderella' (Cinderella Milkweed)

Maya Red Habanero

Pea Green (These are SUPER yummy!)

Lemon Verbena

There was a new vendor there this year from Ohio who specializes in all things miniature! I loved it! Above is one of his fairy garden displays!

The Wisteria in this picture has nothing to do with May Market, but they were in bloom in the outdoor gardens and it just smelled SO good I had to take a picture to remember them by! :)

This also has nothing to do with May Market besides the fact that I saw it in bloom in the outdoor gardens at Phipps while I was there and thought these peonies were SO pretty! I can't wait for mine to bloom! I did not see any buds on mine this year. I hope it just means it is too young to bloom and not that it is not getting enough sun! :S

Anyhow, I tried hard not to buy anything, but it didn't work so I hurriedly planted them in the ground or in pots so that my other half won't see LOL This was the first year I volunteered at the Shrub & Perennial booth and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I need to volunteer at a booth that doesn't sell anything I might want though to save myself! I think that might be hard to do as it IS May Market, where one goes to buy PLANTS! LOL

It was supposed to rain this afternoon and I got there all prepared, but we lucked out and had GREAT weather!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What's Growing on April 30th.

Not sure what these are? Couldn't find my tag...

Bloodroot's lonely leaf this year.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit pitcher

Jack-in-the-Pulpit clump.

New Butterwort project! :D

Arugula and dandelion greens for Pele!

Planting & Moving

Yesterday was such a nice day that I had to work on the garden some when I got home from the early morning meeting! Planted 4 of my 5 Hellebores, 2 Trilliums & variegated Soloman's Seal. Repotted my Bhut Jolokia and fertilized some of the plants. I am undecided as to where to put the new Peony I got. The site I want it at looks a bit crowded during the spring when the bleeding heart is in bloom, but that doesn't last too long and I think the Peony leaves will last much longer. I have a Lady's Mantle behind the Bleeding Heart that I may move, but I don't know where? Maybe I will find it a new home in someone else's yard? I did, however, bought them for my planters, but didn't put them in. I don't know why I didn't just bury them pot and all though? I moved the Jack-in-the-Pulpit tho. It was getting lost and not being enjoyed enough. Seems this past winter did a job on my Moneywort too, but it will come back so I have no worries there! It's such a weedy thing.

Today it is raining so I guess I don't have to water my new plantings! :D

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Herbs & Stuff

I was at the Co-Op today and saw they had some more herbs. I had about 5 of them picked out only to realize they were super pricey! :( So....I put back 3. Picked three things I might use. Turned out to be a good idea as my herb pot is getting a bit overcrowded! Stuff I did not expect to come back did or re-seeded itself! I still have yet to plant all my Helleborus. I did however pot up my dahlias that were sprouting the other day as well as the tulips. I think most of the tulips died tho. :( We'll see!

I ended up losing my Michaelango's Angels umbrella that I have had for almost a decade and a half at the gardening symposium I volunteered at tho :(

It's been raining so much lately I haven't been able to do any foliar feeding of my garlic! The ones getting more sun are much bigger plants!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've been so busy I forgot that I bought bulbs to plant in the planters up front till today when I found them! Unfortunately, I already planted something in them! What to do...? I have no where else to put them!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunfarm.com & Symposium

Hellebore, Hellebore, Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, Trillium, & Hellebore

This post is a bit late as I did not have time to post earlier...On 4/16 I volunteered at the Chatham University Gardening Symposium. I picked up some stuff, but by the time I was able to shop all the good stuff was gone, BUT...there were some goodies left still! Not only that, but the showy more expensive versions were all sold. All that was left was the stuff that were just coming out of dormancy and MUCH cheaper! So score for me! :D

I wanted Helleborus and I got Helleborus! Five to be exact! Scored two freebie Stevias too! I also got the Trilliums and Jack in the Pulpits. Native plants are nice because they are pretty much guaranteed to grow given the right area! So I am excited! There were a lot of natives there this year, but a lot of them I did not get. I only got the showier ones. :) Some anyway! The one I was most excited about when I found it was the Soloman's Seal. I saw that someone bought one that had come out of dormancy completely and it was GORGEOUS! I so wanted one, but did not find it on the sales table until a few passes later I saw it on the master gardener table juuuuust coming out of dormancy and for $6 only! It's the variegated kind and SO pretty! I can't wait! I am fast running out of space in my yard. I don't know how much more I can cram in it!

Btw, www.sunfarm.com is the vendor that had all the Helleborus and the natives in the first picture. They had some awesome deals! I hope they come back next year!

Stevia, Stevia, Hellebore, Hellebore, mini Hosta, Soloman's Seal

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Frost Blanket

As I was watching the weather on weather.com the forecast said we were going to have some almost freezing nights. I didn't feel like moving my peppers or my pitcher plants in and out again so I decided to go get some frost blankets. I almost didn't find any, but when I finally asked someone, not only did we find some, but I got them for $5 each when they were normally $15.67 EACH! I bought three, even though I probably did not need three! It was too good of a deal to pass up! I hope that is enough so that my peppers won't pout at least. I know the pitchers will be fine.

This summer, I need to clean out some gardening supplies I haven't been using! Time to purge and get ready for the next chapter in my life!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Warm Spring Day

What an amazing day! I woke up late cuz I stayed up till 3am reading a really good book and I just had to finish it! It was so warm today! It was a bit too warm almost! I got a little bit of a tan line on my feet already!

In the garden, I sprayed the garlic w/ the kelp & fish emulsion spray again. I forget how often you are supposed to do so. I need to refresh my memory again.

I went on a search for all my carnivorous plants I overwintered outside. I almost forgot the two smaller ones! Trimmed all the dead stuff off. They sure could use a bath! I swore I blogged about where I put them, but I couldn't find the post! I hope that this was all of them!

Cleaned up some other plants, thinned the burning bush and all the dead stuff around.

My neighbors got chickens! They are the cutest!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Day of Deals

On my way to meeting a friend for lunch today, I remembered I had a Wild Birds Unlimited Groupon to use, but I forgot to print it out! At least I think it was with Groupon! Thank god for the iPhone! I pulled up the app and there it was! I walked in and redeemed it for a bunch of bird food. $15 for $30 worth. Probably ended up paying regular price for it all since that place is so expensive!

But that wasn't the deal...! When I went to do my first walk through to see what was new, there were a bunch of bird baths for 50% off! WOW! These were the heated kind also! The heaters itself usually ran about $40+ and lo and behold....there was a small one sitting right there on a stand even! The lady said if I wanted it, she'd give it to me for 60% off instead! SOLD! :D So I left with my new bird food and heated bird bath. My birds are going to love me next winter! :D

After meeting my friend for lunch, we went to Borders Bookstore. Unbeknownst to me, they were closing and everything was 60-70% off! WOOHOO! I scored a bunch of books there!

After coming home with my goodies, I got to hang out w/ my favorite neighbor kiddos next door. The little boy told me that in the summer I am always gardening :D Imagine the memories he will have with a gardener as a neighbor with really cool plants, feeders and animals! :D

Foliar Feeding Garlic

I completely forgot I had to foliar fertilize my garlic! I was supposed to have started doing it with fish emulsion and kelp when they were 3" tall. They are about 4-6" tall now instead! Oops! So I did some just now. I hope it's ok! They look like they have a thicker stalk this year. I'm hoping for bigger garlic due to the cow manure I put on last fall!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Flowers for the Show

I just went and watered all my orchids. There are a few in spike, but only one that is starting to bloom. If it hangs out a bit it'll make this next weekend's show. Otherwise, I don't think I will have anything! :(

Spring is Coming!

How do I know? We just sprung forward in time yesterday, my dog started shedding and my garlic are peeking out of the soil! I can't wait! I'm hoping the garlic will grow nice and big this year! All that manure I put on last year better have helped! I need to find my sugar snap peas and get them in the ground this week!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Show Time!

We are in full swing for the orchid show next month! This is an exciting time! All except that the aphids have found their way to some of my budding orchids! GRRR!!! Some of them are also starting to bloom too, which is way too early for the show. I see some spikes too, but hopefully they will bloom in time for the show! Guess I better more regularly now! I maybe too late, but I will try anyway!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Wonders?

My peppers have come down with aphids. I was going to spray them this past weekend while we had the freak warm weather, but time got away from me and I wasn't able to. Need to take them down into the basement and at least blast them off with water.

The one Phrag that has been in spike is still in spike! I don't know what it is or isn't doing! I do have two other plants in spike.

Neofinetia falcata 'Shutennou' 'Red Emperor' possibly in bud!

Rhctm. Fuchs Stardust X Rhctm. Lilac Bloom x Rhy. colestis Pink in bud!!!

Ping laueana is also in flower for the second time. Ping 'Aphrodite' are all in bloom and blooming their heads off. Not much promise though for the spring orchid show... :\