Posts Tagged Sweet Peas

Happy First Day of Spring

Tomatoes in jiffy pellets (click to enlarge)

Today marks the first day of spring. Happy spring!!! The weather has definitely been nice with the start of spring. I have a little issue with my Bok choi though. One day they look fine and healthy and the next day, I find it with holes and gooey stuff around the holes! I couldn’t find any caterpillars or snails or slugs. I moved my pots to a different place and this morning there were no new holes. I guess you win some and you lose some. Gardening has involved watering with fish emulsion every other watering. I transplanted my tomato seedlings to individual Styrofoam cups. I will probably give these away to friends/family and people at work. I put them outside so they can get some good sun.

I plan on buying some purple podded pole beans this year. My coworker, who is an avid gardener, told me about this bean that grows purple but when cooked, it turns green. I was fascinated and am going to go in with her to buy some things from Nichols’ Garden Seeds. They’re only $2.45 for a 2 oz packet which probably comes with 100-150 seeds. These are a heat tolerant, French heirloom. I also plan on getting some bean inoculant as well. Inoculant is useful because it helps beans and peas for that matter develop root nodules which in turn increase production of beans and peas. I think I might order more seeds/supplies since we’re probably going to go in on the shipping which is only $3.45. Not bad…

Today, I bought some Bok choi seeds from Home Depot and got a rosemary plant from Target. I plan on growing Bok choi inside under my grow lights. That way, I will have some control on bugs like slugs and snails. I think they’ll be fine inside if I give them sunlight on occasion. I also planted some more sugar snap and sweet peas in the garden. I hope to grow tons of fragrant sweet peas this year and possibly collect the seeds to trade or plant next year! Well, that’s all for now. Happy gardening!

Leave a Comment

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!

I have set up a way for my daily blog readers to get email notification of any new posts. Click here to subscribe!

Happy gardening everyone!

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

Comments (1)

Collecting Flower Seeds (Calendulas)

Five days ago, I planted some chicory, flax, and okra and there’s already sprouting occurring with the chicory. I got the chicory seeds from grocoseeds and I hope it really works. Chicory can be used as a coffee substitute. We’ll see how well this works!

I also have sprouts on my cilantro and calendulas. I grew calendulas last year and they were pretty yellow and orange flowers. I also collected seeds from these last year. The seeds were easy to collect since they look like half moons. If you’ve never collected flower seeds before, I suggest trying calendulas for your first time.

They flowers look like these:

What the seeds look like after they flower:

Mature seed pod. Takes around 3-4 weeks

Mature seeds. You know you have mature seeds when they fall off easily.

Tomorrow, I plan on planting more sweet peas and transplanting more lettuce seedlings. I’m also going by the post office to drop off my package to my March gardening partner. Happy gardening everyone!

Leave a Comment

Herbs and Peas Sprouted 03-08-08

Lettuce (59 days) is doing well. Click on image for larger picture.

Today, I noticed some sprouts on my herb seeds: basil (lemon, thai, sweet, and big leaf). It has only been 4 days. That just means it’s already spring! There was also some action on my marjoram and chervil herb seedlings. I was surprised to see that my herbs are sprouting so fastly. I also noticed one asparagus pea seedling peaking it’s tiny little head out. I am interested in seeing how these will do. I’m not sure what asparagus peas are but they say you can steam cook them. They look like this.

I also noticed that my peas are finally starting. It took them longer than I expected…around 9 days but hey that’s better than nothing. I can just see the yummy peas in our dinners. This year, I plan to have succession plantings of peas to ensure I have tons of peas this season. My garden faces westward and there’s a part of my garden that only gets morning sun so I plan on planting cool season veggies all season or as long as it stays cool on that side of the garden.

Nothing much else going on in our garden except for the occassional weeding and cleaning up. The daisies from our wedding are on its second set of blooms. They’re small but I think they’ll look pretty in a vase. Happy gardening everyone!

Comments (2)

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.

Comments (2)

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!

Comments (3)

Nice Present

Hydrangea Present from my fiancee

I am a lucky gal. Last night, my fiancee surprised me with a pot of purple hydrangeas. Isn’t he the best! He was at the store and thought I would like them. Awww. These aren’t the florist hydrangeas. They’re the ones you find at the nursery so they’re a hardy variety.

Of lately, I’ve been marveled with the growth in my garden. It seems like my tomatoes have doubled in size and have been flowering. The supersweet 100s are flowering like crazy. My patio hybrid has started to get a thick stem and have flowered large flowers. I’ll let that produce to see how big they fruit. They’re suppose to be great container tomato plants and supposed to look like this. I’ve been pinching back some of the flowers on my other tomato plants (Roma, Marglobe, & Supersweets)to encourage top and side growth and to ensure a bigger crop in the summer.

My cucumbers, on the other hand, aren’t doing too well. Some of the one’s I planted on the side of my fence have shriveled up and died. Luckily, I have extra transplants but nonetheless it makes me sad 😦 The cucumbers on the other side of the fence are doing much better producing new leaves. Ergh…nature is so unpredictable.

A couple of days ago, I was able to harvest a handful of strawberries for dessert. A light dusting of sugar is all is needed for a good snack. The ones in the ground are doing much better than the ones in the hanging basket.

I soaked some sweet pea seeds last night. I’ll pot them up tomorrow morning in a 1-gallon container and see if I can grow pretty sweet pea blooms. Last year, I only got one silly sweet pea flower (boo). My coworker told me that sweet peas reseed themselves at the end of the season. She said the peas, after they mature, will twist and twist until they pop and reappear next year. We’ll see if this theory pans out.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try and clean up and pot up the seedlings I have on my gardening table. I was an overachiever this season with my endeavors at seed starting. I have way too many pepper and tomato seeds.

Let’s move on to my flowers:

  • My calendulas, in the past couple of months were blooming like crazy but recently have been puttering out. I’ll let them go to seed and start new ones for the summer. They have given me a lot of flowers for the various flower arrangements I have in my home. They are very easy to grow and I highly recommend them.
  • The hollyhocks, asters, more calendulas, zinnias, poppies are steadily growing next to my fence. They don’t like a lot of sun so I’ve placed pots next to them to shield them from the hot sun.
  • The geraniums are producing flowers like crazy. I love geraniums. They were the first plant I have successfully propagated from a stem cutting. They’re easy to produce from a thick branch. I hope they can last til my wedding. I would love to showcase them in September
  • The petunias are gradually getting their footing and blooming.
  • The stocks and snapdragons are slowly blooming. Anyday now, I’ll have a blooming garden!

Comments (2)