Week of February 3rd


Planted the saffron bulbs matt got on Friday in two pots of 5 each.  I put them out in the rain instead of watering, let them get nice and wet and brought them in for the evening.  Didn’t want them to get too wet and cold. It’s supposed to rain for the next few days and wanted to be careful of drowning!

Also finally got a chance to do some weeding in the pots.  Found some new asparagus sprouts (yay!) and picked out the ones that were clearly dead.  The tomato and zuchini i repotted last weekend are thriving! Really reinforces the fact I need to repot more of them!

Found lots of what i believe to be thistle (not clear on exact type yet - but has yellow flowers once bloomed - saw that last year) and they are a PAIN to get out, even when the foliage is small.  Their roots grow like crazy and I want to stay on top of them.

Nice thing about growing in pots is that you know anything aside from the plant you put in it can be pulled!

The chives I thought were goners showed me up - the scraggly ones have all but disappeared and there are some beautiful stalks standing tall in the center.  Not sure if its because we’ve had so much rain, but it was nice to see them perk up after.. 4-5 months of depression. Several of the bulbs are also poking their heads, while my first pot of hyacinths are starting to show their flowers - I forgot I have some hot pink ones! I can’t wait til those bloom - I’ll move them over near my office so hopefully once it stops raining can catch some whiffs.  I moved the horseradish and ginger bulbs outside, figured the rain today was not quite as heavy as the last few days so this would be a little more acceptable transition to outside.

A few caterpillars have been weathering (and eating their way through) the storms, but sadly the chrysalis’s I have appear to be duds.  One is gone completely - I have a suspicion it actually hatche but with all the rain, didn’t stand a chance. And the other seems to have started hatching but couldn’t finish.  It’s really odd.

Also found that the Oleander near the skunk hole is COVERED in aphids.  Need to get a handle on that before it gets too crazy. Either with some Neem oil (worked on the milk weed plant) or with dishsoap and water.  Have noticed a few on the milkweeds too so need to really get this taken care of.

I mentioned the rain earlier but it’s been no joke.  All weekend has been windy and rainy and it’s supposed to continue for the next few days.

Added a lot of stuff to the compost pile today - the usual kitchen scraps, but also an entire bag of apples and oranges (sorry!).  Speaking of compost - I threw all my cococoir seedling cups in the pile. I’ve decided those are not the right product for me - none of my seedlings planted in those containers have thrived - the roots seem to get blocked and don’t grow.  So I’m considering it “brown” material for the compost - and it definitely needs more brown, its far too wet! Some of the oranges I squeezed and left the peels over near the skunk hole - I’ve heard they don’t like citrus. I don’t know if I should irritate it or not after the incident this week.  I also squeezed some of it on the oleander, not sure if the aphids would like it or not.

Repotted a LOT of succulents today!  Some of the cuttings I bought made it in, and some of the succulents I already had.  I still need to trim up the ones from the back patio, and try to do some propagating on them.  I am trying to propagate one that had stared sprouting side babies - I don’t know what kind it is though.  Need to check on the leaves in a few days and make sure they’ve scabbed over so I can get them in the dirt.  I also tried the “pot in a pot” that I got the idea from Laura/Garden Answer’s recent video. Apparently it’s all the rage. Hah.

Was ready to make some basil cuttings today, but just ran out of steam.  From the two plants I bought at the start of the year, we’ve got several healthy plants.  Most of them are ready to be trimmed down too; I just don’t have room on the “light cart” for any more plants right now!

Also ordered three new succulents from an Etsy Shop (holy cow, there are SO MANY etsy shops selling succulents!) - string of pearl cuttings, string of banana cuttings, and a lovely pink echevaria.  A little weary of ordering on etsy, but this shop in particular has a really high rating and these plants in particular are well reviewed. Fingers crossed they show up and I can start propagating some strings!


Hummingbird sighting again! Not for long, but really reminds me I need to clean out and refill that feeder.

And it rained almost ALL day again.  The sun poked out and about the time it did, I felt compelled to put the saffron back outside.  Then it started pouring again. Supposedly the sun is supposed to be around almost all day on Wednesday.  One. More. Day!

Watched a lot of Garden Answer videos today (great background noise!) and was getting some suggestions for video equipment (uh, $$$$) and some insecticide ideas.  Ordered up some Bonide Captain Jack and Neem. The neem worked pretty good for the aphids so I’ll give that a try again. And I’ll pick up some BT next time I’m at the shop.

Also caught a video where she made galvinized steel strawberry planters (video here)

Did some research today on Milkweed plants, and read up a bit on the xerces society about monarchs and native milkweed (instead of the invasive types).  Found there aren’t too many native plants species, and not many retailers offer native seeds for sale.  There were a couple listed, but most of them had a large minimum order.


Super cold today (around today, with a windchill of like 27!).  It rained a bit as well but the sun did manage to peek out. Supposedly it should be the end of it for a few days, hopefully. Oh, welp as I write this some more rain has decided to squeak out.

Also was able to reach out to Sierra Seeds to see what their availability is for the three types of milkweed they carry - thankfully they had all three! So I ordered a gram of each.  Greg, the emailer, was realy easy to work with. Confirmed stock, got an invoice, wham bam. Will hopefully get those seeds in a few days to get sprouting! This is the guide I found that led me to the Sierra Seeds company.


My Etsy succulents arrived today!  They didn’t come from very far (anaheim I think) which is good considering how minimally they were packaged.  I did my very first “unboxing” video (hahah) and took a few pictures. The quality of the plants isn’t.. “Great” to be honest, the succulent source plants looked much better.  THe string of pearls nad string of bananas seemed to make it through the shipping pretty much intact. I was impressed by that - the pearls and bananas are more firm than the ones I found at the garden center here.  I am going to give them a few days to callus over before I get them in some dirt though, I’m not sure how long they’ve been cut. THe other plant I ordered with them is a bit worse for wear - some of the leaves look like they’ve been bitten?  Two small dimples in some of the leaves. There were also some leaves that were pretty easy to pop off, so I am hoping to get some propagating out of them too.

It was also VERY cold last night - another night that was less than 30.  The container plants look ok still - some of the salvias look a little angry, but everybody else seems to be muddling through.


My milkweed seeds came today! I am so excited to get them going and get a lot more milkweed for this season.  I popped out to check on the plants today and the caterpillars are ALREADY making their way through the plants that regrew over the winter.  I can’t believe it. I’ve only got one on the seedling cart right now, that came from a seed from my very first milkweed plant that went to seed in the fall.  That was the one that had an aphid infestation (but that seems to have disappeared over the winter) and it was completely eaten up by the caterpillars last year.  I’m glad that he’s made a recovery.

But speaking of the Milkweed, they came from the Sierra Seed folks and the shipment couldn’t have been cuter!  The envelopes are hand written with the name and date(!) and weight. They also hand wrote an invoice and it just touched my heart.  The handwriting really reminded me of my grandparents, and it was just such a heartwarming moment. I am hoping these seeds do great and share some of their seeds with me and I can continue the tradition.  And hoping to buy more from the Sierra folks.

I got the succulent leaves that I’ve been waiting to callus over into some soil.  The ends weren’t brown, but its been over a week so I’m hoping they’re sealed enough to start growing.  I also put the healthy, but fallen off leaves from the Etsy plants into the soil as well, so hopefully those plump up (they had started to shrivel and not look so hot).  Speaking of the etsy plants - the strings still look good, but the other ones are starting to get soft and shrivel. I need to get them into some soil, its just a matter of getting a container prepped for them!

I’m hoping to get some of the plants on my seedling cart repotted into some bigger pots - the tomato, marigold, and poppy are likely ready to get moved up.  I’ll have to check the roots for the peppers but thought might be in a good spot. This will open up some room for some of the additional flowers (and milkweed!) to get started.

Weather wise, I’ve been taking notes on the temps, but we’re working on the arduino sensor (yay!) today.  Well, Matt has been working on it more than I have. Thank god for his brain.

But we had some COLD temps this week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights were ALL below 30.  The veggies still look good, and most of the plants do too. The salvia’s are the only ones that seem to be annoyed with me.  It also rained at bit at least each day this week, but it’s been sunny most of today so I’m hoping my soil starts to get a little dried out - my concern aside from the cold nights is that it’s really wet and I don’t want any rot to start.  I need some dry and sunny days to warm them up!