Garden Science gets an apartment
That’s right, it’s new fancy independent living for Garden Science. I probably brainstormed 50 or so “I’m moving” title ideas before I settled on this one because I thought too many people might just read the headline and think that I’d moved the blog itself to a different location or something. Nope! Garden Science the blog isn’t going anywhere, but...
Experiment 11 - The return of magic beans!
Once upon a time, Garden Science visited San Francisco’s Chinatown and found some message-inscribed magic beans. Readers were successful in translating the secret of the beans, but their fairy tale took a sad turn when they ultimately failed to grow. This was a pretty substantial disappointment. Fortunately, there’s a magical place called THE INTERNET where time machines, unicorns,...
Experiment 3 - A good day to be a Christmas tree...
I just realized something! Even though I intended to and even thought I did, I have not given a single Experiment 3 update since December 30th. Yikes, definitely time to change that. The last time I reported on the Christmas tree in a can situation there was a second one that had only just begun to emerge. Much like its partner, it jumped to a stable height right away and then promptly stopped...
Experiment 8 - Return of the instant garden
I am pleased to announce that Garden Science’s biggest and best experiment to date - the instant garden - will return this spring for its second season. Wait… it gets better. Garden Science gets THE WHOLE BOX this time! There is no lack of ideas (or seeds) to fill it with, either. What’s in store this time around? There’s going to be a couple of second generation...
Rotten to the core
A while back I wrote that the artichoke looked like it was going to overwinter. Things continued looking good over the next few weeks, and it even had a bunch of budding flowers on it. I was fairly confident that the hardest part was over. It had made it to through the winter and survived several freezes/thaws… what could spring possibly throw at it that was worse than that? ...
im-just-a-person asked: I love hearing about your lemon experiment!! I just planted some seeds of my own yesterday, about how big will they be within 2 months?
din-n-uh asked: Hi, I was wondering what is the update with your forget-me-not.
ohthisishowyouchangetheurl asked: Ack! I just spent waaay too much time reading most of your posts. I just wanted to say I'm in love. Also, have you ever tried growing a pomegranate plant? My mom ordered one from Burpee's last year and I've ended up with it here. She also has a pair of kiwi plants at her house. Glad to see there are other plant adventurers!
wikingskull asked: Im growing a pineapple,,but doing it differently than you. I pealed of leaves from bottom up until to the soft centre, then just planted it in a pot. Be interested how your system and mine work out.
sodom-hussein asked: What if that Christmas tree in a can is just a fake tree that is spring loaded to pop out when opened?
Ask Garden Science!
I am finally going to look back into my bank of questions/comments and I will try to respond to as many as I can this morning. Some of these questions have been sitting idle for months, so if that applies to you then you might just see it answered today. Off-topic questions, ads, or anything that looks like it might be better served by a private response may continue to gather dust for a while....
Springing back to life
Winter is the most difficult time of year for Garden Science. There are fewer daylight hours, the schedule is generally crammed with lots of other things, and there aren’t very many plants to write about. The number of posts inevitably drops quite a bit as a result. In addition, there have been a multitude of other things going on that have limited my time here. Most of them are great...
Really old gourd seeds
I’m pretty thrilled. I’ve been saving this particular oddity for a while and for some reason today just seemed like the right time to unveil it. Are you ready? Prepare to be amazed. Presenting: A packet of really old dipper gourd seeds. No seriously, like… really old. How old? Well, for some reason it was nearly impossible to photograph the seed packet because it exists in...
Back in December I posted that the artichoke was not only still alive, but that it was actually growing a bud. Several months and many more hard freezes later, it is somehow still kicking. That’s right, it actually looks like the artichoke is going to overwinter. I used “science” to enhance the previous photo. In this closeup, it becomes evident that not only did it...
Holiday Goodies - Sprouter Kit (Part 2)
I’ll admit it… Part 1 of this series was a little dry. The sprouter kit is an excellent thing, but that post basically amounted to a bunch of pictures of water and plastic and there’s nothing all too interesting about that. Don’t worry though - this post will have actual sprouts in it. It’s actually been a while since I took these pictures, but according to the...
Holiday Goodies - Sprouter Kit (Part 1)
Next up: the Sprouter Kit from Williams Sonoma! If you want to buy your own after reading this (and I wouldn’t blame you), you can order them here on the company’s website. I am splitting this feature into two posts because it looks like it will be most logical to have one for the actual planting and another for the yields. Above you can see the multi-tiered wonder of the sprouter...
Holiday Loot Part 1 - Eggling
As promised, I am now just literally “breaking the shell” and delving into the first of several holiday loot write-ups. Hopefully the delay between this and the next loot post will be a short one, but everyone should keep their fingers crossed anyway just for good luck. The fabulous Eggling receives first honors! The pictures in this post are assembled from two different instances...
Experiment 2 - What's this?
Not only are the lemon trees holding their own against pests this year, but “Biggest” (my largest lemon tree) is living up to its name. It grew its most impressive leaf yet during the winter and towers above the next tallest of the lemons. A spider has taken up residence around the edge of the pot and has lived there for months. Its web is pretty impressive and I have no...
New Year 2013 Update
A happy new year to all of you Garden Science readers out there! I thought a good way to kick off the new year would be with a quick overview on how all of the current experiments are doing. If you do not see one of the 11 total Garden Science projects listed here, that means it has already been concluded. All experiments can be accessed from Garden Science’s tumblr homepage. Experiment 2 -...
An artichoke for Christmas
Well, so much for making good on my pledge to post more frequently in December. Whoops! It has been a busy month with a more minimal amount of plant activity than in months’ past, but don’t worry - Garden Science is still here. Even with less than usual going on, there have still been a few surprises here and there. For starters, there’s the artichoke. It’s not looking...
Experiment 3 - Something I'm thankful for
Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s that wonderful time of year made especially for relaxing with family and friends, eating great food, and recognizing all of the things in our lives for which we are thankful. What are you thankful for? This year, I give thanks for my incredibly tiny Christmas tree. After running into the house every day after work and eagerly glancing into the can like Ralphie...
Experiment 3 - Watering the can
Shortly after posting about the discovery of the Christmas tree in a can, I unearthed the directions. This post has been sitting around for a while. Underneath the “lid” (in quotes because the lid was on the bottom of the can, contradictory to where a lid usually resides), I found the instructions and a sticker that reads “PICEA ABIES.” I Googled it and discovered that...
Experiment 3 - Christmas Tree in a Can
Usually, my greatest Garden Science experiments and discoveries are not things that I look for… They find me. I wasn’t looking for magic beans in Chinatown, but I turned a corner and there they were. I didn’t set out with the intention of buying a cactus at IKEA or Walmart, but such was fate. Most of the grow kits I stumble across come from a myriad of random places and I buy...
Experiment 11 - Translations and thank-yous!
A big “Thank You!” to everybody who got involved with the magic bean translations. Among the helpful: seaofpenguins rebologged my post and offered the following: 心心相印 = the heart’s sensations 喜欢你 = I like you Like valentine candy… subite-vene-in-misha mobilized twitter and discovered that “心心相印 means mutual, or kindred spirits.” Another props goes to naviwing for...
Experiment 11 - Planting the magic beans
There are still no definitive answers yet on what type of “magic” beans I have and what they say on them, but I have delayed their planting long enough. If you want to try to identify these beans from Chinatown or translate their message, it’s not too late! I prepared two pots a while back that I thought seemed adequately sized to accommodate the beans. One of the pots already...
Tango Mango: Man vs. Squirrel →
tango-mango: Every summer we grow some show-stopper sunflowers. Their heads can measure 18-inches across and passersby oftentimes stop and point at them in amazement. Just when the seeds have developed and begin to ripen, the squirrels climb up the sunflowers, and while hanging upside down, eat the seeds. In the spirit of Garden Science’s last post, tango-mango reminded me that she...
Special Spooky Edition - The Mummy and the Mutant
Greetings, and welcome to this Special Spooky Edition of Garden Science! Since starting Garden Science (and even before), I’ve witnessed ailing plants make tremendous recoveries and I’ve watched bare sticks regrow their leaves as if by magic. I’ve seen some cool and crazy things, but I’ve never experienced anything genuinely spooky. Even though I use the word...
Experiment 6 - The herbs of success
First of all, I want to thank everyone who has responded so far to the mystery of the magic beans. No definite answers yet, but I’m sure we will get to the bottom of what those beans say soon enough. If you’d like to help out, respond to my experiment 11 Q&A post! In completely different news, the basil sticks planted way back in June have completely bounced back. The above...
Experiment 11 - Bean research
If you have not seen it yet, check out my previous post to get a little context on my new magic beans from Chinatown. I am trying to figure out not only what they say, but what kind of beans they are. Here are both sides of the beans: I assume the characters (except for the heart) are Chinese, but unfortunately I cannot read them! Help me, followers… what do my beans say, and what kind...
Introducing Experiment 11 - Magic Beans
I just returned from my first ever visit to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It was a fun time for many reasons, but one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me was visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown. There are treasures buried in every corner of Chinatown, and I could have easily spent the whole day strolling down streets and meandering through shops. Speaking of shops, my most...
October 2012 Update
I cannot remember ever transitioning straight from summer to winter without a single day of fall before, but according to the weather that’s what we’ve done this year. I’ve already prepped the tropical trees for their move indoors. My fuzzy friend decided to help. The low temperature hasn’t reached freezing yet, but within a week it’s supposed to get pretty close. ...
Emergency Cactus Rescue!
I don’t go to Walmart much. It’s kind of far away. Plus, I know when I get there that I’ll only be enticed into buying some irresponsibly cheap knick-knack that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed until seeing it. This time, I didn’t even have to enter the store to find my latest visit’s jackpot. Right outside the doors to Walmart was a cart stacked high with...
noor84 asked: Hi. Excellent work! A request - I wish to know the kind of garbanzo beans you used in the garden. Was it the kind that is small and dark, or the kind that is larger and yellowish? Thanks.
Experiment 7 - Squirrels like avocados
There have been several late-breaking developments with the avocado plant. At first I thought this happened on its own, but after monitoring the soil for several days I noticed strong evidence of squirrel activity. I have thus concluded that squirrels detached the avocado pit halves from the tree, but since the tree seems 100% fine I am not going to hold any grudges… for now. ...
Experiment 9 and 6 - Potted pineapple
Until today, the pineapple plant really stunk. Seriously… it smelled terrible. It was also discoloring its water quickly enough that I feel obliged to change it every day. My Garden Science senses were tingling, and they told me to get the pineapple plant out of the water and put it into soil ASAP so that it didn’t rot through again.. Are my garden science senses always correct? No. I...
This post you are reading right now basically picks up right where this one from late June lets off. In short, I bought a scrawny artichoke plant from the grocery store, planted it in a less-than-ideal area, and hoped we’d have a long summer so that I might see it bloom eventually. I knew the artichoke would likely not get quite enough light in the side yard, but another unexpectedly...
Experiment 9 and 6 - Return of the Pineapple?
Sometimes I am utterly baffled by some of the stuff that goes on around here. If you haven’t heard much about experiment 9, that’s because it’s only had one real post so far. A month after its introduction, experiment 9 was mentioned again briefly in this post when I declared that it “didn’t work.” What I didn’t mention is that upon discovering it...
Experiment 8 - Super popcorn
After diligently monitoring the popcorn plants for months, I grew increasingly wary of the squirrel threat. Every year we put up anti-squirrel barriers around the sunflowers, and yet they always manage to weaken our defenses enough to gradually steal every last seed. As the sunflower resources depleted, I realized the popcorn was the closest and probably next most delicious target. I decided to...
redbaroness asked: On the topic of Cact-ikea: I have a similar problem with buying cheap novelty plants at housewares stores. And in fact, not too long ago I bought a cactus very similar in appearance to Cact-ikea. On his little plastic pot it said that he was a blue barrel cactus (or ferocactus glaucescens). Although, if yours fits into this species, I have no idea... cacti always seem a little tricky to identify...