Last plant sale this Saturday!

Things are starting to wrap up here at the Mifflin Street Planthouse.  Deb and I are finally getting to our own gardening work this week.  Sheesh…..what a late start but it does feel good to get some of our own plants in the ground.  The digging continues and will continue for a few weeks.

So,  this is the final plant sale for the year.  It has been such a wonderful plant sale season seeing many returning friends and neighbors and also some new faces.  Now that the weather is officially warming up (I do say this with just a hair of uncertainty) it’s time to put those warm-loving plants in the ground.  We have a wonderful supply of vegetable plants, herbs and annual flowers.

We’ll see you this Saturday, May 24th 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Lots of beautiful peppers, hot and sweet.

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Look at that beautiful basil!

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Cabbage, broccoli, onions and more.

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Let’s hear it for the basil 4-pack!

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Tons of tomato plants – hybrids, heirlooms, cherry & paste.

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Don’t forget the annual flowers.

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Gearing up for tomorrow’s sale

Y'all come!

Y’all come!

Still lots of beautiful plants for sale this coming weekend! All of our plants have been tucked away in the greenhouse during these cold nights, and are all looking great. We had a wonderful time talking gardening with everyone during last week’s sale; if you couldn’t make it, there’s still plenty of time to shop. Here’s what we’re lacking:

Sage (we had some germination problems, and didn’t start with many); Brussels sprouts; lettuce mix (we’ll still have some heading lettuce plants–tomorrow’s the last day); and tarragon (the Russian tarragon that we grew has no place anywhere but the compost).

We’re low on lavender, collards, Empress of India nasturtiums and some of the cherry tomatoes. However, considering how busy the Planthouse was last week, we still have an amazing selection of veggies, herbs and flowers. Not sure I’ll be able to say the same thing next week, so make sure you come out tomorrow morning!

We’ll be waiting–1923 E. Mifflin St., 10-4.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The most completely beautiful thing we will be selling this coming weekend...our lettuce.

The most completely beautiful thing we will be selling this coming weekend…our lettuce.

The past two days at the Planthouse have been devoted to labeling. We decided a long time ago to put labels directly on each pot, to reduce the chance of mislabeling plants–tags that stick into the soil tend, in our experience, to get lost. This is not a problem when you’re trying to differentiate between lettuce and tomatoes, but can get tricky when it’s a question of green kale vs. collards vs. cauliflower. It’s a long process, but with each sticker, there’s a feeling that the plant is DONE–ready for sale, set to face the world.

Not at all parsley.

Not at all parsley.

The only bummer with the labeling project is the old, peeling, disgusting and misleading labels on the old pots. We encourage our customers to return their 3 1/2″ pots once their plants are in the ground, so we can use them again the following year. Plastic is an unfortunate fact in our business, from propagation trays to greenhouse film, but we try to keep as much out of the refuse/recycling stream as we can. To keep the used pots from passing on disease, we spend a few painful days washing them out in a very mild bleach solution, letting them dry for a couple of days before filling them. We’ve done this with over a thousand pots; it’s a pretty grim trade in terms of cost vs. labor–new pots are pretty cheap, and bleachy basement fumes are never fun–but there is a certain

Look at all that re-use!

Look at all that re-use!

satisfaction to peeling off two or three sets of old labels and knowing that we’re getting the most out of each little pot.

So yep, we’d love to take back your pots. Drop them off at the top of the drive whenever you’re done with them. We’ll take ALL your 3 1/2″ pots, even from other farms. But please: JUST the 3 1/2″ pots! We’ve had lots of generous donations over the last couple of years of every single piece of random gardening plastic in friends’ garages. We can only use the 3 1/2 inchers! It’s like Tetris in the backyard; any other pot size will throw us completely out of whack.

The daily game: how to make everything fit...

The daily game: how to make everything fit…

 

 

 

 

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From the Department of Propagation, Rosemary Division

She's a little coy about her age; we think she's eight...

She’s a little coy about her age; we think she’s eight…

Really, it’s the only division in our propagation department; we start everything for our sale from seed, with the exception of our rosemary. All our rosemary starts come from this beauty here. Every fall, we dig her up, stick her in front of a lowish-light window (usually West-facing) and coax her along until spring. In about a week, we’ll put her back in the ground; I’m not the best at watering my pots, and I’m sure I’d kill her if she wasn’t in the damp earth and well-mulched.

Michu decided to take on the rosemary last year, and started taking cuttings for the sale. After reading lots about rooting hormone and various starting procedures, he ended up just sticking the little branches in a jam jar 1/3-full of water and dropping them on the north-facing windowsill in the kitchen. It works! After the plants develop a solid root system, we stick them in good, rich dirt and they’re on their way.

Ready for you!

Ready for you!

This plant just celebrated it's one-year anniversary.

This plant just celebrated its one-year anniversary.

Not every herb can take up residence in your house over the winter; parsley will bolt as soon as you put it back in the ground, and basil just gets mad. But think about keeping your rosemary around this year; eventually, you could have an amazing shrub!

 

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Mostly just beautiful photos, if I do say so myself.

What do you do when ducks lay eggs in your tulips?

Seriously, Mama Duck. This is not the best spot.

Seriously, Mama Duck. This is not the best spot.

If nothing else, it’s a sure sign of spring. Our first sale is coming up on Saturday, April 26, starting at 10 a.m. and running until 4. A small sampling of the amazing things you can buy:IMG_2124

Lettuce. Not the whole bed, but we’ll be uppotting these beauties from the greenhouse beds into spacious four-packs, with a lovely and colorful mix of greens for your own garden bed. Doesn’t it make you want a big old salad?

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Herbs. No tender basil, but a pretty serious springtime mix, including garlic chives, regular chives, sage, sweet marjoram, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, Russian tarragon, chervil and lavender.IMG_2112

Brassica. Broccoli, kale (four kinds!), cauliflower, cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts. I think we doubled the amount of lacinato kale over last year’s numbers, but it could still run out. Shop early!

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Onions. All the onions. Well, not all, but a fair representation. Copras (for storage), Red Bulls, sweet Walla Wallas, chives, leeks and shallots. You might want to get your onions into the ground before our big warm-weather sales in May, so don’t miss out on these.

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Pansies. They could totally be blooming two weeks from now! Do not be fooled by their current smallish stature! They thrive in the three inches of snow we’re supposed to get next week!

 

Finally, just because it was a beautiful day to be hanging out with the plants:

You're thinking about putting in a greenhouse, aren't you?

You’re thinking about putting in a greenhouse, aren’t you?


Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment