Guest post by Kelly Gilliam
So besides being an avid gardening, I’ve an avid knitter. That means I’m always looking for cool new things to knit up.
Today I got the idea in my head “hey, what about knitting plants??”
So after a little searching I found these awesome knit plants that you can make.
Baby Knit Veggies
Garden Variety (more veggies!)
A knit opuntia (sorry no instructions, but can be a launching point for ideas!)
And possibly the most easy thing you can do:
1. Get a feltable yarn (a 100% non-superwash wool will work)
2. Knit the basic shape of a flower (a great directory of free flower patterns here)
3. Knit an i-cord.
4. Felt the i-cord and string a sturdy wire through it.
5. Sew a pot from felt (a-la the above knit opuntia)
6. Put it all together and ta-da! A knit plant! Guaranteed to never wilt or die, and never need watering.
- From Chicago Apartment Therapy (April 2006.)
“Speaking of Spring, You Grow Girl is an amazing website that will inspire both the novice and experienced gardener (and no, you don’t have to be a girl). Our friend Roni turned us on to You Grow Girl a couple of weeks ago, and we have been daydreaming about all of the upcoming possibilites for our homes (both outside and inside) ever since.
The site has it all: discussion and community forums, tips on how to grow and care for your plants, starting and maintaining a garden, and learning about the seasons. The site’s creator, Gayla Trail, encourages people to garden in whatever space they have available, a great reminder for city dwellers and the garden-phobic. Our not-so-green thumbs have a lot to learn, so we plan on visiting this user-friendly site often.
If you love the site as much as we do, you may want to check out You Grow Girl, the book, written by Trail in 2005.”
(Thanks, Roni!) – heather
This year will go down in history as the year I not only started seeds on time, organized all seeds by category (direct sow, indoor starts, and never-going-to-grow-it-so-trade-it-already), AND managed to draw up some kind of “plan” beyond casual (and quickly forgetten) mental lists. I rule. For now. We’ll see what happens when transplant buying season begins. I have a little problem with plant-related impulse buys that completely throw well-made plans out the window.
Regardless, bear witness to my awesomeness.
Nine containers were washed, filled with seed-starting mix and planted up with nine carefully chosen veggies:
- Hot Pepper ‘Fish’
- Sweet Pepper ‘Pepperoncini’
- Eggplant ‘Turkish Orange’
- Tomato ‘Broad Ripple Yellow Currant’
- Tomato ‘Sunrise III’
- Tomato ‘Silver Fir Tree’
- Tomato ‘Black Pear’
- Tomato ‘Ceylon’
- Tomato ‘Costoluto Genovese’
Two smaller 4-cell packs were washed, filled with seed-starting mix and planted with annuals:
- Nicotiana sylvestris
- Pansy ‘Can Can‘
The humidity dome pictured is actually a used plastic container that once held salad mix. I just flipped it over, making the lid my tray, and the container my dome. Good-sized take-away containers also work well.
I also transplanted the African violet seedlings that were grown from leaf cuttings. Some of the original leaves had good-sized stems so I recut them and started again.
The weather was beautiful a few days ago so I headed off to the community garden and popped in a few sugar peas ‘Carouby de Maussane’ (sweet peas with ornamental, purple flowers).
And finally, my newest seed shipment arrived this week along with a few recent trades. I couldn’t resist a pack of ‘Baie Vert’ pole beans from Colette’s stand at the Farmer’s Market this week. I am easily enticed by the words “rare heirloom” and back stories that involve trades between Acadians and Native groups. I just put in two additional seed orders today. The only thing I didn’t manage to get on my list was ‘purple mizuna‘. Regardless, if the stacks of seed packets are any indication, all of my bases are pretty much covered.
My 12 year old cat Voltron is a determined plant nibbler – in fact most cats have a natural curiosity about their surroundings and tend to enjoy a little taste of fresh greenery now and again.
Unfortunately many common houseplants are toxic so it is worth familiarizing yourself with both your plants and your cat’s tenacity. Many houseplants can cause some form of digestive upset or nausea, and some such as dieffenbachia (aka dumb cane) and philodendron can even be fatal. I’ve included a short list of dangerous common houseplants to avoid [see below and sidebar for further resources]. A little bit of plant material, even the inert stuff can make kitty throw up a little. However, symptoms such as excess vomiting, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite can suggest poisoning and should be taken seriously.
Before rushing to throw much-loved houseplants into the compost heap, try out a few tricks that have worked to create harmony among the species in my own household. Keep in mind that every cat is different and some are just a whole lot more persistent than others! Consider:
Make a cat-curbing spray using a “tea” of seeped cayenne pepper flakes and spray on your plants’ leaves or soil surface. NEVER spray your cat directly with this kind of tea. Cats hate strong smells especially citrus. Place citrus peels on the soil surface.
Some cats are agile climbers and won’t be deterred by high bookshelves or furniture obstacles. Use hanging baskets to keep enticing grass-like plants such as spider plants out of reach. In addition placing plants grown just for kitty in accessible spots will train him to distinguish between his plants and your plants.
Plants for Kitty
Rather than going to war, grow a plant or two that kitty can safely chomp. “Cat grasses” such as wheat, rye, and oats are easy to grow in a shallow container. Alternatively try grasses with a bit of flash such as blue fescue or lemongrass. If neither you nor kitty jive with grasses try herbs such as valerian, catnip, lesser calamint, or Persian catnip. Don’t forget that chemical pesticides and fertilizers can be toxic too – grow organic!
- Corn Plant
- Easter & Tiger Lily
- Dieffenbachia (aka Dumb Cane)
- Forced Bulbs – Daffodil, tulip, amaryllis