Sprouts & Seedlings & Companion Planting

Seed Starting Update

A while ago, I showed you my sweet basil seedlings that I had started from seed.

Today they are flourishing!

 

sweet basil seedlings growing

Sweet Basil seedlings flourishing over a two-week span

 

In this post, I wanted to demonstrate the ease of seed starting. I sowed some heirloom purple opal basil and some plain ol’ chives, side-by-side. That previous post only addressed the purple opal basil, but I did sow some chives right next to that basil.

seed starting basil chives

Purple Opal Basil and Chives started side-by-side

Companion Seed-Starting

I am interested to see how these two plants do, started side-by-side. Companion planting is fascinating but also confusing (here is a decent guide to companion planting). I love the idea of creating plant communities that support one-another. I was unable to find information on whether you should plant basil and chives together, but I do know that both are compatible with tomatoes. So perhaps they are compatible with one another. Considering my lack of experience, this will be quite the experiment.

Has any one had experience with starting different seeds together? What about companion planting in general? Leave a comment if you have some advice.

Happy Gardening!

Glorious Blackberries

More Berries

It seems I can’t resist the call of sweet berries in the summertime!

I spied a blackberry plant on sale at my local grocery store. I just couldn’t resist. Reasonable price. Nice looking young thang.

And here it is, my very own Triple Crown thornless blackberry baby.

blackberryplant

 

FYI

The Triple Crown Blackberry Plant:

  • Grows medium sized, sweet fruit through the summer
  • Is thornless- we can all agree- that is a plus
  • Likes full sun
  • Is happy in USDA Zones 5-9
  • Will probably require some trellising and support

 

Trellising? Oh Dear!

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I have this bad habit of going to the nursery/grocery store/pharmacy/anywhere and purchasing plants. Just because I think they are pretty and beautiful and perhaps they will be yummy on my plate.

And then I get home. And I begin to research. And then I have to go back out and purchase soil amendments (my compost is still a-cooking). And then I get home. Amend the soil. Plant the stupid beautiful plant. Water the stupid beautiful plant. Fall in love with the stupid beautiful plant. Find out I have to buy a trellis for the stupid beautiful plant. And out I go again. All this with a toddler. She is mostly alongside digging or watering and being my gardening version of a wingman. She is awesome.

misstoddler gardening.png

Miss Toddler being my garden wingman

What Not to Do

My blackberry plant is finally in the ground- with some magical, acidifying organic… grey looking…. stuff… the lady at the nursery gave me for… free… Now that I’ve actually written that sentence- I’m a little worried. What on earth did I amend my soil with? The lady at the nursery was very helpful and she did say it was organic, but really that was a rookie mistake not knowing what I was amending my soil with.

Perhaps I’ll create a new category- “things not to do when you are learning how to ‘culture hortus’. Or however the Latin goes.”

What to do

  1. First, give your blackberry plant a nice talking to. Tell him/her (this variety is considered to be self-fertile) not to grow too fast or too crazy.
  2. Dig a hole about 1 foot by 1 foot and remove the plant from its pot gently.
  3. Put the plant in the hole.
  4. This step is important– add a soil amendment. When you do, it is preferable that you know what that soil amendment is– peat-based potting mix was recommended on my instructions.
  5. Water it well and keep that baby moist until shoots appear. After that, water 1-2 times per week.
  6. Fertilize with acid fertilizer- again know what your putting in your soil (I am totally addressing myself here).

You can choose to build a trellis to start training your blackberries and supporting them as they grow. I am currently working on one myself. Here is a video I recommend watching. Short, informative and to-the-point, and you’ve gotta love the guy:

Has anyone had experience growing blackberries? Feel free to leave your advice.

Happy Gardening!

Blueberry Rescue

Allow me to introduce to you my rescued blueberry plant

blueberry garden bush

A blueberry baby I saved from Grocery Outlet

 

I found him at my local Grocery Outlet- on sale and looking kind of pitiful. I thought I would take him home and give him the chance he deserved. And he has already started to grow beautifully. I have even seen a few blossoms!

I have been adding an acidic soil amendment- blueberries do like their soil acidic (we are talking around a 4-5 pH). I have planted him next to a cluster of perennials and am hoping that the plants will all get along- despite their differing opinions on ideal soil pH.

Has anyone had any success with blueberry plants? Any tips or advice that has worked for you?