Saturday, March 29, 2008

Garden Update 03-29-08

Okra Seedlings (click to enlarge)

Today I was busily spending lots of time in the garden. I moved my bell pepper seedlings, dill, fennel, Mexican Honey tomato and stock seedlings into bigger pots. I also planted more radishes (watermelon radishes) into the ground as well as sunflower, asparagus peas, and black zucchini seedlings.

I'm also going to attempt to try getting some green beans to sprout. I have some seeds I got from a trade and my coworker gave me some the other day. I am soaking some purple peacock, romano, top crop, and tendergreen beans tonight so I can plant them tomorrow. I truly hope they sprout! Wish me luck. I also plan on planting some more nasturtiums seeds. I have some that have sprouted but I hope to grow a bunch. They look so pretty last year.

On Friday, I planted more flower seedlings: zinnia-thumbelina, aster, marigold, lams ear, calendula and sunflower maximillon. I noticed that I didn't have enough flower seedlings the other day. I believe my veggie seedlings

I also put some stakes down to distinguish my square foot garden and I noticed that I had six squares empty. I think I'll plant more herbs like basil in some of the squares but I don't know what else. I need some low growing veggies b/c my these squares are in front of my cucumbers and tomatoes and they need as much sun as they can get. Any suggestions?

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Garden Update 03-27-08

Herb Seedlings 03-28-08 (click to enlarge)

This past weekend, I decided to repot my herb seedlings into terra-cotta pots I got at Michaels. They were only 3 for a $1.00 so I got six of them along with their terra-cotta trays. They make the best looking herb pots. I only wish I had bought more. I also planted additional seeds into each pot to get a fuller look. In no time, they’ll sprout and I’ll have healthy-looking growing herbs.

This past week, I’ve left my veggie plants uncovered risking slug/snail damage but to my surprise, I haven’t seen any damage this week. I’m so happy. My bok choi plants seem to be bolting which makes me sad but hey I might just let it bolt so I can collect seeds from them in the summer. Then I’ll have tons of Bok choi seeds (wohhahaha…this is my evil laugh) lol.

On the flower seedling front, I finally have one single little four o’ clock seedling. It took it 27 days for goodness sakes. I will give it credit though. It does have a hard “grenade” looking shell on it. I’ll have to take a picture of it tonight.

Everything in the garden is looking good. The lettuce is getting fuller; the Bok choi is growing well, the peas are flowering, and tomato and pepper seedlings are growing strong. Soon, I’ll be planting sunflower seedlings and watermelon radishes. Well, that’s it for today. Happy gardening everyone!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Garden Chores and More 03-23-08

Marglobe Tomato seedling 52 days (click to enlarge)

Yesterday, I planted my tomatoes in the ground. I planted tiny Tim, jelly bean, fireball, sweet gold, supersweet, black cherry, marglobe, red and gold, and roma tomatoes. Most of these are cherry tomatoes. We love cherry tomatoes in our salads and my husband loves eating them plain so why not. I plan on planting another marglobe tomato seedling soon. I hope to have enough tomatoes to save seed and also to make sauce and salsa.

Today, I spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing my garden. I picked up all the empty pots and stacked them in each other, picked up tools (shovels, rakes, shears, etc) and put them in a nice heavy pot, moved dirt around and just the ordinary garden chores. It was hot in the sun I found and I kept coming in to cool down and get a drink of water. I ended up waiting until it was almost sun down to go outside and finish my chores. It was bearable and not too hot.

I also planted more lemon balm, thyme broadleaf, cilantro, dill, chives, fennel, 4 o clocks, arrugula-rocket, and Kentucky blue pole beans. I was hoping to plant more oregano but I couldn’t find my packet of seeds. I know it’s here somewhere. Maybe I need to organize my garden things indoors! Eek. Well, I guess that it’s for today. Check back tomorrow for more updates or better yet, subscribe to my blog by signing up here here to get updates. Talk to you soon and as always, happy gardening!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Watermelon Radish and Seed Starting 03-21-08

(Click to enlarge)

This is a picture of my watermelon radish seedlings. I’m super excited about these. They look like watermelon in the inside so I can’t wait to have these dress up salads.

(Click to enlarge)

Today I planted some more lemon basil, large leaf basil, petunia, rocket arugula, bok choi, and sunflowers seeds. I had hoped to plant a lot of petunia like last year. I also put my self-watering basil pots outside so it can get some time in the sun. It also freed up my grow shelf so I can grow even more African Violet babies. I hope to give some AVs away for birthday presents.

Tomorrow, I plan on going to Michaels to get some really inexpensive terra cotta pots for my herb seeds. There on sale 3 for a $1.00. Depending on the size, I plan on getting 4 or 5. I might also go to Osh to see what vegetables they have on sale. I overheard on the radio that they were having a buy one get one free sale on vegetables. I also saw that they had chocolate mint so I might be tempted to grab a pot. I’ve always been an advocate of not buying plants but instead buy seeds which is a better deal but I’ve heard that mint seeds are hard to germinate so I tend to buy mint as plants. I then plan to go down the street to Lowes to grab more soil for my pots. I have tons of veggies that need soil and pots to hand out in.

This weekend will involve more weeding and probably transplanting. Who knows I might just transplant my tomatoes in the ground! Tomatoes, here we come…That’s all for today folks! Happy gardening everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring

Tomatoes in jiffy pellets (click to enlarge)

Today marks the first day of spring. Happy spring!!! The weather has definitely been nice with the start of spring. I have a little issue with my Bok choi though. One day they look fine and healthy and the next day, I find it with holes and gooey stuff around the holes! I couldn’t find any caterpillars or snails or slugs. I moved my pots to a different place and this morning there were no new holes. I guess you win some and you lose some. Gardening has involved watering with fish emulsion every other watering. I transplanted my tomato seedlings to individual Styrofoam cups. I will probably give these away to friends/family and people at work. I put them outside so they can get some good sun.

I plan on buying some purple podded pole beans this year. My coworker, who is an avid gardener, told me about this bean that grows purple but when cooked, it turns green. I was fascinated and am going to go in with her to buy some things from Nichols’ Garden Seeds. They’re only $2.45 for a 2 oz packet which probably comes with 100-150 seeds. These are a heat tolerant, French heirloom. I also plan on getting some bean inoculant as well. Inoculant is useful because it helps beans and peas for that matter develop root nodules which in turn increase production of beans and peas. I think I might order more seeds/supplies since we’re probably going to go in on the shipping which is only $3.45. Not bad…

Today, I bought some Bok choi seeds from Home Depot and got a rosemary plant from Target. I plan on growing Bok choi inside under my grow lights. That way, I will have some control on bugs like slugs and snails. I think they’ll be fine inside if I give them sunlight on occasion. I also planted some more sugar snap and sweet peas in the garden. I hope to grow tons of fragrant sweet peas this year and possibly collect the seeds to trade or plant next year! Well, that’s all for now. Happy gardening!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Herb Seedlings Update 03-16-08

Thyme 40 days (click to enlarge)

Catnip 40 days (click to enlarge)

Chervil 13 days (click to enlarge)

Lemon Balm 40 days (click to enlarge)

Cilantro 12 days (click to enlarge)

Cilantro 12 days (click to enlarge)

As promise from the previous post, I'm posting pictures of my herbs. They've grown so well!

Today, I spent a long day in the garden. It was extremely windy today and I got a lot of dust and dirt in my eyes but I continued on.

I planted more swiss chard seedlings, morning glory, hollyhocks, and some butterfly orchid seedlings into the ground today. I also set up a string trellis and oh boy was this a bad idea in a wind storm. I spent a good ten minutes untangling the mess.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great Weather!

Lemon Basil at 8 Days

Thai Basil at 8 days

The weather has been very spring-like with temps in the high 60s and low 70s. I’m a little hesitant with how great the weather is. I’m afraid that next week, we’ll have lots of rain and thunderstorms. I guess you can’t live your life worrying all the time so I continue my gardening adventures but with a critical eye on the weather.

On Friday, I started some more seeds that include: marigolds-safari mix and French double mixed, edamame, sunflower-tall variety, sugar snap peas, nasturtiums, morning glory-crimson rambler, and eggplant-black long variety. I really hope they sprout especially the nasturtiums. I planted some nasturtiums last week and they haven't sprouted at all. I plan on planting them with my tomatoes to detract pests from getting to my precious tomatoes.

In part of my garden, that only gets partial sun in the early/late morning so this year, I plan on growing some cool weather veggies in that area. It's around 2' by 5' so I want to grow lettuces with successive plantings throughout the season, radishes (watermelon and cherry belle variety), bok choi, cabbage, swiss chard, peas, leeks, mint, cilantro, lemon balm, thyme and beans.

I noticed that I have sprouts on the hyacinths I planted on March 3rd, sunflowers, radish, and great lakes lettuce I planted last week. I also saw that my spaghetti squash seeds and cucumber straight 8s have sprouted (it took them 14 days to sprout! eek). I might have to start more cucumber seeds tonight. I want a lot of cucumbers this year. Last year, I only got 1, yummy and delicious cucumber but this year I want at least more than 1.

None of my zucchinis or squash seeds have sprouted either. Note to self: start more tonight and keep them inside. Speaking of failures, I have no success on the beans I planted outside 18 days ago. I guess I'll have to start them inside. It looks like I have a lot of seed starting tonight (cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and beans). Oh the joys of gardening!

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Happy gardening everyone!

Next up: an update on my herb seedlings! eek. They're doing so well...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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Happy gardening everyone!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Collecting Flower Seeds (Calendulas)

Five days ago, I planted some chicory, flax, and okra and there’s already sprouting occurring with the chicory. I got the chicory seeds from grocoseeds and I hope it really works. Chicory can be used as a coffee substitute. We’ll see how well this works!

I also have sprouts on my cilantro and calendulas. I grew calendulas last year and they were pretty yellow and orange flowers. I also collected seeds from these last year. The seeds were easy to collect since they look like half moons. If you’ve never collected flower seeds before, I suggest trying calendulas for your first time.

They flowers look like these:

What the seeds look like after they flower:

Mature seed pod. Takes around 3-4 weeks

Mature seeds. You know you have mature seeds when they fall off easily.

Tomorrow, I plan on planting more sweet peas and transplanting more lettuce seedlings. I’m also going by the post office to drop off my package to my March gardening partner. Happy gardening everyone!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Herbs and Peas Sprouted 03-08-08

Lettuce (59 days) is doing well. Click on image for larger picture.

Today, I noticed some sprouts on my herb seeds: basil (lemon, thai, sweet, and big leaf). It has only been 4 days. That just means it's already spring! There was also some action on my marjoram and chervil herb seedlings. I was surprised to see that my herbs are sprouting so fastly. I also noticed one asparagus pea seedling peaking it's tiny little head out. I am interested in seeing how these will do. I'm not sure what asparagus peas are but they say you can steam cook them. They look like this.

I also noticed that my peas are finally starting. It took them longer than I expected...around 9 days but hey that's better than nothing. I can just see the yummy peas in our dinners. This year, I plan to have succession plantings of peas to ensure I have tons of peas this season. My garden faces westward and there's a part of my garden that only gets morning sun so I plan on planting cool season veggies all season or as long as it stays cool on that side of the garden.

Nothing much else going on in our garden except for the occassional weeding and cleaning up. The daisies from our wedding are on its second set of blooms. They're small but I think they'll look pretty in a vase. Happy gardening everyone!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Starting More Seedlings 03-04-08

Plants from our wedding. These are cyclamens (click on image for larger picture)

On the first of March, I was busily planting seeds. I planted a variety of basils that include lemon basil, Thai basil, sweet basil, and a large leaf variety. I started my cucumbers (straight 8) and squash (black zucchini, spaghetti, early prolific) together in small cups. I set this tray outside so they can germinate under the nice sun. I also started some oriental poppies and Shirley red poppies. Some poppies I planted earlier this week have already sprouted and doing very well. To end the first day of March, I started some nasturtiums (9 pellets) and 4 o clocks (6 pellets)

I started bulbs yesterday night (03-03). I started some tulips, grape hyacinths, narcissus ice-follies, and muscari bulbs.

Cabbage Early Golden Acres Seedling at 40 days (click on image for larger picture)

My seedlings are doing well except for a bout of aphids. I found some aphids on my African violet and they somehow migrated to my little seedlings. I cleaned them with alcohol and soap/water mixture. The soap and alcohol does something to the aphids. Maybe suffocates them. Anyways, it worked so I was happy. I plan on transplanting my tomato seedlings into bigger pots tomorrow or Thursday and set them out under the sun for a little bit or until it rains (which is estimated to be on Sunday into Monday). We hope not but we’ll see.
Today, I planted some watermelon radish, nasturtiums, great lakes lettuce, sunflowers, Pinocchio pepper, 4 o’ clocks, daisy bush and marigold seeds. I am interested in seeing the watermelon radish grow. I hope it does well!

Happy gardening everyone!