Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Almost fenced in!

We've been pretty busy around here. Husband is working feverishly to finish fencing in the rest of the back yard. It will be so great when it is done because then I can be outside with my toddler and she won't be able to escape! I haven't had much time for outside work lately since I'm with the kids from wake to sleep while their daddy is working on that fence. So I'm just checking in with some updates on my seedlings.


The peas have not been doing too well. I only have 3 or 4 sprouts. Maybe some of the seed rotted in the ground. I will seed them again and also plan to start some indoors in peat pots which I can then transplant directly to the ground. I will also experiment with pre-soaking the seeds. We have a HUGE slug population and I was a little late with the bait. Hopefully things get better.

No carrots to be seen yet. There are some radish tops though. I'll dig one up in a couple weeks to see how big they are getting.

Inside with the little greenhouse domes, things are going great! The seedlings are in a very sunny south facing window. I am very happy to list what has started growing:

1. Miniature red peppers!!!! Now if I can just keep them alive.
2. Roma and Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
3. Broccoli
4. Chives
5. Green onions
6. Basil
7. Oregano
8. Alpine strawberries
9. Lots of lettuce

Most of these I will transfer to nursery pots to let them grow bigger before they get in the ground. I need them to be big enough to have a fighting chance against the slugs and the elements.

I've been happy with our new Earth Machine composter. All the fruit and veggie peels are being put to work out there, but I guess it won't be till next year when I can reap the benefits.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We have sprouts!

Beautiful weather this weekend! Makes me think I could get anything to grow. Almost bought some watermelon seed. (But didn't).

The lettuce is sprouting in all 12 cells in the seedling tray. All of the parsley has sprouted up as well. It's so good to see something starting to grow so soon.

On Saturday I planted 4 half-rows each of "Little Finger" carrots and "Easter Egg II" radishes out in the garden. Last year I planted the same carrots but didn't harvest them until months later, and they were too big and misshapen. They are supposed to be ready in 65 days; I assume that means after they begin to sprout up, which could take some time. I plan to start another couple rows of carrots in about 3 weeks. The radishes should be ready in about a month!

Got a couple more trays of seeds started indoors this weekend. "Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes, red miniature bell peppers, and alpine strawberries. The way the weather has been around here, I know it is a bit ambitious to try peppers, but since they are miniature they should be ready faster-the package says about 55 days to maturity after they get in the ground. I'll probably keep the tomatoes and peppers inside through mid-June if this year is like the last.

Hopefully most of the seeds are good and we will see everything starting to grow soon. I might have some extras to give away if all goes well. I started more than I will need in case there is a low germination rate.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Peas are in!

Good news. The peas are in the ground! This year I am trying a new one: Sugar Lace bush snap peas. The package says 68 days to maturity. I can't wait!. I did put up some tomato cages for them even though the package says they are self-supporting. Having them climb a bit seems more orderly. The slug bait will have to be put out soon. So I have two tomato cages for the peas and I planted the seeds about 2 inches apart. I might plant another set in a few weeks.

Other news this week. I've started some seeds in my little indoor greenhouses. Here is what I've started so far:
1. Lettuce Gourmet Blend-a mix of Buttercrunch, Grand Rapids, Red Sails, and Parris Island Romaine
2. Jalapeno Early Pepper
3. Italian Parsley
4. Roma VF Tomato
5. White Lisbon Bunching Onion
6. Greek Oregano
7. Chives
8. Italian Large Leaf Basil
9. Broccoli Waltham 29

Just glad to have a start on planting this year! This weekend if it stays dry I plan to get the radish and carrot seeds in the ground.

The hydrangeas got pruned on Monday. I just cut off the old flowers and stems that didn't have any new growth, and pruned it down so there are a couple spots of new growth on the stems that I left. It looks neater at least and I think I left enough green for some flowers to grow on this year. Time will tell.