Archive | February, 2013

Early Sprouts

28 Feb

Its been less than one week since we planted seedlings on February 23rd, and we’re already seeing a lot of green  Ansley and Warner’s tray is booming! “We have sprouts in each of our 16 cells in our sub-irrigated flat — flowers (new zinnias and old asters), heirloom tomatoes, yellow and tricolor cherry tomatoes, basil, cucumbers!  The cucumbers are already looking leggy, they’re so big.”  Over at Casa Maher-Dolan, we’ve got a whole lotta nothin in our tray, but growth in our sub-irrigated tomato and cucumber plants.  How about everyone else?  I’m thinking I may re-plant some herbs this weekend.  -Denise
assprouts

DMsprouts

Let’s plant some seeds on 2/23!

12 Feb

It’s year three for the garden!  We’re on for a kid-friendly seed planting on Saturday, February 23, from 10-11am in the community room (if the weather is nice we’ll be outside).

Remember 2011 and 2012?

Plan is for anyone who is interested to plant a few seeds in sub-irrigated planters, which can be transplanted into the garden come April!

Shari, Deb, Allison, Denise and I got together to think about what went well over our last two seasons, and we’re thinking slightly less stuff in the beds, and slightly less crowded is the way to go.  To that end, we’re focusing on tomatoes, cucumbers, Asian eggplants, basil, dill, and flowers (we have seeds for asters, sunflowers, four o’clocks, marigolds, cosmos, nasturtiums, wildflowers and morning glory) for our home-grown seedlings.  We have — and are happy to share! — seeds for all of those except the cucumbers (which we don’t have yet); we could use some zinnia seeds, if anyone has them.

We’ll have some 2-liter soda bottles already cut in half from last year, but it’s probably best if you bring another, as well as a small bag of potting soil — feel free to share with a friend.

Assuming we are in the community room and not outside, we have to careful and clean up so we leave the place nicer than we find it for an afternoon reservation — I promised!!

Monarch-Friendly Plants; Upgraded Site!

9 Feb

220px-Asclepias_physocarpa2

As you probably know (ha!) this is an Asclepias physocarparpa plant (also known as Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush or swan plant), a species of milkweed favored by Monarch butterflies.

Question: Are our butterfly plants some sort of milkweed? If yes, what kind? According to this BBG.org story, some milkweeds are great for gardens while others tend to overtake the beds.  So I’m wondering what exactly we already have and what we want to get or enhance.

When I went to the Butterfly Conservatory at the Museum of Natural History a few months ago, one of the butterfly handlers advised me to talk to a local nursery to get the best plants for egg laying, as the female monarch is picky.  But now that I look into it, it seems like the feeding and egg laying plants are the same– milkweeds.  Any thoughts?

Incidentally, a commenter on the BBG story suggests that fennel is a good host food for black swallowtails.

In other news, I’ve updated the website but I’m not sure the bells and whistles have kicked in yet.  I’m writing this on the same old interface.   -Denise

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