Where is bebe's chamber?.......in a milk jug.

In January I posted a blog called I Feel the Need - The Need for Seed. The need for seed is now the need for patience. Patience to watch my seeds grow into bebe plants!! Back in January I made 22 milk jug greenhouses and am now seeing the fruits of my labor (but no fruit as I didn't plant any fruit trees). Here is what is happening as of a couple days ago:

  • Rattlesnake Mater - 3 jugs - 2 with bebes
  • Cardinal Flower - 3 jugs - 2 with bebes
  • Joe Pye Weed - 1 jug - bebes
  • Aster - 1 jug - bebes
  • Bee Balm - 1 jug - LOTS of bebes
  • Cup Plant - 1 jug - maybe bebes?
  • Butterfly Weed - 3 jugs - 2 with bebes
  • Common Milkweed - 6 jugs - all bebes (this surprised me as in the garden this plant comes up much later)
  • Blazing Star - 2 jugs - whole lotta nothin'
  • Wild Senna - 1 jug - also whole lotta nothin'

I also joined this group on facebook called Winter Sowers. Thankful it has nothing to do with sewing, I have learned a lot in just the week or so I've been on there. Remember on April 1st when we got a good snowstorm? I was assured by the group that my plant bebes would be fine (see pic). I didnt even cover them. This type of sowing makes them super hardy!! I even got my sister in Denver to make some greenhouses (a little late but it's never too late for plants). I learned that when you open these greenhouses you have a hunk of seedlings and need to cut them apart, kind of in little cubes to plant. They were all - here is how you cut your HOS - and I was all, excuse me? Then I realized what they meant.

Included in the photos are some native plants Ive had for years and some I just put in last year. I LOVE to see plants come up out of the ground. I got super smart a couple years ago and marked all my plants. Mostly because my friend, Natalie, was sick of me texting her every tiny plant and asking "What's this?" She knows everything about plants and was endlessly patient with me.....for awhile. I got my labels here. As a government district, we can't really recommend one specific place so I will say you can get other labels at other places too. I got a different type of plant label from this place for my other sister's 50th birthday last year. She is horribly hard to buy a gift for and she loved these - score bebe sister points!

Lastly, I document all my plants on my personal facebook page because I like to see what is coming up, blooming and going to seed when and compare that to previous years. As an example, my lilac just started blooming this past weekend. Last year, that didn't happen for another month. It's my loose way of doing phenology which is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. If you want to get super into it, check out The Ohio State Phenology Calendar. It is really important to keep track especially if you are planting crops. It also gives you an idea of what should be coming up when so your expectations are realistic. In addition, if can help predict what bugs and critters will be around and when. I think I have my topic for my next blog!

I anticipate around early May, I will bust all my bebes out of their chambers and plant them in the ground. Where, I have no idea as my gardens are full. Friends will get some for sure!

Cuyahoga SWCD has native plant kits and native seeds for sale - delivery for kits will be around Labor Day - seeds are sold year round!

Blog author: Amy Roskilly, Conservation Education & Communications Manager

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