Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25th

It is cold and rainy today. It should not be in the 50s during the day when it's almost June, that is just ridiculous. The cool weather is making me a bit nervous about how much of a harvest I'm going to get out of my tomatoes. They really need some warmer temperatures. If it would stay in the 70s that would help a lot. Same thing for the basil, I can't even leave it out overnight yet. They're just too tender.
I did manage to find some small tomato cages today, so my tomatoes are caged now. That will help protect them from the wind and keep the branches from breaking when the tomatoes grow. It was harder than I expected to find cages for smaller tomato plants. Most of them were 5 feet tall, and my plants won't get taller than 2.5 feet. So I finally found some 3 foot cages which are good enough.
The only thing the cooler weather will be good for are the chives and carrots. I was surprised the carrots came up at all, and the chives are still pretty small. So maybe this will help them get a little stronger. They prefer cooler weather so maybe it's not all a lost cause.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Plants from the beginning of May

So here are my most recent plant acquisitions and updates on growth. The weather is finally getting warmer and I've been able to put more of the plants outside, so some of their growth has exploded. 

 These first pictures are of a new Aloe variety I bought called Aloe pinto. It's a flowering aloe, which is new to me as I've only had Aloe barbadensis before. The first is a photo of the flower stalk.
 Here's a closeup of the leaves. They are pink when exposed to a lot of sunlight.
 I brought it home and repotted it right away because it was extremely potbound. So far it's happy in its new pot.
 I bought a bromeliad on a lark from Lowe's. It was very pretty and I've never had a bromeliad before.
 It only stayed on this table for one day before the cats tried to eat it. I had to move it on top on the dresser.
 This is a Sedum hybrid called Burrito Sedum. It's really cool and when it gets large it will be a huge hanging plant. I had seen one online and then found it available at my local nursery, so I snatched one up.
 I planted some catnip and chamomile seeds and these are what the new seedlings looked like. I'll have to post a new photo soon since they've gotten larger and I need to transplant more of them!
 Two new houseplants. The one in the back is a ZZ plant. They're very hardy and will take a lot of abuse. The one in the front is a Dracaena marginata tricolor.
 Here's a closeup of the Dracaena leaves. They are green, white, and red. It's very pretty.
 This is an Echinocereus. Its common name is "rainbow cactus." I bought it because it looked pretty.
 This is an early photo of my indoor lighting setup. All of these plants are huge now! I only have one light so far but as I get better at this I'll probably get another.
 On the left is a Persian Shield and on the right is a Passiflora caerulea.
 The Passiflora is a perennial vine that makes very unique flowers. They also make Passionflower fruit although I think the variety I have doesn't make very yummy fruit.
 The Persian Shield I bought mostly for the foliage, but in the fall it will also make purple flowers. I just thought the leaves were so gorgeous.
 These were my tomato plants a couple of weeks ago. They live outside full time now and they've at least doubled in size! I found buds on one of them yesterday so hopefully I'll see flowers soon.
This is another pretty houseplants I bought. It's a variegated Wandering Jew. I kind of cringe everytime I say the name. But it's very nice. By the way, I bought almost of all of these plants at Holub Gardens and Greenhouse in Ames. They're a local nursery and they have a huge selection. All of their plants are very healthy too.

Plants from April

I finally got photos to upload here! I had to switch to Chrome to do it (Google, are you doing this on purpose so I'll use your browser?) but it finally works. So here are the plants I got in April. 
 This is an Adromischus rupicolus. It's a succulent and I bought it because I thought it was cool-looking.
 This is my first Tillandsia that was flowering! It has very pretty pink blooms. Unfortunately, it's now done flowering for the year, but hopefully it will bloom again next year.
 This is Echeveria lilacina. It's also a succulent and I got it because it's a light purple color. It's grown a lot since I bought it.
 This is a Euphorbia obesa! It's almost perfectly round. It's also a succulent.
 This is yet another succulent, a Haworthia reinwardtii. It's pretty small and grows very slowly.
 This is Kalanchoe tomentosa, or the Panda Plant. It's soft and fuzzy, which makes it nice to pet.
 These are Lithops, although I'm not sure which species. So far I've managed to keep them alive so hopefully I'll have better luck this time than with my first attempt.
 This is some kind of Sedum hybrid, although I don't know what kind. It's green with golden tips.
 I planted three of them in a container together to make a little succulent garden. I need to take a more recent photo since they've all grown quite a bit since then, especially the Echeveria.
Here's a close-up of the Tillandsia flower. I'm not sure which species of Tillandsia this is. 
So there we go, finally I've posted all my April plant acquisitions. Now I need to look and see what I have to post from May!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Well it's halfway through May

I still am having trouble posting pictures on Blogger. Eventually I'll figure it out and everyone will get to see my plants. In the meantime, I've been pretty busy. This week was the annual CBiRC site visit so I had to present a poster and then spend two days looking nice and trying to impress the government visitors. It went just fine but those meetings are always a huge drain on my energy. Thankfully there's only two of them every year so it's not too bad. I took Thursday afternoon off and was able to catch up some on my sleep at least.
Otherwise it's not been too crazy. My tomatoes live outside full time now that it's gotten warmer. I'm starting to harden off the basil too so that I'll be able to keep it outside all the time too. My carrots are coming up too! I thought they were a lost cause but it seems not. My catnip and chamomile are ready to get put into slightly larger containers. I wish I could get more plants all the time, but the cats keep trying to eat them! I do need another bookcase so maybe some of the plants can go on top of it and I'll have a bit more room. I wish I could get the cats to ignore the plants but they are very silly.