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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tea and Strawberries

Today I got up to Concentrates in Portland, which is on SE 8th between Powell and Division.  I've been wanting to check them out for awhile, but today was as good as any day because One Green World, which is a huge nursery in Molalla, was up at Concentrates with plants to sell.  OGW is another place that I've been meaning to get to- I wanted to get some Camellia sinensis, which is the plant from which black tea is harvested (although it's not black tea at harvest time), and I wanted to get some strawberries, specifically an alpine variety which has smaller and fewer fruits than regular strawberries, but sport a more intense strawberry taste.  They had both, so I bought both.

Now I have quite the collection of plants in the garage that I'd better get planted: five Alexandra alpine strawberries, two tea plants, one mint, one lavender, one snapdragon, and four marigolds.  The marigolds are for the tomatoes.  The mint goes into a pot, and I have five horseradish roots that need to be planted as well.  Horseradish is also invasive, so I think I'm going to recycle the sprinkler valve covers that I have and take their lids off and turn them upside down for horseradish planters. I was going to plant the strawberries into hanging planters but I think I'll just put them in one of the veggie beds so that I can increase and multiply them.

The other items that I got from Concentrates was a 50lb bag of greensand, and a 5lb bag of kelp meal, so I am pretty well set for organic soil additives for awhile.   Greensand is good for tightening sandy soil, and loosening clay soil, the latter of which is what I'm trying to correct.  The kelp meal is for adding trace elements to the soil, and a little bit of that goes a long way.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day- sunny and in the upper sixties/lower seventies, so tomorrow is a plant day.  Now all I need to do is figure out where to put the tea plants.....


Miriam said...

We made a trip down the Oregon coast five or six years ago, and we just loved the state. Eugene and Portland - two happening places - and there sure were a lot of pretty spots in between! It sounds like you're quite close to Portland, but not in the city proper? That sounds like a great combination to me.

Good luck with the tea plants - I'll be very interested to hear how that goes. My exotic experiment this year is lemon grass. And good luck with the planting tomorrow - we're looking forward to some sun, too.

Toni aka irishlas said...

The tea plant is exciting! And, it will be interesting to see how the Alpine strawberries produce..
I've just planted more plain ole June bearers in a new bed. My old strawberry bed has been taken over by ants. They bloom, fruit, and then the ants have a party! It's been going on for the past three years and I have no idea how to get rid of them without killing the strawberries. Oh well, win some, lose some!

Paula said...

Toni- look up homemade ant poison online- it uses sugar or honey and borax- sometimes a little peanut butter too- that you can mix up yourself and put out in old takeout tubs.

It'll kill the whole nest and the queen because they'll bring it back to her. 'Sposed to work really well.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Paula - thanks for the heads up on the ants. When I'm less tired and a little more coherent I will look into it.
Thanks again!

Hannah said...

Hannah said... I grew Alexandria alpines last year from seed and this year I'm trying 6 kinds. They did well and kept pumping out the berries, though few and small.