Yummy NPK!

Fertilized the plants today. Aw yasssssss…Tasty buffet for my plants.

How important is fertilization to your garden? Pretty damn important. I recently learned about the NPK ratio on plant fertilizers, ex. 5-10-10…N-P-K, or Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium. Here I what I have learned:

Your leafy guys (lettuce, spinach, etc.), are nitrogen lovers – nitrogen promotes leaf growth! Be careful to avoid putting too much nitrogen on plants that you want flowers and fruit from. Phosphorous is good for root development, flowers, and fruit. And potassium is an all-around good-guy for the health and strength of your plants. Aw, Potassium ❤

Those are the big three, but other nutrients help your little green friends as well, of course. Calcium is important, especially to tomatoes and peppers to prevent blossom-end rot. (Even watering helps your plants absorb calcium from the soil easier.) Vitamin B-1 can help your plant avoid transplant shock by growing and establishing roots faster. Some plants, like rhododendrons, azaleas, and blueberries, also enjoy a more acidic soil (and some plants just like to show off in an acidic soil, like certain hydrangeas, who turn blue in acidic soil and pink in alkaline).

So, remember to give your plants a tasty treat once in a while!

And as I write this, I suppose I have to confess – my pretty little string of pearls succulent appears to be under the weather! Aw, shucks. Well, I’m still learning, right? I’ve attempted to move him into a more comfortable soil/pot and removed some of the crappy strings, so hopefully he’ll be okay. I found a little slug tucked under the strings, which I was very unfond of – I keep the plant in our bedroom, so…Just, ew.

Happy gardening!

New Additions to the Geek Household:

We have so many tomato seedlings* (I planted extra for my partial black thumb, but hey, 100% germination!), plus four more I bought, four cucumbers*, one sunflower*, a bell pepper, a jalepeno*, two avocados*, two strawberries, a new rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, cilantro, another basil for a total of two, and curled mint, for the edibles.

* refers to plants I started from seed. And hey, these were all seeds that were at least a year old – remember that they’re still good, guys!

New ornamentals are cineraria, mums, maidenhair fern, another type of fern I haven’t ID’d, a gorgeous hosta, hellebores, a yellow and pink orchid, I finally got my aloe I wanted and gave my mom my pup of another type of aloe (vera), a cactus, a weird pink thing that I love, and…My favorite…A string of pearls succulent. YES!

I also bought my mother a beautiful weeping lilac tree for mother’s day, and gave it to her a bit early. She loved it!

Another announcement: I am actually working at the largest plant nursery in my area for the summer! I hope to be learning a lot to share here – I already know a lot more than I used to!

<3

I wish I had a better camera so I could share some pictures of the garden here; unfortunately, my husband’s the one with the awesome camera phone, and I keep forgetting to sneak my pictures off it when it’s available. Right now I have more little tomato and lettuce seedlings than I can handle, and they are all absolutely darling! Just picture it in your mind, okay? And then take some off my hands; I really don’t know why I thought I could use that many.

On another note, carrot foliage is just darn awesome as a beautiful green filler.

Garden Update

The weather has been jumping back and forth so quickly around here! Sunshine one minute, rain the next…

On my last weekend (which was actually a Saturday/Sunday weekend for once; yay!) I visited a few local nurseries and made some good purchases: a variety of lettuces and spinach, Greek oregano, chives, and curly mint at one, English daisies and cyclamen at another. Oh, and then a few succulents as well; outdoor hen and chicks, and a few indoor, unnamed ones just labeled “succulents” (searching Google makes me guess “Baby’s toes”, this guy, and this guy).

I’ve got a few of my own lettuce seeds popping up, an aloe pup starting to show its cute little face, and two avocados reaching for the sky. Not only that, but I gathered some seed pods from my mother’s wisteria plant a month or two ago, and now I have a gorgeous, heat-loving little seedling that seems to grow inches each day.

Plus, did I mention I have my own miniature greenhouse on my patio now? Things are starting to get HOT around here, I tell you what!

Succulent Propagation

One of my goals/projects for the garden this year is to learn and be successful at propagating some of my plants. I didn’t do so well with my rosemary (I…kind of forgot about it and left it outside to freeze…poor tender thing), but I’m going to keep trying, trying, trying.

This morning I stumbled upon this excellent article for succulent propagation from the blog Needles + Leaves. It has some really nice pictures as well, and what I really loved is that their technique seems to fully maximize the amount of cutting that you can get from one plant, and works best when you want to prevent your plant from getting leggy. Check it out!

It’s Time…

Long time, no post! It’s getting sunny around here a little early, so I’ve been very excited to start some seedlings. I’ve got a gourmet lettuce blend, spinach, basil, and borage starting up right now, and looking real cute. As a little trick I learned from somewhere on the internet (unfortunately, I don’t remember where), I have them germinating in the warmest spot in our apartment – by, and on top of, our internet modem.

Also, interestingly enough, this winter I plucked some of my mother’s wisteria pods in an experiment to try and get seedlings to sprout, and so far, I have one adorable little wisteria seedling popping up. This first one seemed to take approximately forever to sprout up, so I am giving the others some time (though I’m pretty sure one of them was a dud from the start).

I am very excited to start doing more flowers this year, though of course I’m going to grow some veggies as well. I went to the NW Flower and Garden Show a week or two ago, and bought a variety of dahlia tubers that I think are going to look great together, as well as finally checked out my local seed exchange – for someone with little space like me who wants to grow as much variety as possible, it was an awesome experience!

This year, my garden should feature:

  • Lettuce, variety
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes, yellow and red cherry, and beefsteak
  • Bell peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn?
  • Green onion
  • Blueberries, if they behave this year
  • Herbs: rosemary, mint, lavender, coriander/cilantro, basil, borage
  • Miniature roses (they’re beefing up already)
  • Tulips (these guys look like they’re almost there!)
  • Sunflowers
  • Dahlias
  • Zinnias
  • Geraniums
  • Shasta daisies
  • Heather
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Rananculus
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Cosmos

Plus maybe start some seedlings of larger plants for my mom (pumpkin and watermelon), and then my indoor succulents and aloe vera, plus this cutie I picked up at the flower show, too:

pink

It looks great in a simple gold-dipped clay pot!

By the way, I never threw out those mushrooms…Well, do you know what they went and did?

shroom

They grew up! I thought the first batch was a goner, but I guess you shouldn’t even stop there. There are still little patches popping up all the time. A+ work, little guys.

That’s all for now. I’ll try not to be a stranger for so long again 🙂