Posts Tagged Spring

Gardening 04-24-08

Pretty Pot from Mom and Dad

Today involved a little gardening. It was windy and very gusty at times. I had to take most of my plants off the fence so they wouldn’t blow off.

The radish plants I planted in November are finally flowering. I can’t wait until they finally get to seed so I can rip them out and plant something else. It seems like it takes so long for things to ripen to seed. I have several Bok choi plants that are ready to seed but they’re still green and not ready to pick yet. I plan on planting some peppers in their spots but right now the peppers aren’t too bothered being in their transplant pots. Once I see roots poking out of the drainage holes, I’ll be concerned and maybe move the Bok choi to a different location. We’ll see how the season progresses.

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Growing Swiss Chard: the Colorful Spinach Substitute

Last year, I started growing swiss chard for the first time. I only grew several plants because I wasn’t for sure if I would like the taste or not. Anywhoo, it grew like crazy and I was able to make one dish with it. I cooked it like spinach, sauteeing it with some olive oil and garlic. After it wilted a little, I added some lemon juice and red pepper flakes. It was a great side dish. Swiss chard is such an easy plant to grow and the varieties are endless. They have a variety called rainbow swiss chard and the colors are amazing. They’re a perfect addition to any vegetable garden or a side plant in the front yard. They’re a vegetable that I can’t live without. What do you guys think about this one?

This year, I was determined to grow continuous crops of swiss chard. The first batch, I started in January. January 1st to be exact. They took a week to sprout and grew like mad. At first they were leggy and spinly but after a couple of weeks, they grew thick stems and strengthened up really well.

Swiss Chard Seedlings at 31 days 02-04-08

I moved them outside in the ground in an area that gets late morning sun, a couple of weeks before my last frost, around February 11th. They looked so puny and defenseless. To protect them from critters like the dreaded slugs and snails, I would cover them with plastic cups for the next two weeks at night and uncover them in the morning before work. It worked. The snails didn’t get too much of them and they grew very well.

Swiss Chard Transplanted 02-11-08

So they grew and they grew without too many problems. Not a pest to be found. I’m still crossing my fingers! Here they are a month and a half later, still growing steadily:

Swiss Chard 59 days 03-23-08

And grew they did. I’ll probably harvest these soon and make some yummy side dishes.

Swiss Chard 90 days 03-23-08

Here are some pics of the other swiss chard plants I have laying around the garden. I plan on planting them in a spot near my fence that gets regular morning sun. They really enjoy full sun but part sun wouldn’t hurt them much.

More Swiss Chard Seedlings 40 days

Swiss Chard Seedlings Transplanted 45 days

Well that’s all for now folks. Happy gardening everyone!

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Great Weather!

Lemon Basil at 8 Days

Thai Basil at 8 days

The weather has been very spring-like with temps in the high 60s and low 70s. I’m a little hesitant with how great the weather is. I’m afraid that next week, we’ll have lots of rain and thunderstorms. I guess you can’t live your life worrying all the time so I continue my gardening adventures but with a critical eye on the weather.

On Friday, I started some more seeds that include: marigolds-safari mix and French double mixed, edamame, sunflower-tall variety, sugar snap peas, nasturtiums, morning glory-crimson rambler, and eggplant-black long variety. I really hope they sprout especially the nasturtiums. I planted some nasturtiums last week and they haven’t sprouted at all. I plan on planting them with my tomatoes to detract pests from getting to my precious tomatoes.

In part of my garden, that only gets partial sun in the early/late morning so this year, I plan on growing some cool weather veggies in that area. It’s around 2′ by 5′ so I want to grow lettuces with successive plantings throughout the season, radishes (watermelon and cherry belle variety), bok choi, cabbage, swiss chard, peas, leeks, mint, cilantro, lemon balm, thyme and beans.

I noticed that I have sprouts on the hyacinths I planted on March 3rd, sunflowers, radish, and great lakes lettuce I planted last week. I also saw that my spaghetti squash seeds and cucumber straight 8s have sprouted (it took them 14 days to sprout! eek). I might have to start more cucumber seeds tonight. I want a lot of cucumbers this year. Last year, I only got 1, yummy and delicious cucumber but this year I want at least more than 1.

None of my zucchinis or squash seeds have sprouted either. Note to self: start more tonight and keep them inside. Speaking of failures, I have no success on the beans I planted outside 18 days ago. I guess I’ll have to start them inside. It looks like I have a lot of seed starting tonight (cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and beans). Oh the joys of gardening!

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Happy gardening everyone!

Next up: an update on my herb seedlings! eek. They’re doing so well…

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