When I got home from work today a fat package from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds was waiting for me in my mailbox. I have been impatiently waiting for the three days it took for Baker Creek to send me the seeds. One of the packets I ordered was for Pink Bananas! I understand that they can be difficult to germinate, but the thought of having my own small pink banana tree is just too tempting.
I immediately divided the seeds into thirds so that I could send portions to my mom and to my best friend. This took some time as I had really ordered WAY too many seeds.
Then I got out my second 72 cup seed tray (I'm using Jiffy) and planted the few seeds that required seed starting.
My first tray of seeds is already doing me proud. I have fully sprouted mustard greens and mesclun, and I can see the very beginning of sprouts happening with my herbs and peppers. I'm still wait to see signs of life from the tomato plants though. Here's a photo of the progress only 4 days after sowing the seeds.
Most of what I purchased for this second round (beans, zucchini, melons, radicchio, herbs) did not require seed starting, so I put those seeds aside for when I am ready to sow them into pots. I need to make sure the worst of the cold weather is done and my balcony is transformed into a garden space before I plant them.
And speaking of transforming my balcony into a garden space, that needs to happen ASAP. Since the cold snap that killed half of my plants in December, my balcony has been a plant wasteland and garden prep station. It is thoroughly trashed, but I have a plan. As embarrassing as it is, I am posting the before pictures here, so that when it is cleaned up it will seem all the more of an accomplishment.
Another spur of the moment garden decision I made was to purchase a caterpillar. I was at the Winter Park Farmer's Market on Saturday and came across an entomologist who sold various kinds of caterpillars so that people could watch the transformation process from caterpillar to butterfly. My caterpillar (who I named Marcus Aurelius to both inspire him to greatness and annoy my mother) is a Polydamas Swallowtail and will eventually turn into a brilliant swallowtailed butterfly. I'll post some pictures of him along the way to document his process. Right now he is simply busy eating and pooping. I had no idea how much poop a caterpillar could make!
Lastly, I stopped by the library today and picked up a stack of books on canning and preserving. I know that I have months to go before I need to worry about saving some produce, but I want to have some knowledge under my belt well before that time. I also want to pick out some favorite recipes to keep me motivated.
Up next, seed sprouting updates, balcony transformation, and some book reviews. . .