Something is coming out of my compost bin!! – Update

The volunteer tomato plant that has been growing out of my compost bin definitely looks healthy but given its rapid foliage growth and no fruit I guess I don’t need to do any soil tests to confirm my compost is high in nitrogen. Note to self, don’t grow tomatoes in pure compost.

Propagating peppermint and lemon verbena

Starting next week I will have an office at work with a window so of course I have to start thinking about what sort of vegetation I can put on that ledge. The first thing that came to mind was peppermint and lemon verbena seemed like a good choice since they provide an excellent fragrance and I can eat/drink them if I have to stay late and get tired of free soda. They can also be neglected for a weekend or brief vacation without relying on someone else to take care of them.

Unless this is the first post of mine you have never read or didn’t look at the title of this blog, I am cheap. I could have easily just payed $4-5 for a couple plants but I wanted to do this for free. First I prepared two terracotta pots with a mixture of potting soil and perlite and got the mixture about as wet as possible and set them aside.

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For the peppermint, the process to propagate is pretty simple. The stuff is tough and most talented people can not successfully kill the stuff if they try, so dig around in your existing peppermint until you find a good bunch of roots. Now the tricky part pull/cut/tear/scream whatever it takes to separate that clump of peppermint from the rest. Very obvious why this stuff can take over a bed. Take that clump of roots with hopefully some of the peppermint plant still surviving the extraction ordeal and place in a pre-dug hole and cover up with potting mix.

The lemon verbena is a little calmer process, to propagate this you use a process of taking a softwood cutting, which includes simply cutting a stem in which shows some decent life (green) in it. You want to make sure that your cut does not crush the stem so a sharp knife my work better than shears/scissors but that depends completely on the quality and sharpness of your equipment. Cut off any leaves on the bottom one third of the plant and place in potting mix leafing the remaining two thirds above the soil line.

Both of these plants currently have a pretty fragile root system at the moment so keeping their roots (or soon to be generated roots) moist is very important. To help with this I have covered both plants with plastic, if all goes well I will not kill these things and will have a nice addition to my new office come Monday.

Ok, so now where did the the cilantro go?

Well I wrote a couple weeks about my surprise of the missing tomoatos, last week I went back to my favorite Mexican restaurant at work and noticed cilantro has also been removed as a choice of condiments. Going back to my desk I discovered that cilantro and peppers have been added to the list of produce that has been reported tainted with salmonella. With the whole law of supply and demand maybe I should start selling my cilantro and tomotoes at the local farmers market.