Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Indoor Lettuce

I wanted to point out one thing I've noticed about my indoor lettuce plants.
Even though they are in full sun with the southern exposure, the intensity of the sun is at its lowest.The result of that is that the dark varieties I had chosen are putting out light green leaves instead.

And of course, with indoor conditions and crowding, the leaves are narrow and more in the realm of microgreens.

 Which isn't a problem because I still had fresh salad for lunch yesterday.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas Decorating for Isolationism

Exactly how much Christmas decorating is necessary when you can pretty much guarantee you are the only one who will enjoy it?  I did get down three small boxes of decorations, but even I just couldn't muster the energy to put together a tree.  Much less two like last year. But everyone needs at least a little holiday cheer to mark the time.  The winter solstice is tomorrow morning at 5:02 AM and we can start counting the days to seed starting time.

This year I just did the things that make me the happiest changing the overall feel of the house to a cozy wintery theme  That included walnuts and my favorite Mason Jar snow globes which will stay out all winter.  

If anyone stops by these holidays it will only be to drop off some goodies and stick their head in to say hello.  So I spent my creative energy for new decor on the side porch with a little Christmas laundry display and some window candles.

My personal all time favorite Christmas/winter decoration is this grater luminary with all of the fixins for Swedish Korv sausage.  Korv is a sausage made up of equal parts beef, pork, onions and potatoes seasoned with Allspice.  Two years ago we purchased a big sausage stuffer which is really fun to use but you inevitably wind up with at least a half pound of meat in the pipeline which needs to be hand stuffed.  That's when the ole cow horn comes in handy.  I can't even imagine stuffing the whole 15 pound batch by hand with a cow horn!  But I do like the idea that I'm the sort of person who has a cow horn sitting in a drawer for just such an emergency.  I like to put out star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg.  The scent is subtle but it does add to the overall atmosphere.  This year I even took the trouble to go out and collect rosehips.  Those darn multiflora bushes were finally good for something.  This arrangement is in the kitchen where I spend the most time.

Another favorite, simple bit of decor is on the bathroom shelf.

I recreated the table centerpiece from a couple of years ago.

Of course I had to rearrange my collectibles in the Hoosier.  I brought as much red out as I could and added the vintage Christmas snow and little Shiney Brite ornaments.

I just noticed that this entry is my 500th blog entry.

Merry Christmas to all.  
Enjoy your seed catalogs.
Spring is on its way!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Propagating Herbs - Experiment winter 2020 - UPDATE

 Update on my indoor window winter gardening

Rosemary new growth

Almost all of my Rosemary cuttings survived and are putting out new upward growth.
The Sage - well lets just say half of them are not dead yet.

Sage Survivors

Bristly as a bottle brush

One of the two parent Rosemary plants is putting out a lot of side shoots, and the other stockier plant has instead put out 2 inches of upward growth per stem, much like the cuttings.

New upward growth

The lettuce transplants are a success.  This week they have taken root and begun to grow.  The other two plants are curly parsley which was down to about 6 fresh stems per pot when I brought it in.  These parsley plants are what gave me the idea to transplant the lettuce.
When I got to work yesterday morning they were standing up straight and looking energetic.

As a footnote to the December lettuce.  I had a two quart container chock full of lettuce that I cut on the 5th and brought in to the office.  My office fridge is a little schizo and will sometimes freeze things like milk or fruit.  The next morning all of that nice lettuce was crispy and covered with ice crystals.  I was so put out I almost threw the whole batch.  Instead I set it out on the counter and in about an hour it was unfrozen and looking as fresh as when it was cut.  The rest of the week I kept it in the trunk of my car where it would be cool but not frozen, and you would never guess it had been on the brink of destruction.  Lettuce is more cold hardy than I thought.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Goodbye to the Lettuce

I have to keep reminding myself that this is December and the fact that my lettuce has survived this long is not typical.  I often lose it to frost in November.  It is hard to mark time in 2020 when nothing is as it should be.  I've been keeping an eye on the forecast because the GardenQuilt  that I have used to cover the lettuce with is only effective down to 24 degrees.  Wednesday morning the house thermometer read 23 degrees in the morning, but there was also a thick, insulating layer of snow to seal the frost cover.

And the lettuce survived.  But my good luck isn't going to last and I didn't want to chance losing it entirely.  This morning was 40 degrees and sunny but I knew that snow and cloud cover was on its way.  The potted parsley I brought into my office is thriving and putting out a lot of new growth and that gave me the idea to try to save the little lettuce plants that were direct seeded in mid-September.  They've been sluggish but are nice little plants and worth saving if possible.

I prepared some shallow planters and transplanted the best of them.  I concentrated on the darker varieties because I can add those to iceberg lettuce and make a nice salad.  I also went ahead and cut all of the mature lettuce to bring in the house, and then uprooted and composted whatever was left.  I hung the frost cover out to dry in the sun, and with that the garden is done for the year.