Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Garden, 30 days in

Its been 30 days since the seeds were planted. Things are going very well I'm happy to report. Out of everything that was planted 2 green beans and the sage didn't make it. The green beans never sprouted, well one did but then it got moldy, and the sage was doing good until it didn't get enough light. That is totally my fault!! The peppers have finally sprouted and will be ready to move out of the mini green house soon.

I did a 2nd planting of peat pellets for herbs and a few lettuce. I want to have some pots of herbs on the deck and various herbs planted in the front yard and in the flower beds. Now I've got at least 3 of each herb/spice sprouted so I'll have good seedlings for the pots, the flower bed and herb garden in front I'll use seeds.

Speaking of the front, our manual labor to transform it from a weedy mess to a garden is done! We moved a pathway and recycled the blocks to make a retaining wall. Ironic really as these blocks are retaining wall blocks, they've just never been used that way. About 1/3 of the front is now ready for planting. I do need to get some compost, peat and manure down before I plant - the soil isn't the best because of the pine trees and weeds. Hopefully with a little TLC we can make it into a nice garden.

What else has been happening? We started a compost pile! Its in the dreaded rock area of our back yard and its really just pretty free form right now. I have been diligent in collecting kitchen scraps for the pile, its very satisfying knowing that what I used to throw away (peelings, mushy veg, etc) is now being put to use. I love knowing that I'm using every single cent of what I paid for these precious pieces of produce and that they in turn are helping my own garden and produce thrive. So cool! The little Witch is really excited about the compost pile, she's been asking for one for over a year now. And yes, she's only 3. Curious George composts often so she should too, right? Right!

Turns out the green beans we planted are pole beans, not bush beans like I thought. SO those have been moved to the bathroom (only place I had room!) and I've got strings hanging from the blinds for the beans to climb on. It works but I'll be very happy when I can get them planted.

All the other seedlings are looking pretty good. Some of the melon aren't as big as I'd hoped. I think its a light issue, too many plants and not enough light lately. Strawberries are OK, the container ones are doing a lot better than the garden planted ones. Only 3 of the 6 garden planted plants survived and those 3 have milk jugs over them to protect them from the cold nights. When there's been a frost advisory we've been bringing in the container berries, which is why they've been doing so much better than the garden planted ones.

We've had freeze advisories the past few nights, yet its 80 outside today. Tomorrow is looking like 60 as a high and slight chance of rain.

I plan on putting the beans, cucumbers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts the 2nd week of May. Unless I see something in the weather forecast to delay that, of course.

I'll post more pictures later on, I've run out of day light today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seedlings 2.5 weeks

Here are some photos of the seedlings at 2.5 weeks old. They have been moved from the greenhouse to cups in anticipation of moving into the ground in a month or so. They are doing pretty good considering I've never done this before! Sure its my 3rd garden but my first from seed strictly.
all of them lined up in front of the window in my bedroom. I get to gaze upon their lovely green stems every morning when I wake up. It makes waking up a lot easier :)

This is a tomato seedling. Can you see the first 'real' leaves starting to show? They've got the classic serrated edge of tomato plants. So exciting!

Here's the first real zucchini leaf. In a few months these leaves will be about 18to 24 inches big!

Cucumber showing its first real leaves as well.

This is a watermelon. The baby leaves aren't doing good but you can see new growth starting in the center. I think they got a bit sunburned while outside during the transplanting. Fingers crossed that it continues to do well.

Heres one of the strawberry plants in a container that'll live on my deck where it can be shaded from the intense Rocky Mountain sun. April is pretty early to plant these, however since they are in a container I can bring them inside if there's a frost overnight.

Lastly this is the groovy pot I got last weekend - I plan on making a herb garden in this - one that can come inside and live on my counter in the fall & winter so I can have year round herbs.

Seedlings update

The seedlings were bursting out of the green house. I had weighted the top down but that was causing the leaves of the bean plants to be in contact with the condensation on top of the greenhouse lid, which in turn was causing leaf rot. Not cool! So I had to transplant them into larger quarters, until it decides to warm up enough around here to put them into the ground.

This was a challenge, simply because I don't have a lot of room around my house for 72 seedlings in beer cups. Oh yeah I said beer cups. I got 100 of the red plastic 'kegger' cups, you know the ones, cheap, usually filled with semi warm & flat beer from a party, well now they have plants in them. I have these cups on a half sheet tray, 2 of them actually, in front of my bedroom window. I have to rotate the trays every few days so everything gets equal sunshine.

I'll be planting some herbs and lettuces in the mini green house for this round. My hope is that as soon as they are large enough to be moved it'll be warm enough outside to plant them. I want to have herbs in the following places: front yard in a flower bed under the windows, in the back yard garden, in the new front yard garden area as well as potted ones to keep on the deck for easy access to herbal goodness as needed. I found a really cute pot at Walmart that I plan on using for the herbs, the colors will look great in my kitchen after the outdoor season is over. My hope is that I can keep fresh herbs growing in this pot inside year round.

Since my last entry I've bought a few new things:
seed potatoes for fingerlings including french fingerling, rose finn apple and banana.
purple potato seeders
beet seeds
10 bare root strawberry plants
various herbs & spices including: cumin (HOORAY!!!! I use SO much of this spice - I'm really excited to grow my own!), ball basil and lime basil.

Last year I grew lemon basil and it was good. The lemon flavor really helped overpower the anise flavor that basil has, which I don't like. I'm pretty excited about the lime version this year. And the ball basil will look great in pots, its leaves are quite small for basil & it forms a compact ball, should be pretty, like aromatic topiary.

I'll be back later on with some photos of seedlings as well as the front yard. We've started the demo/construction/manual labor portion of transforming it from 1/2 grass 1/2 weeds to 1/2 grass 1/2 garden. I dug the stump of an old pine tree out of the yard last weekend (GO ME!) and Brian transplanted the lavender bush in its place. We also have dug out the perimeter of where we want the garden and have laid 1/2 of the border stones. Hopefully today won't have 60 MPH winds and I can get out there & do some more work. Watch out yard, I'm taking over LOL :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Holy seedlings!

Oh my goodness. I planted these babies on Sunday. Its 7 days later. They are literally blowing the top off the mini greenhouse!!! I'm not kidding, every am I have to go and put the lid back on because the overzealous cukes have pushed the lid askew. Even with the lid not staying in place (I can't blame the plants alone, I also have an overzealous 3 yr old who LOVES to watch the seeds growing) they are doing amazing. The only ones that haven't sprouted yet are the bell peppers. Come on peppers, your housemates are blowing you out of the water developmental wise.

Here's some pix of the baby bounty

Wax bean with seed attached at tip still. Wax beans have black seeds - you can see the variegated color in this one still. Beautiful!

Canteloupe these seeds were harvested from a tasty melon we enjoyed last year, from Rocky Ford. We hope these babies are as yummy as their parent melon was! And their awesome growth makes me think I can harvest seeds from my own garden this year for next years season :) LOVE THAT!

more cantaloupe

Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes



Zucchini, its hard to believe that in less than 5 months this will be HUGE, around 3 feet in diameter with vines that trail all over the place, beautiful yellow flowers and slender tasty green fruits. I can't wait!