Apr 28, 2010

I'm tired of white

Since the arrival of Vasanta, he hasn't given me much color except the sparsely blooming Ixora,
Cape Honeysuckle,
and Indian Licorice. I was tired of seeing white everywhere.
Not that I don't like them, but I would appreciate some color for a change, which is why I am desperately trying to germinate cornflowers, calendulas, and other ornamentals, but it's sad that they aren't germinating at all!
Dear Seeds,
I am greatly offended by this behavior. I tried by sowing y'all directly out in the sun, but you never showed up your green heads. Thinking you resented the white hot sun who's heating up the climate up to 34 degree Celsius (93.2 degree Fahrenheit), I put you guys in paper cups and fed you with spoon so as not to flood you and placed you under the gentle Fluorescent light, where the temperature is about 30 degree Celsius (86 degree Fahrenheit). Is that still hot for you guys? Well, I have setup something else for you guys - the baggy method - I now placed you guys in wet paper towels in ziploc bags. Hope you guys germinate now at least. Please don't offend me this time...
By the ways, what was I saying?

Oh yea, the color in Plantville. After almost a month of white (Don't get offended Jasmine  and Leucas - it's nice to have you around, but I just want some color is all)
something showed up its beautiful, big, bright faces!
Suddenly Planville was all pink and smiling! What a surprise! This plant surprises me again this year as it did last year by blooming unexpectedly. I thought the bulbs were overly crowded and needed repotting. The other day, I thought of removing the bulbs and diving them, but to my surprise I saw a tiny stalk emerging from the soil!
In a matter of two days another stalk rose up
and third showed up the next week.
AND a fourth few days later! Isn't that superb? That too in a pot that was fertlized badly. Well, I don't remember spraying this pot at all!
I think this is the fifth stalk... Now that'd oh-so awesome!
Now I can enjoy the show for at least two more weeks!


Following cue, the Dwarf Ixora sent out a profusion of blooms. I just wish my seeds germinate and give Plantville some color.
Update on my Tomatoes: Two berries have swollen to about an inch or more and there are more berries forming!

I need an advice from you: This pot that houses the tomato is really small and I doubt if it can hold the plant. To make if worse, there's another seedling in it. I can't divide them as their roots must have twined with each other already. Is it wise to repot it to a bigger pot now? I'm afraid of disturbing the fruit production by repotting.
Update on the grass/Muscari: I did want to let the grass or Muscari grow and give it a chance as I do with all the weeds - as you all know, but four days ago, I saw that the cup had only a little piece of the grass and the root seems to have gone! Poof! So was there a bulb inside? Did the pesky, danged, words-that-cannot-be-typed squirrels eat it up? They seemed to have played around with my Sugar Melon seedling, but luckily it survived. It killed my Swainsona seedling by toppling the cup over while trying to reach the Muscari.
I'm sure it's a squirrel as I've seen two squirrels always playing around. Should spray the garlic around to keep them away. So was it Muscari really? If so, is Muscari edible for squirrels? Hmmmm....
I've never seen squirrels attack grasses that grow on other pots... I guess I'll never know what it was.
Update on the groundcherries: Many have  ripened now - not enough to make a bottle of Jam, but I guess I gotta use them up somehow. Have any recipe for me? Most of the recipes that I search online suggest Jams.


Anne Fannie said...

I love those lilies.
What season are you in? We are in spring in southern california.


Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Anne.
It's spring here too, but it's more like summer in this part of India. This would continue till June-end after which it's start getting better.

Bhagwad said...

I feel your pain regarding seeds! We take so much care and lovingly water them and pin our hopes on them - check them twice a day and finally if they don't sprout, the heart just sinks :(

I'm trying to germinate some brinjal and tomato seeds at this very moment. Why don't they realize they have nothing to fear and will be taken care of once they come into the world? :)

Chandramouli S said...

So true, Bagwad. Though I complain a lot, I am not ready to give up. I always blame myself that I am not doing things right. So I switched to paper towel method to sprout the seeds. Try it yourself. It's been only two days since I started them. Gotta wait and watch...

James Missier said...

Those Amarylis look so beautiful, glad to note that there are some reds in your garden.

Some tips in the seeds:
Plant them in cups but keep them in the total dark & moist area.
They will sprout looking for the light, once they sprouted -transfer them into the light.
(Works all the time for me)

tina said...

Those ground cherries are awesome! I've been wanting to grow some but haven't yet. Maybe soon. I think if I had a tomato in a pot that I thought was too small I would repot it. That being said your pot looks pretty large to me. Maybe you could just cut the other seedling and allow this tomato to grow? I hope your seeds germinate soon!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

The blooms are beautiful! Glad you got some color. Good luck on the seeds. Cornflower sprouts pretty easily. It may need to be chilled before planting. Some seeds have to go through "winter" before they sprout.

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Great post Chandramouli, it's too bad that we will never know about the identity of the grass like muscari.

I hope your seeds cooperate soon, they can be very finicky. I'm glad you have some colour, I also adore white, but sometimes a little variety is needed.

I'm not sure if your tomato needs repotting, but if you want to repot without disturbing the roots, you can simply get a larger pot, place some drainage material in the bottom, then a little soil, carefully remove the current plant and soil, trying to keep it intact, and place it on the new soil. If it is at all rootbound, you can loosen the edges. Then fill around the empty space on the sides with new soil. They'll hardly know they've been moved!

Christine said...

Seeds have a way of gauging your desperation for them to sprout and tend to act accordingly, don't they?
At least you have those Amaryllis to tide you over!
Tomatoes like to have long, deep roots, so if you repot, try to find a really tall container and be careful not to disturb the taproot. Try it in the evening so it can recover when it's cooler and it should be fine. Good luck!

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you James. It's such a beauty, but doesn't last long in the heat.
I did try sowing them in cups but even the Nasturtiums (which is supposed to germinate easily) failed to do so. I am currently trying the baggy method. I'm gonna try keeping them in dark. Let's see what happens. I am wondering if the high temperatures are inhibiting germination? Is that possible? My digital clock shows 32 deg. Celsius - even the room temperature is high here.

Tina: I love the taste of the groundcherries - it has a slight tangy taste to it. You should try them, only they seem to wilt under our South Indian Sun :( Poor ones.
Not sure if the pot is big enough, but I'm nervous about repotting it at this stage.

Gardener on Sherlock Street: Thank you :) Sadly even the cornflowers aren't germinating! Even the Nasturtiums!

Rebecca: I'd give it a nice whack if I found that squirrel who's damaging my seedling. I think may be it's looking for a water source and is chering off seedling? Hmmmm... Now, I'm thinking of placing a water dish so that it stays away from my dear seedlings.

I am still thinking if I should really repot it. May be as you said, I can simply stuff it into a bigger pot.

Chandramouli S said...

Welcome to Plantville, Christine :)
They do, big time, Christine! It's about 30-31 deg. Celsius even in evenings. I am already getting tired of the heat. BTW, it just started! :O
Now I gotta look for a tall one...

Rose said...

I'm glad your amaryllis bloomed and brought you some bright color, Chandramouli! Oddly enough, what's missing in my garden is some white:) There is something so pure and pristine about the jasmine and your other white blooms.

My advice on your seeds is to be very, very patient. After 5 weeks, some of my indoor seedlings are finally beginning to grow, but at least half of them never germinated at all or died shortly afterwards. I have much better luck sowing seeds directly outside.

You asked me about changing your blog...did you already change your template? It looks like the stretch template that I'm using now, which I like because it eliminates the wasted space on the sides. I know there are free templates available on the web that are much fancier, but I'm not computer literate enough to know how to download them:)

Anonymous said...

Hello Chandramouli! I'm glad to see that you got your wish of a bit more colour in the garden :) I've been sitting here admiring your Cape Honeysuckle with it's vibrant flowers - does it also have a sweet perfume?

Smile Always said...

Hi Mouli,

Tip for seed germination: Use plain cocopeath as starting mix. And cover your seed tray with plastic cover (this will keep moisture intact) and keep it in a dark (no direct sun) place. And if you want you can soak seeds for some hours before planting. this will give you better and fast germination.

Chandramouli S said...

Rose: I certainly am thankful for the Jasmines but it's just becoming monotonous and god am I glad that the Amaryllis showed up unexpectedly!
Thank you, Rose for the encouraging words. I guess I should work on being patient. After reading all your comments, with renewed energy, I sowed a batch of seeds again in wet paper towels and plan to forget them for every two or three days.
Thank you for that stretch tip. I hated those extra wasted spaces and you gave me the perfect solution. Thank you. Now I am working on modifying the template to have my own background and a bit of deco here and there. Will definitely let you know how I did it once I crack it. I owe you that :)

gippslandgardener: Thank you :) That Cape Honeysuckle is such a looker during late summer. It's not doing really great right now. It sadly has no fragrance, but I love it when in full bloom. As its name suggests, it's full of honey. If you pick the flower from its calyx, you can see at least two to three drops of honey dripping out!

Smile Always: That's what I've been doing! I tried by placing it under sun and under fluorescent light (shoplights) and yes, soaking was tried too. I dunno if I am just having a really horrible luck! Because I remember that cornflowers, gaillardias, and sunflowers germinated in just two to three days 2 years ago! So, I switched to the wet towel in ziploc bags method and fed myself with some patience. :D Let's see... Will keep you all posted.

Dani said...

Gah! My seedlings don't listen to me either!!! Finicky little suckers!!

How do the ground cherries taste?

Noelle said...

Oh, I do love white, but only as a background color to my more colorful flowers. I am so glad that your colorful flowers are starting to open.

Smile Always said...

Hi mouli..
Its a good day for me. I sowed Zinnia, Calendula and Chrysanthemum seeds 3 days ago...All germinated and I can see cute seedlings thriving for the sun..
I feel that quality of seeds is very important to germinate. I bought tomato seeds 6 months ago and they never germinated with so many attemps. So this time, whole new batch of seeds of a good company and I can see greens in seed tray!! I am still struggling growing coriander .. :(

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I've noticed certain times of the year when there seems to be a whole lot of white flowers in my garden. Like you I do like them, but color is always good too, and the more the better.
I hope your seedlings listen to you. You've been very nice to them and they need to be good to you in return and sprout!
I'm so glad your tomatoes are growing.

Anonymous said...


garden girl said...

Cape honeysuckle is so pretty! What a vibrant color.

I would definitely repot the tomato plant - the roots will need more room. You can cut the stem of the extra plant near the soil to remove it - that way you won't disturb the roots of the one you want to keep. If you cut it back almost to the soil, it's not likely to grow back. Two tomatoes in one pot might get crowded, unless it's a really big pot you move it to. Even in a big pot, they'd still be pretty close together to keep both of them.

bhuvan said...

what you have at the end is what we call here as tomatina, me thinks. Its such an awesome thing to make subzi's with, has a nice tangy tomato-meets-capsicum tinge to it at its best :)
Just use your creativity and use it like a baingan, u'll love it, totally

Chandramouli S said...

Dani: Aren't they, Dani! Grrr...

They taste a bit sweet and tangy. I am yet to try it in a recipe. Just waiting for enough berries to ripe.

Noelle: I am too. Now, after the first spring rain (hopefully not the last), more colors are showing up and I sowed sunflowers, Phlox, and Balsam today.

Smile Always: Congratulations on the germination! Coriander needs light if I remember right. Don't cover it deep. Good luck!

Catherine: I hope too. The tomatoes have slight ridges to them which makes them look cute.

garden girl: It really is, but it'd be riotous during Autumn. I've run out of Cocopeat, so waiting for it. Once I get the cocopeat, I'll repot the 'mato.

Bhuvana: You mean tomatillo? I am not sure if this is tomatillo there are subtle differences between many species. This one tastes like Manathakkali (forgot the English name). Let me try and let you know how it tastes once cooked.

Anonymous said...

So many lovely things are coming up in your garden Chandramouli! Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, it was a lovely day!