Category Archives: Flora Fauna and Miller-Wether

Just Hanging Out (of a fourth floor window)

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Happy holiday weekend. Everyone leaves New York City, and for those of us who have to stay it’s party time! This particular morning I am skipping the gym and enjoying the break in the oppressive heat to plant my window boxes. I assembled the boxes and filled them with dirt earlier in the week – you can see that article here, too.

So, with a cup of coffee in one hand and Country Legends 97.1 streaming through my bluetooth, it’s time to get our hands dirty.

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Earlier in the week I went around town and sourced my plants. I ended up with the following:

  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Dill
  • Flat Leaf Parsely
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Thyme
  • French Lavender
  • Sweet Potato Vines
  • Geraniums (for color)

Different plants like varying degrees of moisture, and for that reason I grouped the more tuberous, leggy things together (the first six herbs) and the woodier herbs together (the next 5). I also dropped a sweet potato vine and a geranium in both boxes for color and aesthetics. Yes! geraniums are basic, but the petals are edible. I wanted marigolds – also edible and a natural insect repellent – but sometimes you use what you got.

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plant7

Get those suckers in the dirt. Leave ample room around them, and encourage the ones that cascade to do so. Be sure and plant the vine near the edge. It will cascade spectacularly. To avoid transplant shock really give them a solid watering once they’re in the dirt. You will eventually need to spike the basil if you choose to plant that, but that’s down the road. Mint is very leggy and can get aggressive; you’ll want to harvest it whether you choose to use it or not. Give it to your mojito loving friends!

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OOOWEE the Oak Ridge Boys are singing to me! Time to warm up for the show. Enjoy your beautiful boxes and start planning how you’re going to use your window box bounty! The Gentleman Caller will continue to share articles and ideas about how to creatively use your home-grown herbs.

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The Gentleman Caller signing out.

xoxo

The Gentleman Caller’s Homemade Miracle Gro Liquid Fertilizer

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It’s planting season. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to go to all the trouble of nurturing my little babies, I want them to grow, grow, grow!

Now there are countless options in the realm of commercial fertilizers, but! why not round up a few household items, AND some things you were going to compost or throw away and concoct your own?

This easy liquid fertilizer will deliver nutrients to your plant progeny and won’t break the bank.

What you need:

  • 1 gallon jug (I repurposed a well-cleaned washer fluid bottle. Free.)
  • 1 tbsp epsom salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ammonia
  • used coffee grounds
  • egg shells
  • water

Using a funnel, pour epsom salt, baking soda, and ammonia into your gallon jug.

Add used coffee grounds. You can continually add used coffee grounds day after day.

Add crunched up egg shells. You may continue to add egg shells as you cook the actual insides.

Put it in a cool dry place. Allow to steep. Give it a shake every day or so.

After about 2 – 3 weeks, it will be ready to start using. If you want to be fancy, you can strain the solids out. It’s not necessary, but it’s up to you.

Add the liquid fertilizer to the dirt around plants, not to the foliage of the plant itself.

Enjoy, and watch the fruit of your labor!

 

Beating the Bushes! The Gentleman Caller extracts old shrubs with the help of an engine hoist and tow strap

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Extracting shrubs. A chore that conjures notions of swinging an ax and breaking your back with a sharp shooter shovel.

Not anymore.

An engine hoist (machine hoist) is easily rent-able.

Rent yourself one, and get a tow strap, really sturdy rope or thick chain. This sounds difficult. It’s not. Once you have the formula down, it’s repeat, repeat, repeat until you’ve accomplished your goal.

So go on, take the challenge. Replace those dated shrubs. I know you can do it.

Come back for part 2, the fun part. Re-planting.

XO,

The Gentleman Caller

 

 

 

The Gentleman’s Cucumber Trellis

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Here it is once again, my friends. Creeping up on one of my favorite times of the year, when the temps get warm enough to start thinking about putting plants in the earth.

Getting my hands dirty is one of the most satisfying things you can possibly do. I come from a long line of gardening gentlemen on both sides of my family. When I was a kid growing up, I never fully appreciated the gift of fresh from the garden food. It doesn’t taste the same as store bought food.

So I am challenging you, friend, to take up the task and feed yourself!

If you think you have a black thumb, stop. The Gentleman Caller is here to offer you some tips and insights to make your experience easy and efficient.

Today I offer my cucumber trellis.

The cucumber trellis is a simple lean-to structure. You can affix it to a fence, outdoor building, garage, any structure with some integrity.  It will allow your cukes to grow upward rather than spread on the ground. This makes harvesting easier, and will likely give you an increase in your yield.

I used a wooden fence. Watch the YouTube video for full instructions.

I hope you are motivated to get a-growing!

All for now,

The Gentleman Caller

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