Last night, I planted more flower seeds, canterbury bells, columbine (butterfly hybrid), impatiens (vanilla hybrid) marigolds (snowball), and zinnia (envy). I did not think I had enough flower seedlings. I really hope the impatiens germinate. I wanted to have lots of white flowers in our front yard. I also planted some more salad (red and green romaine), cucumber (2 different types: bush champion and market I think…) and swiss chard (ruby red) seeds. Last year, I had a lot of swiss chard success but this year, only a few have sprouted. Here’s hoping! I also have tons of garlic to plant as well as onions and potatoes but the weather has been dreadful with rains all week and probably next week! I’ll have to until we get 2 weeks of consecutive sunshine before plantings these out. I know we need the rain but I really enjoy the sunshine! (this opinon may change when I am in the thick of 100 degree weather though).

I was in the gardening mood last night too. I wanted to try my hand at propagating the new pothos plants I purchased the other day so I experimented with 2 different techniques: the water vs soil technique. I placed 4-5 cuttings in a pot of potting soil with a plastic tent and 3-4 cuttings in water. I placed the pot under my grow lights and the water cuttings are in my kitchen window. I have always had success getting roots to form in water but they’ve never transplanted well in soil so I tried the soil technique. We’ll see how successful I am in the next month.

Tonight, I plan on planting more coleus, sunflowers, and bok choi seeds . I hope I can keep up with my succession schedule. I would hope I could remember to plant seeds every week but with our busy schedules, it is easy to neglect planting seeds but my resolution is to always have something growing under the grow lights my dh built me a couple of years ago.

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More Houseplants and Seeds

Today, OSH (known as Orchard Supply Hardware) had a buy one get one free houseplant sale. I was super excited because I have never seen a houseplant sale like this before. So I got up this morning and went to my local OSH and there were racks upon racks of houseplants that were BOGIF.

I picked up two pothos, one coradatum philendendrom, and one creeping Charlie plant which is also known as ground ivy. I plan on putting the philendendrom in my master bathroom which gets lots of morning sunlight. One of the pothos and creeping Charlie plants I plan on putting in my craft room and the other pothos in my living room. I hope my husband does not mind! Hehe. I’ll post pictures later.

I also got some seeds and Atlas fish emulsion for my veggies and seedlings. I’ve never tried this brand before so we’ll see how well it does in my garden. I’ll post a review later this season.

I got five more Renee’s Garden seed packets. The varieties are called: Renee’s Caeser Duo (green and red romaines), Mini Jack (baby pumpkins), Two Color Fiesta (Mexican tomatillos), Sweet Armenian (cucumbers), and Neon Glow (rainbow chard).

I also noticed that the corn, bean and cucumber seeds I pre-germinated have sprouted. I’ll have to pot them up in their own six pack later tonight. I was surprise at how fast these sprouted because I’ve heard they take a while. By pre-germinating my seeds, I’m not wasting space in my trays. One my biggest pet peeves are putting trays of dirt underneath the grow lights only to have 20-30 percent of seeds that have germinated. This year I am being proactive and making sure that all the spots on the trays have a plant. We’ll see how that goes though….Until next time, happy gardening.

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Garden Update



Sorry, I have been tardy in posting. I have had a lot of things going on. We got a new puppy named Colt. He’s only 2 months old. We got him at the pound and we just adore him. We are going through the potty training stages so please pray for us. We’ve already had a couple of accidents but I think he’s getting the hang of it. It’s great that he has an older brother, Casey to show him how things are done. Casey has just started to warm up to him but I think in a couple of months, they will be fast buddies.


Soon after we got Colt, I had to leave to Texas for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was very pretty and I’m glad I got a chance to go. I had to leave my dh at home to tend to the dogs. They had a great weekend of man/doggy bonding. I came home to a wonderful mess though. Typical men behavior when the gals are away. I didn’t mind and it wasn’t too messy.



In the garden, things are starting to bloom. Daffodils which typically are the first to bloom in the spring have been popping up everywhere in the front yard. I am so glad I planted 40-50 daffodil bulbs last fall. Most of them are coming up and have buds on them! I can’t wait to have daffodils in vases in our new home! I’m glad I did not buy 2 bags of daffodil bulbs though because the previous homeowner had planted them too! So now I have patches of daffodils in our front yard. It’s really nice to have a break between the rain and gloomy weather and have flowers blooming. In addition to the daffodils, my camellia shrub has these big red flowers. There are a ton of buds on them so I’ll have blooms for a while! I’m so excited.


The garlic has started to sprout. I still have 2 bulbs of garlic to plant but I’m waiting for my dh to build my garden beds before I plant them. I might find a place on the side of my yard though since I have lots to plant. I also got some elephant garlic from the grocery store and planted those. Those took awhile to sprout but lo and behold, I see green peaking through the potting soil. I’ll eventually transplant those in the ground when my garden is ready.


On Tuesday, I was able to plant some of my cold-weather vegetable seedlings that were getting too big for their cell packs. I planted a lot of lettuce in rectangular planters and along side our backyard fence. In a couple of weeks, I’ll have some decent size plants so I’ll be able to pick enough for a decent salad. This week, I also started pregerminating some beans, cucumbers, squash, and corn seeds. The way I pregerminate is pretty simple. I take a paper towel and lay my seeds on top of it and I semi-soak the towel and place the towels in a plastic bag and set it on top of my fridge or put them in the car with me (I park in a place that gets decent sun that warms my car. My car is my little heat mat.

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Repotting seedlings

In the past 3 years I have been vegetable gardening, I would plant all my seeds in seed trays with 72 divisions. And since I am not the greenest of gardeners, I normally did not get 100% germination on all my seeds so my seed trays always had bare spots sprinkled amongst the divisions. This always bothered me because I was a perfectionist and the fact that I could have had other seeds that would have germinated in those spots. I am sure other gardeners have also felt this frustration. So I promised myself that I would not do this the next year. However, my forgetfulness got to me and I continued with my habit of taking out my large seed trays and planting my seeds in them. Then I remembered my promise to myself the previous year. So, I pulled out some old trays I had laying around (a cheap way to get your hands on these is to save the trays you get from the frozen dinner meals. They’re perfect size to start seeds). I planted a lot of veggie seeds in these and once they developed their true leaves, I pricked them out and set them in my seed trays with divisions. That way I got a full tray of seedlings and no empty spots! I thought I would share my “aha” moment with yal.

Yesterday, I took some endive seedlings I had planted in a pot and moved them into their individual spot in a six-pack I had. Afterwards, I marvelled at how pretty and neat it looked with seedlings in every spot! I was very proud of myself. I also moved some bibb and buttercrunch lettuces into their own spot.

My tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings are doing well. Although they have been slow to germinate, I’ve been getting several pop up on me daily. To aide in germination, I decided to take the trays with me to work in my car. My car gets a lot of sun throughout the day and I thought it would be a perfect spot for my seeds to get some heat. So in the car they went yesterday along with my seed potatoes I have been chitting.

The potatoes already have little eyes on each one of them. They should be ready to pot up in the next couple of weeks. Since we haven’t gotten around to making raised beds, I have decided that I am going to plant almost everything in containers. I plan on planting the potato seeds I have in pots and moving them to their final place when we get everything set up. I hope this is okay for potatoes to do this. If not, I’ll know for next year.

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More Seed Starting


 Early spring veggies in 2008.

On Saturday, I planted more flower and veggie seeds. The other day when it was sunny, I decided to take my seed trays out for some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, when I brought them in, the tray snapped and some of the 9 packs fell out spilling dirt and I would assume some seeds. So, just to be safe, I decided to plant some more seeds. Instead of using 6 or 9 packs I decided to plant them in trays in little rows. I planted some more butterhead lettuce (Renee’s garden), black seeded simpson lettuce, romaine lettuce (trade), arrugula, coleus, cabbage, broccoli, bok choi, impatiens, violas, bells of irelands, and snap dragons! Whew….that was a lot.

I also got some elephant garlic on Monday from the grocery store. The garlic is from Christopher Ranch. I planted it that day and I hope to get some sprouting soon.

The lettuce, bok choi, savoy cabbage, butterhead lettuce, and la rossa lettuce sprouted and are under the grow light. There are more seeds that sprouted but I somehow forgot to label them. It’ll be easy to figure out once they’ve fully sprouted and I can check them out visually.

Still no progress on the eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. I set them directly on top of the lights to get some heat to them but we’ll see in the next couple of days. I’m really excited to see if the “little prince” eggplants I got from Renee’s seeds turn out! I’ve been debating whether or not to purchase a heat mat for my seeds but it seems like setting them on top of my fluorescent lights is fine. I have two lights on the bottom of my rack and I balance trays on top of the 2 and set my containers on top and they seem to be fine. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. That’s all for now, happy gardening!

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Review: Renee’s Garden Seeds

This year I decided to purchase some seeds from Renee’s Garden.

My local garden center has a large rack of Renee’s seeds and I tend to migrate over to this rack because of the beautiful and elegant seed packet design. The front of the seed packets have the name of the plant and a neat colored illustration of the plant. The back of the packet has the usual growing instructions but unlike other seed packets, they provide notes, tips, harvest and use instructions which is very helpful to a new gardener like myself. In addition, the back of the packets includes an insert that thoroughly describes what you’re growing.

Since I am mainly a veggie grower. I picked out some veggie seeds to buy. I bought some little gem lettuces, tri-color pole beans and little prince eggplants. The price was $2.00 a packet (they were on sale this week…the normal purchase price is $2.69) and the quantity of seeds was surprisingly abundant. The tricolor pole bean packet was full of beans, the little gem lettuces had plenty of seeds (so much I don’t expect I’ll have to buy another packet for years!), and the little prince eggplant came with around 30-40 seeds (enough for a couple of years of plants).

I was pleasantly surprised with Renee’s Garden seeds and would recommend them to any gardener! I’ll post updates on how well my plants grow this year. I hope for the best. Thank you Renee’s Garden Seeds.

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Seed Starting 2009

My new backyard

Our trees are going to be trimmed so more sunlight shines through!  The concrete block is going to get broken up and that’s where my veggie garden will reside! I can’t wait

I’m so excited to start seed starting this year. This year, we finally have our very own house and yard to garden in. I can not wait until we have the backyard finished so we can put in my veggie garden. I hope to have my plot done by next year so this year will mainly consist of gardening in the front yard and in various size pots.

Who says you can’t plant vegetables in the front yard? I plan on it! I have a couple of patches of dirt that are currently bare. Since the front of our house faces north and doesn’t get too much sun, I want to try some cool weather veggies like lettuce, radish, broccoli, cabbage, arrugula, bok choi, brussel sprouts, onions, and more.

I have already started the following flowers:

  • coleus
  • impatiens
  • bells of ireland
  • violas (Johnny jump ups…I believe)
  • 4 o clocks
  • sweet peas
  • hollyhock-pink and yellow varieties
  • shoofly
  • stocks
  • snapdragons (first ladie’s mix)
  • chinese lanterns

Here’s my list of veggies I’ve started from seed

  • Lettuce-bibb, romaine, lolla rossa, butterhead, black seeded simpson
  • arrugula
  • onion-pearl
  • swiss chard-rainbow mix
  • broccoli-calabrese
  • cabbage-savoy
  • cauliflower-snow white
  • bok choi
  • brussel sprouts-catskill
  • radish-early scarlett
  • radish-watermelon

Tomato seed starting:

  • supersweet 100s tomato
  • patio tomato
  • striped cavern tomato
  • san marzano tomato
  • jelly bean tomato
  • brandywine tomato
  • thessalonika tomato
  • marglobe tomato

Pepper seed starting:

  • fish peppers
  • kung pao peppers
  • nardello peppers
  • mini bell peppers
  • red ruffled peppers
  • sweet banana peppers
  • jalapeno peppers
  • California wonder peppers 

Eggplant seed starting:

  • little prince (Renee’s seeds)
  • rosa bianca eggplant (Renee’s seeds)
  • nadia eggplant (Renee’s seeds)

I have also started planting garlic cloves in pots too. I started planting seeds this Wednesday and to my surprise I already have some germination on my savoy cabbages and bibb lettuces! The weather in California is amazing. There is early morning fog and that burns off by 9:00 am and we get sun throughout the day. It warms up to around 60 degrees and cools to 35 degrees at night. However, the weather forecaster predicts some rain next week but for now we’re enjoying the weather!

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