• Everything other than hot peppers. Questions, discussion, and grow logs. Cannabis grow pics are only allowed when posted from a legal juridstiction.

thoroughburro 2023, non-peppers


My little guys are still recovering from the post, but I have a feeling they’ll be monsters later this year! The right hand one perked up noticeably the day after being potted, and is now regaining its gloss, so it’s well on its way. Forgive the lack of mulch; out of my usual pea gravel.

I potted up the papalo today:


Their stems and cotyledons are still so fine and delicate.

The cucumbers and okra showed up yesterday (at 2 days), and today they’re really tearing up the soil along with the snow peas (3 days).

Almost impossible to see if you don’t know where to look, three tiny culantro sprouts at only 9 days! Last year in similar conditions they took 15, but I sowed a lot more this year.
You're on a roll Burro! It's all coming along quite well. I think I need to make haste. :)

I was at a friends yesterday and she made a delicious soup with okra in it. It wasn't the regular, long pods, but pods that were picked when they were in a very young stage, about 1 centimeter long. It was amazingly delicious. It's supposed to be quite labour intensive, the harvest.

Can't quite remember the name it goes by, I'll ask her.

Edit to add: It looks like this and I think she made this soup. It really makes me want to grow okra, even though I've never done it before and our climate probably isn't suited for growing it. How's your experience with growing this veg?
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What cute little okra, in that soup!

This is my first year growing okra, so it’ll be a learning process. I can say that every gardener I’ve told has emphasized that it’s great, but you really have to keep up with the harvest… I don’t mind harvesting every day if needed, but all the warnings make me wonder what I’m signing up for! 😅

I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make good use of it, though. I love it in most forms: stewed, fried, pickled. When it’s cooked right, the crunchy, complex texture of the pod is very satisfying, and then that gives way to caviar-like seeds for a second burst of texture.
I really want to replace Mentha (Mints) with Pycnanthemum (Mountain Mints) in my annual garden, so I’m trialing three likely candidates this year.

P. virginianum ‘Virginia Mountain Mint’

This is one of two Pycnanthemum species which have an aromatic profile more similar to peppermint than spearmint, as they include significant amounts of menthone. I couldn’t find the other, P. pilosum, in time for this season.

P. incanum ‘Hoary Mountain Mint’

This seems to be well liked as a spearmint replacement, albeit’s not as strong as P. muticum. It might be the most aesthetically appealing species, but they’re all fairly similar. It’s considered to be well behaved in the ground, and many choose it over other mints for this reason alone.

P. muticum ‘Blunt Mountain Mint’

This is the strongest smelling of the spearmint-alike Pycnanthemum. However, they all have a reputation of being “mintier than mint,” so extra strength may not be needed. While they’re all very popular with pollinators, P. muticum attracts the widest variety. In contrast to P. incanum, this is the spreadiest Mountain Mint, although still not as bad as Mentha spp.

They all got sown today and set outside to catch what might well be our last frost. They would ideally have spent the winter sown and outside, apparently, but other sources suggest spring sowing is acceptable.

Be interesting to see which one you prefer 'Boro - they've all got advantages and disadvantages

Have you come across the Glacier or Glacial Mint?
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next sign of life from my Hoja Santa, and it’s finally arrived!


It’s barely visible, but I recognize a new leaf forming within the stem; you can just see the outline where it will eventually split away.

I’m familiar with this from Araceae I’ve grown, so I vaguely assumed the behavior was associated with monocots… but Piperaceae isn’t a monocot, so apparently not! Confusingly (to me), it’s apparently also not strictly a dicot? Wikipedia says it’s a magnoliid, which may or may not be roughly a sub or superset of dicots, depending on which taxonomist you prefer?? 🤪

Anyway, woo new leaf! The other Hoja Santa is showing the same thing.
Yep! I’ve been stubbornly sticking with Trichocereus despite its subsumption into Echinopsis, along with many others. And in that case, scientific consensus seems to be swinging back my way.

The lumping of Echinopsis is just one example where anyone who actually works with the plants on a practical level had to simply roll their eyes… at least with modern phylogenetics, we get to see which controversial recategorizations were based on fact and which were based merely on whim. 😛
Yep! I’ve been stubbornly sticking with Trichocereus despite its subsumption into Echinopsis, along with many others. And in that case, scientific consensus seems to be swinging back my way.

Another example... As I'm unpacking my book collection, I came accross one of Trout's Notes books. I purchased it when the internet was still a bit esoteric... But I now found out that everything is available online!
I’ve updated my notes: start snow peas no earlier than 2 weeks before plant-out. These were sown only 18 days ago!


The spotlight they’re now under provides enough light, but I’m not sure what to let them climb, if anything. I’m about a month from plant-out, so… yikes! 😅

The papalo are beginning to show their nominally butterfly-like leaves:


Whether they look like butterflies or not, the sparse, subtle ruffles are really interesting.
The only seedlings not doing well are Eagle Smiley, the dwarf cherry tomatoes:


For some reason, they stopped taking up water, dropped their cotyledons early, and seem to be working on dropping their leaves.

Meanwhile, Sweet Scarlet, a dwarf slicing tomato, has been no trouble at all (center three):


Hopefully just letting them dry out will reboot their progress.
Meanwhile, on the front porch, P. virginianum is first of the three Pycnanthemum to germinate:


Forgive the through-plastic-wrap photo. This is day 15. I wasn’t tooo worried, but it’s always a relief to see that first hint of success.

The “spotting tiny green dots” part of the brain must be huge in gardeners. 😆
The papalo are finally showing some secondary growth and thickening their stems, but not at the base:



They’ve been in enough wind to make them sway since they were sprouts, so that isn’t likely the problem. I can’t decide whether to repot them up to their cotys or let them sort it out on their own.

Any thoughts?
Might as well check in on the other herbs who I honored by starting early…

First, the culantro:


I grew it for the first time last year, and now I’m worried 10 containers will be too few! I looove it. It completely replaced grocery store cilantro for me, and this year I’m growing cilantro myself to properly compare fresh with fresh. Not to mention the papalo. 😁

(It wasn’t easy to decide which compulsion to endulge: for an even number or for a perfect square! That hanging container! 😬)

And the Tulsi / Holy Basil:


The shelves are full, so as expected the remaining flowers and herbs on the grow list will be started after plant-out. A few will be grown indoors — the cilantro at least, to avoid bolting.