Morning critters and… *sigh*

Well, I guess it was too much to hope for.

The cats got into one of the aloe vera we moved out of the large aquarium greenhouse, to make room for seed starts.

They even went after the one that was the most barricaded! As you can see by the aloe looking like it was carefully set aside, it’s not the plants they want. It’s the dirt!

Repotting that and figuring out how to protect it, is a job for later today.

The new location for the mini-greenhouse seems to be working well. It was getting direct sunlight this morning, on all levels. With the aluminum foil around the sides and back, the seedlings were getting light from all sides. I’m rather pleased with that.

We had a much warmer morning today, almost no wind, and lots of sunshine, so I took advantage of that.

So did the outside cats! I counted 17 of them outside, plus there was one in the sun room, so they are all accounted for.

I startled our usual 3 deer away from the feeding station, but they were running back almost before I finished putting out the seed.

I then took advantage of the conditions and got the burn barrel going. It’s a lot harder to burn off the wood pellet cat litter, when it it’s too cold for it to dry out.

Then, in between tending the burn barrel, I started clearing out the paths that were blown in by the high winds we’ve had recently.

I actually enjoy shovelling, so I just kept going, and ended up clearing all the paths, in both the inner and outer yards.

I found Potato Beetle enjoying his sun spot, when I cleared a path to the front of the garage. 🙂

I even took the time to break up the ice and snow near the cat’s house to haul it away. There was no more room for the ice from the metal water bowls anymore. With things warming up as they are, I also cleared the roof of the cat house of most of the snow, and even the snow overhang on the kibble house. I considered clearing the kibble house roof, too, but by then, I was done for the day!

The problem with doing all the shovelling is that, once I stop, that’s when things start to hurt! As soon as I sat down, my entire body started to stiffen up and ache. *sigh* Thankfully, though, there was a hot breakfast and a pot of tea made. Between that and some painkillers, I’m going all right. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Dry Dancers

While watering plants today, I thought it would be a good time to post some pictures of how our Tennessee Dancing Gourds are drying out.

We have been using the big aquarium tank to protect some of our plants from the cats, and the gourds have been drying in there, too. Also to protect them from the cats, who love to play with them!

It’s awkward to water in there, and I didn’t want to accidentally spill water on the gourds, so I took them out and put them in the stack of egg trays I’ve got stored next to the tank. I don’t know why I’m keeping these, as we will NOT be using them to start seeds again. That did not work out at all. However…

… an egg tray turned out to be perfect for holding the gourds!

Here are all the Dancing gourds we were able to harvest for drying. There were many, many more on the vines that were too under developed to harvest.

Like this one was. This immature gourd withered as it dried.

This fully mature gourd shows how they change colour as they dry. It’s almost as dry as my finger tips!

Eventually, all of them are supposed to dry to this tan colour. It’s a bit of a shame, because their green stripes look so pretty!

This one looks like a bit of mold had started as it was drying. From everything I’ve read about drying gourds, this is normal and not a problem. When fully dry, they can be scrubbed and sanded.

Which is going to be a bit more difficult with gourds this tiny!

I moved things around inside the tank to fit the tray. Before, they had been just lying on the bottom, so they took up less space. We’ve got a tiny fan we found in the basement to maintain air circulation in the tank.

You can see one of my daughter’s orchids is going to be blooming again, soon! The one flower that is visible is actually completely dried out from the last time it bloomed.

I need to figure out what to do with all these plants, so we can use the tank to start seeds. Since there is no way to lower the lights, we put boxes under that sheet of insulation on the bottom, to bring the seed starting trays close to the lights. This tank has two light fixtures; the one that originally came with it, which lies flat on the top, and one that has stands on the ends to keep it several inches above the top. That one gets warm, and is one of Saffron’s favourite places to sit (along with the heat vents). 😀 She’s so tiny, it’s not an issue, but we’ve caught her brother, Layendecker, on there, too, and he’s about double her size and triple her weight. It’s weird how Saffron has stayed so tiny – even Turmeric is finally starting to fill out a bit – while Big Rig quickly became larger than their mother, and Layendecker, who was probably the smallest of the litter, is now as big as Cheddar!

But I digress…

One of the reasons my daughter’s orchids are in here is because it’s warmer. In the spring, it’ll be warm enough to hang them in front of a window again, but we’ll be needing the tank to start seeds long before then. One of them is small enough that we could probably keep it in the tank after raising the floor higher, but I am not so sure about the bigger one.

The aloe vera, however, will need to come out. We have all sorts of places we can put them, but Cabbages in particular is absolutely dedicated to digging into the plant pots. We’ve been able to create barriers to protect other plants. With one pot, we had to build a cage around it out of hardware cloth, and sometimes I can hear a cat trying to tear through. Which cat it is, I have never been able to find out, since they run off when I come out to check, but the girls and I have caught Cabbages sitting on top of the cage! I’ve seen Tissue trying to climb the cage, too. That Jade tree would have been destroyed long ago, if we hadn’t put that cage around it! Another Jade tree is so big, it covers its pot and protects itself, but we’ve not been able to create a barrier around these pots that the cat’s haven’t been able to get past, and they’re too big and heavy to hang.



When I put the gourds back in the tank to dry, I kept the wizened one to see what’s inside.

The answer is, nothing! It was so immature, I don’t see any sign of developing seeds.

Cutting it open felt a bit like trying to cut a dry, crispy sponge on the inside. Even the outer shell around the widest part felt like cutting through a brittle, rigid foam. It was practically weightless, too.

I haven’t decided what to do with the dried gourds, but I am thinking of cutting open at least the largest one to harvest the seeds. We do still have seeds from last year, so it would be interesting to compare germination rates.

They are so adorable! I look forward to growing more of them. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Kitty count and plant prison

I notice the cats outside have been really appreciating the digging of paths around the yard!

I counted “only” 17 in total this morning. I did not see the newcomer. Hopefully, they are all doing fine in their little shelters all over, when they’re not using the ones in the yard.

Rolando Moon had been posing like an adorable loaf, but in the time it took me to dig my phone out of my pocket, she decided to come over for pets.

I’ve had some frustrations with the indoor cats and the repotted plants that are finally inside. Though they have been liberally – even excessively – doused in cayenne pepper, we seem to have one cat that is not at all bothered by it. I think it’s Cabbages, but I’m not sure. They do their dastardly deeds when we are not around to see them. Yesterday morning I into the living room and found two of the aloe vera had been thoroughly dug into, with soil scattered all over. My daughters cleaned that up while I was outside, thankfully.

Last night, our vulnerable pots went into plant prison.

The big aquarium greenhouse set up has been repurposed to house the aloe. The two on the right were the ones that got dug up. We’ll see if they survive! My daughter’s orchids will be going in here, too, because the cats keep going after them, even though they are all hanging kokedama.

We brought in the aquarium lights yesterday evening, but I didn’t turn them on until today. They had been in the sun room and were pretty cold.

It didn’t take long for Saffron to rediscover her favourite butt warmer!

It’s a good thing she is such a tiny little thing. 😀

We’ll be using the aquariums as greenhouses to start our onion seeds in a couple of months. Hopefully, by then, the aloe will be well established in their pots, and we’ll be able to move them out to make room.

The Re-Farmer

No rest for the wicked!

My goodness, I can hardly believe it’s just barely afternoon as I write this.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, isn’t it??

Things started off pretty routine. I did my rounds and the outside cats were very happy to see me. Well. Happy to see fresh kibble and water!

Potato Beetle joined me, as he often does. I caught this picture just before he jumped straight up me!

Doesn’t that expression look malevolent? 😀

The Potato, however, was not the walking disaster today. Oh, no! It was the cute, little adorable ones that were pure destruction!

I posted a while back about how we had to do an intervention to rescue our remaining avocado plants.

We had started off with 5 plants, and now we’re down to one poor, battered avocado… and a stick that still had live roots on it, so we’ve left it for now.

The cats did try to get in there, but the cage worked. I think the avocado is recovering, but it still looks pretty beat up!

Well, that didn’t stop the cats, unfortunately. They just moved on to other plants.

First, was the umbrella tree. After various barriers were tried and failed, I was able to put some 1/2 inch wire mesh around it that I had left over from some other projects. They still could get over it, though, and every now and then, we find a kitten sitting in the middle of it.

Yes, we have barriers in there, too. I made a spiderweb of cord to support the branches, and they still fit in between. This morning, I heard a strange noise and found Cabbages trying to climb the wire mesh to get at either Nicco or Tissue, half-hidden in the middle.

At least they’re not digging in it anymore.

They just moved on to other pots.

We have since lost a small pot with a jade plant in it – and it was one of the ones that was covered by a cloche to protect it! A while pot full of soil, all over a shag carpet… Fun times! A couple of succulents that were hanging in windows had to be moved, because they were still getting at them, including all my daughter’s orchids. The biggest jade plant got 4 hollow tubes (unused legs from a utility shelf) inserted into the soil, with cord wrapped around, because the cats kept sitting in the middle of it. That seems to be working, plus I found it works well to water it through the tubes. 😀

Then they moved on to another large jade tree. That one even got knocked off the shelf several times. For that one, I tried laying foil over the soil, but that does not deter any of our cats! We have some large plastic containers from Cheese Balls and pork rinds I would get at Costco. The containers make great cloches and I was saving them for spring planting. I ended up cutting one to get the straight middle part of the container, which I was able to fit under the jade plant branches and place around the edge of the pot.

That finally stopped them!

Unfortunately, I just discovered they have moved on again, and started digging in one of the aloe vera pots. This surprised me, because aloe vera is so splayed out, the soil is hidden. They had to actually dig out a couple of aloe babies to get at the soil. It wasn’t much, though, so I moved the plant pot to the dining table and finished my rounds.

Later, while I was on the phone with my mother, my husband popped his head through the door to tell me that cats had been digging in the pot.


When I finally came out, I found Cabbages, innocently sitting on the table next to the pot, and soil all over the table and floor.


The face of destruction!

As I cleaned up, I put a towel on a chair and moved the pot over. While working on the table, I happened to look up to see Fenrir on the chair, her front paws in the soil, starting to dig!

Another face of destruction!

I ended up having to put the pot with my husband, so he could guard it while I finished cleaning up.

So how do I stop the cats from doing this? After many years and many moves, it was a very long time before we lived anywhere long enough to have house plants, so having them is not only something I really enjoy, but it gives a feeling of stability for me. Unfortunately, the cats just can’t seem to resist them! They dig in the dirt like a dog digs for a bone!

What to do? If I protect one pot, they just move on to another.

Well, I did have a few more of those plastic containers left.

My poor, sad, beat up, cat chewed aloe vera!

I ended up using the flat side pieces to protect three aloe pots, including one rather large one. I have no idea how the plants will adjust to this, but it can’t be any worse than the damage the cats were already doing to them, just in going to and from the window ledge. I used the curved top of one of the containers around another jade plant. There is still one more aloe vera left without a shield of any kind, but that thing is so massive, there is simply no way I can do anything around that pot. Hopefully, the sheer size of it is enough to keep the cats from trying.

While I was doing all this, I kept finding kittens on the dining table. Mostly Cabbages! I hate having to chase her off. She still isn’t completely socialized, and this will set her back, but there are some places we just can’t let the cats get onto.

Hopefully, they will stop digging up our plants now. It would be great if we could set up a bin with soil for them to dig in, but they’d just use it as a litter box. I do wish I knew why they all suddenly decided that digging in plant pots was a good idea! We’ve never had this problem before.


The Re-Farmer

Evening round up

Well, when it came to the mad dash to get the lawn mowing started, it was mosquitoes 0 : rain 1 😀 The bug spray actually worked this time. 😀 Thankfully, I didn’t have to charge the battery on the riding mower, and could get started on that right away. I got rained on a bit, but it wasn’t until I was using the push mower to get the edges that the rain started falling heavily enough I had to put the equipment away.

I’m also happy to say that the lawn mower bag we found in the basement and moved to the barn is for this push mower, rather than one of the many broken ones lying about. It’s a rear bag, and normally I would have closed the cover of the side opening, but that wasn’t an option. Someone built a sort of shield of wood that holds the flat up, while also preventing clippings from spraying towards whomever is pushing it, and the shield is bolted to the body of the mower. I don’t mind it being open, since most of the clippings goes into the bag anyhow. I kept the folding wagon close by to empty the bag into, and was able to fill it before I had to stop due to rain. This will make it so much easier to have grass clippings for mulching and composting! 🙂

Later in the evening, before I headed outside to do my rounds, I paused to check the indoor plants. Particularly the aloe that has started to bloom.

It had a surprise for me!

Not only has one of the flower spikes reached the ceiling, it’s pressing against it, and looks like it has more growing to do!

Outside, there were more blossoms emerging. The crab apples are starting to bloom.

This is from one of the trees in the West yard.

You can really tell that these ones get more light than the ones planted North of the spruce grove.

Earlier in the month, I had spotted some fungal growth on one of the apple trees by the spruce grove. Now that the leaves are in, I can see that the entire section of that tree is dead. There are still two sections of it growing, and seem to be healthy, so far, so we’ll see how it fares after I remove the dead section. (update: after taking a closer look, the living sections aren’t going that well, after all. 😦 )

Of course, I visited the kittens, and got thorough and viciously attacked by little critters!

Big Rig looks even bigger when she’s next to Saffron, who is the teeniest of the bunch.

Now that they’re bigger, and occasionally stay still long enough for me to check, it looks like we’ve got three females and two males. Big Rig, Turmeric and Saffron seem to all be female; it’s a bit surprising, since orange tabbies are usually male. Leyendecker and Nicco both appear to be male. With Leyendecker being black, it’s even harder to tell with him! 😀

If all goes well, tomorrow, I’ll be able to get either the rest of the mowing done, or the rest of the planting done. Maybe even both, weather willing.

I completely forgot about the pumpkin seeds my mother gave me. It’s quite late for direct sowing pumpkins, but I’ll give them a try. Checking the seed trays, some of the gourds are most definitely emerging! After the trays were knocked over, they’re all mixed up, but none of the gourds had sprouted at all yet, so the new ones can’t really be anything else.

I used more of the soil mix for the sunflowers than I expected, so I think I will pick up more, the next time I’m in town. We still need to get those chimney blocks outside, to use as planters for the cucamelon transplants. The plan had been to take them through the new part basement, and up the stronger stairs, but with the kittens down there now, and always under foot, we’ll have to find a way to get them up the more rickety old basement stairs.

Once again, I am thinking of how great it would be to convert the old chimney for the wood burning furnace into a dumbwaiter! 😀

Once the blocks are in place, I plan to fill the bottoms with grass clippings and straw, then top it with a soil mix. With more squash to transplant, I don’t have enough of the soil mix left for it all.

It’s all coming together rather nicely, I think. I look forward to seeing how everything does.

I spoke to my mother today, and was telling her about what we’ve planted and where. Of course, she had to start telling me what I should be planting, none of which is what I am planting. She is currently fixated on onions. I should be planting onions. Also, I should be using the chives (which are coming up nicely) in salads. Also, I need a tiller. Because digging holes for the sunflower seeds is… and she stopped herself before saying it, though I could still here the word “stupid” hanging in the air. 😀 I had told her about my wanting to go with no-till methods, and the use of straw, and she told me that she’d never seen anyone do that before. Straw is only for strawberries, not for anything else. It’s rather funny, how she is so convinced that the way she did things is the ONLY way to do things! Nobody else ever did anything different. 😀 As for the old garden area, I reminded her of the conversation we’d had about planting trees there, and how we were intending to plant fruit and nut trees. She started telling me I should get hazelnuts from the bush, for free. The problem with that is, I have no memory of where those hazelnuts are. I was little more than a toddler when I went with her to gather nuts. They may not even be there anymore. So many trees and bushes have died, over the years. So she reminded me of one place we know for sure there is a hazelnut bush. The cemetery my father and brother are buried in!

I’m not sure what she expects me to do about that. 😀 But hey; at least we are in agreement on the planting of food trees!

All in all, I think it’s been a decently productive day! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Change of plans, and a new crib

So it looks like my plans to plant the potatoes today is not going to happen. We were expecting rain, but it has turned out to be colder than forecast. While the rain has been light, it has been pretty constant. Which is fine. It just means we have to spend less time soaking the area we’ll be planting the potatoes in, tomorrow.

It might be cold and dreary outside, but Sarlac, the aloe, is enjoying things just fine. That flower spike is just inches from the ceiling!

Of course, one of the first things in my morning routine is to check on the kitties. We’ve been talking about how we wanted to change things up for them, as they get bigger and more active.

In the top right corner of the photo, you can see the crate we’ve been using to put their little nesting box in.

You can also see the dampness, under it.

With the rain today, and more forecast here and there over the next week, this will only get worse. While the crate keeps the kitten’s box from being directly on it, the increased humidity is making the basement feel noticeably colder. We do have a heater down there, but it’s not something that should be left on, unattended, for long.

We had already considered using one of the large boxes my husband’s new computer came in, to make a sort of “play pen” for the kittens. On seeing how much larger and wetter the damp spot is, I started thinking of alternatives. We had intended to place the box itself over a sheet of rigid insulation, which would have prevented any sort of damp puddle from forming at all, in the first place. However, the larger space would be harder to stay warm. The current little nest is well wrapped and small enough that Beep Beep’s, and their body heat alone could keep it nice and snug. Not so, in a larger space.


They are now upstairs. Just a couple of feet from me, as I type this!

We’ve got two boxes set up, one inside the other, so half the space has a “roof” over it. There’s lots of padding on the bottom to keep them soft and warm. Beep Beep wasn’t sure what to make of things when we walked off with all her babies, but once we showed her the new set up, she settled right in.

The babies were very quick to explore their new space, which is about triple the size of what they had before. Then they went right back into a pile on their familiar little bedding. 😀

So far, the other cats have been curious about the new set up, but easily discouraged away, so they won’t jump in. With the box set up between my desk and my crafting table, I can keep a close eye on them.

This means we can start leaving the new part basement door open all the time, and slowly start moving all the litter boxes, food and water bowls, downstairs. There’s plenty of space to store the cat food and litter, too.

I’m looking forward to not having cat litter and kibble tracking all over the house… 😀

Since working in the garden was out, I went into town to run some errands. Since I was in the area, I stopped at the garage to see if they’d been able to look at my mother’s car.

Yes, they had.

Yes, it does need a new differential.


The owner was in the process of trying to track down a second hand one for me. Until then, though, I booked an oil change for Saturday, then asked about tires for our van. Being May, we should be able to safely rotate out of our winter tires by now. 😉 I have our summer tires bagged and waiting, but I would kinda like to get new ones, so I asked for a price on that.

It turned out to be quite out of budget, so when I bring the van in for the oil change, I’ll also bring our summer tires, and get those switched over as well.

One of my other stops was at the hardware store. I was hoping to find replacement hinge kits for the gates in the chain link fence. I was showing a photo to one of the staff when the guy who’d helped me get what I needed to fix our sump pump hose walked by with another customer, and paused to ask how the fix went, and I was happy to tell him what a success it was. He then took a quick look at the photo I was showing the other staff member, who was new enough to not know they don’t carry anything for fences and gate, and was able to recommend other places in town I should be able to find them, then continued on with the customer he had been helping.

With that question answered, I went into the paint section. We have decided to go ahead and paint or stain the old picnic table. It’s not in the best shape, but we could probably get quite a few more years out of it, if we treat the wood. After talking to the lady in the paint department, I decided to go with paint, rather than a stain. My daughter and I had been talking colours, so with that conversation in mind, I chose a bright teal blue. While a quart would probably have been enough, I figure we’ll be painting other things, too, so I got a gallon. It was funny to see how excited the lady who was helping me got when she saw which colour I chose. Apparently, bright colours are not typical choices people make, but it’s something she prefers herself. She asked to see pictures of the table when it’s done! 😀

I got a business card for one of the managers, and have already emailed her to tell her how great the staff has been. I know stores get complaints all the time so, if I can, I try to make sure to give credit and commendations, whenever I can!

While there, I was also able to pick up some peat and composted manure. I want to put some of that down first, then put the potatoes on it, add a thick layer of straw, then add some peat on top, more to keep the straw weighted down, but also help retain moisture. None of the videos I’ve seen about this way of growing potatoes has suggest this, but we have definitely noticed that wind can be an issue and figured, it at least couldn’t hurt!

Hopefully, I will be able to get this done tomorrow. We now have rain forecast for tomorrow afternoon, but it’s also expected to be much warmer – and staying warm – than today, so the potatoes should be fine.

Over the next day or two, I hope to get those carrots and parsley seeds in, too.

Weather willing! 🙂

The Re-Farmer


My daughter spotted a surprise in our largest aloe vera, Sarlac 2.

It’s starting to send up a flower spike!

This aloe traveled with us during the move. Before the move, we were able to sell quite a few things, including several of Sarlac 1’s transplanted babies. We had intended to bring the Sarlac along with us, but realized it was simply too big to fit in our van, even without all the other stuff we had to jam into there. So when someone came to buy this plant, I asked if they’d be willing to upgrade to the mama plant and we’d keep this one.

Not only did they agree to take the mother aloe, they ended up buying almost all the remaining potted aloes as well!

So that saved us a whole lot of space.

The Sarlac was a massive, toothy aloe we’d had for quite a few years, but it wasn’t until we moved to a larger townhouse in the co-op that it apparently got the amount of sun it was longing for. Shortly after, it threw out a flower spike with three buds on it – then a second spike, soon after! I’d never seen an aloe bloom before. Unfortunately, the spikes tipped the balance of the aloe – literally. The pot fell under the weight. Everything survived just fine, including the pot, but we transplanted to a pot with straight sides, instead of the more decorative pot with a narrower base.

Our umbrella tree is in that pot right now, and this experience is why I’m really wanting to find a larger, straight sided pot for it.

The girls and I will be re-arranging the living room over the next week. My husband has moved his computer set up into his bedroom, closer to his hospital bed, so now there’s this strange empty space. As we move things around, we’ll hopefully find a better arrangement for the plants in the process, including a better spot for the mini-greenhouse until it can go outside.

I did end up stopping at the post office today, where I could also pick up some more deer feed (the post office is in an old style general store, so it’s got a little bit of all kinds of things!) and found my back ordered birdhouse gourd seeds in the mail box. We will be starting these indoors, too. I was more than ready to start the cucamelon and fennel, but even if we were to transplant earlier than the last frost date, it would still be way too early to start them indoors. They can be started closer to the middle of the month, then the rest of the things we want to start indoors, like these gourds, can be started about a week later.

It’s nice to think about budding things when there’s still snow on the ground!

The Re-Farmer

Transplants finally indoors… mostly

So most of the indoor plants that I transplanted have been sitting outside all this time. The only ones that came inside where ones that I could hang up.

The ivy went back to the living room, but is now in the middle, with the two types of ivy strung out onto hooks on either side. One container of little succulents went to hang at the kitchen window, where I hope they will get better light. Another bowl of succulents that the cats just loved to try and eat is now hanging in the dining room.

All of these are on hooks that were already up when we moved in, which has worked out rather well.

Inside the house was one big jade tree that did not need to be transplanted, but also an odd collection of succulents in a large planter that used to have our avocado tree. Half of that got broken off during the move, then the last of it just up and died. I think it was simply too cold in the house for it. So what I ended up doing was sticking succulent leaves that the cats kept knocking off into the dirt, and most of them took. Meanwhile, I started two more avocado seeds, and they have been ready to transplant for a while now.

Yard work has been put on hold again. Yesterday, I didn’t get back to it because we had hours of wonderful, glorious rain. It came down hard enough to take out our internet at one point, but none of us complained!

Today, we were back to the heat. So I focused on getting the indoor plants taken care of.

I started by removing the succulents from the pot I needed for the avocado pits. I realized I needed potting soil for them, though. It seems weird to be buying soil when we have so much of it outside, so I checked the compost pile.

No go. It’s got too many sticks and crud in the older stuff for it to be useful, and the areas we’ve been adding to aren’t composted well enough, yet.

So I ended up digging out an old plastic colander that was hanging behind the wood stove in the old kitchen (it used to be ours, from when we last moved out of province) and ended up using it to sift garden soil into a bucket. The garden soil is not only very rocky, but filled with all sorts of grass, clover, and weeds, so I wanted get that out. I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes as I did it, though.

While working on transplanting the avocados, I ended up going out for more soil, this time from a planter my mom made out of an old cream separator basin. I’ve left it where it was, so the stump it was sitting on would be more visible.

This was in the full sun, so while I wasn’t being eaten by mosquitoes, I was instead dripping sweat into my glasses!

Later, I decided to get more, this time digging out a huge stainless steel colander we no longer use in the kitchen, that fits nicely over a 5 gallon bucket. I used bug repellent and tried getting soil from the garden again. This time, however, I found the tiniest of red ants in the bucket, so I went back to the old planter.

I only needed a relatively small amount of soil, so it didn’t take long. I brought the whole bucket inside and transplanted a jade tree, then started bringing plants in from outside.

As I walked past the bucket, arms full of aloe vera, I found the bucket staring at me.

Fenrir had jumped in and was just sitting in the dirt, looking at me!

All the cats were really interested in what I was doing!

In the end, I got most of the plants outside, in. It did mean changing things up quite a bit.

I tried putting the big aloe back where it was in the dining room, but it’s just too big. Not only were the branches getting hung up in my daughter’s orchids and taking up space needed for other pots, it’s tall enough that it even gets in the way of the plant hanging above!

The big planter with the avocados in it had been where the huge jade tree is in the above photo, but I moved it to the other table, thinking I’d be able to get more around it.

This works a bit better, but my goodness, that aloe is difficult to move. It’s not just the size or weight of the pot; its leaves are very stabby!!! And they have teeth!

The bigger pot with the avocado was heavier, but much easier to move! Even with water sloshing around.

The flags around the edges are to keep the cats out.

This pot is self watering, with an inner pot that absorbs water from the bottom, and the outer pot gets filled when the float shows it’s getting low.

As you can see, it was pretty full of water when I moved it.

The plant hanging above it is the one the cats like to try and eat. It is doing very well, now that it’s hung up!!

I don’t know that the avocado are going to make it, though. While the root systems were very strong, when the pits split, they took up more space. The little glass jars I was using to sprout them are slightly narrower at the top. I ended up having to split the pits apart to pull them out, one half at a time, place them back together, then stick them in the soil.

It looks so weird to have this huge pot and just a couple of sprouting stems in the dirt! LOL

If they do survive, this should be a better location for them. There is a heat vent in between the shelves, and it’s right at the end of one shelf. It should get more heat in the winter than in the previous location.

This jade tree is doing so very well! Can you believe, this was started from broken leaves from the original tree?

This group of succulents used to be part of a tiny succulent “garden” my daughter got, years ago. After the move, they weren’t getting enough light where we had it, so they were getting very long and leggy. These are from our attempts to save them, by rooting leaves.

They don’t seem to have liked being outside.

I think I’m going to have to put stakes around this pot, too – I’ve already had to chase DahBoy out of it! The cats had gotten spoiled by having access to the tops of these shelves after the plants got moved outside.

Unfortunately, we still have 3 pots with aloe vera outside, and I have no idea where to put them. Other windows are either too dark for plants, or have other things around them, with no space for plant pots.

I’m thinking we need to put more hangers up.

And maybe, I should stop propagating the succulents. I still have a bunch that need to be potted!

The Re-Farmer