Monday, November 30, 2009

Starting Sage

After watching Julie and Julia the other night while knitting a mug cozy, I was inspired to pull down my cookbooks and read them instead of just browsing for a specific recipe. One cookbook is The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver. He starts out the cookbook explaining things like how he got started, what staples he keeps in his pantry, what herbs should be grown fresh, etc. This inspired me to start a pot in my kitchen windowsill, especially since one of my goals for 2010 is to have a small 3'x3' vegetable garden (more about that later).

In my pursuit of frugality, I fought the urge to go shopping for new gardening supplies and seed and instead went on a search to see what I already have on hand. On my front porch I found a cluster of pots with dried potting soil from an herb garden attempt two or three years ago. I didn't realize at the time that if I sat the pots in front of the window a/c unit, the hot air would dehydrate them. Now I'm starting small with one plant. Jamie recommends rosemary, thyme, sage and bay and says they can be grown in most climates.

In my fridge I found a packet of sage seeds, so I am starting with those. I'm doing some googling to try to understand the plant better, but I start all my seeds the same with generally a lot of success. I find a small container like a seed starting pot, a small terra cotta pot, a paper egg carton, a toilet paper or paper towel roll, etc., fill with a little soil, moisten, add the seed, then place in a plastic ziplock bag in a warm, dark place for up to two weeks. I check on the bag to make sure mold is not growing and see how the seedling is coming along. Once it starts developing it's first leaves (the cotyledons and first true leaves) then I move it to a sunny location and keep damp. I seem to be great at starting seeds, but my forgetfulness which manifests into neglect is what kills the plants after it's first month or two of life. I'm going to be trying to develop habits and routine though so I can avoid this problem in 2010. We'll see how it goes...

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