Saturday, December 02, 2006

Winter Gardening Indoors

It is that time of year a gardener takes an involuntary leave of the dirt in the yard and must resort to satisfying the gardening passion indoors. So far, I have reorganized the seed collection, adding computer labels, alphabetizing them, and dividing them into annuals, tropical/indoors/novelty, and perennials.

I got the handy seed binder with clear plastic zip-loc compartments from Lee Valley Tools. I had to buy a few extra pages for the now-bulging collection of seeds. Of course, the solution to the burgeoning seed population is to plant them next spring!

The orchid collection is getting a bit more attention now, with my efforts focused on making them bloom. This is a combination of a battle of wills, wishful thinking and some surfing on the internet for tips to get the finicky plants to bloom. As it turns out, neglect is often the answer -- an absence of water and fertilizer in the winter will do it for several kinds of orchids.

The one pictured in bloom right now is the Dendrobium spatulata, my least favourite but most vigorous grower and bloomer. It's green flowers to eventually turn yellow and just slightly more attractive. I bought this plant as a shriveled up discounted item from the back of Dutch Growers in Saskatoon. It had no blooms on it at the time, but I was determined to try growing it anyways.

One of the other indoor plants I am growing: a dwarf Musa acuminata "Cavendish", which grows only to a dwarfish 7-9 ft tall! This plant grows very fast, likes lots of water and fertilizer. My hope is to eat my own northern-SK-grown bananas in another 2-3 years!