Heat Wave Break Means Catching Up

ginger plant loves high heat

The ginger plant is thrilled with our heat wave.

The staggering heat wave broke a bit yesterday, which gave us enough of a break that one swamp cooler got fixed and back in service. When temperatures reach 85F inside of this big house, there’s not a lot of places to hide and stay cool.

Today is expected to hit 101F again but I don’t see 112F on the forecast through the rest of this month. This is the sort of heat we expect in August and into September.

A Few Plants Love the Sudden Heat

That was ok with many of the plants, however. The boost in ambient temperature was enough to send the ginger into giddy waves of growth – about three inches and four good-sized leaves in three days. Nothing like a good heat wave to make ginger feel right at home.

Heat Unfriendly to Some Indoor Plants

Those plants that aren’t wild about the high heat didn’t fare quite so well, although everyone survived thanks to an hourly dose of mist from my spray bottle and a few ice cubes. The yellow squash was complaining and shooting out more flowers in response to this insult. More flowers equals more chance of survival for the species.

Bottom Line

Don’t go nuts with the watering can and fluttering around trying to save every single plant from sudden heat. A gentle mist from a spray bottle helps keep the air from becoming too dry, and ice cubes around the perimeter of a planter can provide a steady but light flow of water.

Remember, your own heat wave survival must come first. Drink plenty of water – add a dash of lemon or lime juice to spark it up a bit. Keep your head and arms covered to avoid sunburn and dehydration. Don’t overdo, even indoors.

Garden Experiment Journal of Oddball Plantings #1

An oddball assortment of grand garden experiment plantings took place yesterday. It was a day for throwing caution to the wind and throwing stuff into dirt. I have NO idea if any of this will work, but if it does, what fun we’ll have with our garden!

Grand Garden Experiment #1: Ginger

Ginger from grocery store root

Ginger growing from grocery store ginger root

The ginger root that Erik got from the grocery store is doing beautifully. Still an experiment, and though since it’s been planted for awhile, I decided to include it in our garden experiment journal.

I recall reading that I will need to be extra patient while waiting for this picky perennial to get a visible sprout. Instead, the dang thing is flourishing – first in the garage (dark, hot), now in the patio room (light, hot). I couldn’t follow all the instructions I found since some conflicted pretty radically, so I settled on this one from How To Grow Stuff.

It didn’t take long for it to sprout, and once it did that, it’s been growing like the ginger equivalent of wildfire. It’d be faster, I’m sure, if I could provide a nice tropical climate like Hawaii. But I see nothing but trouble if I try to raise the rainfall rate inside the house.

Grand Garden Experiment #2: Tomatillo

The second grand garden experiment is the store-bought tomatillo. No, I don’t mean store-bought seeds. I bought a dozen or so tomatillo with an eye toward making green chili salsa. I forgot to get green chilis and cilantro and the other essential ingredients. So yesterday I roasted 90% of them, and stuck 10% in the ground. Well, dirt. A cut-in-half tomatillo revealed a cascade of nifty little seeds. So instead of trying to dig the seeds out of the pulp, I just buried the whole durn thing in well-watered potting soil.

Grand Garden Experiment #3: Key Lime

I know, I know. It’s a bit weird to be planting everything in sight, but I just couldn’t resist.

key limes and tomatillos awaiting sprouting

Key Lime (left) and tomatillo plants (right in white) just waiting to arrive

I hate drinking plain water. So I take a key lime, cut it in half, squeeze it into a drinking glass, add ice to the top and water to the ice. On days where I need a boost, I add two or three paper thin slices of ginger root (see above).

Usually I’d drop the remnants of the key lime into the garbage disposal and give it a whirl – a great way to give the disposal a nice tropical aroma that does nicely in countering the garlic and onion. But I’d just done that, so I was going to toss the key lime into the compost bin. But a freshly emptied planter pot caught my eye and I decided instead to bury the key lime halves in some well-watered dirt.  So I guess we’ll see!


Planting ginger now for a ginger rice chicken dinner in two years

ginger root straight from the market

Some beautiful ginger roots ready to grow (and season chicken)

This afternoon Erik brought home a lovely ginger root, some of which is destined for a ginger chicken recipe I’ve been hoarding. Since we’ve gone low-sodium, any recipe that complies with doctor’s orders is a keeper.  Now that I’m gardening as well as cooking, I look at almost anything as an ingredient I could grow. Well, not tuna or chicken or other proteins with legs! But beans, peas, carrots, broccoli – ginger!

I started my usual way, search engine in hand, looking for suggestion about growing ginger (and found a wonderful gardening place in north eastern Ohio named Chiot’s Run as a result – waves hi to Susy!) Lucky for me, she’s given a step-by-step plan of attack.

[polldaddy poll=6302939]

Within the first few paragraphs, I knew why my previous efforts had failed. So I set off determined to follow HER guideline instead of the accumulation of nine other sites that I’d tried before (and failed).

Moral of the story? Listen to the wizard in front of you.

Tonight the ginger gets soaked overnight, and tomorrow it’ll get planted. Big question is: Will it get planted with the buds UP? or DOWN? So far I’ve seen it 50% UP and 50% down, and I could use a tiebreaker!