Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Seedling Set Up

I finally got my lights all set up for my seedlings and I think they'll enjoy the extra light.

Girlfriend bought me the shelves from Target and the shelf heights are awesomely adjustable. The lights are 24" and one is cool white and the other is warm white as that's what I had in my apartment at the time.

The babies in their new home under the lights! It's pretty much all tomatoes, peppers and eggplant under here.

My Orange Sun bell pepper plant is once again producing peppers. After these two grow a bit I'll pick them and pinch back any other blossoms so I can *hopefully* transplant it outside. I hadn't even noticed these two until yesterday when I saw fruit.

The leeks are doing solidly and seem to be slowly getting thicker at the base.

The green onions got a little haircut and ended up as an excellent garnish for my salad the other day.

My chives are doing well once again! I've had this plant for about 2 years now and the fact that I didn't kill it was one of the things that made me want to start gardening in the first place.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pizza Night

Last night I made pizza for dinner, from scratch! Well, the sauce wasn't homemade. But that's only because I'm officially out of my saved cans of tomatoes from last years garden. I did however make the crust from scratch and it was excellent! Topped with pasta sauce that I added a bunch of stuff to, fresh mozzarella cheese and sliced onions and red peppers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Mother's Garden

Since my community garden spot isn't nearly large enough to grow all the plants I want this year I asked my mother if I could reclaim the abandoned garden plot at her house. Thankfully, she said yes! While this is all well and good, she is planning on putting the house on the market this summer, so there is a small chance that I won't have access to it all summer, but I'm willing to take the chance at this point.

The garden gets sun almost from sunrise to sunset as it's south-facing and on a spot on the property where there aren't any buildings to block the eastern or western sun. It's about 10' deep and 25' across, but I'll only be using half of it as my father has a bunch of evergreen saplings living in the other half. They will be getting relocated, but at this point I'm unsure of when that will be happening.

I will be using the left side of the garden, as the right side is occupied by the mini Christmas tree forest... The garage is facing north, the trees are east, my side of the plot is west and I'm taking the picture from the southern side of things.

The garden was a weedy, leafy mess when we started the cleanup. About 3 wheelbarrow loads of leaves ended up getting moved to the edge of the woods since my mother doesn't have a compost pile (despite my best attempts at persuasion!).

The tree on the left is a flowering cherry tree and ended up getting moved at the end of the day. The tree on the right has not been moved just yet, but will be as soon as my dad figures out where it will be moved to. Although if he doesn't make up his mind by the middle of April, it's coming out and going wherever I feel like putting it.

Girlfriend and I cleared out what we could of the leaves and the weeds so that my dad could rototill the mess underneath.

The handy, dandy rototiller! It seriously cut down on the amount of work about tenfold since the ground was so compacted. However, I kept making my dad stop so I could rescue all the earthworms that were bring unearthed as we worked. He was a tad annoyed, but earthworms are good and I want to keep them there!

After the tilling, we went back over things and removed any remaining weeds and rocks. We also spent a bunch of time leveling out the bed and digging in some compost.

Say hi to the camera dad!

The finished product looks quite excellent if I do say so myself! The teepees in the back are the bamboo stakes I used last year for my tomatoes. I'm planning on investing in some heavier duty supports for the tomatoes this year. I didn't want to pony up the money last year since it was my first garden and I wasn't sure if it would be an every year thing, but I've been hooked! At the base of each pole I planted 4 peas and am planning to thin to the 2-3 strongest plants.

These are the stepping stones we dug into the garden so I can avoid walking on the dirt and compacting it. They also are quite helpful in splitting up the plot so I can figure out what I''m growing and where I'm growing it. Another "step" will go into the middle of the left side. Daylight was running out at this point and we were both hungry and tired.

Since working on this plot I'm even more excited for this year. Underneath the compacted top layer, the soil is actually in pretty good shape. Until a couple of years ago my dad had been amending the soil with compost and manure every year and the earthworms seem pretty happy in there. I also hadn't realized just how much space there is in the plot, so I'm less concerned about how many seeds I started. I also think I'l be using the area in front of the christmas trees to plant either muskmelons or pumpkins and just letting the vines run wild onto the grass as long as my mother doesn't have a problem with it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Forecast

I planted some peas at my mother's garden last weekend, and then of course it snowed. I haven't been back over there since then, but am guessing I'm going to need to reseed at this point. While that is super frustrating, what isn't frustrating is my 10 day forecast:

Temperatures are warming up and the rain is going to be finally replacing the snow!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seeding and Seedlings

Welcome, and thanks for following my blog DeanO and Cassandra!

Well, I finally got around to seeding my spring veggies. (Most of them anyways...) I planted 12 cells of Little Gem Lettuce, 12 cells of Fordhook Swiss Chard, 6 cells of Organic Broccoli Decccio and 6 cells of Broccoli Waltham 29. I still need to start my cauliflower and spinach and get going on the summer veggies. I have to pick up a few more seed starting trays from my mothers house this weekend and then everything will be set!

My Walla Walla onions seedlings are doing well! I separated them out of the little bunches that popped up here and there. The only frustrating thing is waiting for my Red Burgandy onions to start coming up... Especially since they got sent late as a replacement for my backordered Southport Red Globe onions. We'll see how they do with the shortened season.
Before separation, this is the seedlings.

Now they have room to grow and even got a haircut!

My Orange Sun bell pepper plant from last year is showing new life.

And I know spring is on its way when my chives start coming back... Can't wait for warmer weather!

Friday, March 4, 2011

First Seedlings of the Year

These are the Walla Walla Onions started from seed in their first 3 weeks of growth.

These are the Hybrid Green Onions over the past few weeks.

Lastly, here are the Large American Flag Leeks that were planted the same time as the Walla Walla Onions and Hybrid Green Onions.

In other news, my backordered seeds came, but unfortunately the Southport Red Globe Onions are unavailable this year so they sent Red Burgandy Onion seed instead. I was a bit bummed since I was wicked excited for the Southport Red Globes, but the Red Burgandy will have to do. I planted them last night and will update with pics when they start to pop up.

I'm also going to begin the germination process for my hot peppers tonight. This year I'm growing Hungarian Hot Wax, Tam Jalapeno and Chinese Paper Lantern. My plan is to have 3 of each plant with the intention of planting only 2 of each variety due to my small space. I have my five overwintered bell pepper plants that are currently showing new growth, so no need to start more bells!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Valentine's Day Flowers

I finally got rid of my Valentine's Day bouquet a few days ago as it was looking pretty sad and was definitely way past its prime. However, it was gorgeous while it lasted!