Thursday, June 4, 2009

Growing stevia in a pot

My sister who works at Lowes, bought me a stevia plant, mostly because I have a son by the name of Steven, but also that I love herbs. I never grew a stevia plant before, and have heard about the natural sweetener qualities the leaves have. So I was glad to be given a chance to see what I can do with it.

I first placed the stevia directly in the sun. Some herbs like it (like rosemary/thyme), and some don't. Well, I don't think stevia liked it that much, as it had some of
it's leaves turn yellow. So, I moved it to another location against my house. Which has 50% sun/shade. Looks like it's perking up. We'll keep you up to date on how stevia is doing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chives and Marjoram

My deck this year is very full of potted herbs. The one that grew back for me was the chives in the terra cotta pot on the right side of the picture. A friend I found on Twitter- Kudoskookies told me, when I expressed surprise, that they come back every year. I didn't know that. But it was a start of a friendship with her. Check out her website she makes wonderful custom made, individually packaged cookie party favors. So after finding chives come back. I bought 2 more plants. I use chives in so many things! On the left side of the picture, is marjoram. I grew it for the first time last year, so bought another plant this year at Lowes. I used marjoram in chicken dishes, and will be looking for more recipes that I can it in.

Fresh herbs just makes everything taste so wonderful! I pretend to be a gourmet, using herbs in all sorts of meals. More to come soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My tomato seeds are growing

I had bought Big Mama Tomato (large roma type) seeds from Burpee.
From over at Lowes, I bought another growing kit. It had 16 large pellets and of course, a cover. It wasn't as elaborate a setup as the Burpee Ultimate Growing kit. Each pellet took 3/4 of water to expand, which was fun to do. I actually used a bowl with loads of water in it and let it soak and expand until everything inside got soft. Placed each back in the tray. Put 2 seeds in each, 1/4" deep. Covered it with the lid. These seeds came up within 3-4 days!. And they were tall enough for me to have to take the lid off of the kit! Now I just water them daily. I have a heater in the room where I'm growing my seeds, to keep the room at a temp between 75-80 degrees. The heater blows a breeze on these plants, too. So I turn them several times a day, as well as make sure there is enough water. It's so exciting to see your efforts in action!

As for my peppers, out of 72, so far there are 4 mucho nacho jalapenos coming up. A little disappointing, but they still have time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Starting seeds indoors

Started my pepper seeds taken from my own peppers last year. Decided to try out the ultimate growing kit from Burpee. You can grow 72 plants with this thing. The little pellets were a pain in the butt because they fell sideways when you were filling it with water. Then you had to dig it out and get it going again. But I did it. Hopefully this year I won't drown them after all of my effort, and have to buy plants at the store!

I planted:
  • (36) mucho nacho jalapenos
  • (12) poblanos
  • (12) holy mole's
  • (12) cubanelles

I'm hoping that my seeds grow. I'm always willing to experiment! Right now, I have them sitting in my daughter's old bedroom, with the heat in there at 80 degrees. Excitedly waiting for the results!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Planning a garden for spring

Planning my garden this year will be a little more time consuming and more thought out than last year. I saved seeds from my wonderful poblanos, as well as my jalapenos, cubanelles, and also those curious holy mole peppers (from the poblano family). I am just dying to start growing them inside now, but I understand it might be a hint too early yet.

I've decided to grow my tomatoes against my back fence, instead of in the previous garden, which was shared with my numerous peppers. Years ago, I grew tomatoes back there, but my grass has grown in now. My tomatoes grew very poorly in the other location, and hope that they will grow like in years past, against my fence. Always willing to try something different.

I will have my usual various peppers. This year I won't grow shallots. I'll concentrate on my peppers and tomatoes. I will grow some cilantro in the same area as I did last year though. For some reason, it just shot up like crazy in that one spot. Of course that was a from two plants that I got from Lowes. When I tried to grow from seed - no luck! But, I learned a little bit on what to do with growing cilantro from last year. Hopefully. I'll have it all summer long.

My deck is going to be where I will grow all of my herbs. I had thyme and oregano together last year- they loved it! I had rosemary by itself, as well as basil. I put tarragon, sage and marjoram together, which worked out well too. I intend to see what else I can come up with for herbs. Everything smells great and tastes fantastic with fresh herbs!