From the White House Gardener Mystery Series by Dorothy St. James
THE SCARLET PEPPER coming April 2012
It's winter in the capital city, which means while there are still planning meetings galore to attend, there's not much happening outside in the garden.
Luckily for me, there are plenty of fun projects that can be done indoors. It keeps me from getting cabin fever or, worse, searching out mysteries to solve. Here's one you might want to try.
Plant and grow the top of your pineapple!
Step 1: Select a healthy pineapple with a bright green top. Look between the leaves. If you can find one with roots, you're that much ahead.
Step 2: Slice off the leafy pineapple top. (Okay, you can eat the pineapple as well. But I'm much more interested in growing the thing than I am with eating it.)
Step 3: Remove the bottom inch of leaves and pineapple meat from the stalk. This is an important step. If you leave the sweet pineapple meat on the stalk, it will rot.
Step 4: Place in a dry, warm spot for 3 to 7 days for the stalk to dry and form a callus. This helps to keep it from rotting.
Step 5: Press the stalk into a pot filled with perlite, vermiculite, sand or any combinations of these. A cactus potting soil will work as well. Bury the stalk up to the just above the first leaf.
Step 6: Place in a sunny window. Do not over water. The stalk will sprout in 6 to 8 weeks and grow into an exotic houseplant.
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