At the beginning of the pandemic, I decided it would be a good idea to grow as much produce as possible. My yard is a blank canvas for the most part. I used to be an avid gardener up until my marriage ended 12 years ago. Six of those 12 years I lived in an apartment and didn’t have a yard to garden in and the last 6 years I’ve been in a rental house with ample yard to grow, but I only grew a small bed of flowers and potatoes in the front yard because I was working many hours and didn’t have a lot of time to give to a garden.
So when I decided I was going to grow as much produce as possible, I had no seeds or plants. I did not want to go into stores shopping for them because I thought that the less I was around the public, the less risk I’d have catching the virus and passing it around. I had heard that seeds and plants were sold out at most stores anyway.
So I went to eBay. Ordered a large seed order. The listings at the time said there was a 10-day processing time due to the overwhelming orders they had received because of the pandemic. I was ok with this because it was the end of March. It turns out that I never received that order and was not able to order from another seller because of lack of communication from the seller. By this time it was the 3rd week of April. I wanted to start many of these seeds indoors since our planting date here is the first week of May. So I ended up ordering seeds from another seller and I also ordered a couple tomato plants and a few bare root strawberry plants.
Because of this scenario, I was not able to get all the seeds/plants I wanted so I began to think out of the box. I wanted to plant a lot of herbs too, for their medicinal uses which I thought would be very helpful at a time like this. As some of you know, I’ve been shopping for groceries online since this all began (see Walmart Grocery Shopping Online & Pick-Up Experience). I ended up purchasing a fresh mint plant from the produce section. All other fresh herb plants have been sold out so I decided to buy the fresh herbs that come in a plastic container (that you keep in the fridge) and use them as cuttings. I ordered basil, sage and thyme.
For the Thyme, I stripped the bottom leaves from a few stems and poked them into potting soil, being sure to keep the soil moist so they would root. They are now rooted. For the Basil and Sage, I stripped the bottom leaves from a few stems of each and put them into a cup of water. I’m still waiting to see roots, but know I will any day now because I’ve done it before and know it works.
On a neighborhood walk, I found a Rosemary plant in an abandoned yard so I took a cutting from it and rooted it the same way as I did the Thyme above.
To add a few more tomato plants to the plants I purchased on eBay, I sliced a couple Roma tomatoes up that I had purchased from the store and planted them directly outdoors (since the threat of frost is gone). This was just a few days ago so I don’t see any sprouts yet, but am confident seeds from the slices will sprout.
I had a few old potatoes that had sprouted so chunked them up, being sure there was at least one sprout on each chunk, then planted those. I planted them under one of the plum trees in my back yard because potato plants grow fairly well is some shade and I know the ground under the tree is rich from the leaves dropping and fertilizing the ground.
I’ve also learned you can plant the bottom of celery that you purchase from the store and will be doing that soon. From what I heard, it won’t grow into a large celery plant, but will grow small stalks that you can cut from the plant and use as needed.
I have many Damson purple plum trees growing in my back yard, so I’ll have lots of plums. And, by the way, I’m selling cuttings from these trees, please see the info below, if interested. I’m also selling dark purple lilac cuttings and that info is also below.
So far, my food forest is coming along nicely, even though I’ve had to do some unusual things to get some plants. But doing it unusually has been even more rewarding and enjoyable.
I did have some spinach and sugar snap pea seeds my daughter had given me last planting season. I planted those early and just had my first spinach salad this week. I added chicken, candied walnuts, grated cheddar cheese, dried cherries and a homemade vinaigrette. It was delicious! I’ve also had a few more delicious and nutritious dandelion salads.
I feel healthier than ever from the combination of being outdoors and gardening and eating nutritious organic produce and herbs from my yard and it’s only going to get better as the season goes on.
I was called back to work and start next Tuesday. I’m thankful I still have a job, but will not have as much time to garden. I think I will still be inspired to go out and enjoy and work the food forest each evening.
Do you have any garden tips to share? Are you gardening this year? Has the pandemic inspired more gardening with you? Please share in the comments so everyone can benefit.
CUTTINGS FOR SALE
5pc DAMSON PURPLE PLUM Tree Unrooted Organic Cuttings for Rooting Grafting Fruit
You will receive five 6" cuttings of Damson purple plum tree. I am in U.S. zone 8b and it grows very well here and produces lots of fruit. Cuttings will be cut fresh upon order. They will be shipped in a moist cloth to help keep fresh. Price includes shipping. I can only ship to U.S. addresses.
5pc DARK PURPLE LILAC Shrub Cuttings Unrooted Organic Hardy Fragrant Perennial
This listing is for 5 freshly cut 6" unrooted cuttings of dark purple lilac. It grows well here in zone 8b. It's botanical name is Syringa vulgaris. Cuttings will be cut fresh upon order. They will be shipped in a moist cloth to help keep fresh. Price includes shipping. I can only ship to U.S. addresses.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROOTING:
**Note: a node is the part of a plant stem from which one or more leaves emerge, often forming a slight swelling or knob.
Dip/roll the bottom section of the cutting (including some of the nodes) into rooting hormone (cinnamon reputedly works as a rooting hormone, or you can buy rooting powder hormone online or at a store in the garden section). Rooting hormone is not necessary, but it speeds up the process and can help the rooting be more successful.
Plant the cutting into a container of potting soil, being sure to plant it deep enough to cover some of the nodes (this is where roots will grow). Be sure to keep the soil moist to encourage rooting.
After 6 weeks, gently tug the cutting up to see if there is resistance – if so, the cutting has taken root.
When new growth appears, it can be transplanted into its’ permanent spot.
MY FACE MASK DESIGNS: