Thursday, March 24, 2011


Or as one of the kids used to call them: hatchlings.

We've been slowly moving all the little seedlings out into the greenhouse this week, because the grow lights and the heat mats can only go so far in simulating the outside world.

As soon as the little seedlings got out there, they went wild for the humid heat.

Tomato seedlings. Someone asked me for more clarification about transplanting, because apparently I was more obtuse than usual, lol. What I meant was this: transplant your seedlings very gently, then leave them in the shade, or a cool place, for at least 24 hours. Don't subject them to your greenhouse temperatures right away or they will WILT.

Tomatoes post-transplanting. I left them in the basement for the night, then moved them out into the greenhouse. So far they look really strong. I've got Moneymaker, Sungold, Tigerella, Green Zebra, and some seeds from a gorgeous giant plum tomato I grew last year (that I can't OF COURSE remember the name of).

Dominic's sunflower collection. Somehow we've managed to accumulate 7 different types of sunflowers. Beloved by bees and butterflies the world over, too.

Sucked in by advertising? Us?

Surely you jest.

Here's an interesting contrast: the difference a few days can make in the life of a semi-forced rhubarb plant.
Around about the middle of February, or whenever I see the little red nubs of the rhubarb plant start to pop out the ground, I take my terracotta pot and place it over top.

About a week ago, I took the pot off, and as you can see from this shot, the rhubarb looks ever so slightly blanched. This is called forcing. It's not bad for the plant, it just speeds up the ripening.

And here is that mass of blanched rhubarb a few days later. I kid you not - this is less than a week later.

We even picked some and made a crisp out of it last night.

Here's another one for the Weird Plant Stories book:

Dominic planted an avocado seed last summer - in this pot. It spent the summer growing happily, then, when the fall winds started blowing, I put it in the greenhouse just in case (my favourite saying).

I never watered it, and after a while it looked quite dead, but because I am constitutionally unable to throw a plant away, I left it in the greenhouse. Yesterday, when we were examining all the new growth in the other seedlings, I noticed that this avocado wasn't actually dead after all.

We're going to plant it with the lemons, and see what happens.

Another study in contrast: the red primrose is opening up quickly (difference between photos: 6 days).

The three sisters sweet pea pots reclining on a lovely garden bench as is their wont...
Finally, some little anemone blandas, sitting at the base of the clematis, looking picture perfect.


Suji said...

I've decided that I'd like to be reincarnated as your favorite plant. :)

Erin said...

This was funny to read "...just in case...." as i thought to myself, mine is "let's see what happens", and then it came in the next paragraph. Matthew's latest attempt at keeping his poinsettia alive and getting it to flush out new leaves, is often greeted with that statement. "Lets' move it to this window...and see what heppens." It leaves alot of wiggle room and allows for a wide margin of error.

Your garden is coming alive beautifully. Love the rhubarb trick. Ours are all up now, so can't try it this year, though a couple of plants in the 70' hedge of it are slower to emerge.

Happy spring-ing:)

sheila said...

You're pretty funny, Suji! I find it impossible to throw out plants, I really do, but mostly because of events like these: you never know when a plant is going to make a comeback.

Happy Spring-ing to you too, Erin! I am SO glad that winter is over. This last one took too long for my liking (which is probably why I am forcing rhubarb).

Samantha said...

Lovely new shoots bringing promises of spring! I am doing clean up here, patiently awaiting our little shoots to start springing up, but so full of gleaz that the snow is gone gone gone!!!

gleaz - absolutely thrilled; moved to shed joyous tears; a possibility for word verification