Plus a mish mash of other interesting things including but not limited to dahlia tubers, lettuce, poodles & artificial intelligence.
I am not even shitting you.
That is the amount of lettuce I have at the moment. The result of 3 seeds planted less than 1 month ago.
I am the Queen of lettuce. I am holding A BOUQUET of lettuce. I feel like now is a good time to mention that in addition to this blog I have also written about vegetable gardening for several magazines and have been featured in many books.
I write for The Old Farmer's Almanac. You don't get more legit than that.
So I really shouldn't be this excited over lettuce. Yet here we are.
As a reminder this is the newly award winning Bauer lettuce, which was sent to me by All American Selection.
After my photoshoot was done, I just stuck them all back in the Aerogarden to grow some more. Next week I'll harvest an ENTIRE lettuce head to make room for the other 2 to grow bigger.
Down below you can see how the lettuce looked one week ago compared to how it looks today in the system.
I don't know how long this will last for, but when I checked Amazon for a link for this post I noticed the newer version of my Aerogarden Harvest is on sale for $79. That's 52% off.
I can tell you that is a LEGITIMATE sale and if you've been thinking of getting one you should see if you can still get that deal.
I have NO idea how long it will be on sale for - I just happened to come across it today.
This is it below ...
Ready to flail your arms about? Join me in a dahlia dance.
When I went to visit my community garden this week I thought February would bring me bunny poop, rusted tools & death, but nope.
I stumbled upon some forgotten dahlia tubers from last year that were dead and buried. I ripped them out of the ground with a probably unnecessary violent flourish.
But I was feeling very enthusiastic about cleaning up the garden while it was a balmy 2 degrees above freezing.
Turns out the dahlia tubers weren't dead & buried. They were just buried.
Dahlia tubers aren't perennial in my area. You have to dig them up because long term cold and freezing will damage them.
You can read all about what you're supposed to do with dahlia tubers if you live in cooler climates here.
I couldn't say for sure because my eyes were watering as if I'd discovered suitcase of happy puppies - but these didn't look damaged.
It was like finding a $100 bill in a pair of old jeans (only better because I didn't have to lay on the bed and pull the jeans zipper up with a coat hanger.)
I brought two clumps home with me, washed them off and set them on the counter to see what would happen to them.
Nothing happened to them.
They didn't stink, turn to mush or liquify. So they should be good!
AS AN EXPERIMENT I left one clump of tubers in the ground at the garden. For extra protection I filled a plastic bucket with dry, broken garden debris like stalks and stems. Then I tipped the (now insulated) bucket onto the dahlia and wished it well.
Artificial Intelligence aka AI
In other experimentation news ... I watched a talk on artificial intelligence this week.
You may have heard about it on the news; Microsoft and Google revealed their latest advancements in forms of conversational artificial intelligence ChatGPT and Bard respectively.
I went into this talk with a raging hate for all things artificial intelligence because boo new things. And then I spent a half a day using artificial intelligence and now I want to name that little dahlia tuber I have swaddled on my back Artificial Intelligence.
Therefore I'm not so afraid of it anymore. AI I mean. Obviously from now on, I'll always be wary of dahlia tubers, which I never realized could be so sneaky.
P.S. The puzzle I created for this weekend goes up tomorrow and I made it with AI.
P.P.S. It's Superbowl weekend so don't forget about ANTOJITOS!
LOL, the lettuce excitement! And yay Dahlias! I actually dug mine up this year, but who knows how they'll fare. They're in the basement where it's around 50°F (10°C) most of the time. Who knows, we'll find out in the spring. I wonder if mind would've survived outside, as we've had a fairly mild winter (except that one cold snap.)
And yeah, ChatGPT is super weird. I asked it to write me mouse Christmas songs and it was basically the cutest several stanzas that I wish I could've done in 20 milliseconds. There are a lot of wacky things about it, though. Programming can be useful or totally wrong. Language/concepts can be delightful or wildly inconsistent.... hope you had fun playing!
It's definitely not perfect. That'll take at least another week and a half. I had it create a little snippet of easy code for me and it was pretty darn good! It couldn't do anything too complicated though. As long as your tubers are in some kind of perlite or peat moss they should be O.K. It's a good temp. for them anyway! ~ karen
So I've learned two new things this evening, which makes it a doubly good evening. First is that a tuber is what is hiding under a dahlia flower, whatever dahlias are, and a new recipe idea for a tasty snack. I don't much do 'spicy' so I'd swap out the jalapenos for some diced mild green chiles from that little can and sub in mozz for the cheddar. With some mild salsa for dipping. Neato. Thanks for sharing the goodness.
You know, I think your version would also be very good! Also, dahlia tubers are edible. Except you never see dahlia tubers in a can at the grocery store so I guess they probably aren't very good. ~ karen!
I'd like to learn more about AI - what talk did you watch, would you kindly share the link?
-Sally, who is nowhere near as smart as you
Hi Sally, who is probably at least as smart as me, The talk was associated with work and how AI will influence blogging. It was a live Zoom. :/ ~ karen!
You’re so funny! Reading this at 4:30am and thinking about hydroponics has made my day!
Excellent! That's my goal Virina. ~ karen!
Wow, I've been wanting to get one of these Aerogardens since reading your recent posts. Must have been a quick sale because they are $220 now. Oh well.
No way, I just bought one, 8:15 am. Try again Linda!
Hi Linda! It looks like the sale was ONLY for the US. That's why some people are able to get it on sale and some aren't. I'll keep an eye out for it going on sale in Canada. ~ karen!
Click, click, Monday delivery! Thanks for that link, I’ve always wanted one but the price is a bit much to justify. At this price it’s just a bit of a gift to myself!
Hi Danni - I was so excited for everyone when I saw it was on sale. And REALLY on sale, not some 5% off business. ~ karen!
I clicked “buy now” before I even finished the paragraph! It’s been on my Amazon wishlist … happy dance!
I came across a Dahlia tuber from Old House Gardens in Ann Arbor that they say is hardy to zone 6 (which is my zone, and I believe yours). I have grown these for a couple of years, but this is the first time I have left a couple clumps in the ground to see if they survive the winter. I will let you know how it turns out. The variety is Mrs. I. De ver Warner. They are great for cut flowers.
Interesting! I wonder how. Yes, please let me know if they survive this spring. ~ karen!
Aerogarden coming tomorrow! Still $79.95 on Amazon. I have been wanting one since the first time I saw them. Your lettuce looks great!
What's so remarkable is how quickly it grew and how healthy it is. Plus I have 2 more that I started a week later (one romaine and one red oak leaf) that are growing up too. ~ karen!
Your link takes me to one that costs over $200; the lowest priced one (if I go further down) is $130. I'm in Alberta - guess that's why.
Kind of. :/ It's because you're in Canada. I double checked and the sale is only in the US on the Aerogarden. I'll keep checking the Canadian site and if it goes on sale I'll email all my Canadian readers right away. ~ karen!
I thought you were going to end this post by saying it was written by ChatGPT in your style!
Hi Sandy! I thought about it! ~ karen
It is dangerous to read your posts! I hopped on over to Amazon, and before I knew it I had hit the Buy Now button. I'll have an Aerogarden by tomorrow! Guess that means I need to clean off some counter space in my kitchen. Admittedly, that need is very long overdue, so an Aerogarden is an excellent motivator :) Thanks for the heads up!
You're welcome! I know how many people were looking at them but they were just that little bit too expensive. Enjoy it! ` karen
The Aerogarden ones are hundreds of dollars on Australian Amazon, but there are others more reasonably priced.
What should I look for, including what's a reasonable size for one person?
Thanks - looking forward to tomorrow's puzzle 😊
Hi Anne! If you're looking on Amazon I'd honestly just look for the one in your price range with the most amount of reviews. (provided they're good) They all work pretty much the same. None of them fit a ton o vegetables in them, especially once they start growing so don't worry too much about the size. One that has 6 holes is perfect. ~ karen!
Hello Karen, Tammie here from SE New England, I'm wondering if you use the "food" that comes with the hydroponic system or if you utilize a different food source? I couldn't find an ingredient panel and I'm a little nervous about that. Also, do you then have to purchase replacement "pods"? because, if so, I can see this becoming a bit expensive, and a bit of a pain, and are those pods made of soil? Or some other medium? Thanks for the info, and your lettuce looks FABULOUS!!!
Hi Tammie! The nutrients from Miracle Grow are actually really good. It almost kills me to say that because it's Miracle Grow which is now own by Monsanto. If you don't want to use it, what you'll have to do is find a single use fertilizer from a hydroponics store or website. You don't want a fertilizer with a lot of organics because that will eventually clog the guts of the machine. You may need to get 2 types of hydroponic nutrients. One to use when the plants are getting green, and one to use when they're fruiting. ~ karen!
AI is also the acronym for artificial insemination. I grew up on a mixed grain and cattle farm so whenever I see "AI" my mind immediately thinks artificial insemination. When I saw your title for today's blog post (. . . Insights From My First AI Adventure) I burst out laughing! So my question to you is, "Was it good for you?" Bahahahahahahah!
hahahahh! Um no.😆 ~ karen!
Hi Karen! I can’t seem to find your Seed Starter Calculator on your site anymore. Is it still available? Thanks
Hi Ramona. It had disappeared! But it's back. https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/seed-calculator/ Sorry about that. ~ karen!
Karen, since the larger version of the AeroGarden is also on sale, do you think it's worth sizing up?
Hi Kerry. It really depends on what you're growing and what your counterspace is like. Aerogarden gives the impression you can use all the holes, but really, once your plants start growing there's only room for a couple of them in there. So a bigger model might get you space for 1 more plant, as opposed to another 3. I don't think I explained that well, lol. ~ karen!
Hi Karen,. I just ordered a new aerogarden thank you very much. I am wondering since it sounds as if you used seeds that someone gave you, did you find a way to use your own medium?
Hi Janice! I did end up making the plugs myself, but honestly it's such a pain I wouldn't recommend it. It involves glycerin and sifting ultrafine peat moss ... Ack. However you can buy imitation Aerogarden plugs now. I use these. If you're in the US, these are the same. ~ karen!