Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let the Fun Begin!

It's that time of year folks! Time to get all the seed packets in order, start seedlings indoors and get your hands dirty. It's also a good time to rejuvenate and start houseplants. Let the fun begin!

Seeds Everywhere!

I admit it, I'm just a little behind on starting my seeds indoors but only by a few days. Yesterday was sunny and a balmy 63ºF so that spurred me into action. Unfortunately the prediction is for colder temperatures for the rest of the week with chance of snow flurries. It is March so anything can be expected.

This was the condition of my dining room table yesterday. There were seeds everywhere as I sorted them into various piles. I plant according to the average day of last frost (ADLF) so some seeds are started indoors six to eight weeks before the ADLF while others are planted directly in the ground. Towards the upper corner is my gardening journal for the past year. I cull out the seed packets based on the performance noted in my journal. There are also several zipper sandwich bags holding various seeds I collected. Just barely visible on the chair to the right is a large plastic bin holding various collected seeds as well.

Just Beginning

My biggest problem for starting seeds indoors is space. We don't have a basement or spare room and the house is spatially challenged as it is. So despite my decluttering goals in preparing for spring cleaning, the seed trays will add to visual clutter until I can open the greenhouse.

Near the dining room table were the most of the things to get me going. They were only there for the photo shoot as we would end up tripping over them. This is just a small number of flats I will be starting this year. All the pots and cells had to be washed along with the seed trays. I've vowed to washed them as they are used this time so they are clean and ready to go for next year. I know I have clean ones in the shed but the entry is flooded at the moment.

So Monday I brought in a few of the cells and seed trays to wash, battling drizzling rain but thankful they were in the greenhouse not the shed. The greenhouse needs a complete clean-out but I will talk about that in a later entry. While the first batch was drying, I went to get the Stim-Root® for geranium cutting. I thought I knew right where it was but my husband did a little reorganize so it took me almost 2 hours to find it! By then the rest seemed overwhelming but by yesterday I was ready to get going. Seed sorting took longer than expected and even though I did not get any seeds planted, the soil was mixed and trays filled ready for seeding. I didn't get the aloe divided or geranium cuttings finished but I managed to get the much neglected African violet divided.

African Violet

My mom had a knack with African violets and hers always looked gorgeous likely because she was always tending to them. This was my poor, neglected African violet. It was overcrowded and in need of attention. I decided to divide the plant as from first looks there were two crowns. I also decided to propagate using the water method I saw my mom do countless times.

In preparation for this, I watered the plant well from the bottom. African violets are prone to brown water marks on their leaves so I always water from the bottom. Then I removed the dead flowers. Once it was well watered, I removed it from the pot. As suspected the plant was root bound. Dividing the smaller crown from the main plant was fairly easy to do with my fingers. Before re-potting, I cut away any yellowed leaves as well as a few for starting in water.

The Aftermath

I potted the larger piece of the plant in a 6" pot and the smaller piece in a 4" pot. Then four leaves were placed through holes in plastic wrap so their cut ends rested in the water. Once these form roots, they will be transplanted into pots. The new plant will grow from the cut end up through the soil and at the same time the old leave will begin withering. Once dead, the leaf can be removed.

This morning the new African violets appear to have survived their ordeal with no signs of shock. I'll post entries of their progress along the way.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I found your blog on blog explosion and I was happy to see another garden blogger. If you ever get the chance stop by my blog and lets talk gardeing.


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