Archive for May, 2007

Flower arrangement

Just wanted to show yal a pretty flower arrangement I made with the flowers I grew! It’s an assortment of zinnia thumbelinas, purple stocks, black-eyed susans, and geraniums.

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Garden Update


A garden update: 05-23-07

Everything in this picture is so green. If I had taken a picture of the backside of the garden, you’d see purple and pink petunias, pinkish white and red geraniums, purple hydrangeas, yellow calendulas and pink impatiens. This part of my garden is mainly for vegetables and herbs. On the right hand corner, I have an abundance of tomatoes ranging from roma, marglobe, supersweets, and large chery red tomatoes. I also have Straight 8 and Marketmore cucumbers, peppers (kung pao peppers, jalapeno, California Wonders, Peruvian peppers), peas, Sequoia strawberries, Black Beauty Eggplant, garlic, pearl onions, green onions, catmint, basil, chamomile, and so much more I can’t remember.

I also have a squash (early prolific variety) in a self-watering pot that is so huge. The leaves are the size of both my hands. I already have two fruits on them. Due to a lack of pollinators (bees, insects, etc), I’ve had to hand pollinate the flowers. This is a relatively simple process and only requires two things: your hands. The squash flower does not contain both female and male parts but instead the plant produces two types of flowers: female flower, which looks like a flower attached to a mini squash and a male flower that looks like an ordinary flower. You simply remove the male flower from the plant, peel away the petals which will reveal a yellow-like q-tip and then you proceed to dab the female flowers with the male flower q-tip. That’s all there is to it! Simple! Here’s a picture of my result of hand pollinating.

And with any gardening endeavor, any gardener can tell you that there are bugs to deal with. Right now, I’m battling the dreaded white flies. I’ve been battling them with some insecticidal soap but I think my petunias are doing a fine job of killing them. The white flies seem to enjoy my petunia plants a lot. The thing with petunias is that they have tiny, sticky hairs on their stems which acts like a sticky traps and the white flies don’t have a chance when they land on my petunias because they’re essentially stuck and die as a result! I knew my love of petunias would pay off eventually!

My flowers are doing well in this heat too. We’ve been having 90 degree temps and the shade loving plants don’t even mind. My impatiens are still blooming and the other flowers are forming buds. The avocado plant I planted a couple of months ago has doubled in size. Well, that’s all folks for now…

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Pleasant Surprise

Copy of Flower basket 05-23-07

Flower Basket

On Saturday, I treated my student assistants to lunch that consisted of In-N-Out burgers and fries and Baskin Robbins ice cream because it was the last Saturday of the semester. My SAs are the best and we have so much fun on Saturdays. And, when I came into work this morning, my students, who know about my gardening hobby, brought in a flower basket (consists of daisies, carnations, stocks, and pretty fern leaves) for me. They also gave me a card with kind words. Whoever says being nice does not pay off. This is an example of it paying off. Aren’t they so sweet?

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Update on African Violet Suckers

African Violet Sucker at 107 days.

In February, I had written a post about African Violet suckers and I thought it was time to update yal on the progress.

The before picture shows the tiny suckers not looking like much. I must admit, I was not hopeful to see these little things survive but this experiment is just a testament to show that anything is worth trying. They were very easy to root. I mean simply easy.

Follow these steps to root African Violet suckers:

What you’ll need:
-Small pot
-Moist potting soil or seed starting mix
-African Violet suckers
-A large zipper bag
-1 Straw

1. Gently pry the suckers off the mother plant. You can use anything from a pencil eraser, popsicle stick, or an exacto knife (that’s what I used). If you don’t know what a sucker looks like, click here for a picture.

2. Put the moistened soil in a small pot. Insert the sucker into the dirt. Make sure there’s ample contact between the base of the sucker and the dirt.

3. Put the pot inside the bag and if you need to, insert the straw in the dirt to prevent the bag from resting on top of the suckers. This is important since if the bag touches the suckers, the condensation from the bag will cause the suckers to rot. Put the pot under some bright lights and…

4. The hardest part of this process is: patience. It’ll take a couple of weeks for it to take root and a couple more to show signs of leaf growth.

Results:

At two months and a couple of days, here’s what the suckers should look like. At this time, you can take the bag off and keep them underneath some strong, indirect light.

After several more months, they should like like a new plant. The picture is of 75 days.

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Lavendar African Violet

Newest Addition: Lavender African Violet

When I was out running errands and buying stuff for our upcoming camping trip, I couldn’t resist picking up this beauty. I love the variegation of the flowers. This one compliments my other African Violet well.

My garden has exploded and soon, it’ll take over every inch of dirt I have in my small garden . The squash and zucchini I planted are already blooming. The one I have in a self-watering container has won hands down. It’s the largest of all the ones I planted this spring. I think it’s due to it’s full-sun exposure during the day. Compared to the one I put in the dirt, it looks gigantic.

The one I put in the dirt hasn’t grown much. It’s just sitting there and not doing much of anything. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

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Petunias Flowering

It seems like everything is blooming and fruiting already. Last year, nothing happened until July. I planted petunias at the same time this year and they’re already blooming. I hope they last and continue to bloom until September. I wanted to use them for my wedding in September.

The tomatoes are flowering and fruiting already. I hope to have some ripe tomatoes by July! The flowers I planted in the ground are also flowering too! Spring is definitely here. The temperatures here have been in the mid 80s and it’s just perfect for my plants.

Yesterday, I bought another African Violet at Walmart. The flowers are light purple with white stripes. I’m putting it under my grow light. The African Violet I got in February looked so scraggly when I got it. I put it under my grow lights, it started growing like crazy and blooming constantly. I hope my new AV will play good with my other AVs.

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April Showers Bring…May Showers?!? What…

Tangerine seedlings from some store-bought tangerines (at 30, 52, 70 days respectively)

The beginning of May has seen days of hot sun, wind, clouds AND rain. The rain is like an unwanted visitor. It shows up whenever it wants! But, the weirdest thing is the heat. We had two days where it felt like summer, the temps were in the mid 90s which is odd for the beginning of May. My garden, on the other hand, appears not to notice the weird weather fluctuations we’ve been experiencing. The tomatoes are growing like crazy. I have a Super sweet tomato in a white five gallon bucket and it’s about 4 feet tall and blooming. Once it reaches 6 feet, I think I’ll trim the top to keep it from growing more. Strangely, I have another super sweet tomato in a 3 gallon bucket and it’s only 3 feet tall. My advice: the bigger the container the better.

My stocks are blooming and the snap dragons have bloom clusters but no blooms yet. The petunias are blooming steadily. Every other day, I have to dead head the flowers to encourage more flowers or else, they’ll go to seed and die, which is what I don’t want.

I finally cleaned off my garden bench that was inundated with seedlings. I planted four additional tomato plants in the ground (jelly bean, tiny tim, cherry, and an unknown variety). So as of today, I have 11 tomato plants in the ground! I’ll have tons of tomatoes by summer. I have super sweets, romas, cherry, patio, tiny tim, and jelly bean. I also planted some more jalapeno and bell pepper seedlings into the ground too. Instead of committing plant genocide, I decided to give away a lot of seedlings to the other people in my complex. I took a box of seedlings and put them in the laundry room with a “Free” sign and by the end of the day, not a speck of dirt was found.

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