Veggie Bites – Sage and Dragon Fruit
A couple of weeks ago, I planted some of the white sage seeds that were sent to me from California. This zone nine sage is a favourite of mine but needs a long growing period if I am ever going to see flowers.
Greetings fellow gardeners,
The snow has continued and is making my back garden look like a winter postcard. Although I am so excited to see the warmer seasons, I do love the clean, sharp, beauty of fresh snow.
With the cold I have been using the furnace and the woodstove frequently, and that is adding to the dryness in my house. Dryness is not good for your houseplants or your little seedlings. My orchid tends to be susceptible to dry air in winter. It is very special to me as it was a gift from a friend. It has four buds, so soon I will have bright yellow orchid flowers and I would like it to continue giving me flowers over the coming years.
One of the first things I do to combat indoor dryness is to collect some shallow trays and spread pebbles all across the trays. I add about a half an inch of water to the trays and place my orchids and other plants on top of the pebbles. This increases the humidity in the plant compound so that it is no longer like a desert. I also mist my orchid along with some of the seedlings.
A couple of weeks ago, I planted some of the white sage seeds that were sent to me from California. This zone nine sage is a favourite of mine but needs a long growing period if I am ever going to see flowers. I make a tea from this sage when I don’t feel well. All zones of sage like an early start, although garden or common sage (salvia officinalis) is hardy enough to survive for years as a perennial in your garden. Herbs like sage, chives and rosemary do well with an early start.
If you are planning to plant out onion seedlings, this is the time of year to get those started. A good way to determine when to plant them is to remember that they need about eight weeks to grow before they are set outside. As they like to go out by around the first week of April, you can count back eight weeks from there. All of your seed packets should indicate if the seeds need to be started early, and will tell you the general time the plants should go outside.
I have noticed that my dragon fruit plant is taking over the world. I have been doing some research on it as I have had it for over five years, and have had no blossoms or fruit. You may notice more dragon fruit in your supermarket lately, and if you want to try to grow a plant, they come very easily from seeds. Dragon fruit looks so cool! Like some sort of fancy fish. It tastes a bit like a kiwi fruit and adds great texture to a fruit salad. Once you cut the fruit, you will notice bright white flesh that is spotted with tiny black seeds. You scoop out the inside and do not eat the skin. While the dragon fruit is not poisonous, it has been observed that its skin may contain a lot of pesticide residue, so take care.
According to my research, I should repot my plant into a large container so that it can increase its root growth and the possibility of flowering. Repotting means that it will not fit back in the plant compound and must contend with the too-many cats. The plant is a bit prickly, so perhaps that may help. It has been chewed on before and taken no harm. Once I have it happily growing in its large pot, I will start looking for flowers!
The cold has started rolling in. The snow is blowing about, and the air is painful. I am so happy that I had the chance to protect my perennials with the large amount of snow we received. Judith. All Veggie Bites are available at the SGHS website: (https://sites.google.com/site/sghortsoc/)