Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012

We had a very mild winter here in NC this year; it almost felt like spring a few times in February. But now spring is definitely here.

The weather is much warmer (there will be three days of 80+ degree weather this week!), our honeybees are out and very active and many of the trees are already blooming.

Enjoy the springtime pictures!

Our plum trees are blooming:

I always forget how beautiful the plums look at this time of the year.

We had our main rosemary bush flower this year. And when I say "flower", I mean we only had two flowers! But nevertheless, it was great to see this. I've actually never seen rosemary flower before, so this was a treat.

The only flowers on the entire plant!

I've been hearing the frogs chirping in the woods for weeks now, but I finally came across one in the garden the other day. He was a tiny little thing!

Like I said before, the honeybees are out and active and so are the other insects. And where there are insects, there's also someone there to eat them!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Update: Rooting Rosemary and Mint In Water

Last year I rooted some rosemary and mint cuttings in a glass of water and then planted them.

Click here for the original post.

So now that it's much warmer out, I put all of the plants into bigger pots.

I was amazed to see how root bound they were. But now they have bigger pots and can grow great all throughout the year.

First off, the mint. Here we have spearmint:

And Chocolate Mint (left) and Orange Mint (right).

Here's the rosemary:

Not too bad for just a jar of water and some sprigs that didn't go on the chicken that we had for dinner!

The rosemary does look greener in person, but the sun was just so bright that it made the plants look yellowish.

I actually have more plants that I didn't show here, but they all look basically the same. There is no need to show all of them!

Not all of the rosemary did as well as the plants above, though. Have a look:

These rosemary plants had some dead sections on them and they obviously aren't as large as the others. They were the last cuttings that I made last year and I believe that they didn't have enough time to get established before fall and winter came. This was my fault, but the good news is that they didn't die. They'll come back and be as big and healthy as the other plants in no time.

Just remember that when rooting rosemary or mint to not do it too late in the summer. I would make cuttings from mid-spring to mid-summer. That should give the plants plenty of time to get established before the cold weather comes.

I'm very happy with the results and I can't wait to do it again this year!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012

It has been almost three weeks since I planted the seeds and it's time for an update:

#1 All Amish Paste Tomatoes

#2 Tomatoes - Beefsteak, Rutger, Roma, Homestead, Sweetie, Tropic, Black Cherry and Creole

#3 Tomatoes - Cherokee Chocolate, Pineapple, Carbon and Hawaiian Pineapple

#4 Tomatoes - Hogheart Paste, Abe Lincoln and Cherokee Purple
 Eggplants - Black Beauty, Florida Market, Rosa Bianca and Rotonda Bianca

#5 Peppers - Sweet Banana, Jimmy Nardello, California Wonder, Pasilla Bajo,  Italian Peperoncini and Doux D'Espagne
Tomatoes- Unlabeled

#6 Herbs and more

Some of the older tomato seeds that I planted didn't sprout, so I'm going to plant them again. But other than that, the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are all doing great.

So are the plants in the herb container, but they are a little... crowded...  I always plant too many seeds when they are smaller. I have to stop!

For each day that passes, the plants grow a little bit more and Spring is a day closer!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I was looking through the pictures on my camera and I came across these pictures that I took last fall. I had forgotten all about them! Enjoy.


I wonder if this is the same lizard?

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Just a few closeups of the seedlings.


One of the herbs: Lemon Balm

Another herb: Lavender

It truly is a beautiful sight. I spent hours planting these seeds and now they are all sprouting. Success!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Herbs And More

I planted a whole bunch of seeds two weeks ago and almost all of them have sprouted now. This post will be the first in a series of "photo diary" posts that will follow the growth of the plants. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I've always wanted to do this!

But first, here's our "greenhouse"

My father and I have been trying to find a nice greenhouse for a while now, but we haven't had any luck yet. So we use this little contraption. It is basically a metal halide fish tank light that is held up by two 2X4s. It's simple and it works like a charm.

Here are the plants that we have so far. The pictures aren't the best and there isn't much to see now, but they'll look great in a few weeks.

#1 All Amish Paste Tomatoes

#2 More Tomatoes - Beefsteak, Rutger, Roma, Homestead, Sweetie, Tropic, Black Cherry and Creole

#3 Even more tomatoes - Cherokee Chocolate, Pineapple, Carbon and Hawaiian Pineapple

#4  More Tomatoes! - Hogheart Paste, Abe Lincoln and Cherokee Purple
Eggplants - Black Beauty, Florida Market, Rosa Bianca and Rotonda Bianca

#5 Peppers - Sweet Banana, Jimmy Nardello, California Wonder, Pasilla Bajo,  Italian Peperoncini and Doux D'Espagne
Tomatoes - A variety that we saved from last year. The only problem is that we didn't label it and now we have no idea what it is! We'll have to see what it turns out to be.

#6 Various herbs, broccoli, celery and a lot more. The list is very long. I'll write it out eventually!

I put waaaay too many seeds in each pot.

You're probably wondering why our sticks are so colorful. Well, this is what happens when you go to the store and there aren't any plain Popsicle sticks!

It's a lot of fun to check up on these guys every day and see how much they've grown. Spring can't come soon enough!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I'm amazed at how fast time flies.

Fall came and went in a moment.

Winter raced by.

And now spring is almost here.

Where did the time go?

Well, I know where I've spent my time: school.  The past couple of months have been very busy for me with all of the homework, projects, essays that I've had to do. But now that my work load is lighter and the weather is much warmer, I've got the gardening bug again. (And the blogging bug!)

So here's what I've been up to:

First off, the garlic that I planted in my last post came up a while ago. They look great:

These guys need to be weeded though. 

You'll notice that in this picture some of the garlic didn't make it. My father and I learned the hard way that you cannot put straw down too heavy on garlic.

We had originally thought that the heavier layer would help the garlic survive the winter, but it had the opposite effect. And we wound up having a really mild winter this year too!

But this was our first time growing garlic here in NC. We learned from our mistake and we now know what to do next year. (Or rather what not to do!)

 I've also planted tomatoes, peppers and eggplant for the garden this year. Most of the tomatoes have already sprouted and started growing.

I'm going to take pictures of the plants every couple of days so we can all see how much they grow. I have always wanted to do a "photo diary" like this.

These plants were outside in the sun today because it was so warm out. When it's colder, they are inside under one of my father's fish-tank lights. 

I'll explain our "greenhouse" and show more pictures later this week. Until then...