Jan 20 2006

stinky smell

Published by at 3:37 pm under amy's head,daily,gardening,house

So, there has been an odd smell floating around our living room for a while now. For a while I thought there was an old, wet diaper hiding somewhere, like under the couch. Close inspection proved that to be wrong.

Then I decided it wasn’t a “diaper” smell, just a “old wet” smell. I disassembled our cool mist humidifier, pitched the filter thinking it was mildewy, and emptied out the base. Still, the smell hovered.

Usually, I’m the one to complain of weird smells. I inherited my mother’s keen sense of smell, who can sniff out ANYTHING as if it were a wet St. Bernard. But even James’s nose was with me on this weird wet smell. I started to worry about leaking pipes in the walls, but there aren’t any water pipes where the smell was eminating. Maybe the outside hose spigot? Nope, it was closer to the front door.

Finally, last night we figured it out. PLANTS!!! In the fall, I took cuttings from the impatiens in my garden cultivated them in pots indoors. I’ve also forced quite a few bulbs (which are really doing spectacularly). I’ve taken pictures, but haven’t gotten them off the camera yet (maybe I’ll have to do that before posting this post). Anyway, one of the forcing methods I tried out was using those glass marble things that you use in floral arrangements, stuffing a bulb or two down in them, and then adding water juuuuuust to the tippy rooty bottom of the bulb. I had 2 glasses done up this way. They were not doing nearly as well as the ones I had planted in actual pots. With dirt. Anyway, I had actually THOUGHT maybe it was these bulbs, but when I stuck my nose in there, I could NOT SMELL THE SMELL! So I figured it wasn’t that, and moved on.

But it WAS THE BULBS! AND NOT JUST THEM! I beleive I have over-watered my potted impatiens and they have developed root rot. First, last night, in an effort to determine whether or not it WAS the plant items that had the smell, we moved them from the windows in the family room to the top of the fridge (this was to prevent forest fires kitty damage). It become evident that it was definitely the plants, as minutes after they were moved, the smell was in the kitchen!

So I took the bulbs out of the marbles/beady/glass/water thingee and oh boy did it stink. Rinsed out the marbles well, though I see a bath in cloroxy water in their future. This morning, I thought, “hey, I’m going to take some of these into my office!” and picked out an impatiens pot that I had stuck some tulip bulbs in as well.

All day long, that nasty wet ROTTING ROOTS smell has been plaguing me. We all already know that my delicate little nose can’t seem to take any instrusive smells, and now after smelling this damn plant all day, my nose is all stuffed up and red from the constant blowing. I even relegated the plant to the top of my little hutch/shelves thingee on my desk, but the web diaper smell drifts down anyway.

So I spent some time at lunch looking up root rot and proper soil and watering techniques and tonight when I go home, I shall re-pot my plants using proper potting soil (I think most of what I used was just from the ground outside, a big no-no) that has been pasteurized (Pasteurization! Not Just For Dairy!) in clean, sterilized containers and hopefully my plants will be happy and healthy and the nasty wet-smell will GO AWAY BECAUSE I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Seriously. At least James could smell it this time. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m going crazy with the things I smell and rant about only to hear him say, “What? I don’t smell anything.” *honks as he inhales* “What? There isn’t any smell.” Grrrr.

It could be worse.


OK, I’ll stop with the links, lest I get all mimi smartypants on your ass.


Ok, done now.

So, while I’m talking about plants, one of the handy things I did when I was home with Jocelyn in all her sickness, was put up a shelf in her closet. However, I didn’t have enough brackets that the back of the bracket packet called for so that called for a trip to Lowes.

Well.. RIGHT in front of the entrance… was a beautiful standup of SEEDS. My eyes glazed over, my tongue started hanging out, the drool machine started that would put any teething 4 month old to shame. Jocelyn, Ethan and I had such fun picking out some seeds to plant that now I just can’t wait until I can GET GOING! I have grand plans for the garden this year. We bought some green bean, cherry tomato, rosemary, and BROCOLI seeds! On arriving home, I discovered that I already had rosemary, what I need is SAGE! My basil seeds have also gone AWOL, so I need some of those as well. I also bought two pots designed to be the final living space for the herbs – I’ll start them out in smaller thingees* though.

* I’m still learning all this farmer of the earth lingo. You knew what I meant.

The outside is going to be fun, though I need to figure out what is going to go where. We have a deck now and that means I can put in some more beds, which means some grass is going to need to come up, and some soil is going to need amending, and aerating, and some plants in front need to be moved in back and I have to decide where to put the vegetables and where to put the flowers and I want to get a raspberry bush too, because won’t the jam be oh so yummy? and I sure would like a rototiller but that’s probably overkill but OH I JUST CAN’T WAIT!

Luckily, I don’t have to wait until spring, I can start indoors with my little seeds in flats.

As long as I don’t overwater them and use the right media*!

* Look. I used the term “media.” Bet you were impressed. Really, that just means whatever it’s growing in. Me learn gooooood.

It is going to be busy this weekend. I have Bunko tonight, a date with my husband Saturday night, with just the two of us, and poker with this guy and some of his work buddies on Sunday.

SHOE MONEY TO-NIGHT! (or, ahem.. sunday night)

– amy lines up angels on a head of a pin

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