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I am so excited to finally be starting a garden! My boyfriend bought me a bunch of amazing seeds for my birthday so I could start the garden I've always talked about wanting. I have never tried growing things from seeds, so we'll see how this goes.
I planted the seeds that could be started inside at the end of February and so far they're doing pretty well. I have seedlings for the Delpenium, Forget-Me-Not, Pansy, Viola, and Thyme. That's everything I've planted except for the Spanish Eyes; for some reason they are not growing :-(
I think I am going to plant some tomatoes this weekend. From what I have read it seems like the time to do that. This is all totally new to me and I really hope this works!
See the rest of my blog at - http://victoriaspatiogarden.b
Actually accomplished the spring-break to-do list:
1. dug out the aerobeds (but put back the useless frames, kept the bowl)
2. cut in half the toilet-paper tubes I've been collecting for two years
3. pressed seedling mix into tubes, time consuming, zen (but your standard black flat holds 72 of those babies!)
4. seeds in, lights on, timers set!
5. go outside and shovel snow.
Sprout Update - 7 February 2011
Round 1: Day 24
Round 2: Day 19
The Green Zebra sprout is doing pretty good. No new sprouts for any of the tomatoes, though. I think I am going to make some foil lined cardboard boxes to keep like 4 of the Jiffy Pots in to help retain some heat and moisture for those and see if that helps. If there's nothing new in the next couple of weeks, I'll scrap those and try again. . .
No new lemon cucumbers, but I have noticed that the one closest to the heat lamp (but second to sprout) grew and opened two true leaves to the first one's one true leaf. The third has seed leaves that look slightly misshapen, so we'll see what happens with that one.
No real change with the broccoli. The second one STILL hasn't popped up above the soil line yet. Kinda weird, I think. But it's the first time growing broccoli so we'll see what happens.
I think I'm slowly weeding out the weaklings in the pea section. So far, three have turned a little brown and started to wither. They didn't grow very fast (as compared to the others), either. So I think I'm okay with it. If the healthy looking ones start to turn, then I'll start to worry.
The mallow is looking a little thirsty, so I think I might have killed them. They get water at least every 4 hours when the lights are on so I'm not sure what the problem is with that. I'll make it a point to soak them a little more than the rest adn see if that helps.
The rosemary is still pretty much the same. No significant change there.
One of the kale bottle is showing some signs of life. I think a seedling is about to pop up. It's in the bottle that is most exposed to the heat light, so that's probably why. . .
And last but not least, the garlic chives are slowly worming their way up. . .much like the Tokyo Green Onions did. . .
I took advantage of the 50 degree sunny weather yesterday and almost finished digging all the vegetable beds. The only bed I have left to dig is the leek/carrot bed parallel to iris row. Instead of tilling up the ground under the pea and bean tee pees I am going to just hand cultivate the ground at the bases of the tee pee legs. I figure there is no point in tilling under the grass just to have weeds grow there and it will all be shaded by the bean and pea plants later in the season as the tee pees are covered. I am following a similar design with the corn field, just digging a small area for each seed instead of tilling up the entire plot. I got some pictures this morning before the rain chased me and the pups inside:
Here is a reference diagram to give you a birds-eye perspective of the whole thing.
These next two photos show most of the garden: the row of tomatoes on the right, with the diagonal beds in the foreground are for the zucchini and squash, with the pepper beds directly behind them, and the cucumber beds are the farthest back. If you look closely, the bed for the beans and eggplant is along the fenceline on the left side of the first image. Randy was so kind as to rake some leaves from between the beds into the beds to help tidy things up. He doesn't do as well in the cold as I do though so he didn't stay outside for too long.
a better view of the bean/eggplant bed and the pole bean teepees. when I was digging the bed for the bush beans and the egg plant I had an idea to plany sunflowers along the fence line behind the bush beans. I read that bush beans like shade, and I know I am going to have a lot of extra sunflower seeds, and I could always use more sunflowers!
This next image was taken from the back corner of the vegetable garden, looking towards the house. I think the whole garden will look so much better when we edge the raised beds with river stone, but the weather hasn't been letting us collect rocks lately, so that is put on hold for a while.
Another alternate view. The iris row is barely visibile with all the leaves covering it there on the left side of the image.
In this next image it is really apparent where the water hits the ground when it rains; I would love to install a gutter on that side of the shed and have it drain into a rainbarrel with a spigot; it would minimize the impact area of the rain hitting the ground and it would help us reduce our water consumption, not to also mention the extremely easy access to the vegetable bedes that will need watering!
Its too cold for vegetables, so I planted puppies.
This is a sort of before picture of where the leek and corrot bed will be.
Sam and Zee were being little terrorists when I was taking pictures; I was trying my best to not step on them but they weren't going to give up on tryign to eat my shoe laces as I walked.
it is now raining and cold outside; a vast difference from the 54 degrees it was when I went out to take pictures at about 12:30 this afternoon. But inside the sun room spring is finding its way here: my leeks are all sprouting; though there are some seedlings that I dont thnk are leeks, but I have never grown them before so I dont know if I should pull them or not.
Projects that are looming over me as needing to be done are
1.) the lettuce bed: I need to get a load of rocks from the creek and finish edging the bed, as well as filling in the bed with dirt and I need to secure the teepees so they stop blowing over.
2.) order the rest of the seeds: I got all the seeds of the varieties I wanted from walmart, and the rest need to be gotten online, and I would like to order them soon so I can be sure to get them. I am afraid if I wait too long then some of them will be out of stock.
3.) finish raking the yard: leaves are blowing into the areas we have already raked, and at this rate if we dont get it all cleaned up soon we are going to have to go back over what we have already done: not cool!
4.) put good dirt into the front flower beds: just never got around to that
5.) transplant boxwood bushes: I know its not the best time of year to do that, but it didn't happen in the fall when we should have done it, and I need the front flower bed empty for the herbs and flowers; the bushes gotta go.
I am definitely glad I got started working on the yard in January; there is still so much to do. I am going to try to plant my snow peas and sugar snap peas feb15-20, dependign on the weather. I am going to germinate them inside before planting them because I have read that doing that gives them a higher germination rate. It is strange, but I seem to be gathering through my research that peas germiante well in warm soil but grow best in cool conditions. How odd!
31 January 2011 - Day 17 (Round 1) and Day 12 (Round 2)
Back from Montana and a few more things popped up while I was away. . .
Upstairs, the cilantro finally decided to make an appearance (not just in that one corner) and one of the Tokyo Green Onions stood upright.
The Detroit Red Beets and the Golden Beets have finally showed up. There are 6 sprouts (in 4 different cells) for the Detroit Red and 3 sprouts (in 3 different cells) for the Golden. Seed leaves are open on all the sprouts.
Nothing else is showing signs of life in the seed tray upstairs.
I finally got a tomato plant! The Green Zebra decided to come up. . .I thought it was a Sun Gold at first, but am damn glad I marked the jiffy pots! I sure would have been in for a surprise, expecting little orange tomatoes and get bright green bigger ones instead. But no more tomatoes, or peppers have decided to come up. My guess is they want a fashionably late entrance.
No new sprouts for the cucmbers, but the three that have already sprouted have opened their seed leaves and two of the have started budding their true leaves. . .once the true leaves open, I'm going to give them a little watered down liquid fish fertilizer snack. . .and if no others sprout by that time, I'll wait a couple of weeks and plant some more cucumbers so we have plenty this season.
So one broccoli has opened and one is still in the soil. Not sure what's taking that one so long - the other seemed to just spring up and this one looks a little lazy to me. Been laying in the dirt since before I left for Montana.
The Edible Pod Peas have still only sprouted 2, but both are looking very healthy. Hopefully more of those will pop up soon, but if not I'm planning a succession crop of all the peas in another 3 1/2 weeks or so. . .
The Homesteader Peas are all up, but one of the sprouts looks a little brownish yellow, so I don't think that one'll make it and if it does, it may not last very long. All the others look healthy so far, however.
The Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas are doing the best of the peas, by far. All 6 are up and healthy. I'm thinking about starting a growth chart for all the peas just to see how fast the different varieties grow and all that. . .more work, but would be fun to see the change.
The second Mallow pot finally sprouted. Only one so far, but those seed leaves have already opened up. The first pot is doing very well, too.
The Rosemary has emerged and opened their seed leaves. No signs of life in the second pot yet, but maybe soon?
There is some life in the Garlic Chives, but nothing upright yet. Those look like they should go upright in a few days.
The Chinese Lanterns I've got downstairs have more than a couple random sprouts popping up. It'll be interesting to see what they turn into.
And I think I need to grab another grow light and set up another station for the plants. Totally running out of room for the seedlings downstairs and I have only 1 shelf left upstairs. . .
The Seedlings are Growing
One can grow bonsai from seeds a process known as 'misho'
Seedlings can be potted together to form a "forest" or "Clump"
Japanese Maples are spectacular in the fall
Grow in Moist, well-drained soil and give Part Shade
If there are Japanese Maple trees growing near you, the seed are ripening; now is the time to gather the seeds yourself
Saturday outside under my little shed working with paint! I acquired three little gnomes from a DIL that needed some color. They look like jolly old men now.
The window frame I am going to hang got a final clean up then I painted a little bit of a cat face looking out and glued a hummingbird sun catcher in the other corner. Can't wait to get it up.
There has been a broken plastic butterfly in my possession for the last few years that used to be on a metal sitck for the garden. Decided to spray paint it black and hang it on my shed. Looks really cute. When I downloaded this pix I saw that the original colors are coming through.
My son, wife and her mom came by on a Sunday afternoon. I always enjoy their visit. We went to Stephanos italian resturant to eat. Such good food.
My Cherokee tomato plants have been putting out blooms, but they soon dry and drop off. Any suggestions from any of you? I consulted some of my MG books and one thing they said was not enough water. So I have sunk white jugs into the ground so I can get water to the roots and mulched them good. Now I wait, sure do want these plants to make good maters.
Just found this info on the web -
"Blossom-Drop" is a condition suffered by tomatoes, peppers, snap beans, and some other fruiting vegetables where the plant blooms but fails to set fruit, the blooms die and fall off. It may be caused by the use of excess nitrogen fertilizers or dry windy conditions, but the most common cause is temperature extremes. Tomatoes, peppers and beans are especially picky about the air temps when it comes time to set fruit. If the night temps fall below 55 or rise above 75 or if the day temps are above 90, the pollen becomes tacky and non-viable. Pollination cannot occur. If the bloom isn't pollinated, the bloom dies and falls off.
Control: Water the plants deeply once a week, mulch heavily to maintain constant soil moisture levels, establish windbreaks as needed, avoid using excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizers, and wait for temperatures to moderate and stabilize. Earlier timed planting can help attain fruit set prior to the on-set of high temps, and the use of protection can compensate for cool nights. Some recommend attempting hand-pollination with an artist brush or a gentle shaking of the plant/cage/support prior to the hottest part of the day will also help. Fruit set will resume when temperatures moderate. Hormone sprays, such as "Blossom Set", may prevent some blossom drop due to LOW temperatures. However, the resulting fruit are often misshapen. But studies prove that hormone sprays do not prevent blossom drop due to HIGH temperatures.
And boy howdy haven't we all had weird weather. Temp up and down, hot then cold? I will give them a good shaking tomorrow then wait some more. Here are my little vegetable plants.
Have picked one tomato from the Whopper, one cuke and 2 squash since these pix were taken. And the Cherokee Purple has baby tomatos now. YEA!
This is a Collage of Wild White, Domesticated Pink and my neighbors Yellow Yarrow. We are going to trady some white for yellow. On the bottom are phases of the Lady In Red Hydrangea. Now the blossoms are gettting a deeper pink shade. Sure hope they go on to the red color the pictures show on line.
The metal headboard that I painted red has another place to rest. It will be glad when I finally get it put into place behind my little back yard patio.
And last but surely not the least is a photo of what I now believe to be seedlings from the purple Cuphea named Cha Cha. She did a dance and look what happened! :-) Be careful girls what you shake :-)
Here is this naughty little girl from last year. Thank you sweet plant. I understand that a grower can breed plants in such a way that they do not reseed. I am glad this one escaped or was not deemed 'good enough' to be a reseeder. Sure wish I could get a red type that escaped that trait.
More To Come Later
Above: My bean sprouts FINALLY sprouting. It seemed to take forever in comparison to my Mother-In-Laws. Her's sprouted in 5-6 days I think and mine have been closer to 10-14 days! I do know that she used a special (I think Miracle Grow brand) seed starting soil and I used plain jane potting soil. I wonder if it made that difference, thoughts?!
Above: My beautiful super tall Zucchini plants! They're almost 6-7 inches tall, which I am not sure if that's too good since they're probably "reaching" for the sunlight. Any thoughts, good or bad?
e: Another view of my super tall Zucchini. Any thoughts, is this good or bad, or just okay?
My good little cucumbers growing in their milk jug home. They are doing pretty darn good, and I am pretty proud of 'em! Hope it stays that way! (Fingers crossed!)
Above: Now there's some big rocks! This is a sample of some found on my husbands parents property (we rent on this property too, so basically it surrounds were Hannah and I go walking a lot.)
Above: One view of the canyon we live by. My husbands parents own the property that follows along the canyon (and we rent on this property). Pretty dangerous for kiddos, but the actual canyon is far enough away that we don't deal with it on a daily basis. We have to walk a bit to get to it and my young Brother-In-Laws (ages 12 and 8 years old) know better and have been raised to know its very dangerous!
Above: One of those dang "Gravel" Brothers and Sisters!! If you happen to hit this too hard with the shovel, they break into many pieces gravel size and are a PAIN to try and get out!!
Well, that's the lot of them. I love taking pictures and especially like being able to share them. I was so excited that I was able to get out and do some digging in the dirt today! Hannah is feeling better a little bit at a time and she came out and joined me for a bit, and then I was also able to get out when she took a nap (thank goodness for baby monitors!!). It was another gorgeous day outside! I got quite a bit done today in that area that I am making for Hannah. She will love it once I am done! I won a battle with the "Boulder" brother, but may need the hubby to move it from where I ended up rolling it since it flipped to a side that doesn't easily roll from. I hope it's not stuck since I would like to use it in the landscape of the new area I am making for Hannah. I may use it as a rock step, or even as a retaining rock. I have conquered the "Boulder" beast! Hahaha!
I also transferred two wheel barrow loads of composted horse manure over to a pile near my rock garden. I still have to make up my mind as to what is going to go where and what I want to expand before I put the manure into the soil. I think that I want to expand an area and potentially get rid the area that I attempted to plant my veggies in last year (Zucchini, Cucumber and Tomatoes). I will have to take a good long look at things tomorrow. At least I was able to get the manure closer to where it will eventually end up. I can't move the manure when Hannah is around because she walks so slow (basically I couldn't fill up the the wheel barrow and have her walk next to me, it would take upwards of half an hour!). So, I was very pleased to have been able to get the two wheel barrow loads today. I will be sure to do more when I get the chance since I need TONS!
Well, more tomorrow. I hope that everyone is well! Happy Gardening!
We are done moving, but there are still boxes everywhere. This past week of having a sprained ankle really set me back. However, I can walk now so long as I have a brace on *its amazing how just having that little bit of extra support helps* and I even got out into the garden for about an hour this morning. I would have been out longer, but my ankle starting hurting again so I moved back inside. I cleared away all the trash and leaf material from where the flower bed is going to be and I cut back some more of the brambles that have been growing wild for who knows how long along the fenceline. No pictures this week; the cord to the camera is still in a box somewhere. One of my morning glory seedlings just died; I think it had root rot from the soil not being able to dry out any between waterings. Luckily it is still early enough that I think I can plant another batch and watch them grow. I have all my potted plants out on the porch right now, soaking up some much needed sunlight, but I won't be able to leave them out overnight for another week; I don't want to leave them out until the night lows stay at or above 55 degrees. I think next year I am going to wait a bit before planting my seeds, or at least plant them in larger pots than the small 3" ones I saved from last year. My good ivy plant is doing wonderfully, and the other one has died all together. The leaves are dried and crumbly. I think the roots just didn't make it through the winter. At least I still have one.
Today feels good. Things are coming along nicely; not exactly the way we had planned, but I am pleased and content with the progression of everything. The birds are singing outside my window, and the sun is peeking through the clouds. I can hear my kitty meowing to her jingly toy downstairs, and my homework and housework are both patiently waiting for me to stop ignoring them. What more could I ask for? I wish every day were this peaceful, but then I don't think I would appreciate it as much.
Happy gardening, everyone!
It's another cold, snowy, gloomy day out. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record!
The problem with my being bored is the fact that I keep planting seeds. Every few days when it's too cold to get outside except in the greenhouse, I go and plant "another round". It's like a drunk in a bar paying for "another round" having no idea how he/she will pay for it! As a result I have more seedlings than I'll be able to use, and probably too many to give away.
Craig and I have been doing some planning and plotting regarding ways to make more garden space anyway. Of course, I don't think HE was planning on adding so much this year. Tee hee.
We currently have 5 raised beds and the greenhouse. We also have 5 whiskey barrels that we got last year and in which we grew wildflowers. This year I'm thinking those will be used for more veggies and/or herbs. We have lots of other flowers I really need the space for all my tomatoes, peppers, etc. Having a greenhouse has changed the whole dynamic of my gardening experience!
Thinking, thinking, thinking. Planning & plotting and planting. Sigh.
I am so tired right now. It's 1:02 and my daughter is still awake. Hannah ended up falling asleep in my arms really late and slept for over 2 hours. We're now so out of wack, plus I couldn't sleep last night and didn't fall asleep until sometime after 4:45 a.m. (that was the last time I looked up at the clock). Yuck! I hate when this happens!!
In gardening news, I did a bunch of digging out in the flower garden today to continue my battle with the evil "ClaySoil" and encountered it's evil siblings "Rock", "Boulder" and "Gravel". I have some picture of the progression of my fight and removal of the evil "Boulder".
The above picture is my first encounter with "Boulder". Shovel in place and ready for action......
Ta-Dah! I was successful in the "Battle of the Tomato Bed". He was a brute, but I persevered!
My seeds inside. They are Zucchini, Cucumbers, and Broccoli (top to bottom). I have to transplant the Zucchini already due to the fact that the roots have already grown through the bottom. I hope to do that soon since I don't want them to die off due to cramped quarters.
Ah, the above picture is my "dead" Alyssum. It just fell over. This picture really doesn't show what it looked like the first day it happened. This was a day or two after they all "fell down". I have NO idea why they did that. It didn't seem to be "dampening off" . Anyway, I will just plant them outside from now on too.
Well, I gotta head to bed. Hope all is well with everyone!
Well, all of my seeds are started. I've moved them into an indoor mini greenhouse that sits in front of my patio doors and begun to feed them a dilute mixture of fish emulsion.
Last week I raked a ton of sand off my lawn. We had so many heavy snowstorms that Town Works had to put down a lot of sand. As they ploughed, the wretched stuff got thrown up on everyone's lawn. There's still a lot more to rake off, but every little bit of effort pays off.
I have snowdrops in bloom at the moment. How appropriate! We got a light dusting of snow overnight.
Thanks to those of you who helped with my seedling crisis! I'm happy to say, the transplanted seedlings looked very happy this morning, so I transplanted the rest. I think they are going to be okay. Next time I'll know they need to go out in the greenhouse much sooner!
I ended up with 62 plants. I'll be giving them away, because even with expanding the garden area, there won't be room for all of them.
Some of the seedlings inside are poking through the soil. In a few days I'll be putting those out in the gh.
I found some eight-year-old bell pepper and tomato seeds lying around that I thought I'd try to start. I went through an egg carton for supper tonight, so I filled it with dirt from outside and put five seeds in each compartment (hey, they're really old seeds, I'm lucky if one comes up).
If they come up, great. If they don't, it's off to Earl May for seedlings. Wish me luck!
Some of my seedlings have sprouted on the kitchen table. I have brussel sprouts and lettus coming up. They are tiny, but give me hope.
The greenhouse got up to 106 today. Craig opened the vent and the door a crack, but I lost two of my little tomato plants. How quickly I forgot that keeping the greenhouse cool is often more difficult than warming it! It was 58 degrees here today (which was wonderful!) but I didn't realize it would get that hot inside. From now on we'll keep a closer watch. We'll have to go out in the morning and open it up, and in the evenings we'll close it down again. When it gets so warm that ventilation doesn't cool it, I'll put the shade back on (30%) and maybe add a couple of fans.
I injured my ankle in November. Ironically, I was just trying to toss some table scraps in the compost- there was about 2 feet of snow - - and my body turned, but my foot didn't. Anyway, I keep reinjuring it. I may have overdone it a bit getting ready for the party, as well as all the dancing. :( So I couldn't get out in the yard much today on this gorgeous day. Had the foot propped up.
I'll be posting pictures soon. I promise!
My seedlings made it through the night, and so did I!
The greenhouse stayed at 51, and the guests stayed until 2 am. The plants were much perkier than I was this morning.
My son Dan, who lives in Hawaii, surprised me and showed up on my doorstep for the party. I was so happy I cried and cried. So three out of my four children were here. Kyle, my third son, toasted me and also made me cry. A couple of weeks ago I told my daughter Makenzi that we should make the party a St. Patty's Day them, but forgot to tell her I'd nixed that idea. She showed up in a ridiculous big green bow tie, green pigtails, and green suspenders. It was quite funny when she walke in and realized she was the only one "dressed" for the occasion. There were over 50 people here, and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing group of friends. All in all a great evening.
I took a lot of pictures of the plants and the party. I'll be posting them as soon as I find the cord for my camera.
The temperature got up to 52 outside today! Spring really is going to come.
I moved all the seedlings to the greenhouse this morning. The temp overnight was 45 inside, 19 outside. I would rather it was at least 50, but I couldn't wait any longer because there was no room in the house for serving food and drinks this evening! Since this is my first year to plant seeds indoors, I'll worry like a mother hen until I get out there tomorrow morning and check on them. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll worry about my little seedlings every year from now on.
The yard looks a mess! About half of it is visible, the other half still covered in snow. I tore a lot of stuff out of the greenhouse to clean it, and it's strewn about between the raised garden beds until I have time to reorganize. Probably tomorrow while I'm cleaning up after the party.
And speaking of the party - Wow, am I behind the 8-ball here. My hubby works part-time at Deer Valley (we ski free!) and typically works 2-3 10-hour shifts per week. He traded several days off so he can have all next week off. We're supposed to be going to Southern Utah to camp, but I'm not sure we'll make it. Anyway, that's why he's not helping as much as usual. Normally he's a doll about helping around the house. And, while we often have people over, we've not had this big a crowd for a LONG time! As much as I look forward to the party, I'm bummed that I can't be working in the greenhouse today!
This better be fun!!!
I was so excited to get to my computer this morning- it's like faux gardening! I already have a gazillion friends here (okay, just six, but that's after only three days!) and they all love gardening! Who needs a therapist?
The last couple of weeks have been very stressfull for my husband and me. His mother has had to start dialysis, a very difficult process for someone 83 years old. Also, my oldest son, Josh, had a grand mal seizure two weeks ago. All of his tests have come back negative. Good, right? The only problem is there is still no explanation as to why this happened - or worse - if it will happen again. He and his wife live in Monterey, California with my only grandchild, Evie. The cutest 4-month-old child on the planet.
Anyway, it's nice to have a place to come and pretend to garden. Gardening has always allowed my mind to escape to a peaceful, happy place, no matter what stress was in my life.
Thanks to all of you for welcoming me here!
The temperatures are still so low at night that the greenhouse isn't staying warm enough. It was 14 outside, and the low in the greenhouse was 43. I won't put plants out until I can keep it at 50. We are supposed to be in a warming trend, so any day now. I love having the plants in the house, but they are taking over my kitchen and bar! I suppose I'll have to wait another day or two. Maybe I'll get some bubble-wrap hung to help insulate.
Lots to do!