Moby Knit

It's a handmade adventure!


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African Violet Seed Pods

I know for sure, now, that the swellings I’m seeing on my dark purple/blue African violet are seed pods!  As such, I took some pictures to share:

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African Violet Seed Pod

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African Violet Seed Pod

The above pictures show dying flowers with developing seed pods.  The following shows a dying flower without a developing seed pod:

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It’ll be months before the seed pods reach maturity, so I’ll have to wait patiently before I can harvest them.  I see 5 seed pods forming as of the present, but that number could change drastically as time progresses.  I’ll post updates as they’re warranted.

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Plant Progress

I think it’s about time for an update on my plants’ progress.  Up first, my dark purple African violet:

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A seedpod? Maybe?

I’m hoping that that right there is the beginning of a seedpod.  This particular plant has more than one of these swollen looking things, so I may be wrong.  I’m going to try to think optimistically, though.  I did hand-pollinate more than one flower.

My bell pepper seedlings are looking awesome.  I’ve never had pepper seedlings get this big, so I’m in uncharted territory!

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Bell Pepper Seedlings

The two different kinds of sunflowers I planted are growing bigger every day:

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Mexican Sunflower Seedlings

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Black Oil Sunflower Seedlings

The violas have begun to grow their true leaves:

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Viola Seedling

The carnations are slowly adding height:

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Carnation Seedlings

The foxgloves are getting bushy:

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Foxglove Seedlings

And my one lonely columbine seedling is doing well:

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Columbine Seedling

I’m so excited that we’ve finally hit April.  Only another month’s wait until I can transfer these guys outside!


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Sprouts – An Update

It’s time, again, to share with you the progress of my seedlings.  Up first – my regular potato:

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Regular Potato

This guy has just started to show growth.  The bottom actually rotted out, so I cut it off.  It’s starting to smell pretty bad again.  :/  I’m not sure it’ll make it, but I’m keeping it for now.  The sweet potato still isn’t showing signs of life.  I’m afraid it will rot, too.

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Carnation Seedlings

My carnation seedlings are getting bigger and bigger every day.  This is a poor picture, but you can see that lots of sprouts are forming.  I will have to do some separating soon.

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Viola Seedling

I saw two viola sprouts this morning.  Above is one of them.

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Foxglove Seedlings

As I mentioned before, I thought I saw my foxgloves germinating, and I was right.  They are very, very tiny.  Such small seedlings for what will be very large plants!

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Pansy Seed Germinating

Here’s a shot of one of my pansy seeds germinating.  It’s hard to tell, but the seed is in the center of the photo (it kind of looks like a fertilizer chunk), and you can see the root forming on the right side.  These seem to be very slow growers.

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Cantaloupe Seedlings

My cantaloupe seedlings are out of control!  They are huge!  I hope they’ll survive being separated because I’m going to have to do that in a few days.

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African violet flowers after being sprayed with fungicide.

My African violets aren’t looking so hot.  All the flowers have been burned by the fungicide treatment.  I really hope the powdery mildew is gone, and the plants are on their way to being healthy again.

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Eva and Jacqueline

Eva and I went to visit Grammy the Elder today.  She’s been laid up with a broken patella and needed a little cheer.  Jacqueline was over helping her and Great Grandpop, so we had a little visit.  Eva was cheerful for about half of the visit.  Then she turned into a terror.  She has a limit, and after picking up her Grandpop from his blood transfusion and visiting with Uncle Robert earlier in the day, she had met it.

Grammy the Elder is doing as well as can be expected.  She does not like to be laid up.  Great Grandpop is doing a little better.  He gets to move around, at least.  Eva watched him do laps around the house in his walker.  🙂  The two of them need constant supervision now that they are both recovering, so the family has been taking turns staying with them.  It’s hard to watch Gram sit in one place all day.  She is usually such an active person. 

If I get a free moment one of these days, I’d like to clean up her gardens.  She has such beautiful gardens, and I’d like for her to have something nice to look at while recovering.


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Bulbs, Bulbs, & More Bulbs

I went shopping today with my mom to buy another package of pansies to fill in the rest of her front yard garden.  While out I picked up some more plants for my garden (I’ll write more about them after they’re planted) and a bunch of bulbs.

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Begonias, Cannas, and Freesias

I love those orange begonias.  I think they’ll look fabulous on the right side of my house where it’s shaded.

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Lilies and Glads

The instructions for all of these bulbs say to plant them in April-May.  That gives me some time to map out where I want everything.  🙂

I also bought more flower seeds.  (I know, I know.  I need to stop.)  I’ll be sowing them outdoors once in gets warmer.  I have no more room for indoor sowing.  I think I’ll plant these out by the telephone pole.

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Orchid Food, Fungicide, African Violet Fertilizer

Due to that whole powdery mildew mess that is some of my African violets, I picked up some fungicide, too.  It’s too cold outside to spray them on the porch, so I had the brilliant idea of putting them in the tub for their fungicide bath.  Now I have a headache.  :/

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My African violets preparing for their fungicide bath.

I drenched my lovelies in fungicide, turned the fan on, and ran out of there.  I’ll probably let them dry overnight before returning them to their spots.  I hope the treatment works.  They’re too pretty to die!

Tomorrow is supposed to be absolutely beautiful, so I hope to be outside weeding and planting.  If you’re lucky, I’ll share some pictures with you.  🙂


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We’ve Been Attacked!

A couple days ago, I noticed that the flowers on my 99 cent African violet were looking “powdery.”  In a panic, I cut all of them off the stems.  It wasn’t one of my finest moments (I probably should have run to the store and got some spray), but I couldn’t help myself.  I’ve seen this sort of thing kill more than one of my plants.  The violet seems okay, now, but I’m on the lookout.  If anything pops up, I’m buying some spray.

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My medium purple violet after a haircut.

I also noticed something strange about my blue/purple violet.  (It looks different depending on the light.)  One of the buds has these white “balls” inside of it.  I’m sure it’s just some malformation, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

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Strange bud on my deep blue/purple violet


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Pollinating African Violets – My First Attempt

I’ve become a bit of an African violet aficionado. In the course of my neverending googling, I found some information on how to hand-pollinate African violets. Seeing this as a chance at free fun, I committed the information to memory and made an attempt at getting my violets pregnant.

The procedure seems simple enough: remove the pollen sacs (those yellow things in the center of the flower) from the “father” plant, cut or tear them open, and apply the pollen to the end of the pointy thing in the center of a few of the “mother” plant’s flowers. There are lots of technical terms for these plant parts, but I’m not even going to attempt to sound like a professional plant pimp.

I cross-polinated my African violets, then went to my mom’s house to try it on hers. I figure the more times I try, the better my chances that I’ll end up with a seed pod. From what I gather, it takes many months until the seed pod is ready to be harvested. This will be a long process, but I’d much rather grow my own violets than take cuttings of my existing violets to produce clones. (Speaking of cuttings, my 99 cent “freak violet” is in desperate need of a trim. It’s producing baby plants off the sides.) I read that most of the time, the violets grown from seeds different greatly from their parent plants. I’m excited to see what I get! 🙂

Yesterday, Kai told me he wanted to go to a hardware store to look for a sledge hammer. (He looked up some exercise routine that called for the use of a particularly heavy sledge hammer. I think the workout involves smacking a large tire. Sounds like a ton of fun.) I, being the patient person I am, decided to capitalize on the opportunity and searched the houseplant section for things that I just had to have. I purchased two more African violets for Eva’s room:

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(I’m hoping this one thickens up now that it’s living in better conditions.)

A white orchid for the living room:

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And a pink orchid for Eva’s room:

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I think I’m all flowered out now. That is, until something else catches my eye. 🙂

I can’t sign off on this post until I mention a little something about Eva. Kai’s mom came over to babysit her last Friday while I went grocery shopping. When I came home, she told me that Eva had rolled from her stomach to her back! That’s a first!

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Here she is with Grammy the Elder.

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And here she is napping with Daddy while watching cartoons.

Since she’s starting to roll and move a whole lot more than she used to, I think we’ll have to move her to her own room very shortly. Right now she’s in a tiny crib next to our bed. I’m beginning to worry that she’ll fall out of it if we don’t take action soon. 😦 I miss her already!


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Strange Occurence

I mentioned earlier that I have an African violet that’s producing radically different flowers from the ones it produced during its first bloom. Apparently, the situation has gotten even stranger.

This violet is of the Home Depot variety. (Lol). I found it on the clearance rack for 99 cents. I guess it was there because it was small and had no flowers. I took it home to see what would happen. Once it was placed in my dining room window, it quadrupled in size and produced some medium purple, five-petaled blossoms with yellow centers. (It’s actually the fringy stuff that’s yellow. I have no idea what the proper term for that is. Hehe)

I noticed about a week ago that now, during its second bloom (while in my possession), the flowers are looking awfully different. Instead of having five petals, they now have 10+. To make it even more interesting, I just noticed that some of the flowers still have five petals.

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Here’s one of the lesser-petaled blooms. I counted five petals with a weird gimpy one in the middle. It’s not fully opened, yet, but I doubt it’s going to grow more petals.

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Here’s one of the heavily-petaled blooms. I see at least ten full petals with some small ones in the center.

Yes, these two flowers are on the same plant at the same time. I have no idea what’s going on here, but it’s kind of cool. 🙂

Any ideas, anyone?