Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I had to pause making my second blanket for Project Linus (well third blanket if you count the polar fleece one I cut) because I ran out of yarn. I was saved by JoAnn Fabrics on-line, because I live in the middle of nowhere I am close to nothing everything is an hour away. New York city is only 2 hours away, but the nearest shopping mall is an hour, plus any type of fabric store 2 hours. It is a geographical enigma. During my pause I started crocheting hearts for Valentine's Day. This is one I have done from the directions I found here at Bella Dia. Here is one of the ones I have made...

I started my chamomile seeds last week and I already see sprouts! I keep checking them to make sure that they are still there, that they have not magically disappeared. I painstakingly took the time to drop individuals seeds into each pellet. If you have never seen Chamomile seeds I am going to let you in on a secret...get your face really close to the screen...Chamomile seeds are about the size of this... ' .... yes that little single apostrophe. It was a tedious job but I do not want to waste any seeds this year, and I am motivated by the Square Foot Gardening book that tells the reader to only plant one seed at the required spacing so that you do not waste time and seed thinning.
One tiny sprout up front and you can see all the cinnamon I sprinkled on this morning.

If you garden and you start seed indoors then you know what I mean when I say "damping off" if you do not know what I mean and you want to start seeds inside I have a little advice. Damping off is when fungus attacks your little seedling. The plant will look pinched in the stem, might just flop over or even wither; in any case it is dead. The best way to stop damping off is to prevent it, some cook the soil so that any impurities are removed before seeding. I am too lazy for this, however I have found good luck with cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon the spice. I buy the large canister of cinnamon, so I usually put a 1/4 C or so into a hand held sieve and then sprinkle over top of the pellets, about the time I see things sprouting. Just need to do it once, it acts as an anti-fungal agent. Good air circulation is a must to prevent damping off. I have the little greenhouses, so I prop the lid slightly ajar for a while to make sure fresh air is getting into the seedlings. I have yet to try this one myself, but supposedly brewing a strong chamomile tea, adding an ounce or two per quart of water and spraying the soil tops with the mix will help prevent damping off as well.

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