I can carry about 100 pounds of groceries with this bicycle and trailer set up!!! but flowers are the most fun!
This morning I woke up to a scribble scrabble noise next to my bed. It repeated like an alarm clock. Scrabble scrabble scratchy slide. Scrabble scrabble scratchy slide. Enough times that I woke up enough to ponder the source. I thought of the milk carton cold frame I’m experimenting with on the other side of the wall. (More on that another day.)
Sounded like something was climbing up on them and then sliding off the wall. But then….Scrabble scrabble scratchy skitter skootch skitter snap. Silence. Ah ha! A peanut butter seeking mouse found its way into the mouse motel. Mouse Caught!
When I first arrived, the previous resident was giving me a bit of an orientation. She looked under the sink and said “Ah Ha”. Two of the three mouse traps she had set had mice. But then she closed the cupboard door and left them there. Mine to deal with now apparently. (I picked up the two traps with some pliers and took them outside, mouse and all, and the neighbor’s cat had a bit of a feast.)
So the scrabble slide was apparently inside the wall, not the out. Mystery solved.
Onward and Upward!!
I was going to name this story “Tin Can Transplants”, but I don’t think they are made of tin anymore, are they? Then I was going to name it “I Can Transplant”, but I’m not totally sure that my methods will work, so “Reused Can Transplants” will have to do for now.
Here is the end result.
A couple of weeks ago I started some seeds in empty cans I saved from the kitchen. I put rocks in the bottom of the cans rather than make drainage holes. I also used dirt straight from the garden without sterilizing anything. I’m sure that will raise some eyebrows out there. Purchased potting soil is generally a sterile medium, free of weed seeds etc. I remember being taught to heat any outside soil intended for indoor use. Since a crop failure won’t be a disaster for me, I have decided to take the risk. So far its working ok.
I had very good seed germination so I wanted to transplant the little seedlings into individual cans. Also, I didn’t fill the cans up far enough to account for compaction of the soil with watering, so the soil level was too low and my babies couldn’t get enough light down in there.
Meanwhile, I had collected more empty cans.
You can see I have created a drainage space by adding rocks to the bottom of the cans. I don’t want the mess of water seeping out the bottom, but I also think it will be a good conservation method. If you look carefully, you will notice a bulb in one of the cans. I didn’t notice it there until after I took the photo. I dug up the bulbs in the garden and moved them out to a spot by the mailbox where I won’t be growing any food. (Don’t want any confusion about whats edible and whats not.) Apparently I missed one when I moved the pile to the new location.
The bulbs I replanted are already peeping up out of the ground, the weather has been so warm. I hope they make it through the cold nights ahead.
So I removed the bulb and planted it with the others. Then added a mixture of potting soil and garden soil to the cans. About half and half.
Next, I took a knife I use for gardening and very carefully removed one seedling at a time by holding one of its leaves and digging under it with the knife. Don’t hold it by the stem or it will be crushed. Try not to bend the stem either, very fragile. Its better to transplant when additional leaves have grown, but like I said, I’m experimenting here.
Then gently snug the soil around the roots, avoiding contact with the stem. (I’m not worried if they don’t all make it through the transplant. I have plenty more seeds.)
Next I sprinkled a little water from my hands onto the plants.
Get down there close and breathe on them. They take in Co2 and give off oxygen. Its a symbiotic relationship!
I covered the whole box with plastic just to help them keep from drying out while they get their new roots established. The knife is to hold the plastic up off the tender plants. I later replaced it with an old table knife so I could do more transplants. I like the pointy one for digging up seedlings.
The neighbor’s chickens came to see if they could find any tasty bits of food in the yard.
I ran out of cans so I put the lettuce into some drawers from an old fridge.
I added some more seed to the second drawer to see which grows faster, the traumatized seedlings or the newly planted seeds.
I will keep you posted on the babies’ progress.