Saturday, September 29, 2012

Couple New Videos on My Youtube Channel







Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Succulents

So I've recently gotten really stung by the succulent bug.. I've had succulents before but now, all of a sudden, I've really become very interested in them.. It started because somebody had posted a picture of a succulent they have called hens and chicks.. They are called that because you start with one plant and it grows a bunch of little babies all around it.. The babies are called chicks.. (In the succulent world in general, these are called pups..) So I started looking around online but hate having to spend extra money on shipping.. Not that I'm cheap.. But when you buy one little plant or two, the price of the plant can basically be doubled when you add shipping.. And when you're working with an almost nonexistent budget, pennies can count..

Anyway, Randy and I were out running errands and I wanted to go by Lowe's because I knew they had a small succulent/cactus area there.. And that's when I found this!

Sempervivum 'Jade Rose'


And I only paid about $3 for it.. I was so happy..

I also used to have a succulent that I loved so much called a zebra plant.. It was the cutest thing ever.. I used to forget to water that thing all the time and it just kept growing.. But that's one of the beautiful things about succulents.. They require very little water and actually don't do well if you water them too much.. And some of them have some really pretty flowers.. Besides the fact that they come in so many textures and some really pretty colors.. Yes, yes I have become infatuated..

I can already see I that I need to set limits for myself so right now I'm limiting myself to the sempervivums, haworthia (the zebra plant is part of that species), and I also have somebody sending me some clippings of a jade plant.. But I'm mostly just sticking to the sempervivums and haworthias.. That will be bad enough though because there are hundreds of varieties in those species alone.. I also found a succulent leaf laying on a shelf with a tiny little baby growing on it so I brought it home too.. I looked it up and it's called a Mexican Ghost Plant.. Many succulent are propagated that way.. You just take a leaf off the plant, put it in some soil or just lay it out to dry.. Keep the soil only slightly moist and in a couple weeks it should start growing a baby..

The only thing I don't like about succulents is they don't necessarily go with my 'grow things you can eat' ideas.. Most succulents anyway.. A succulent called purslane can be eaten and is supposed to be very nutritious.. (Have a mentioned purslane before? I can't remember..) You've probably seen purslane before and not realized it because most people look at it like a weed because it does grow like a weed.. It grows just about anywhere.. Even in the cracks in a driveway.. I think once I get my raised bed box made and my veggies planted, I might plant some purslane in it also and let it fill in between the veggies..

Anyway, I could go on all day about my new love but I think I'll go look at some more succulents.. = )

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Design Idea For a Raised Bed

K, so I said I wanted to make a raised bed that was off the ground, right? So here's a bad drawing of what I have in mind..
So the pvc legs will be probably be 1" diameter pipe.. I'll put holes in the front of them to put strawberries or other small veggies.. I think strawberries would work best though.. I'll probably take my current strawberries out of their current pot and put them in the holes.. Or better yet, just get new strawberries for the holes.. *rubs hands together and cackles softly*

Now the raised bed box will probably be 4-5 feet from side to side and 2 feet from front to back.. Not sure how deep yet but probably around 2 feet deep.. Don't want to make it too big and end up toppling over because it's top heavy..

Near the back of the box I'll plant vines like snow peas and pickling cucumbers and they'll, of course, run up the trellis.. Don't know if I want to make the trellis out of lathe (thin strips of wood) or if I'll just use string or something..

But that's basically it.. Very simple but very functional..

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Garlic!

I absolutely love garlic in almost all my food.. So I definitely want to grow some of my own.. Garlic is lovely, fresh garlic is going to be absolutely fabulous!

New Youtube Uploads

Today has been a busy day for my Youtube channel..





Things I Want To Try

It is a hard thing for me to watch other people's videos and read their blogs or Facebook.. I already have a large list of things that I want to try to grow and seeing what they're growing, I just end up adding more and more to that list.. It's doubly hard right now since most things others are growing are larger plants that I can't grow indoors.. Like corn, melons, plants with large tomatoes, kohlrabi, and lots of other interesting or unusual plants that require a lot more space than a window sill.. I've got the 'I want to try that and that and that and that' syndrome..

So, yet again I'm going to have to get creative.. For example, sometime probably during this winter I want to get a 5 gallon bucket and try to grow a large tomato with some sunlight from the window and some cfl lights.. I have a packet of Roma seeds so that's probably what I'll use.. But it's an older packet....... K, nevermind.. I just checked my bag-O-seeds and I don't have the Romas anymore.. I do have some large red cherry tomato seeds but I think since I've already got the Tumbling Toms, I'd want to grow a sandwich tomato in the bucket.. I'll probably end up ordering a packet from one of the online places.. Any suggestions on something maybe interesting or unusual with good flavor? I have a thing about growing things that are a little out of the ordinary.. For instance, there's a pumpkin called a peanut pumpkin and somebody has promised to send me seeds when they harvest them.. This is what it looks like..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/geppetto22/2937466723/
Isn't that one of the weirdest things you've ever seen? When we get a place with a yard again, that's one of the first things going in my garden..

Anyway, I was talking about my plans for what I want to do here and I've derailed.. Need to get back on track.. I think the tomato will be the only large plant I'll try indoors for now just to see how successful I'll be.. But come spring, I want to try some other things outside.. Mostly out the back door since I feel I have a little more room out there.. At first I thought about 5 gallon buckets for that also.. But having my other potted plants out there, the grass (of course) dies where the pot is sitting.. And since we are only renting here, I don't want to kill off the grass.. Like some of the people here don't clean up after their dog's poo.. It's just a matter of respecting the property.. The pots I have out there now I move every so often so the grass can recover and so the maintenance guy can mow anything that's grown up around where my pots were sitting..

So, my idea is to make some raised beds that are at least knee height, maybe even waist height.. Maybe both.. That way the grass underneath can still get light and won't get smashed by buckets.. I've seen a video where a guys used dog-ear cedar fence boards stained with rosewood oil for his ground level raised beds.. Give the boards a nice red tint and I thought those were absolutely beautiful.. So that's what I want to building my elevated raised beds with..

 Things I want to grow in these sort of beds so far are kohlrabi and pickling cucumbers.. This family loves pickles and I'd love to try my hand at pickling.. (I also want to try to water bath canning but doubt I'll have enough of a harvest of anything to 'need' to can..) There were a couple of other things I want to try out there but I can't think of them right now.. I guess the main ones are the kohlrabi and pickling cucumbers..

I also want to try to grow things like this because I'll be building the beds myself, and I love building things.. My husband hates taking me to Lowe's or the like because, if I could, I'd buy half the store with all the ideas for projects that I have..

Oh, I also want to try sweet potatoes.. But I think I want to do them in a big tubs like this..
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Rope-Handle-Tub-Blue/19400074

Don't know if I could do sweet potatoes inside though.. Not sure if the cfl lights would be enough.. I'll try the tomato first.. Then if that goes well, I'll try the sweet potatoes next..

I've mentioned the cfl lights several times but I'm not going to go into too much detail for now.. The ones I plan on getting are 200watt equivalent and are about $8 on the Home Depot website.. But once I get those and get into how I'm going to use them, I'll be making a video about making the hooded fixtures myself.. Wiring something like this is not hard and if I can do it, anybody can.. 

One thing I find ironic is that while most with outside gardens are winding down their season, I'm just starting my plants.. That's definitely one big advantage to gardening in a window.. Or indoors at all.. I can grow when it's not possibly to outside.. Unless you have a large heated greenhouse but that's, of course, another matter altogether..

But I think this is why I'm documenting all of this and posting videos.. I want to encourage and teach more people that you can grow your own veggies no matter where you are or what season it is.. But for now I don't know if I'm really teaching anybody anything.. For right now I'm still learning what I can and can't do and I'm bringing you along on my journey of discovery.. We'll all learn together..

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Yup, I'm Still Here and Trying Something New


Hey, everybody.. Sorry I haven't updated in a while but we've had a lot going on.. Hubby completed school (including avionics) and at first had a hard time finding a job.. Apparently the industry is only hungry for mechanics with experience..

So since experience takes time, he had to take what he could get.. Don't get me wrong, it's a good job with a good company.. Just doesn't pay as much as we'd hoped so money is still tight.. But we do get to fly for free so that's really cool..

We are also no longer in Florida.. We are in Ohio which, ironically, is where my mom's side of the family is from and some of hubby's family is here also.. For now we are in a townhouse but hope to be able to get at least a couple of acres in a year or two.. I want about 10 acres, but I'm not gonna be picky.. For now Prima is with my super awesome friends in Florida who I originally got her from.. I can't thank them enough for taking care of her while we make this transition..

Unfortunately, this townhouse doesn't have it's own yard.. I have a little bit of space on either side of the front and back doors to put some potted plants I brought with me.. But I haven't let that stop me.. This place gets lots of light in the windows so I've made some crochet baskets to hang and I've cut the tops off of some 1 liter bottles planted with the smallest, most compact veggies I could find..

I've got cherry tomatoes called Tumbling Tom which have a cascading habit.. One red and one yellow.. I've got a type of squash/zucchini which is supposed to stay compact.. I've got sweet and bell peppers that are supposed to be compact as well.. I've got some mini eggplant who's fruit is supposed to be only a little bigger than a cherry tomato.. I've also got something called strawberry spinach.. The leaves you can eat raw or cook like you would spinach.. The strawberry part of the name comes from the berries it produces that are supposed to taste kind of like mulberries.. I've never had mulberries before so it'll be interesting to see for myself..

Let's see, I've also go some snow peas going in a hanging basket.. I crocheted the hanging baskets, by the way.. The Tumbling Toms are also in the hanging baskets.. I've got a couple little yogurt cups with lettuce, chard and green onions.. I don't know if they'll do ok in such small containers.. But thought I'd experiment with it.. So far they're doing great..

Out the back door I've got a couple plastic shoe box containers.. One with radishes, one with lettuce, one with carrots and one with more green onions.. The green onions haven't come up that well.. But I don't think I'll need too many of those anyway since you can trim the tops off and by the next day they'll start growing back.. I think I may plant some more carrots in that one.. I'm sure this family will go through the carrots faster than I can produce them.. I'm sure they'll go through all these veggies faster than I can produce them.. But that's fine by me.. I love being able to provide them with healthy food..

I also bought a container with some strawberry plants in it.. We've only had a couple of small strawberries off of it, but they were so good.. The nights have been getting pretty cool here so I think the strawberries are done for the season.. No new blooms recently.. I'll be bringing them inside once it gets too cold.. But it was so awesome to see the kids' excitement when we'd have a ripe strawberry to eat..

Since I don't have a yard to have a compost pile, I've got a worm bin started which I placed under my kitchen sink.. Some people might think 'eeewww, worms'.. But worm manure (called castings) is some of the best fertilizer there is.. A nice healthy garden always has lots of worms in the soil.. Those worms are part of what makes that soil so healthy.. And yes, I said they're under my kitchen sink.. But don't worry, they don't stink or anything and, of course, they don't make any noise.. I often have to make a point to remember to check on them and make sure their bedding is moist..

Um, I think that's it for now.. Tomorrow I've got to make some more bottles into planters.. I've had such a good germination ratio with my peppers and eggplant that I need to transplant the extras.. Almost 100% except for one eggplant, and it may show up anyway.. Peppers are supposed to be hard to germinate but I think they've done so well because of these bottles and the heating pad I set them on.. (Pepper seeds need warmth to germinate..) And the bottles have a little water reservoir in the bottom so they stay well watered.. With needing more bottles, I'm going to have to commandeer another window to put them in.. Right now I've just got the dining room window and the yogurt cups are in the window above the kitchen sink..

I have been doing videos of my progress and posting them on Youtube.. Just look for Silvermoonacres to watch them.. Don't forget to like and subscribe to be notified of new videos of my little adventure here.. As always, comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome.. I've still got so many more ideas like cfl lights for indoor growing, waist height raised beds so I can grow things outside while keeping everything off the grass and other things that I can't even think of right now..

Anyway, sorry to be so long winded.. But I will be making more updates here about how my window garden is doing as well as posting videos.. So stay tuned!