Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snowed in

Winter reminds me it is not done yet. Three inches are on the ground with 4-5 more on the way. Nothing to do except bake up a storm since we are snowed in for the day. I used the last of the sun dried tomatoes on the bread.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting steamy in there...

I sent for some seed from Trudi's WinterSown Organization. I am excited to try the Button Box Zinnia Mix, Rocket Larkspur, and Blue Flax. Meanwhile the greenhouse is getting steamy with the beautiful weather we are having. I skip the lid step in winter sowing and just put them all in the mini greenhouse. I have found this setup to be easier to monitor and maintain than dealing with taping, closing, and opening lids. This is my third year wintersowing and I love the results. I also enjoy being able to plant seeds in the middle of winter. I am getting better at collecting seeds in the fall too, so the process will just get better.
Happy sowing!
Get Busy Gardening (also from MN) is hosting a free seed giveaway for wintersowing, be sure to check out her blog and enter!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jade plant

I took a cutting of my Jade plant for a friend at work. This succulent roots very easily, no rooting hormone required. I will water well and put a plastic dome over the top to keep the moisture in to prevent it from drying out. It is hard to believe that the mother plant below was once as small.
Jades are evergreen plants with thick branches and smooth, rounded, fleshy leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink star-like flowers in early spring.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rosemary trim

Here is a before and after picture of my rosemary plant. It's leaves were starting to get a little out of control, so it was time for a trim. I will dry all the cuttings for cooking. I started this guy from a cutting two years ago and have trying to turn him into a standard.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fern Propagation

So I am trying my hand at growing ferns from spore. What I have learned so far is that it is a very slow process. These two trays of ghost fern spore and maiden hair have been growing since late August and have only developed a handful of mature gametophytes. The maiden hair spores were sowed on the thick side.
The whole process is definitely a waiting game. Has anyone else had success at growing their own fern from spore?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Deer Damage

This year has been particularly bad for deer damage. All the snow in Twin Cities area has driven the deer to eat pretty much anything and everything that is green and isn't covered by snow.

Deer eating the buds off apple and pear trees have happened before, but this year they attacked all our shrubs and bushes! Notice all the green is eaten off at deer-height and below.

This used to be a solid hedge of yews, now it's a row of sheared sticks. Notice the deer fence over what is left of them, maybe there is enough shrub left under the snow for them to come back next year.

These were also two yews with a barberry in the middle. As you can see coming near the house isn't a problem for hungry deer. These weren't damaged as badly as the others but the fence was put up much earlier.

Last spring Lady Bug let me get several new fruit trees (pears, plums, & peaches) and luckily those are protected with deer fencing already. If not those would already be gone, eaten to stumps. The deer are winning the battle but we plan on winning the war!
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