Proud and relieved to say that my basement farm is finally in order… I feel ready for winter, mostly. (Except for all those unplanted tulip bulbs… sigh.) Prior to this weekend, all the plants I had pulled in from the cold garden were just sitting around, looking more and more despondent every day. I am honestly not sure how these guys are going to do inside (under lights**) during the long cold months ahead, but at least I now have lots of cuttings to play with, should they die.
I “invented” a new device to suspend the coleus clippings in water, while they grow roots. (Since the ones in little glass bottles in my kitchen window are going gangbusters, I’m sticking with this method until each guy has a tangle of roots underneath him, then I plan to move them to potting soil.) I am sure you can buy something like this somewhere in the universe, but I opted to just get creative with the materials at hand.
So, in my basement farm I have lots of coleus, all colors and kinds, two pots of ever-lasting Dusty Miller that have survived two summers (!), the recovered begonias (who like the basement even more than my living room), three annual gazinias I pulled out of the front beds today, on a whim, and two (also “annual”) dascia coral hybrids that I figured deserved a chance, after blooming through the snow. Oh, and the lobelia that I brought back from the dead this summer, not looking too enthusiastic now… but who knows? She’s looked worse!
And, of course, all my little glass medicine bottles of coleus stems and my “root box” creations.
I also repotted several houseplants that have outgrown their homes. (I must have been on a pie-induced sugar high.) It sort of felt like graduation, with medium-sized plants moving up to big planters and wee ones coming in behind them, leaving their small pots empty and ready for… more plants!
I never in a billion years thought I would need to move plants into bigger pots because they were… thriving. Surreal. And pretty damn cool!
*Forever grateful to my dear friend and Iowan Nicole, for giving me the word “farmy” so long ago. It’s right up there with “schadenfreude” on my list!
**Suspecting I will need to rig some additional lights under each shelf, to provide enough “sun” to the plants below.