Monday, March 21, 2011

More new seedlings!

One tiny little Anise seedling finally came up!  That took 10 days! Phew! I'm still concerned that the Angelica has not come up, neither has the Lovage or Tansy. 

The Hyssop are coming along nicely, as well as the purslane.  My tray of sunflowers has made a good start, I plan on using them along the border of my garden to deter deer and human petty thieves. The sunflowers act as a barricade and a privacy fence to not only shelter, but hide from view what lies beyond.  Sometimes the "out of sight, out of mind" technique works to deter garden thieves from stealing  melons and pumpkins. 


I am still in the process of finding a dealer for the Sweet Grass and other herbs that are not carried by regular retailers.  There is one online who sells some of what I'm looking for, but I'd like to find more than one for comparison and selection.   

This normally fun assignment has been held up for a while due to money restraints.  My little dog got hurt and I had to take him to the vet the other day, where I shelled out a whopping $365 for a broken toenail. Yikes.  This is only a set-back however, I will continue to research a good nursery for the more hard-to-find medicinal herbs.
One of the things I have had to consider when selecting medicinal herbs for this community garden is the impact on the immediate environment.  I need to be careful not to grow plants that are too invasive, some are considered weeds and there are a few that are actually outlawed in my state.  If I had my own private garden, this kind of thing would not be an issue.

Opium Poppy is not outlawed, and I was able to find seeds for that. Those will be put down soon.  Also, some of the plants I had hoped to grow are better sown in the fall.  No matter, we will have a nice herb garden soon, now that we are actually getting started growing something!  Yay!

As for the potting soil that I'm using, they are the trays of "Jiffy-Pots" you can find in any store's garden center. They are dry peat pellets that you just add water and seed to get started.  The size I'm using, 72 pellets, costs around six bucks.   But I wanted to have more, and much larger starter pots without having to spend so much.  My solution is "newspaper pots."

There are web sites that show you how to make your own seedling pots out of newspaper.  It is so cool.  There are a few different techniques, but all are basically the same, just go online and search for "newspaper pots."   Some people use jars, wine bottles and cans to roll the newspaper, and slightly different ways of folding down the bottom so it holds dirt.  It's easy and free. 

There is also a little wooden tool to make the pots, it can be found on line as well, but it costs from about $12.99 to $20, or thereabouts.  I think it is just as easy to use a soft drink can or jar.  Below is just one website that gives instructions on how to make them. Have fun!

So, in these lovely newspaper pots I am using some expensive potting soils, because I want to give my babies a really good start in life.  By expensive, I mean they cost about $4-5 dollars for about 8 to 12 quarts of potting medium. 

The Miracle-Gro peat moss is meant to be mixed with potting soil.  I bought two different brands of the "seed-starting" mix and one of Organic Potting Soil.  The Miracle-Gro seed starter and the Jiffy Seed Starter are a much finer grain, whereas the potting soil, although organic, is a heaver topsoil type mix, which includes bits of twigs.  At least it does not have those nasty bits of styrofoam you will see in the cheaper potting soils.  I hate those things.  I will keep you posted as to how successful my plants are with each type of mix.

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