Saturday, February 13, 2010

February Gardening

This is what happens when you lose a few potatoes in your pantry (if you're lucky!) These little purple potatoes (below) were bought in the late fall, and were found about a month ago in a bowl under a pile of recipes. Miraculously, they had only sprouted eyes, and were intact (thanks to Crunchy Chicken's "Freeze 'Yer Buns" Challenge, no doubt.) I've been reading about growing potatoes in old tires, but was tireless (ha), so I appropriated a garbage bin and planted them near the bottom in an inch or two of soil. As they have been growing, I've been adding soil. I'm near the top today (this picture is a few days old). I think I'll plant some cress on the surface once I top it off. It can live on the deck this summer.

Speaking of cress, I discovered this plant (below) in the Johnny's Seed Company catalog. It's called "Upland Cress". I've read about it before in my herb books, but wasn't sure of what I was finding, so I ordered a packet. I can tell you this: it tastes like watercress. I LOVE watercress. The germination rate was excellent, so I divided it tonight. The container I divided it into is actually a Tupperware snack saver that I picked up at the local thrift store for $2.00. I drilled several holes in the segmented container, then used the lid as a reservoir for water. I've been looking at the newer pots with their reservoirs, and decided that it was pretty darn easy to duplicate that technology. The remaining cress is in a plastic shoebox that my mother wanted to get rid of. It's drilled and nested in a second one...once again, low, recycled tech. The African violets are an experiment. They're housed in various cups and pots that looked like they might be appropriate for them. I LOVE flea markets and thrift stores. Treasure hunts!
This cache of lettuce needs to be separated as well, and I'll be doing that tonight. I have a stockpile of old Model Magic containers from my previous days as a consultant for Crayola. I'll nest them like I did with the two containers above, and we'll have some nice, long-lived planters. My last gardening upgrade will be to thin and replant my celery. It, too, was a prolific germinator, and I have a great start on the season. I need more lights! Not a terrible thing to say, considering. This promises to be a good gardening year, so far.

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