Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Plants and I had the Best Day!

Glorious spring sunshine


Some of my babies hanging outdoors. From top to bottom: Rosemary, Bay Laurel, big box of alliums and perennial herbs/edibles including Caucasian Spinach (Hablitzia)*

Sunshine and above zero temperatures made for a great day for the plants and I. Those that are half hardy which was everything, except some long season solanums that I had started, was left outside for a couple hours against the south wall of the house in a little melt hollow on some warm drainage stone. I put a thermometre there and despite the wind being a bit chill, it read over 25C! That location would make a sweet spot for a lean-to greenhouse/solarium... Anyone know of some cheap to build but sturdy building plans that worked for you?

My novice origami skills.

Reverse Engineering Seed Packages

I also got together some of my seed packages to send to those who offered their help in lightening my seed load. My desire to use less plastic and spend less money meant I decided to make some little envelopes with scrap paper. Some of my seed trading friends from Europe send me these cute little packages so I attempted some reverse engineering. After various attempts, I think I got the formula. I really like this design because it is quick, pretty easy to open and close, requires no taping and, most importantly, the seeds stay put.

This appears to be the same design if you would like to try. My only suggestion is to use rectangles to start, instead of squares, by dividing a standard piece of paper into thirds envelope style and then fold that in half so you end up with 6 seed saving pouch pieces.

Tomorrow I'm going to try newspaper seedling pots.

* I'd mentioned Hablitzia tamnoides briefly the other day but it deserves more attention. A perennial, woodland climber and spinach substitute, it is a useful addition to the food forest. Read more in Stephen Barstow's article in the Permaculture Magazine.


Robert said...

I use an A5 sheet of paper for folded packets.

Daphne said...

I read the link you had there about the chenepodia. That sounds like a really interesting plant. I find it strange that something that ought to be so used isn't. I really wonder what it tastes like.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Lovely spring like day here too! I didn't consider putting my plants outside yet! Good idea! I think I will look into that tomorrow and see if my south deck is clear of snow against the house.

I am considering making a lean to greenhouse on that south deck with 1-2 patio doors that I have, if I need it.

Steve said...

I think I will have a go at folding my own pots for my cucumber starts and others that don't need to be potted up for too long! Great idea.

Word Verification - Laxese

Could be a laxative or a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Ensenada (ESE)!

Steve said...

I wonder what the longevity of newspaper pots it? How many weeks of indoor growing do you think they would take? I can see using them for starts that only need a few weeks, but am wondering about things like basil or even tomatoes which are going to be in them a bit longer... Thoughts?

Word Verification: Synail

The latest in synthetic nails I would guess...

Karen said...

Telsing, saw your packets and said, that looks like what Stephen sent me! Glad you are seeing some sunshine, it has been very nice here, dwarf iris, scilla, daffodils, crocus, hepatica & hellebores are all blooming now.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Good question Steve. I guess it depends on how often the medium needs watering and such. I only thought of using them for melon starts and whatnot. I feel an experiment is required. Anyone know?

Synail: Artifical snail intelligence?

Karen: You are right on the money! Frank also makes them.

Steve said...

The experiment is on. I have potted up my hot pepper starts into ones that are about 3"x3"x4"deep I figure. We will see how it goes! I am planning to put my basil in them as well I think. I just can't bring myself to buying pots and I haven't got enough saved yogurt tubs and such. I will let you know how it goes with the peppers.

Word Verification:
Brotha! Kind of like Mutha? as in "He's a bad mutha... shut your mouth! I'm talking 'bout Shaft!"

Ottawa Gardener said...

Excellent Steve. We'll compare notes!