Sunday, April 24

Tasty Links: Growing Tomatoes

How to plant tomatoes from seed.
Starting tomatoes from seed.
Should you prune out tomato suckers?
Tomato companion plants
Who knew you should plant tomato plants on their side?
Some good tips on transplanting plants grown from seed.
Martha Stewart's How to make a cold frame. Want to build one of these this year.

How the garden grows

Shallots and Garlic
Getting excited about the outdoors! Seedlings are doing OK. Afraid some are getting a bit leggy due to lack of sun. It's rained a lot the last few days, but that's good for the stuff that's in the ground already. Tulips around the mailbox are showing flower buds, so hopefully we'll have some pretty color from them in the next few weeks. Daffs are up and blooming.

The lettuce and beets I direct sowed are now sprouting up. My nice, neat rows were disturbed by the birds though. Annoying but I'll sort that out once the seedlings are a little larger and when it's time to thin them out. Today the sun in shining and it's rather nice so I've put the nasturtiums out for their first exposure. They're getting huge and tall, and will need to be planted soonish. They're starting to flop over a bit. But as they tend not to like being transplanted, I'm hesitant to move them to a larger pot before planting, even though I think that might be what they need.

Garlic Bed
Salvia coming up

The shallots and garlic seem to be doing well. I'm also happy to see the saliva plants coming back. I wasn't sure if they would. The year before last I had bought a variety that didn't survive the winter. Delphiniums are also starting to come back up. It's exciting to see the little bits of green poking through the soil.

The lupine seems to be flourishing as well. I'm not sure if it will flower spectacularly like it did last year, but only time will tell. I did try to toss seeds around in the fall in the hopes that I'd get some self-sowing action, but so far, it doesn't seem like that worked. I might end up getting another plant or two so he's got some friends.

Sunday, April 17

Hello Little Seedlings

One week after getting my seeds started, I'm able to see some progress! It's exciting and hopefully I'll be able to keep them alive and see them through. Still waiting on the Ancho chilies to pop up, along with the cilantro and parsley come to the party. But it looks almost all of the beet seeds I've planted have germinated, which is cool. Last week I also direct sowed some lettuce seed and beet seeds, but have yet to see anything popping up in the beds. It doesn't help that the birds keep shifting the soil around there looking for their worm snacks.

Beans sprouting 
Roma Tomato Sprouts
Mortgage Lifter Tomato sprouts
Basil is starting to sprout.

Friday, April 15

Things are blooming

The first daffs are almost ready to show
off their flowers
The forsythia has popped.
Yay for pretty flowers.

Sunday, April 10

Garden Prep

After an insane week at work, and having to continue into the weekend, I'm happy to say I was able to get some gardening fit in as well.

Yesterday, I cleaned dead marigolds, dahlias, and licorice plant out of the far bed, as well as cutting back the dead stems from the salvia and delphinium. I saw some little bits of green around the salvia, which is exciting.

I also found who I think was the culprit that was nibbling at my garlic sprouts. He hung around for a few hours. Thankfully, we put up some fence. I had figured that since they don't tend to like garlic and onion, they would be safe. I was wrong. Oh well.

Little bunny was mostly going after the grass, which is fine by me. He can have it as long as he stays away from my(our) veg.

Thursday when I came home from work, there were two bunnies (I like to call them bunges), in another part of the yard, mowing away at the grass.

We spent some time picking up the oodles of sticks that had come down over the winter in the various storms. I tried not to get too frustrated considering none of the trees that these sticks were once part of are on our property. Such is life. (Drives me batty in the autumn too when I have to pick up 15 bags of leaves).

Today, I was able to get even more done, which was great. While hubby raked out the backyard, I got some seeds planted.

Beet Seeds. They look a little
 like Grapenuts!

Herbs: Cilantro, Parsley, Chives and Basil. I already have thyme, mint and oregano that will come back. The oregano is already starting to, which makes me happy.

Veg: Roma tomatoes (bush variety), Mortgage Lifter tomatoes (an indeterminate heirloom), Ancho/Poblano peppers, Beets (Detroit Dark Red variety), and Green Beans (Kitchen King, a bush variety).

Flower: Nasturtiums.

We'll see how they do. I have good luck with the herbs, but less with the veg plants. Worst case, I'll just buy plants like I'm expecting I will have to do anyway.  I tend to forget about them or not pay enough attention. Hard to baby seedlings when you're working 60+ hours a week.

We also got the veg beds prepped with some conditioning stuff tilled in. I went ahead and sowed some lettuce seeds in there. I also tried sowing in some beet seeds to see what happens. There was a parsley plant from last year that seems to have survived the winter. I transplanted it (as I had to take it out to be able to turn the bed properly), and we'll see how it does. The garlic that I ripped out in the fall (which was the remains of a trial experiment our first year here), which some how came back. We found a leek trying to come up in the bed that they were in last year as well.

The weather was so beautiful this weekend, it's hard to imagine that it still isn't safe to plant many things here yet. I'm resisting temptation, but getting this stuff done has definitely fulfilled part of that drive.

Saturday, April 2

Damn you Mother Nature

Funny April Fool's joke.


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