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Blackrose's 2011 SFG

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Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 1/31/2011, 8:40 pm

As some of you may know, I have been going mad waiting for spring and so have started some herbs. They will sit in my kitchen window growing happily until the soil in the SFG is warm enough to accept them.

Right now the little basil, thyme and oregano seedlings are basking in the light of a grow light mounted under my kitchen cabinet.



My hubby is planning on building me a PVC Grow Light Stand so I can put the seedlings on a table with more room.

In the meantime, here are some recent pictures of my first babies of 2011:

Here is how my herbs looked about a week or so ago...


And now... (Quiltbea: am I doing this right? Smile )

Basil

Thyme

Oregano

I'm planning on moving my existing table top SFG to a nice sunny spot in my backyard and covering it with black plastic to warm the soil. I'm also hoping to build a covered wagon over it to keep everything nice and toasty inside. Then I can plant my lettuce, spinach and radishes to get the season started. I'm so excited!


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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  kimbertangleknot on 1/31/2011, 8:52 pm

Oh, very nice. I'll be starting my stuff this weekend. Are you loving the block maker? I think I'm going to put that on my list for this year (for next year). Wish my hubby would build me a seed starting stand... but forget him! I have my own plan I'm going to work on this year.

Seedlings are so cute when they first pop up aren't they?

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 1/31/2011, 8:56 pm

I adore the block makers! They really weren't as expensive as I thought they would be and will actually save me money in the long run I think. No more little pots or those jiffy things to buy. From what I've read, since the roots don't get disturbed, transplant shock is a thing of the past too. Oh my! I sound like an infomercial!!

lol!

And yes... seedlings are adorable when they first popup! I love you

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 1/31/2011, 9:01 pm

Blackrose....
When you put your teeny blocks in the 2" blocks you might want to push them in or press the outer walls in a bit to fill those spaces in with soil. Or just dribble more soil into the cracks. If the roots hit air, they stop growing and you don't want them to stop before they get into the rest of the 2" block.

You sure are doing good with an early start. I'm in Maine and I won't be starting til the end of Feb with the cool-weather crops of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and parsley.

Enjoy.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 1/31/2011, 9:11 pm

Thanks Quiltbea! Thanks for letting me know, I will certainly do that. To be honest, I was a little afraid to touch the blocks too much for fear of breaking them. The soil wasn't quite damp enough when I made them, but they've firmed up now.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/1/2011, 1:16 am

@BlackRose wrote:As some of you may know, I have been going mad waiting for spring and so have started some herbs. They will sit in my kitchen window growing happily until the soil in the SFG is warm enough to accept them.

Right now the little basil, thyme and oregano seedlings are basking in the light of a grow light mounted under my kitchen cabinet.

Looks like you are doing well. Those little babies are so cute. cutesie (that's green with envy)

Tomorrow, I need to get started on my indoor seedlings. Hope I can get started anyway. I did plant a few Frizzy Head Drunken Woman lettuce seeds in my Round Foot Garden (24 inch bowl shaped pots) on my semi enclosed porch last week, so hopefully I will have some fresh lettuce soon. My Swiss Chard on the same porch just keeps chugging along.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/14/2011, 8:36 pm

I figure today is as good a day as any to post an update on my seedlings, since I LOVE them so much! Rolling Eyes Laughing

Before I start, I would like to apologize ahead of time for any blurry images. My 18 month old got a hold of my camera and there are sticky finger prints on the lens. I didn't notice this until after taking my pics. Shocked

I borrowed a baker's rack shelf from my Mother. She keeps it on her back deck to put her potted plants on in the summer. It looked lonely back there in the snow and I was looking for something to put my seedling trays on. So here it is:


I love that I can hang some grow lights from the wire shelves and adjust them with the jack chain.

As you can see, I have potted up my herbs. They had already started outgrowing the 2 inch soil blocks! Well, some of them had, but I figured that since I was potting some of them up, I may as well do all of them.

Here's how some of my basil looked in the 2 inch blocks right before I put them in the 4 inch pots:

If you look closely, you can just make out the roots sticking out the sides of the blocks. Those blocks are just chock full of roots right now! They definitely need some extra space.

Here is a closer shot of the basil and thyme:

I can assure you that the lights are NOT as close as they look in the picture. I think it's just the angle.

And some thyme and oregano in Tim Horton's cups (GREAT idea bullfrogbabe!):


These are the artichokes on my new heat mat. They need temps of 80-85F during the day. I measured the temp with a meat thermometer the other day and it was 82F. Perfect!

The block on the back left is just starting to get a little sprout pushing the soil up. I'm hoping to see that little baby poke through any day now. So excited!!

According to my seed starting plan I should be starting my peas and peppers on February 20th. I think it may still be too cold out to direct sow the peas outdoors. Has anyone ever started them indoors first? Or should I just wait until March to plant them outside? My completely frost-free date isn't until May 24th, but May 13th is said to be our 50% chance of no frost date. I'm going to attempt to setup some kind of a hoop house on one of my beds in March and plant spinach and lettuce. I would imagine the peas would be okay in a similar setup?

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/14/2011, 10:04 pm

Wow, I sure do envy you. You've got a good start already. How wonderful. I can dream while looking at your green growth.

Great pics. I didn't even notice the fingerprints, just the beautiful green shoots.

Go Blackrose!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/14/2011, 10:26 pm

Lovely plants Blackrose.
Will you continue to grow your herbs in containers or transplant to an outdoor garden bed in the Spring?

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/14/2011, 10:41 pm

Thank you quiltbea!

@CarolynPhillips wrote:Lovely plants Blackrose.
Will you continue to grow your herbs in containers or transplant to an outdoor garden bed in the Spring?
Thank you Carolyn!

Eventually, I plan to transplant them into my SFG in the spring as companion plants. Of course, it appears that I will be freezing A LOT of basil/pesto. I'm looking forward to it!

The artichokes will not be going in my SFG of course. They take up too much space. I will plant those in my perennial gardens in the front and back of my house.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/14/2011, 11:01 pm

I love basil pesto on toasted 9grain Italian bread.
YOu can freeze basil? Have you done that before? How do you prevent freezer burn?
I want to grow many sage plants==perennial. But I will be drying the sage. Never done it before but will figure it out.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/14/2011, 11:57 pm

I haven't actually frozen basil myself. However, I have purchased frozen basil cubes in the past. From what I understand, and I need to do more research on this, you can chop up the basil and freeze it in ice cube trays with oil or water. Then you can pop them out of the tray and put in a big zipper bag and store in the freezer. Just pop a cube at a time into sauces, etc. It melts right in the pan and adds the basil to whatever you're cooking. I'll post how I do it, once I figure it out. LOL!

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freezing basil and drying sage

Post  ander217 on 2/15/2011, 8:00 am

You can freeze pesto, too. I learned that from a thread here on the forum last summer. It was SO good and tasted fresh right from the garden.

Carolyn, I had always dried my sage leaves in the past, but this year I decided to pot up some sage and keep it inside over the winter. It was so much better, IMO.

I recommend German Biergarten sage. I planted some a few years ago, and now I use it for everything. The leaves are large and round, and the flavor is much more intense than regular sage.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/15/2011, 9:47 am

@Blackrose wrote:
snip....Here is how my herbs looked about a week or so ago...

I LOVE you system for holding the seedlings close to the light.
BTW ...best batch of brownies I've ever seen!

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/15/2011, 10:59 am

We have an ice tray that is only used for herbs. After they freeze we toss into a labeled ziploc bag.

We do...
basil and oil
basil & oregano
pesto

Sometimes when we have leftover plain pasta, we just throw a cube of pesto on top. Instant lunch. We also thaw one out and spread on a french loaf. Hmmm. Now I'm hungry, and it's only 10am...

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great idea

Post  PinkRoses on 2/15/2011, 1:36 pm

BlackRose,
I am envious. cutesie You will certainly have a great garden this year with such a jumpstart.
Those seed blocks are a great idea. What are they & where do you get them? I would like to use that in the future.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/15/2011, 1:55 pm

@PinkRoses wrote:BlackRose,
I am envious. cutesie You will certainly have a great garden this year with such a jumpstart.
Those seed blocks are a great idea. What are they & where do you get them? I would like to use that in the future.

I love the soil blocks. You can fit a lot into a small space and they reduce transplant shock. Quiltbea uses them as well and has posted about them a lot. They are a great idea.

You can get the soil blockers at Johnny's Selected Seeds here:
Soil Blockers

I have the Medium 4 Soil Blocker, Mini 20 Soil Blocker and the Insert Set.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 2/16/2011, 12:30 am

Wow, those look fantastic, Black Rose. I was thinking I needed to plant some basil too. I love fresh herbs.

I am curious about something. I have a couple of different oregano plants that I planted a couple of years ago. They are perennial and tend to spread so now that I have them, I never plant it anymore. In fact, I have to pull up small shoots of it to keep it under control. My chives, marjoram, two kinds of thyme and sage are perennial as well. I love things that I don't have to replant every year.

Do most of you grow there herbs as annuals?

Gwynn


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Perennials

Post  ander217 on 2/16/2011, 7:52 am

I have a separate herb bed for my perennial herbs. I planted marjoram for the first time last year in my SFG - I didn't realize it was a perennial. I potted it up for the winter and it's sitting on the sun shelf in my dining room.

Thanks for the info - I'll transfer it to the new herb bed I'm making this year. (The bermuda grass got into my old one during last summer's drought and it will be easier to make a new one than try to clean all those roots from among the herbs.)

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/16/2011, 8:39 am

@Old Hippie wrote:Do most of you grow there herbs as annuals?

I actually don't have any herbs at the moment. So these are my first at this house. My plan is to leave the perennial herbs in the SFG for as long as possible. If they start to get too big, I may have to move them out to my perennial garden.

Can herbs be split like other perennials?

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Megan on 2/16/2011, 8:42 am

Oh, boy, yes, herbs can be split!! With a shovel if you're lucky, otherwise with a pick-axe!

All my woody herbs and my chives are perennials. Basil and cilantro I'm growing as annual. (Parsley, too, though honestly I don't use it very much.)

I have growing as perennials:
Sage
English Thyme
Orange (French) Thyme
Chives
Lavender
Marjoram
Rosemary

Additionally I have some garlic chives and some other herbs (a gifted planter; we'll see what comes back.) I may start some Oregano this year, too, but I've found I actually slightly prefer the marjoram.




Last edited by Megan on 2/16/2011, 8:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/16/2011, 8:45 am

Thanks Megan! That is good to know. So if they start outgrowing the SFG, I will split some out to my perennial garden. Then if they really start getting out of control, I may need to split and give some away.

cheers

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Megan on 2/16/2011, 8:48 am

The good thing is, they grow relatively slowly. But I have a very firm memory of what chives did on the farm I grow up on. If you've ever seen a super-densely packed bed of daffodils... wow.

All my perennial herbs, except the chives, are in my landscaping beds. (Chives are in a container.) The thyme started out as a little teeny start and is at least two feet wide, now.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/16/2011, 8:58 am

@Old Hippie wrote:Wow, those look fantastic, Black Rose. ...snip... Do most of you grow there herbs as annuals?

Gwynn

I do if they are actually annuals...with a few exceptions.
I often loose Rosemary over winter (western Washington St zone 7ish) and have to replant BUT I get starts from the nursery. Never tried growing her from seed but I am told that rosemary only has a 10% germination rate.

Every sage EXCEPT old fashioned turkey stuffing sage (sorry only had a couple sips of AM joe) and her sisters tri and golden, seem to need to be grown like an annual in my herb garden.

I grow parsley as an annual too. Even if I get flowers that doesn't guarantee self-seeded plants in this biannual.

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

Post  Blackrose on 2/21/2011, 12:00 pm

It's amazing what a difference 7 days make! I've been meaning to post an update for a few days, but it's been busy around here. So, here goes...

My beautiful artichoke seedling! This is the only one that has come up out of the four I planted. Do artichokes only have a 25% germination rate? I still have the 3 others on the heat mat, but I'm wondering if I should just give up on them or leave them for another week or so to see if they do anything.



In order to save space so I can start more seeds, I have moved all of my basil plants to a windowsill. I'm hoping they get enough sun there. I turn them a couple of times a day as they lean toward the sun. Now I have a whole shelf free to plant more seeds. Time to plant some peas and spinach. sunny

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Re: Blackrose's 2011 SFG

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