Posts Tagged Propagation

Gardening Books to Review

I just checked out a couple of gardening books from my local library. I will provide a in depth review of them in a week time.

In the mean time, I have added my cursory, first glance review below:

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs : a bountiful, healthful garden for lean time

by  Jim Wilson
(picture credit: http://www.amazon.com)

First-glance review: I love the pictures. I was salivating looking at the pictures. They look as if I could just grab them! The advice is easy to read and more aimed at a gardener just starting out…like me.

Square foot gardening : a new way to garden in less space with less  work
by Mel Bartholomew
(picture credit: http://www.shopping.yahoo.com)  

First-glance review: When I looked through it, Mel, the author is very knowledgeable in many different styles of gardening. He also provides how-to’s to better improve your garden. I really like the graphs especially the seed-starting graphs.

Grow great grub
by Gayla Trail 
(picture credit: http://www.growgreatgrub.com)

First-glance review: Gayla Trail, author of You Grow Girl has done it again. She has great projects and tips in this new book. It is for the every day gardening: beginning, intermediate and advance.

Happy gardening and stay tune for a full review!

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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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Starting More Seedlings 03-04-08

Plants from our wedding. These are cyclamens (click on image for larger picture)
On the first of March, I was busily planting seeds. I planted a variety of basils that include lemon basil, Thai basil, sweet basil, and a large leaf variety. I started my cucumbers (straight 8) and squash (black zucchini, spaghetti, early prolific) together in small cups. I set this tray outside so they can germinate under the nice sun. I also started some oriental poppies and Shirley red poppies. Some poppies I planted earlier this week have already sprouted and doing very well. To end the first day of March, I started some nasturtiums (9 pellets) and 4 o clocks (6 pellets)

I started bulbs yesterday night (03-03). I started some tulips, grape hyacinths, narcissus ice-follies, and muscari bulbs.

Cabbage Early Golden Acres Seedling at 40 days (click on image for larger picture)

My seedlings are doing well except for a bout of aphids. I found some aphids on my African violet and they somehow migrated to my little seedlings. I cleaned them with alcohol and soap/water mixture. The soap and alcohol does something to the aphids. Maybe suffocates them. Anyways, it worked so I was happy. I plan on transplanting my tomato seedlings into bigger pots tomorrow or Thursday and set them out under the sun for a little bit or until it rains (which is estimated to be on Sunday into Monday). We hope not but we’ll see.
Today, I planted some watermelon radish, nasturtiums, great lakes lettuce, sunflowers, Pinocchio pepper, 4 o’ clocks, daisy bush and marigold seeds. I am interested in seeing the watermelon radish grow. I hope it does well!

Happy gardening everyone!

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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 02-09-08

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 Score

My Loot

Today, I went to Lowes for the sole purpose to get some storage boxes for our Christmas decorations but my plant addiction got us some discounted forced bulb kits as well as the storage boxes. They were discounted 75% from $6.97 to $1.74! So, I got 4 hyacinth bulb kits and 2 crocus bulb kits. The crocus bulb vases are so tiny and adorable. I always have tons of crocus bulbs leftover from spring so I can reuse these vases. They’re also great for forcing small bulbs too. I have grown crocuses crocuses this last spring and they’re the most delicate, cute little flowers that bloom in early spring.

The hyacinth vases are just as cute. Since I bought 4 hyacinth kits, I’m going to force two of them and plant the other two outside in a pot. That way I’ll have blooms in my garden in the spring. I’ve been wanting some bulb vases for awhile and I’m so glad I found some. I’ve been looking everywhere for these including thrift stores, antique stores, etc. and now I have some! Yippee.

It’s pretty simple to do. All you need to do is fill the vases with water enough for the bottom of the bulbs to touch the water. Maintain this level of water and keep in a place that gets indirect sun. In 4-6 weeks, you’ll have blooms. I’ll keep everyone updated on the progress. A warning about forcing bulbs is that once the bulbs are forced, they are less likely to bloom again but bulbs come cheap today. They’re only around $.50 a bulb.

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