Gila's Place

A menagerie of eclectic things…

Seriously. I love gardening but trying to stay on any kind of schedule with all that’s going on is next to impossible. This is a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants operation, no doubt. It wasn’t meant to be, I had it all planned out, but life happens. I’m excited and petrified all at the same time.

The porch

I had taped all the windows, run a bunch of caulk, but try as I might I could not afford to heat the front porch to house this mess of plants I have amassed.

More than a dozen pots came in from last years starts that weren’t supposed to. Great, that this year I will have larger plants to offer, but the space they take up is crazy. I managed to keep them on the porch with a space heater until the big freeze we had a couple of weeks ago. The temps fell, the electric bill went up, so I turned that heater off and moved on to the next best thing.

My living room windows are now sprouting spaces and my dining room is where things go as they are transplanted. Eventually, these rooms will be taken up (for a few weeks) until the porch reaches temps I can work with without having to actually heat it.

Good thing I don’t entertain much, huh?

I need racks.

The photobombing kitty is my Mom’s. She’s hanging out while mom is recovering.

What’s happened so far

These seedlings are Borage that I got from Seeds Now! I started them Jan. 25 and they germinated in 4-5 days! They should have taken 7-14 days according to every source I read but these popped fast.
The roots took off like gangbusters.

I transplanted the Borage seedlings at about two weeks old. I was worried they would shock bad (I read Borage doesn’t like to be moved around a lot once it roots) but they popped right up the following day. They are the seedlings in the first pic.

Lemongrass is up, some of the Asters are up, and the Chamomile and Rosemary are tiny but visible. The latter two are going to be a hassle to start indoors, I think.

Some of the first batch of seeds I scattered were old. I found them in a box when I moved last year and some were really, really old. Some have started to come up but only a few. I am hopeful time will show more germination but I am skeptical.

All my new seeds have arrived and been accounted for. I would have planted them already but I ran out of potting mix.

Houseplants

I haven’t even started propagating houseplants; the few (houseplants) you might have noticed in starting trays above are falls offs, pinches, and other pieces separated (for whatever reason) from the main plant over the winter. Some may or may not have been in colored bottles and jars of water in my windows.

*Note* Plants root well, and rot less, in colored glass containers of water.

The following few plants in my tiny kitchen will fill more pots and baskets than I want to count right now. I have four other rooms in the house with a variety of “mother” plants waiting to be propagated.

If you wonder how fast your plants might grow- This is a three plant trio that was in a 6″ pot last fall. I had to jump it up to a half gallon size. The spider plant shot babies, the blooms from the ivy faded weeks ago so it shot out long, and the arrowhead is trying to take over.

Had I propagated the spider plant babies and snipped at the ivy and arrowhead a bit, they would have filled out more than twice the size the top of the pot. (Pinching back growth will encourage new growth!)

No room, so I let them go so more people can get some in the spring and I can enjoy the space I have without separating them.
Pothos has been a hit the last couple of years. With the miles of it that I have, I hope that is still the case. Snip, snip.
Pothos and Arrowheads took over my fridge. I have a four gallon pot of Arrowheads in the other room to separate. All the Pothos are in the kitchen (I think) because there isn’t a ton of light in there and they can handle a little (lot) of neglect. Want a plant you just almost can’t kill? Pothos is for you! Take good care of one and it will take over any space you put it in.

Thinking ahead

The plastic I ordered arrived last week and the next nice weekend I get free I’ll drape it over my hoops. Those hoops worked so well for summer growth I want to see if I can pull them into the early spring. I’m going to cover them with this greenhouse plastic and see if I can pull off maintaining a hot house (cold frame).

So, seedlings will go to the porch and then out to the hothouse as temps allow. What a rotation I will have going on here.

The why

Speaking to a friend recently she asked why I was going to so much trouble growing so many things, was I planning a huge garden?

It is no secret that I am a crazy plant lady. My house is literally a jungle in the winter, my yard is a jungle in the summer…. I don’t know; it’s just my thing. Sometimes I sell a few houseplants to pay for my gardening habit. Dirt is not cheap.

I do plan a decent sized garden this year and I decided to invest the money I would spend on starts and seeds and just go with seeds and start my own. I am sure there will be someone needing what I don’t.

Once upon a time, decades ago, I did this same thing. I sold garden starts and produce out of my front yard and managed to buy a brand new tiller, a used pick up truck, and still planted a half acre garden that fed my (then) family of four. I canned 65 cases of vegetables that year and gave away more garden goodies that I can count. If I can overproduce this year I hope to try my hand at drying more veggies than I put up canning.

I don’t know if what I am doing will be as productive as I was back then but I am sure going to give it a shot. The money I will save at the grocery store grows daily with the inflation we are seeing now. It’s only supposed to get worse in the weeks and months to come. I can’t imagine what a tomato will cost in the store come July much less the cost of a single head of buttercrunch lettuce.

The bonus: cheaper and more rewarding than therapy.

Here’s a few shots from last year; my first year back in the Ville.

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