Posts Tagged Eggplants

Veggie Update 03/20/09

I’ve slowly started putting my tomato, peppers, and eggplant seedlings outside in the backyard. They are getting acclimated to the weather. I still do not have a dedicated garden space yet so I’ve been placing them onto of this old picnic table we have in the back yard. The dogs, however, have figured out how to get on the table and pull out lettuce seedlings. Urgh…those dogs but they are just so cute when I see them with a fistful of lettuce in their mouth frolicking about. And then you’ll see me chasing them screaming “No!” As the old saying goes, “you win some and you lose some”. It just seems I’ve lost quite a bit to the little rascals! I hope they don’t get to the tomatoes and peppers though. Those took a long time to germinate and it would be such a shame to lose them now. I set those on top of a planter on the table so unless they knock the planter down, they’ll be fine.

 

The other day I planted more herb seeds. We use a lot of herbs in our cooking so growing herbs is important to me. I planted more lemon balm, chives, basil (large leaf, and Genovese), thyme, and oregano. I have them in 3 inch pots and they’re sitting on a sunny windowsill. They’ll germinate in a week or so and I’ll slowly take them outside with the other seedlings. Other things that are sprouting under my grow lights are marigold-snowball, zinnia-envy, impatiens, coleus, and more! I also planted some more pepper and tomato seeds. I forgot some names but I labeled the container so I can go back and check. The ones I do remember are supersweet, red currant, and Mexican honey.

 

I’ll have to take some pictures tonight.

But For now, here are some pictures of my veggie seedlings

 

Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in jiffy pots

 

 

Bibb and buttercrunch lettuce seedlings

 

 

Seedlings 30 days

 

 

Endive seedlings

 

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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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Garden Update 02-03-08

Package from Mary Ellen. Thanks Mary Ellen!!! (Click on picture for larger image)
The other day, I received a swap package from a fellow gardener named Mary Ellen. I’m part of a group called “Petal Pushers” which hosts its forum on Gardenweb. They host a monthly swap which consists of partners and you simply send them seeds and garden supplies. It’s a nice surprise every month since everyone gives different seeds to their partners. It’s like an anticipated present every month and you get the benefit of giving away your surplus/left over seeds to others who might be interested in them. I planted my eggplants yesterday. Last year, I didn’t get any eggplants although I did get a lot of pretty velvety leaves and some flowers. It was partly my fault because I had to housesit during the hottest times of the summer and didn’t have anyone to water my garden. After my house sitting days, I had to move apartments so everything had to go except for a select few plants. I hope I get tons of eggplants this year. I planted 8 plants so what are the chances I’ll get one productive plant? I hope I hope…


Seedlings Transplanted (cabbage) (Click on picture for larger image)

I transplanted some of my seedlings into their own individual pots on the 29th. I think they were getting crowded in my seed trays. I transplanted some cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, bok choy, and a lot of lettuces. They’ll be ready to go out in 2 weeks. I plan on putting them in full sun since it’s still cool outside and temps are moderate (around 60 degrees). I don’t think they’ll get sun burnt or anything. I’ll just make sure to set them out in stages (i.e. slowly acclimate them to outside conditions).

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Garden Update 01-17-08

My celery seeds have finally sprouted. Most people said it was really hard for celery to germinate but I didn’t have any problems with it germinating. It took awhile, say around 12 days. Out of all the seeds I planted, I would say I had an 80% success rate with the seeds. I plan on pre-germinating eggplant-black beauty, various pepper seeds (Korean Hot, Hungarian yellow Wax, Jalapeno, California Wonder, Kung Pao and Long thin cayenne peppers), and more Swiss chard seeds since these are last years seeds I’d bet my best bet with pre-germinating since there’s a chance they might not germinate.

The way I pre-germinate my seeds is called the wet paper towel method. It’s as simple as that. All you need is a paper towel and a baggie.

Step 1: Get a paper towel and dampen it
Step 2: Lay seeds in one even layer on half the towel
Step 3: Cover the seeds with the other half of the towel to make a “seed package”
Step 4: Put the package into the baggie and close shut
Step 5: Place the baggie on something warm like the top of your fridge and check every couple of days until you see some growth. The seeds with growth are the good seeds and the seeds with no growth are the bad ones and should be thrown away. Plant the good seeds and presto-magic; you have germinated seeds, no more having empty cells in your trays to seeds that didn’t germinate!

Coleus from seed (approximately 79 days) (click on image for larger picture)
I just wanted to provide an update on the coleus I grew from seed. The seedlings are thriving into lush little plantlets. I love that they have different colors and that I don’t have to spend outrageous amounts of money for plants when I can just grow them from seed. I bought a packet of seeds from grocoseeds.com for 1,400 seeds for only $1.99 and I already have 20+ plants. I would typically spend around $3.00 for a six pack of coleus and I spent a fraction of that price if not less. If you did the math, I spent less than a penny for each seedling minus the cost of potting soil. I hope by the time spring comes around, I’ll be able to put them out in pots and as companion plants.

African Violet (click on image for larger picture)

I also wanted to show my African violets. They’ve been neglected since I’ve been busy with seeds and seedlings. They are doing well. I have one I bought last year in May that blooms a pretty white and purple flower. It just started blooming recently and it’s so pretty. It looks like a little pixie fairy came by and sprinkled it with glitter.

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Garden Update 11-17-07

Last week, I forgot to mention that I planted some garlic and sweet peas for the spring. This is my first year planting garlic from real garlic stock from the gardening store. I went to my local Orchard Supply Hardware store and got 3 bulbs for $1.96. There was no tax since garlic is food. It takes about 9 months for a clove of garlic to mature and become a bulb. A garlic expert on the Martha Stewart Show compared growing garlic to a baby. It takes nine months for garlic to mature and 9 months for a baby to come out. It was an interesting analogy nonetheless. I potted them in a container since we might be moving by the time the bulbs are ready to pick. I expect some yummy garlic next summer.

Last year, I tried to grow garlic from the grocery store but they didn’t work. They would produce lots of shoots but once they died out, I could never find any bulbs. I believe there is a growth inhibitor in grocery store garlic that prevents them from growing. Urgh….well I hope I got it right this time around.

I also planted some sweet peas I got from Home Depot from a company called Stover seeds. They sell bulk packets of seeds. I got around 300 sweet peas and thousands of California Poppies for around $3.97 a piece. They also have vegetable seeds in bulk too. They’re around $2.97 a piece. I plan to get some bok choi and other veggie seeds in the spring. I’ve only had one sweet pea bloom last year. It was mainly because I started them in the spring. My coworker who grows a plethora of sweet peas every year suggested that I plant my sweet peas right now for blooms in the spring. I listened to her and I hope next year we’ll have pretty sweet peas.

Currently, I am pre-germinating some seeds I collected this year. I like to test seeds before I put them up for trade just to make sure they work. This week, I’m germinating some coriander, broccoli-De Cicco, and two types of eggplants (purple and white). I hope they work. It just gives me more validation that what I’m doing-gardening wise-is right. When I was in the grocery store the other day, I saw a huge bag of coriander seeds on sale for $2.69. This was a very large bag. I’m going to get them and try germinating them this year.

I also picked up two taro roots when I was at the grocery store too. Taro root plants look similar to “Elephant Ears” or Alocasias. They were relatively cheap; $.50 a piece compared to $5.99 per root at the garden center. I placed them in a deep pot and placed them in the sun. I hope they root and produce cool little plants for me. I’m a little weary because it is winter and it’s probably not the best time to pot these up since they’re tropical plants. Well, I’ll try them anyway and protect them from frost or bring them in. If they don’t work, I’ll only have wasted $1.00 instead of $10-$12. That’s all for now!

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