Plants – Meyer Lemon Sprouts

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A few weeks ago I was blogging on finding and using Meyer Lemons. I mentioned that I was going to save some seeds to sprout and grow.

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I followed through on my goal and planted eighteen or more Meyer Lemon seeds in a tray of regular potting soil. I covered the tray with a lid and placed the container near a heating vent. Within a few weeks six of the seeds sprouted. Success! I know in the cool temperatures of a winter house they will grow slowly, but hey, they are growing…step one toward growing a Meyer Lemon tree complete.

Updates will follow in the coming weeks.

Planting & Problem-Solving – Tulip Bulbs/Update

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On February 20th, I shared a post on how my grandsons and I placed pre-chilled tulip bulbs in a vase of pebbles and water in an attempt to bring them into bloom.

You can read the post here: Planting/Tulip Bulbs

We are watching their progress now. The bulbs have sprouted at different rates, some leafing out quickly, others plodding along, but all are showing signs of growth. A few days ago I noticed a problem that needed solving if I hoped to continue bringing the tulips into flower, yucky green mold thriving on a bulb where it touched the side of the vase.

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I decided to give my trusty bottle of alcohol a try. Alcohol, safe and pure, is usually my first go-to solution for houseplant or gardening problems.

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A few swipes of the alcohol and “Voila,” goodbye pesky green mold.

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I realized another solution was keeping the bare portion of the bulbs away from the side of the vase and let the skin side protect the bulb from another bout of mold. I’m looking forward to showing my grandsons the progress of their tulips this week. Happy Gardening!

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Quirkiness -Sprouts

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Which category should I blog sprouts under, I wondered, as I began this post. I finally settled on “Quirkiness” because of the nature of this food source. I love sprouts of all kinds. In 2011 I purchased several packets of seeds for sprouting. Stored in the refrigerator they are still almost 100% viable. Last week I sprouted a tablespoon of the lentil mix.

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The tablespoon yielded all these lovely sprouts. I used them on top of a pasta salad and they really brightened up the look and taste of the meal.

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Sprouting is easy. Many garden and retail stores sell the lids that easily attach to an ordinary mason/canning jar.

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SPROUTING SEEDS RECIPE:

1 Tbs of sprouting seeds

Cover with water for 24 hours

Drain

Let stand upside down at an angle out of direct sunlight.

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I find the silverware cup on my dish drainer holds the jar at the perfect angle. Also by keeping it near the sink I remember to add water and drain twice a day.

Refill with water and drain two to three times a day. Do not allow the seeds and sprouts to completely dry out.

You will notice growth in a matter of a day or two. Allow it grow for 2-3 days, continuing the refilling and draining. When the sprouts have grown to a good size place in direct sunlight. They will green right up and be ready to eat in a day. If you are not going to eat all the sprouts in one sitting, please remember to refrigerate the remainder. Enjoy!

Projects – Vermicomposting/The Worm Farm Update

A quick update on my vermicomposting project. Vermicomposting is a fancy name for worm farming. You can read my initial blog post on worm farming here: The Worm Farm.

The “farm” is doing terrific. I found a wonderful blog that is helping me along. Vermicomposters.com contains the answers to any question a newbie vermicomposter has about worm farming. You can take a look at the site here: Vermicomposters.

One of the topics I found to be of great help was on the subject of what the worms like to eat. I saw that cantaloupe and other melons are a worm favorite. I had an old piece of cantaloupe rind in my fridge that was beyond the date of safe human consumption so I decided to give it a try. I scooped out the interior of the melon and placed it in a corner of the worm farm. What a surprise awaited me in about ten days or so…the cantaloupe seeds had sprouted. You can see a few of them in the picture above. After reading a blog post on Vermicomposters.com, I was assured that this is common and is an indication that you are doing things right. You can read the vermicomposting post here: Sprouting Seeds

Another surprise has been the fresh air smell that wafts out of the composter. I was prepared for a sour odor…not so…the smell that awaits me each time I feed the worms is that of the floor of woodsy forest. It is in no way offensive.

I feed my worms every five days. So far I have given them lettuce, apple peels, crushed eggshells, a minimal amount of coffee grounds, and the cantaloupe. They are thriving. The bottom layer of newspaper bedding I added at the start has since turned into compost. I’m thrilled! The liquid capture kitty litter bucket has been filled with bits of compost and liquid, again no odor, and I have added this to the water I give to my houseplants.

Need I even say that so far my worm farm has been a success! If you’ve ever felt a nudge to give it a try…please give into your inclination. It is so much fun.

I will post updates about my worm farm progress through the next few months…check back.

Planting – Coleus Part II

The coleus seed plantings are emerging. At this point I am very glad I took the time to space them out rather than mass sowing. If one seedling develops any sign of damp-off or unexplained wilting I will be able to remove it before it contaminates its sister sprouts. The coleus seeds will continue to sprout for a few more weeks, maybe even another month. They now begin what I call “The Pouting Period.” The new plantlets seem to stand still. There is little growth and they usually take a few weeks to begin to leaf out. I am going to try and hasten the leafing out this year by applying bottom heat, but that is a whole other post.

Close-up view of a newly emerged sprout still holding onto it’s parent seed. The coleus plants below are two of last year’s crop. I really liked these coleus and actually named them and kept them going through the winter months by rooting cuttings taken in the Autumn. Some of the newly sprouted coleus could be their offspring.

Lemon-Lime Swizzle Stick

  Pink Lemonade with a Twist