wrtujn asked: Do you mind sharing where you buy seeds from?
I, unfortunately, don’t buy seeds much because I live in an apartment with no outdoor space. Perhaps this is why I have such a strong desire to guide my father’s choices. Here’s a few recommendations though, since I’ve looked into seeds a lot while building castles in the air:
Renee’s Garden - when I thought I’d be moving somewhere with a south-facing patio this spring, this is where I was thinking about getting my seeds. (Mostly because I really wanted the windowbox basil.)
Botanical Interests - I bought some micro-green seeds there last year, and those were good. They have a variety of heirloom and organic seeds. (I actually ordered my micro-greens through Amazon - Spicy and Mild).
Johnny’s Selected Seeds - An employee-owned seed company with a good selection, including heirloom and organic.
Hope this helps. Happy growing!
(oh also you (or others) might want to read this.)
Anonymous asked: Hey fuzzy tree. I just read your whole blog and I like it very much! I have space issues too. I have a southwest facing window and it's quite big, but no windowsill, so my plants sit on top of two boxes right under the window. How do you manage to fit more plants into the sunlit area? MOAR PLANTS is all we want but how?
Hello, anon! I am glad you like my blog so much!
I am inclined to assume the following things about you, anon: 1. You are low on cash. 2. You are renting/in a dorm room and cannot make major modifications to your dwelling. That said, it will be difficult to fix this with zero dollars and zero alterations.
So, the main theme to the following solutions is to think vertical.
Solution one: Stack your plants.
This is pretty much the only free solution, but it also turns watering into plant jenga <sarcasm> funtimes </sarcasm>. If you look at the right-hand side of the picture in this post, you’ll see what I mean by stacking.
Solution two: Hang those suckers.
Unless your landlord is really strict, s/he’ll probably be fine with you putting up a few hooks. Obviously this involves some handy skills, like using a drill, and making sure your ceiling isn’t going to fall apart. You can then buy a hanging planter or use your crafty skills to make your own. Here’s instructions for a simple macrame plant hanger. (Note: while I am a great lover of command hooks, I would not entrust my plants to them. Wet soil is heavy.
Solution three: Backless bookcase/wire shelves.
When you say that you have your plants on boxes, I picture them rather below the level of the bottom of the windowsill. For the strongest light, plants should be right in front of the window. Instead of the boxes, you could get something like this shelf and put plants on the top shelf or two, and keep tools/extra pots/whatever you want on the lower shelves (and here’s a smaller version of that shelf). If you wanted to keep going up, you could get some wire cubes to put your plants in. I like that the shelves are white, because they will reflect light best, and the wire cubes let a lot of light through. I would recommend putting the least light-needy plants the lowest on the shelves, and the neediest on top. (Also, make sure your shelves don’t get too top-heavy, especially if you have pets or small children! When I was using the wire shelves, I solved this by storing my potting soil and extra gravel on the bottom shelf.)
- I like to pick up my plants when I water them, so I have pretty much dispensed with the little saucers for all but my largest plants. Instead I hold them over a wide, shallow dish (well, actually an upside-down frisbee) and let the water drain. I then leave it there, and it evaporates (without growing mold like a tall glass would).
- Tiny plants = more plants. There are plenty of succulents that will be happy for a long period of time in two, three, or four inch pots.
- Square pots are sort of more space efficient, but are probably more expensive/harder to find, too. (Also apparently some caudex plants will grow square caudexes if you put them in square pots. Forgot where I read that, though.) Make sure all your pots have drainage holes!
Well, I hope this was helpful, anon. Have fun, and let me know how it goes!
Why is my succulent wrinkly?
Succulents become wrinkly when water is not reaching the leaves or trunk/caudex.
If your succulent hasn’t been watered in a while, wrinkly or hollow-looking leaves or trunk are a sure sign that it is time and past to do so. If you’ve been negligent in your watering (as I often am), you might need to water your succulent several times in one week for it to begin to spring back to life, since utterly dry soil is bad at absorbing water and getting it to the roots of your plants.
But I water my succulent all the time!
If you water your succulents too regularly, the roots of your succulents may succumb to rot. If your succulent has lost its roots, the rest of the plant can’t get water, resulting in the same appearance as under-watered plants.
Rule of thumb for succulents: the further the leaf color is from green, the more sun it wants.
Most succulents are pretty sun-hungry, but anything brightly or palely colored will probably need particularly intense sunlight. If you bring plants like these indoors, they are likely to turn green (as they produce more chlorophyll in an attempt to feed themselves). Many of them will will then continue life happily in this slightly-more-boring state; however, they may also get “leggy,” and if they can’t adjust to the change in light conditions, they may rot.
Likewise, a previously-green plant may develop bright red edges or other nice coloring when moved to a sunnier spot, or as winter moves into spring. This is perfectly healthy. Watch out, however, when new leaves develop brown patches: this could be a sign of “sunburn.”
If you’re short on light and you want to keep a succulent indoors, consider a nice haworthia. Many of them need only a few hours of direct sun a day. To be certain of its needs, check with the seller of any plant.
Edited to add: Not sure if this includes cacti.
It is spring and my plants are growing!
This is both wonderful and horrible, because I spent the fall and winter buying as many plants as would fit in my space, and now they want more space.
“What are you doing? I thought you were an upright plant? Why are you suddenly spreading horizontally? No, you may NOT put down roots in your neighbor’s pot! Stop it! Ahh, I need to water that other plant, get out of the way!”
Gayla Trail, creator of YouGrowGirl.com, in an interview with MrBrownThumb.
THIS. It bothers me with succulents, too.