Cottage Gardening forum: Seed Arrival -- Let's chat about it #6

 
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ImageRickCorey
Jan 26, 2015 6:46 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
>> I do have a bag of soda bottles but the bottoms are so hard afraid I'll drill my fingers while drilling holes in them

If you have a soldering iron or a craft "burning tool", you can melt holes in soda bottles or 5-gallon plastic buckets.

Or, if you have a gas stove, you can heat a big nail or spike until it's red-hot, then hold it with pliers to melt holes or slots.

The 1/4" spade bit at the bottom of this photo is my favorite drill for plastic. I wish I had that shape in larger sizes! I've searched, but have not found one.

Thumb of 2015-01-27/RickCorey/6933f5
ImageRickCorey
Jan 26, 2015 6:47 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a

Ella said:
>> It sure would be nice if there was a place you could go other than Almanac and see exactly temps for weather for next two months at least.

I used to use The Weather Channel online for their "30-day Fitness Calendar. They showed average temps for future dates, and actual highs and lows for past dates:

But they re-organized! It used to have monthly weather details in a handy, compact format. Now there are "friendly pictures" instead. FFPPPTTTT!
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/monthly/98204?...

Now if I try to find a 30-day calendar, they re-direct me to The Weather Underground, which is even more complicated and usually too much work for me to figure out:

http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboa...

There ought to be a NOAA site, but the ones I know are even more complicated than the WU.

ImageAndi
Jan 26, 2015 6:54 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
LeBug I use soda bottles for winter sowing. I recycle the outdoor potted plant mix in the bottom of the container and put a bit of smooth fine medium (ideally pine fines but sometimes peat moss) mixed with a bit of dollar store cinnamon on the top. If I wintersow vegetables or edible herbs, I use fresh mix for the whole container. I use fresh mix (or vermiculite) for indoor seed starting.

Every year, I use fresh potting mix and repot my indoor plants and any plant that I am bringing inside to overwinter. The used potting mix is used for wintersowing. I typically sterilize the new potting medium, but I have so many big pots that some have unsterilized medium this year. I add systemic insecticide to my ornamental indoor plants - like my gardenia, mandela, monstera, trandcendia. I also spray the leaves with a neems oil mix before bringing them inside and after each time they get a spa treatment (aka shower and soil flush in the bathtub). It has made a big difference in problems with scale, aphids and fungus gnats. My poor tropical plants are stressed inside in the winter, but I love them.

I am frequently in the same boat when going to town to shop. I ride along with friends or neighbors and hurry so that they don't have to wait for me or I take the bus and have to limit my haul to three bags.

The safest way for me to make holes in the bottom of the bottles is to do that part first using an exacto utility knife. I stick the knife in the center of each of the five bumps in the bottom of the soda bottle and twist the knife to make the hole a bit bigger. If I just make a slit with the knife, the water doesn't drain from the bottle.

I never buy anything that comes in milk jugs. I tried a couple one year. I prefer the soda bottles. I moved as many soda bottles as I could fit in empty trash bins and sneak in boxes. I regretted throwing away my soda bottles when I moved last year.

Ding, ding, ding brownies are almost done, time to open my fabulous piggy present! After two years of delays and disappointments, it is wonderful to be looking forward to the spring gardening season. The winter storm isn't even dampening my enthusiasm. It is just providing more moisture for my garden.
ImageAndi
Jan 26, 2015 7:13 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
I lived in Puerto Rico a couple of years for work. They have fields of sugar cane grown mostly for Bacardi and other rum makers. The plants are like bamboo - they cut them with scythes . It is supposedly very hard work. Some people grow a clump of it typically to make their own rum at home. They chop it up and put it in a big pot/pressure cooker/drum outside. People have different recipes, sometimes adding spices or fruit. It is cooked as the first step of making rum.

They also sell cut sections of canes in the grocery store. Lots of mothers give a thin, long piece to teething or fussy babies. Some people chew it. It is used in some cooking, I have never bought it or cooked with it. They plant new sugar cane with little shoots. You see pick up trucks looking like they are filled with grass, but it is planting season.

You may find cut pieces of sugar cane in grocery stores or Hispanic markets. I have seen it at the grocery store sometimes.

My grandmother said that beet sugar was nicer to cook with than cane sugar. She said the cane sugar is like sand. She also insisted on potato starch for starching shirts, linens and my grandfather's boxer shorts. No wonder he was so strict!

I love the links on the forgotten foods and the alternative natural sweeteners. Beet greens and sorghum are popular with the city earthy crunchy crowd. So were unusual colored heirloom tomatoes. The ones that juice things buy lots of kale (icky juiced I am sure) wheat grass (ie wheat seedlings) and beet greens. Cucamelons were a big deal last summer. They are tangy little cucumbers that looked like watermelons. They were written about in the New York Times and New York magazine. If the rest of the country follows the same trends as the New York foodies, you may want to check the New York Times free online, especially the food section on Sundays. They typically have recipes from the same trendy ingredients the restaurants are featuring. I like trying some of their recipes. Maybe it could give market growers an edge on new trendy stuff, especially if you post pictures or recipes at your stand. Grocery stores have recipe cards in the store, food magazines and online recipes. It must help sell food. We have to keep the piggies prosperous!
Imagepmb2005
Jan 26, 2015 7:13 PM CST
Name: Promise
Zone 7a Tennessee
Ella how do you know you have seed that's worthy of isolation? This is what stumps me, don't you need your flowers pollinated to make fruit? I Google isolating peppers plants and it gave some good images of how to isolate plants.
Imagecritterologist
Jan 26, 2015 11:19 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Pepper & tomato plants can self-pollinate, and that's what you want if you're trying to save seeds of a specific variety. (reminder -- hybrids like 'Carmen' aren't going to come true, although they may be worth growing out anyway... with 'Carmen', for example, you'll still get a red bull's horn pepper) Most tomato plants are pretty much self-isolating due to their blossom structure, so "tomato people" don't often bother bagging. (Some cherry tomatoes, currant tomatoes, and the "promiscuously pollinated" tomatoes Joseph was talking about are exceptions.)

Peppers can be cross-pollinated more easily, by insects or even just by wind. I often wing it and don't bag plants, although I try to save seeds from fruit that was isolated in time (earlier or later than other varieties out there)... and with peppers that I really want to be sure of saving from year to year ('Fish', 'Aleppo', 'Pretty Purple Pepper'), I plant them in their own area, and I don't grow out or give away all the seeds from a particular year... if the seeds from 2013 didn't grow true in 2014, I know I can go back to seeds from 2012 that are the real deal.
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I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 27, 2015 8:40 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Here ya go Promise and anybody else that might be interested.

http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view/81150/

Who's Your Mama?
poisondartfrog
Jan 27, 2015 8:47 AM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Happy happy happy! Redleopard's pink Pride of Barbados has germinated. I have only grown the red/yellow form and am super excited. I hope all the blizzard piggies are safely in their barns enjoying their seeds.
ImageSorellina
Jan 27, 2015 8:47 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao all-

No parcel yet, but I'm not surprised. Usually, I'm one of the last ones. I'm not quite prepared to start things yet, so it's fine.

Promise, so glad you're enjoying Remy's seeds! She's a good friend and will be glad to know. She's got a great bean that I grew a few years back called Jembo Polish. If any of you vegetable growers love beans (thinking of you, EricaBraun), that's a very productive variety with a nice bean-y flavour. I do prefer the Italian Romano types for pickled beans with whole cloves of garlic, a little dill seed, and a hot pepper or three in each jar. They're a bit more tender. Jembo Polish is ideal for blanching for salads or side dishes.

I now wish I had the time to thresh all of the Rainbow Sorghum I harvested this fall, but between the Royal Winter Fair and getting the community garden all tidied up, I ran out of time. Next year, though.

It's very cold here, but not much snow.
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 27, 2015 9:13 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Cool Posion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You little sprouter you. Hilarious! Hilarious! Did you use the vermicultite method on them or something else? I had tried one year wintersowing them and it was months and months before I had any germination and very little at that.

I hoping all the piggies safe too. We have many that are in the direct path of this nasty blizzard, not only having tons of snow, but the hurricane winter winds. The 60-70 mile an hour winds I just can't imagine what that would be like. Seems all that moisture and cold would just about freeze a person instantly where they stood. I know it is not supposed to last too long, but even a few hours in that type of weather can kill.

ImageAndi
Jan 27, 2015 9:57 AM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Greetings from the frozen north!

Thank you Ella, the helpers and the generous piggies for my seeds! I have some interesting surprises to look up and more seeds to wintersow. Plenty of winter for them today.

We got tons of snow overnight, but the power, phones and computer are still working. I definitely need taller winter boots. Maybe I can catch a pair on sale. I didn't measure the snow, but it is almost as deep as the boulders in my front garden.

I am headed next door to help with the computer. The neighbor is fed up with the touchscreen and touch pad and wants me to install his mouse. Windows 8 is really slow on his laptop. I guess it takes a lot of machine resources to power an irritating touch screen. IMO, it is an idea that works better on phones. Other people's phones, mine has old school numbers. I don't text.
poisondartfrog
Jan 27, 2015 10:00 AM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Just nicked the seeds and soaked overnight then sowed in seed starting mix on a heat mat.
ImageRedLeopard
Jan 27, 2015 10:41 AM CST
Name: Ron
Naples, FL

Good to hear, Poison! Thumbs up

Kinda makes me feel like a Grandpa all over again. [I feel curiously vested in your success! Is this weird? Blinking ]

Star, Caesalpinia are tropical/subtropical so don't wintersow. Just sow seed in average soil, keep moderately moist, and they sprout (eventually). Because of the hard seadcoat, however, sprouting tends to be erratic. I use sandpaper to scarify a corner of the seed, then soak in water overnight before sowing. This way, they reliably sprout in a few days.
ImageRedLeopard
Jan 27, 2015 10:56 AM CST
Name: Ron
Naples, FL

Star, you asked about sprouting the Pink Banana (Musa velutina) seed. Banana seed are notoriously difficult, and the one time I tried it I had no success. Here are a couple links to get you started.

The first link was really interesting regarding putting the seed in your mouth and sucking on them for a while before sowing. Immediately put me in mind of Joseph's spit-soaking idea. Hilarious!

Although they can sprout in a couple weeks or so, it can take 6 mos. to a year or more. Because of this, one of the more interesting approaches I have heard (I can't find the link) is to simply sow them in a pot with plants you keep in the sun and take good care of. Just be sure to label/keep note of which pot so you don't pull them up as weeds if/when they do sprout!

The links:

http://unusualplants.net/forums/threads/germinating-velutina...

http://www.bananas.org/search.php?searchid=1176531

http://www.bananas.org/f30/germination-guide-3116.html

Good luck to all who got these seed!
Imagejoseph
Jan 27, 2015 11:24 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

A year ago I received pecan seeds in the hoggy swap. I planted them shortly after they arrived. By the end of the summer 8 of them had grown into small seedlings. They are about 6 inches tall. I checked on them a couple days ago. One had winter killed. It's been a mild winter, so not a real long-term winter-hardiness test, but so far, so good.

Did anyone get hazels to grow from the nuts I sent? About 20 seedlings survived for me. That was growing with zero weeding for the entire growing season. I planted many hundreds of seeds, much more than the small handful that I put in packets for the swap.



Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
ImageMistirose
Jan 27, 2015 11:26 AM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
Did Jonna post any tips for germinating these Choc Cosmos?
Imagechristine00
Jan 27, 2015 12:00 PM CST
Name: christine
kentucky
mistirose i had success with sowing them in vermiculite indoors, almost 100% germination Hurray!
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 27, 2015 12:07 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Misti... I had Jonna about how to germinate them when I sent her confirmation number.

Here is what she wrote to me:

"You can winter sow the Chocolate Cosmos or start them indoors. I did sow them outside (I'm in zone 6) and inside in March, both in vermiculite. In your zone you can winter sow them now. As usual the outside planted seeds gave stronger plants, but they don't need a cold chill to germinate.
Would like to hear how many seeds germinate."

Maybe when she shows up she will have more to add for us. Big Grin

Quoting: from Red Leopard

Kinda makes me feel like a Grandpa all over again. [I feel curiously vested in your success! Is this weird? Blinking ]


Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

it shouldn't have plants around and I look at them and they named after the piggies I got from. Like if I have 20 pots of Comfrey growing they all called Chelle's comfrey as she sent me my first start. My yard has swapping piggies all in it. Hilarious! Just glad I don't have to share my bacon with them. Rolling on the floor laughing

I'm chuckling away at especially the one post on the thread from the first link. Bout choked on my coffee when I read the guy couldn't talk cuz his mouth was full of seed. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

So, I guess those of us with the Kitty Thyme, we need get a water bottle out start to spitting and save the backwash at bottom of other bottles we drink. We heard the technique here first from Joseph. Hurray!

Since the Pink Banana (Musa velutina) is going to possible take so long, I think after sucking on the seeds for awhile like they was a mint. I'll sow them using Jonna's vermicultite techniques so they won't rot. I wil just have to remember I have a seed and not a mint and swallow the darn thing. Blinking Whistling Hilarious!

Joseph... If you haven't pulled that Pecan tree out yet. Let it be. I had so many tree seedlings this past year that I thought was total goners. Dead branches, no life I could see, bad shape all around. I tossed em over into a pile, and still haven't gotten em dumped , but while I was bust procrastinating the trees and shrubs have come back. I mean I had dry break off, rotted stems and took em til just a few weeks ago when I noticed the for the to come back. So you might just want to have some patience if it it still around. It may surprise you and come back up from the roots or come back to life on it's own.

Imagepmb2005
Jan 27, 2015 12:42 PM CST
Name: Promise
Zone 7a Tennessee
I'm wintering sowing right now and I'm worried about this Spigelia Marilandica I oinked from ArleneB. This plant is so precious, should I winter sow some of the seed and save some to plant when it warms up? Any help on growing this is appreciated!
Imagejoseph
Jan 27, 2015 12:48 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I'm pretty much a culling maniac... It's common for me to cull as many as half of seedlings right after they germinate. In the field I cull perhaps 10% of most crops within a week or two of sprouting. It seems to me like weak seedlings grow up to be weak plants.

So that pecan seedling got yanked out... The growing tip had also died back during the growing season and the plant sent out a new shoot. But the root was not dead, and is still in the ground waiting to grow.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse

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