Archive for February, 2008

Garden Update 02-28-08

Pretty African Violet

I got this pretty AV awhile ago at Lowes. It was a pathetic little thing at Lowes. It was discounted to $1.00. All it needed was a little TLC. I placed it under my grow lights and it’s done really well as yal can see.

Today, I planted more peas to my garden. They were sugar snap peas. I hope to have lots this season. I love cooking with snap peas because there’s no shelling involved and you can eat the whole thing including the pod. It’s great in stir fry, orzo, and just raw. I hope they do well with no inoculant. I’ve never tried innoculants before but I wonder if it would give me a bigger crop. Anywho, I’ve always been satisfied with the crop I get. Maybe next year I’ll get some innoculant.

The coleus outside are doing well. No losses yet although, I did have to get rid of a cat that wondered into my garden. They are so annoying. I have gates up but they still manage to get in. I just wish they would leave my garden alone! Urgh. Darn cats. As I was doing some garden clean up, I noticed a tray of lettuce seedlings I had neglected. They had blown over a couple of weeks ago and were damaged by the storm. I had propped them up and forgot them. Some were doing surprisingly well. I transplanted about 4-5 lettuce seedlings in a part of my garden that gets part sun/part shade. I put one seedling in a pot to see how well it does in a container compared to the dirt. We’ll see.

There’s no sproutage on any of my Chinese Houses or Chinese Lanterns. I grew Chinese Lanterns last year and they didn’t take this long to sprout. It’s the weirdest thing. I wonder what’s going on! It might be that it needs warmer temperatures to sprout and since I have my fan on the seedlings, its probably making it cooler and harder for them to sprout. I’ll give the fan a rest in the next couple of days to give them a chance. We’ll see.

I noticed that my garlic was getting thicker at the soil line. I dug done a little and saw a new clove. I hope they’ll do well considering they were in containers. I planted them in November and they saw it takes 9 months for them to form bulbs so I have 5 months to go. Here’s hoping.

I have my first flower of 2008. It was an African daisy from my wedding. There were 4-5 blooms. I’m going to wait until they get bigger before I cut them and put them in a vase on my dining room table. I also saw that there’s some new growth on my hydrangea plant too. I thought I had killed this this winter. I’m so glad I didn’t. There were also some flower buds on my geranium. I can’t wait for it to bloom and try collecting seeds from this one. It flowers a magnificent pink.

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Garden Update 02-27-08

Roma, Jelly Bean, Black Cherry and Brown Berry Tomato Seedlings at 23 days
(click on image for larger pic)

Gardeners Delight Tomato Seedling 23 days (click on image for larger pic)

Red/Gold Currant and Lady Bug Hybrid at 23 days (click on image for larger pic)

The weather here has been very nice with temperatures in the mid 60s and tomorrow, we’ll experience our first 70 degree temperature. I wish it could stay this way forever. I just checked my seedlings I started early this month and found some peat pellets bare with no seedlings. I quickly remedied that by adding the same seeds of the bare pellet’s brothers and sisters. I only had 1 eggplant seedling and I had originally planted 8 seeds so I added additional seeds to the bare pellets. I also started some Numex Big Jim peppers and some more patio tomato peppers today. I hope they’ll sprout and be ready by next month. Here’s hoping.

On Sunday, I started some more herb and flower seeds. I started some pink nicotianas I got from a round robin exchange. I love being apart of this group. It’s like your birthday every month. You get new gardening presents from a different person every month. This month, I got a nice package that had so many different varieties of seeds ranging from coleus to nicotiana and included in the package was some plant labels. I, too, send stuff to other people as well. It works out well. I send my left over seeds to someone who might use them. It works out really well. Anyway, forgive the side track. I also planted the following:

  • Calendula (saved seeds)
  • Cosmos
  • Dill
  • Shoofly
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Chinese Houses
  • Shirley Poppies

Coleus Seedlings

Today, I also set out my precious coleus seedlings to get them used to outside temps which is lovely! I hope they’ll be fine out there. I might cover them tonight but the meteorologist predicts temperatures tonight will be in the mid 40s so I think they’ll be fine tonight. On my lunch break, I planted my Bok choi, Swiss chard, and cabbage seedlings. I always water newly set seedlings with a combination of fish fertilizer and water so they get an added extra boost. I covered them with pots since it was the middle of the day and I didn’t want them to shrivel up and die. I’ll uncover them tomorrow morning so they can get a full day of sunshine. I can’t believe it’s almost Spring. Slowly, my garden will get filled with lovely veggies and flowers. I can’t wait! In a couple of days I’ll be starting my squash, cucumber, sunflowers, and basil seeds. Yesterday, I started some peas and beans too. Is it spring yet? Eek…Happy gardening everyone!

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Garden Update 02-22-08

It’s raining here in central California. Forecasts predict that it will rain all weekend long. They also predict strong winds. The last time it was windy, a lot of my pots fell over and dumped a lot of soil so this time, I’m going to be proactive and put all my pots along side my wall so they have some wind protection.

Boxwood Cuttings Rooted

My seedlings appear to be doing well. I have way too many seedlings for my shelves but they manage happily. I did check on my boxwood cuttings and they have done wonderfully. They’ve all rooted and some have tiny little growths on them. I’m so proud of them. I neglected them for a long time keeping the plastic bag over them for a couple of months. They are doing well. I hope by the beginning of spring, I’ll be able to take them outside and pot them up. I’ll probably give some away since I have so many. My coworkers won’t mind if I leave plants on their desk. I just gave one of my coworkers a coleus plant I had. I have tons of coleus now that I have a ton of seeds. She loves it and I hope she won’t kill them. As I was walking to work with my coleus in hand, I was calculating the cost for that little plant and I guestimate it to be around $.30-$.40 cents for it and how it would be a wonderful gift to give one. Oh the joys of gardening…I love it!

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Garden Update 02-19-08 (Herb Seeds)

I know I haven’t posted in awhile but we’ve been away house sitting, dog sitting, and teenager sitting at my new aunt’s (aunt by marriage) house. I apologize for my absence. I have dropped into my apartment to check on my garden periodically this past week and I just wanted to say that my herb seeds are doing well. I have germination on most of my herb seeds. Here’s a few to show: We have thyme, oregano, and catmint seedlings.

Thyme seedling 8 days old (click on picture for larger image).

Oregano seedling (look real close) at 8 days
Catmint seedling at 8 days (click on picture for larger image)

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Garden Update

Broccoli-De Cicco Seedling I transplanted (click on image for larger picture)

Today, I was busily transplanting some of my early spring veggie seedlings outside. The past couple of days, I’ve been slowly transitioning the seedlings outside slowly by giving them some time outside in the morning and bringing them inside at night. The time eventually becomes longer and longer each day until I feel comfortable that they’re ready to stay outside day and night. This prevents shock (i.e. too much heat and too much cold) to the tiny fragile seedlings. I typically acclimate them a week before I’m ready to plant. A tip to transplanting seedlings is to have a bucket of compost in tow when you’re ready. I dig a hole, throw some compost in the hole and plant my seedlings deeper in the soil line. The compost gives the seedlings some extra nutrients and the deeper hole allows water to settle in where I want it to go (i.e. directly to the roots) instead of evenly watering all the soil. Seedlings I planted include cabbage-early golden acres, broccoli-de cicco, radish-cherry belle, lettuce-bibb, iceberg, black-seeded simpson, brussel sprouts, and swiss chard.

Flower Seeds I planted the other day (click on image for larger picture)

I also planted some more flower seeds today. Here’s just a few that I planted:

  • Butterfly OrchidChinese Houses
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Coleus
  • Echinacea
  • Hollyhock-burgandy
  • Hollyhock-majorette mix
  • Shoofly
  • Zinnia-giant
  • Zinnia-thumbellina
  • Morning glory-crimson rambler

Free Shelving Unit (click on image for larger picture)

Over the weekend, I also found a shelving unit that was being thrown away and I decided to take it and recycle it in my garden as a seedling/supply unit. It reminds me of something you find at Ikea. A very modern shelving unit. I would have used it in our apartment but the color of the shelves (a light brown) would not match our apartment style which is dark mahogany wood. I’m not sure why the owner decided to throw it away but once I saw it by the dumpster, I had to pull over and pick it up. My husband laughed that I pulled over to pick up something because I normally wouldn’t do it. Ahh…he doesn’t know my great frugal gardening sense.

Also, there I have some germinating on some of the herb seeds, more specifically the thyme, oregano, and catmint I planted on February 2nd. It only took them 7-8 days to germinate. I was super excited to see the thyme and oregano work since those were the two herbs I really wanted to try. I’m also planning on start some basil seeds as well. I have the typical sweet basil and thai basil but I’m also going to try some new basil seeds I got this year. I bought some lemon basil seeds from grocoseeds and also a variety of seeds from a trade. She gave me so many varieties of basil. Some varieties include: Magical Michael, Holy Basil, East Indian Basil, and Osmin Basil.

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Garden Update 02-09-08

Supersweet 100s (click on image for larger picture

Red/Gold Currant and Ladybug Tomato Seedlings (7 days)

Marglobe Tomato Seedling (7 days) (click on image for larger picture)

These are some of my tomato seeds, more specifically my supersweet, Red and Gold Currant and Lady Bug, marglobe, and tomatoes I planted a week ago have sprouted. A week is pretty accurate. Last year, it took my seeds 9 days to sprout. So, they are officially 2 days early! They’re our little preemies. I can’t wait to get my own home so I can garden in a bigger space. We currently have a backyard that is probably 10 feet by 10 feet to garden with. This is much bigger than my other apartment backyard which was half the size I have now.

Today, I plan on planting some butterfly orchids, zinnias-Giant Doubled Flower, hollyhock-majorette mix, chinese houses, shoofly, coleus, hollyhock-burgandy, maltese cross, echinacea, and Chinese lanterns in a 72-cell pack.

Pretty Coleus Seedling (click on image for larger picture)

On an ending note, I just wanted to show you guys my pretty coleus seedling. I potted it in one of my favor pots I gave away at my wedding. At the end of the wedding, there were a ton left so I took them home to garden with! Recylcing in action I guess…

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Garden Update

White Impatien Flower (Click on picture for larger image)

Red Impatien Flower (Click on picture for larger image)

Salmon Colored Impatien Flower (Click on picture for larger image)

I started some impatien seeds this winter for houseplants and they’ve started to bloom. Amazingly, they’re three different colors: pink, red, and white. I just wanted to show everyone my first bloom of my impatiens. They’re gorgeous. I’ll eventually repot them into larger pots to allow them to grow a little bigger. I’ll probably use terra cotta pots since I like the look of terra cotta.

Yesterday, I started some more seeds. I started some herb seeds (thyme broadleaf, rosemary, catnip, chives, oregano, and lemon balm) in these small ice cream pots you get at the grocery store. I also started some more swiss chard-bright lights in peat pellets. I was so excited when I got these as an exchange from my garden buddy, Mary Ellen. I’ve always wanted to try these and was going to get some at the store next time I was out. Luckily, I got my seed package in the mail before that! I also started my first flower seeds as well. I started some stocks 10 weeks, wonder eggs, hosta, and snapdragon (first ladies mix). I’m excited to see how the wonder eggs and hosta will do. I have a bit of shade in my garden and am hoping the hosta will do well there. Here’s hoping…

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