Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fertilizer Friday -- Flaunt Your Failures?

It's Friday, and that means a visit to Fertilizer Friday over at Tootsie Time.
Check out her blog party and see what other people have blooming in their gardens.

This week, I am going to joining a brand new blog party I found a few weeks ago:

Hosted by Mimi, The Cursing Crafter, at Living In France, F-Bomb Friday is a chance to share the thing that happened to you this week that made you say those sort of word you would never be proud to have your mother or your kids hear you say.

Mimi specifies that you don't have to say the "F" word, in fact you don't even have to curse. Simply tell the story that made you feel like cursing.

Well, this was definitely one of those kind of stories. Stop by Mimi's blog and read all about other peoples bad days, I guarantee it will make your day seem a little better. I absolutely love and admire the way she manages to find the humor in lifes trials and tribulations.

So now for my story...

I had an unhappy incident this week.

Last fall, when it started getting cold, I potted up a few of our herbs and brought them inside. They started small, but they have finally started to turn into big healthy plants.

They have been growing and being happy in Princess's windowsill all winter, and every couple of days she helps me check on them. She calls them her "pretty plants", and I break off a leaf each time for her to smell them.

Well, this week, I noticed that the basil was all covered with Little white spots.

On closer examination I determined that they were whiteflies. They were all over the basil and the oregano.

Oregano is no big deal, we have tons of it growing, we have way more than we need, we have to divide it each year and give some away. But the basil was some that I started from seed last year. These particular plants got off to a slow start, they were the runts of the litter, so to speak, and so in the fall, they were just starting to get really healthy. So they were the ones I moved in.

I didn't know much about whiteflies, so I headed for Google-ville. This was a pretty heavy infestation, so although the idea of trapping them is something I will use in the future, it didn't seem practical this time. There were just too many of them, and I wanted them out of Princess's room. She was fascinated with all the "Tiny bugs" in her plants, but I was not quite so thrilled.

I read several different suggestions as to how to deal with whiteflies on indoor basil, and finally settled on one suggestion that the plants be exposed to a cold enough temperature to kill the flies, but not freeze the plants.

So I put the planter outside in the back of our truck, under the black cover, overnight. It had been warm all week, and I hoped that the plant would get cold but not freeze.

The final results are not in, but I fear that the shock to the plant may have been too much.

I cut the infested leaves off of all the other plants, and the sad, bedraggled, basil is back in the sunny windowsill, in fervent hope that it will recover, but I have my doubts.

Now for a bit of good news. I snipped the crown, about 3", off the top of one of the stalks of this plant a couple of weeks ago, to encourage that stalk to get bushier. I took that piece and put it in some cold water, to keep it fresh until I was ready to use it. It got pushed back out of the way, and became out of sight, out of mind, so to speak.

Last night, I discovered that little piece, in the dish of water, has rooted, and so, once it gets a bit longer roots, I will be planting it in some soil. I love how forgiving nature can be!

Fortunately, spring is almost here and we can get some plants growing outside.

Until then, at least I can enjoy the gardens other people are posting at Fertilizer Friday over at Tootsie Time.

~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~

Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.

Read all about it here


  1. I hate it when I get those darn bugs, usually the damage is done before I know it and nothing survives them. And it does make me want to say the F word and maybe stomp around a little bit too!!

  2. Oh, I am SUCH a black thumb. I can kill a plant just by looking at it.
    Every time I buy a new one my husband is like, "Well, sorry plant, you're dead."
    I hope your basil is okay!
    Thank you for the kind words and linking up! I was so excited to see someone new! :)

  3. I'm with MiMi! I've stopped even accepting the little flowers they give away at church on Mother's day, because I feel bad for it, and it's inevitable fate should it step root (ha ha, get it?! I crack myself up!)into my house.

  4. At least you have the rooted one. Live 'n learn.

  5. G'Day Troy, We get white flies bad where I lived before here, mostly in late summer and autumn but they do disappear when it gets cold. I think I read somewhere that they can over winter in the soil below the plant, but I wouldn't know how to treat that soil. Unfortunately basil, which I love, doesn't like the cold either. You can make an organic trap for them with a circle of bright yellow cardboard or plastic, spread it with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) and hang in the tree, then when you disturb them by shaking the branch or clapping your hands they fly to the yellow circle and get stuck in the vaseline. They get in such large numbers at times that I am not sure if it would make much difference to their population,,, but it does work. Not suitable for inside your daughter's bedroom though eh.

  6. oh Troy...I don't want to tell you all that has me feeling like a big F bomb is eminent!!! lol
    I have had white fly before...they are a pain in the A$$!!! I use a mixture of mineral oil, dish soap and water in a misting seems to smother them and they just die.
    I hope you get it under control is a bug that can multiply like fire...but you already knew that!
    have a great weekend...
    thanks so much for linking in to me again this week
    I would also like to thank you for being one of the only ones that actually posts my FF logo and links back to my blog!!! I appreciate it!
    have a great weekend...
    thanks so much for linking in to me again this week
    I would also like to thank you for being one of the only ones that actually posts my FF logo and links back to my blog!!! I appreciate it!