Buying Seeds

Buying seeds is so much fun. We were at Lowes a couple weeks ago and bought some seeds. I wanted to try hot peppers, but didn't want an entire packet of seeds. We found this greenhouse kit. It has 3 varieties; Hot Portugal, Santiago Hybrid, and Sweet Cayenne. I will probably buy some Sweet Bell Peppers too. Last year I chopped and froze any peppers that were not used within a week. We have not had to buy peppers since sometime last Spring.

I also got a packet of corn seeds. My sister wants me to try growing corn, and I didn't want to spend a lot on some fancy variety from a seed catalog and have a major failure. I don't want to plant it in my garden because of all the nutrients it will remove. My current plan is to move my compost pile somewhere else and plant it in that corner. The variety I chose is Candy Corner Hybrid.
My Mom got 2 packets of seeds; a Spreading Petunia (Tidal Wave{R} Purple), and a Black-Eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia). We were both interested in it, having seen it in one of the seed catalogs.

We also bought some Greenhouse Flats. I have a mini greenhouse that we bought when I was much younger. It's probably 10 years old at least. The plastic cover has started to crack, and I've been on the lookout for a replacement since last year. Most of the garden catalogs had some form of mini greenhouse, but cost more than I wanted to spend. We got a set of three for about six dollars. I can't wait to start planting! Unfortunately, if I start planting seeds now I'm going to have some very spindly plants by the time they can be planted outside. I've gone through my calendar and noted when to plant all my seeds.

Wind, Wind, Go Away!

We're currently in the middle of a windstorm with sustained winds of 30-40 miles an hour and gusts of 50-65 miles an hour. This is the second wind storm in exactly 3 weeks. Weren't people predicting that there'd be a lot of snow this winter? December was mostly normal. We almost broke the snowfall record. This month we've only had one snowfall and it wasn't very much. Maybe February will be better.

When I peeked out the window this morning the clothespins holding the plastic on my cold frame were gone the plastic was billowing in the wind. So I braved the 35 mph winds and stapled one end of the plastic to the cold frame, and weighted the other with rocks. I also took an old window that doesn't quite fit on the frame and put it over the plastic. At least it will be a little more protection. I also discovered that in the spaces between the houses a vacuum is created and the wind is about 10 mph stronger.

It started snowing late this afternoon. I hope it accumulates to something. I think I'd rather have cold weather with snow than cold weather with wind. If I ever complain about snow, remind me of this post, ok?



Green Thumb Sunday

Green Thumb Sunday

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I'm late with my GTS post, but better late than never, right? The first picture is of my vegetable garden about a week after planting on 6-19-07. The second is two months later on 8-4-07.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


Long Week

Or, Why I Didn't Have a GTS Post.

It all started last Sunday Night. My Dad had an encounter with a deer on his way to Church. The damage didn't look to bad, just replace the headlight panel everything would be ok. Wrong! Appearances can be deceiving. Turns out the hood won't open. The car was still driveable, so Dad took it to the repair shop and they said 'there might be 'hidden damage' and it might cost more to repair than the car is worth. You need to have an insurance adjuster look at it.' Two days later the insurance adjuster comes and looks at the car (we were pretty sure they would total the car) and said, 'oh, I think it'll be fine once they get the hood off. We'll give you x amount of dollars toward the repairs.' After a big sigh of relief (who wants to look at cars in 20 degree weather?) we called the repair shop back. They won't be able to fix the car until the beginning of February. So, I'm now temporary chauffeur for my parents. I drive a standard, and my Mom can't drive it because the clutch is to stiff for her, and Dad can only drive it short distances.

I've also been trying to clean up my computer to help it run faster. This week I went through my internet bookmarks. I started with over 1,000 and my final tally is 677. Approximately half an hour into the process, my computer decided to slow down to slower than slow. Hitting it doesn't seem to help. Neither does threatening to throw it out the window. Tried begging, that doesn't work either. To help pass the time, I finished perusing the Burpee Seed Catalog.

Yesterday was one of those Murphy's Law type of days. I had to drive my Dad to the hospital because something got dropped that could get infected during his home dialysis treatment and they wanted to change a tube or something and gave him some antibiotic. For some reason I can smell the antibiotic and it gives me a migraine. Not fun. The weird thing is, I'm the only one who can smell it.
So that was my day yesterday. It did end better- I managed to make pizza that everyone liked (do you know how hard it is to make a pizza that even two out of four people like?!?) and I enjoyed watching Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey on PBS Masterpiece.

I'm nearly done tweaking my computer, so my number of posts per week will increase (I hope).
Happy Gardening and watch out for deer!


Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

I've been meaning to participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for quite a while, but I always seem to forget. I'm hoping to make it a monthly habit this year. (To participate, not to forget.) My blooms are inside- an Amaryllis and my African Violet.


Green Thumb Sunday 1-13-08

Green Thumb Sunday

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Remember the flowers from a couple weeks ago? They started to die so I made two new arrangements:

We did some errands yesterday and bought some Tulips:

I haven't really had much to post lately, but I do have some blooms, and since Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is coming soon, I'll post them then. I've been meaning to join in for quite some time but always forget.

Happy GTS~
Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


Garden Catalogs

For some reason this post has been a draft for over a week. Since writing this I have received one more catalog and a notice that another one will be available online to be environmentally friendly.
To date I have received 3 garden catalogs; 2 from Park Seed Co. and one from Johnny's Selected Seeds. I already know we'll order from Johnny's but I'm still undecided about Parks. I think I'll wait for a few more catalogs to arrive. Meanwhile I'm already working on lists of seeds I want.

So, how do I decide what seeds to order? First I go through the catalog from cover to cover and mark everything I'm interested in. Then I go through again and write everything down on a piece of notebook paper. This helps pare down the list a lot because I check the growing conditions for each plant. This usually shortens my list by 1/4.

Next I break things down into 2 categories; flowers/herbs and veggies.
The veggie list is simplest (and shortest).
I start by crossing off anything we normally buy from the farm market; for example, what would I do with a packet of zucchini seeds? One plant makes plenty of zucchini for our family. Next I cross off anything that's on my list of seeds saved from the previous year, like tomatoes, garlic, and (hopefully) beans. The rest is pretty simple. Since I don't have space to grow multiple varieties of most veggies, I simply choose the one that looks the best or the one that our family likes best.

Then comes the flower list that is 4 or 5 times longer than the veggie list. Paring this list down is a much more random process. I often start by crossing off the most expensive items. Last year I stayed with plants I knew I could grow- cosmos and calendula; everything else I either bought or started from seeds I'd saved.
This year I'd like to branch out and try some different plants, so I'll start by crossing off my old favorites like a new calendula or cosmos variety. Then I'll start going back over the descriptions, drawing garden plans, looking at how big the plants get, whether or not I can collect seeds from them, and whether they are annual or perennial. After several weeks of gazing at pages full of pretty plants, staring at lists, and crossing items off my list is usually short enough that it fits the seed budget.

Along the way I try to compare lists and see if one catalog has something cheaper, or if I know for sure I'll order from one (like Johnny's) I'll look for something similar in their catalog. Some of these places have really high shipping costs, so I try and get everything from one or two companies rather than from whoever has something that strikes my fancy.

Happy Browsing~


Green Thumb Sunday 1-6-08

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After the snow melted last week I went outside to see if anything was still green and amazingly there were several plants. The picture above left is of Candytuft and the one on the right is Horehound. Below left is Pennyroyal, and on the right is Yarrow. Except for the Candytuft all the plants are from my flower/herb garden. I'm so glad to know I didn't kill everything when I moved it!
Happy GTS!
Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


Garden Resolutions/Goals

These are just my gardening goals. If you want to see my other goals/resolutions, check out my other blog.
  1. Start seeds on time.
  2. Keep up with sorting and posting photos.
  3. Don't ramble so much when posting. Sometimes I have to rewrite entire posts because they wouldn't make sense to anyone but me.
  4. Avoid getting sunburned.
  5. Take better care of indoor plants.
  6. Research any newly acquired plants and make a 'plant file' for it.
  7. Comment more frequently on other blogs.
  8. Sort seeds as soon as they are gathered instead of letting them sit around for a few weeks.
  9. Improve compost pile.
  10. Make an herb garden.
Being sick this week has gotten me to post and sort my photos on myphotoalbum.com. I'm nearly done, I just have to sort and post photos in the Miscellaneous album.


Garden Presents

*I meant to post this a few days ago, but between New Year's celebrations, needing another picture, and coming down with a nasty stomach bug, it stayed a draft. Happy (belated) New Year!*
I was starting to get slightly jealous of all the garden bloggers who got cool gardening tools, books and ornaments for Christmas. That is, of course, entirely my own fault since I didn't put anything gardening related on my Christmas list. My Dad did get a neat garden hose sprayer nozzle that I will test at the first opportunity I get.

Then for my birthday I got this sign for my veggie patch! Isn't it cute? Since the snow had pretty much melted, I went out the next day, hung it on my gate, and snapped some pictures. I won't put it out until spring, and I'll probably take it in when we get windstorms. Until then I'll dream of fresh sun-ripened tomatoes.

Yesterday I got my first 2008 garden catalog from Park Seed Co. I haven't had a lot of time to look through it, but the first chance I get I'll read it from cover to cover!