In a wonderful mood tonight. I'm always in a better mood when I feel like I've actually done stuff, especially when that meant running around outside the house.

Ran out to Ace Hardware, bought some extension cords to set up the grow light (finally), got some simple terracotta pots so I could grow some more stuff on the side. Those are soaking in preparation for tomorrow. Looking forward to having more variety in this little desktop garden soon. Gotta, uh, buy more dirt, though. We used up more than I expected!

Thanks to roommate, we've also got the window herb garden in a much nicer planter!

I'm not really sure how much of this I should be reposting over here. I'm always weird about it. Honestly, once these start looking a little more interesting I should probably get in the habit of posting both places.

mh (~), mostly rambling 

I don't really... have any experience growing stuff at all, and a part of me's worried that this is just one of those hyperfixations that fades away after a little while. I could probably do a whole lot worse than caring for some flowers, though.

I guess for the sake of context, this started as an intrusive thought two weeks ago, after a roommate mentioned wanting a little greenery in the house. Which led to me doing some research, getting a bunch of things together, and only now considering the setup "done". And immediately wanting more plants for variety.

Really, I'm hoping that having a few pretty flowers growing next to me on my non-work desk is going to be good for my overall mental health. I'd kinda like something super low-maintenance for up in my own room, but that can come later. Maybe a little cactus or something.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The two terracotta pots have been set up. Coffee filter in the bottom, soil with moisture retention stuff and a little fertilizer mixed in. Soaked and drained, ready to go. I only pressed a single seed into each one, so I dunno if that was a mistake or not. If these don't sprout I'll plant a handful around the center and just pinch out extras.

I'll move them under the grow lamp on my desk once I've got the right hang of how to keep them watered, or when they sprout, either/or.

The dahlia is apparently doing well, given that it practically drained is reservoir in a single day. I swear, it's drinking more water than I am right now. Must be almost all underground, though the leaves are already looking happier than yesterday.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

I thought I was doing a better job at updating this side of things. Not that there's *too* much going on still. The dahlia is still slowly setting up new leaves for itself. The zinnia has sprouted to look exactly like the 馃尡 emoji. The pansy still hasn't sprouted but it turns out it wants cold weather for that so it's outside in the shade.

I bought a tiny little succulent for my room, a sempervivum. It's cute, and I got it a nice little green pot today. Keeping it in my room for a little extra life.

A 10" planter I'd ordered online came in today, and I've set it up with the intention of growing some petunias in there; seeds for a silver plant and a magenta plant have been sown, and should sprout within a week.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡, villainy 

Why silver and magenta? Oh, no reason.
馃帹: @_knucklebone@twitter.com

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The dahlia has finally shown that it's putting out a new shoot, thank goodness.
The zinnia is growing its third set of leaves, making it the current all-star.
Both petunias have sprouted, but they're still so tiny as to be difficult to see. They're still emerald green and doing their best.
We're on attempt 3 (day 8) on the pansy. I really should get a seedling tray at this rate, rather than keep trying to grow it starting from its default pot.
Due to some internal confusion (read: roommate wasn't aware how big lavender gets), I took over another project and am trying to sprout a couple seedlings of it. Somehow one of them got started *way* faster than expected, coming up in less than a week. I am somewhat shocked, honestly.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

This ended up being four separate tweets, so I'm going to condense slightly.
1) The petunias in the big blue pot have died. I'm not really sure what did it, but starting them in the giant pot was *not* the right move. I've got new seeds starting presently in tiny peat pots.
2) One of the pansy seeds finally sprouted! I almost killed it by not giving it a lot of light, but I think it'll be okay. I have a backup seed in a peat pot in a dark closet right now as a contingency plan.
3) The zinnia is doing so well that I'm taking it and putting it where it'll get normal sunlight instead of the grow light, so I can focus the grow light on the plants that super need the help better.
4) We're up to three successful lavender sprouts! That's going way better than expected. Amusingly, the one I planted in the center by itself, originally the only one in that pot, has yet to appear. Then again, I planted like a dozen seeds and they're *supposed* to take a month to germinate.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The pansy definitely isn't going to make it. There are a lot of things I could have done wrong here, but I don't think it had a chance in the long run.
Zinnia and dahlia are both doing alright.
Lavender seedlings are working on true leaves. Both petunias have sprouted.

Over-watering has absolutely been a problem up until recently. I may have killed our current herb garden, frankly. I'm being more careful with the peat pots, and giving things time to dry out between soakings.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

To my *eternal* surprise, the pansy may have rebounded; it's putting out new leaves, finally. It's still asymmetric and I'm still worried about it, but this is way better than I expected.
The other pansy has started poking up out of the soil of its peat pot, as well! Hopefully I take better care of this one. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with a second one; I won't have the heart to cull either unless they actually go and die on me.
The lavender is thriving; we've got four sprouts and several sets of leaves on most of them, hell yeah.
The dahlia is doing *ridiculously* good business, and keeps forcing me to bump up the grow lamp as it keeps ramming into it.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

A couple nights ago, I pinched back the zinnia, realizing I should have done so once it got past two sets of true leaves. Felt like an absolute murderer at the time, it was awful.
Today I noticed that it's definitely bouncing back! There's one bud already formed and about to start growing upwards, with I think the starts of its companion beside.
Good thing, too; once we get another couple sets of leaves I think I gotta prune those middle leaves. Those spots aren't good signs!

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Another case where the post went way long, so Mastodon gets the short version. If you really want a lot of boring plant WIPs you can view the thread at twitter.com/wolfcau/status/128

Anyways:
- Everything is making wicked good progress, though the zinnia and the dahlia are losing some older leaves even as the new growth exceeds my expectations.
- Been giving some of the plants some visits to the east-facing patio, since I'd been worried they weren't getting enough sun on their own.
- Fungus gnats really getting me down lately; put in stronger measures today.
- Bought a bendy grow light to make an ersatz nursery for seedlings, which is working great.
- Lavender strong!
- Petunias and the newer pansy are also strong, with one of the petunias already starting to exceed its peat pot.
- Started some of Ficus' seeds for them, which are already sprouted and thriving.
- Older pansy still not doing great, basil is flowering, neat.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Good news: the zinnia has a bud! Our first bloom is on the way!
Bad news: accidentally damaged the dahlia last night
Good news: the petunias have graduated from their tray and peat pots into a proper pot.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Finally got some more pots; pruned out the runts and put the next-best lavender plants in their own pot.
Ended up doing it a second time, as I was *real* worried I broke too many roots. We're a bit low on space, and they're outdoor-hardened, so they may go outside tomorrow, assuming they're thriving in the morning.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The lavender seems to be doing okay, though I think the transplants are still acclimating to the new pots.

The pansy continues to baffle me, as the stems have been thickening, standing on their own, and more leaves have developed. Good on them!

The zinnia's been slowly opening up a beautiful pink bloom over the last week; I think it's about done now.

The real stars have been the petunias; since moving to the new pot they have exploded outwards, covering ground faster than I can track. And today, the silver one went from, "wait, is that a bud or a dead leaf?" to "GOOD MORNING!"

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

So a couple of days ago, I put the dahlia and the zinnia outside for about two hours in the evening, just to let them get a little extra sun in the shade.
I came back to find them both fallen over in the heat. The zinnia has bounced back (I accidentally broke a tiny branch off it, but no big deal), but the dahlia lost one of its three main branches and a bunch of smaller ones. And got way twisted as it recovered. As you can see in the first picture, I'm doing my best to help it recover.
Petunias are doing great; moved them to the desktop and splinted the overzealous silver one to help it stand up straight. Lots of flowers on the way, too!!
Last Monday, I was too much of a wreck to remember to water the peat pots, and lost the pansy sprout. Remember how it took like a month to get my first pansy to germinate? Somehow we have *six* of them within a week???

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Cripes, it's been two months since I updated this either on Twitter or here. Gonna try to sum stuff up.

Zinna and dahlia: too big to fit under the grow light. Mixed results keeping them outside, but they're doing their best. Both are near the end of their cycles; sadly I don't think I'm getting any dahlia flowers, the original stated goal of this whole project.

Lavender: Could be doing better! Windowsill was foolish, but now that there's space under the main grow light I hope they bounce back.

Aubriettas + Columbines: I fucked up, they didn't make it. Have refocused their lights on the...

Pansies: Doing great!! I cannot believe that sickly little sprout has grown into this. Hoping to see flowers soon. I've actually got spare plants of it that I grew as backups that I dunno what to do with now. I don't know if I've got the light to treat them right!

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Petunias: the absolute stars of the show. Look at these beautiful things! They need pruning, but I refuse to cut branches with active buds, and right now the *entire* silver side is blooms and buds. The magenta side is smaller, but is putting out this rad vine that I am strongly encouraging because I love it so much.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Guess who was slightly panicked as she tried to bring stuff inside when a big storm hit.

Guess what doofus forgot she was holding a *giant plant* when getting it indoors in her rush?

Guess what idiot just broke the dahlia in half.
(The taller side is okay, thankfully)

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The petunias continue to run rampant. I'm going to have to just start cutting soon; we're getting to the point where it's so crowded with flowers that some of them can't find enough space to open! I'm proud yet terrified.

The lavender is slowly recovering; there's a lot of new growth, and I went ahead and just removed most of the absolutely-dead leaves, so it looks a lot more bare but a lot healthier than it did.

Zinnia, dahlia, and pansy status: they're... fine.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Well hot damn, I guess the dahlia may deliver this year after all, despite my bumbling.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Trimmed the pansy and the petunia; they were both sprawling far too far out of their pots. Kind of miss losing all those pretty flowers, but it's already well on the way to growing much bigger *inside* the pot.

Lavender's making great strides.

Zinnia died in the first freeze, unsurprisingly.

None of that is anywhere near as important as the dahlia finally bloomed! We did it!! There's even a second bud right next to it, which should start opening soon.

The bloom itself is about five inches in diameter, and so beautifully fluffy. Like its namesake, I wanna bury my face in that fluff.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Forgot to update this last time, so catching up again.

The dahlia, bless it, didn't survive long enough to finish opening the second bloom before a cold night killed the foliage. I had to put it outside since it was not doing great with indoor humidity, so there wasn't much for it. I cut down the foliage today, and will probably finish digging up the tubers tonight. I've found three so far, and they look fantastic, and they all look better than the one I originally planted. Next year's gonna be wild. Gonna need a bigger pot, too; there were roots the moment I broke the surface, so this one was definitely too small, I just didn't realize until now. Shouldn't surprise; I didn't know shit at the time I planted originally.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Other than that, I threw out the "backup" pansies I'd had in peat pots for months, as they got damaged from a missed watering, and I really never had a plan once it became obvious that the pansy I was so worried about is *thriving* now. I replaced those pots with a quartet of second-chance plants. Aubriettas, columbines, oregano, and why not one more attempt at a strong lavender. Little worried about the current extant ones.

The petunias are growing back with a vengeance, and are threatening some flower buds again. Doing my best to keep them contained in the pot, though.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Good news: holy dang there were a lot more tubers in here than I expected.

Bad news: Having a devil of a time finding eyes. Gonna let them dry a few days and see if it gets any easier.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Couldn't find the eyes, so I just packed the whole mass in vermiculite and put it in the coldest part of the house that isn't likely to drop below freezing. I'll check in on it later, and just trick it into sprouting come spring. Waluigi stands guard.

An incredibly sweet dragon (@Sharklotl@twitter.com) sent me an Aerogarden Sprout as a birthday gift, and after scrambling a little I finally have the seeds I want to start it with.
Peppermint, curly parsley, and some magenta petunias.
It's sitting next to my work computer. <3

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The petunias are in fact still rampant, and I think they're learning. In the second picture, I've put little red circles around just *some* of the buds this thing has put out. It's realized that as long as it keeps putting out buds, I think twice before pruning invading branches.

Also, two of the aerogarden pods have started to sprout! Nothing really super exciting yet, but I'm always glad to see that they're at least germinating successfully.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Unsurprisingly, thanks to it being winter, I didn't really think too much about updating this thread. Let's see where we are today.

The petunia plants on my desk are *thriving*. I actually had to remove a couple of branches that were all the way down to the floor last month!

Spent a solid hour or two today just removing dead blooms and broken leaves. The downside to having a billion blooms is having to remove a billion deadheads, I guess.

Some of the branches are becoming these beautifully intricate little dense things. Also, both plants are sneakily getting a branch or two through the blinds and setting up outposts out there. It's absolutely adorable, but I fear what'll happen when those blooms start to fade and I have to just cut the whole thing off.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The aerogarden is doing... well, two out of three ain't bad. I overpruned the parsley, so I think the shock made the rest just fall over. Whoops. However, check out the peppermint, and the GIANT blooms on the petunia!

Follow

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The lavenders are... honestly, the original three aren't doing great. I think they got over-watered, and the soil they were planted in was a poor choice. One of the three may be okay? It put out new leaves lately, but the other two... not so good.

Web 1 0 5

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

The columbine and aubriettas are just hanging around, probably ready to plant for real. The lavender seedling I'd been growing just in case is going to get some wonderful treatment tomorrow.

The sempervivum is, well. It's vibing, I guess. Nothing to say there.

Beyond this, it's almost time to start preparing for spring. I know a lot more than I did last time, and I intend on growing some real nice stuff outside, but we'll do updates on that when I've actually got stuff to show. Hopefully, the dahlia tubers survived okay, and I can get a decent price on a handful of whiskey barrel planters so the balcony can have some lovely greenery done right the first time around.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Prep work is beginning, albeit slowly.

It took a few extra days, but the newest lavender is now sitting in a 6" terracotta pot in a mixture of 2 parts standard potting soil to 1 part perlite. This should be a far nicer medium for it, less prone to compacting and overwatering.

And to my absolute surprise, I did not, in fact, kill the dahlia tuber! Hey, there, gorgeous. I'm dropping the tuber mass into a bag of soil for a couple of days, as I still need to get bigger pots. I'm honestly not sure how or if to divide the mass, though!

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Gathering supplies, slowly but surely. Once I decide what all I'm growing, I can start in earnest, but I found a planter that should do well for the dahlias this year. The one on the left is the one she used last year. It's not very fancy, but let's be honest, I doubt Dahlia wants to be upstaged by her own pot, y'know?

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Current statuses
Aerogarden: oh my god peppermint is a weed it's gonna take over cut it back cut it back.
OH GOD IT'S IN THE WATER TOO
Still learning how much it takes to make tea. It turns out you gotta use a lot more than you think.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

Planted all six of the mint varieties last week; four have already sprouted.

Of the five zinnia seeds, three sprouted. Nice

I am also crazy proud of this little lavender. It already feels better than the earlier attempts, and I hope the new soil mix (and lowered watering) help.

Adventures in desktop horticulture 馃尡 

I chopped down the dahlia tuber mass, hoping dearly I didn't screw it up. There are two backups that returned to the vermiculite for now. Left these tubers together as one was closer to the sprouted eye, while the other was already putting out long roots. Godspeed, little twober!

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