Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pretty Flowers, Sad Radishes

It's so good to see flowers from last year reappearing in the front garden. The pansies I started from seed last year didn't seem to do too well last summer. But here they are making a nice show and surprising me with their presence. The blue ground cover is Lithodora "Grace Ward." I picked it up at Carpenito's last spring because everyone else in the neighborhood has it and it seems to do really well. I think it got a bit of frost bite so I trimmed it up and it's starting to spread nicely. In the background is some Pink Creeping Phlox.

These bluebells might be weeds to some; they spread so easily. But they put on an easy show early on, so I think I'll keep them around. I found a patch of them by a bush when we first moved here, and a few years later, I dug some bulbs up and spread them along the borders of the front flower garden. They spread quickly but they are done by the end of May, so I'll be pulling up their greenery soon and you won't know they were ever there, until next year when they come again. Those are forget-me-nots up behind the blue-bells. Those spread really quickly. I love the flowers but I think it's time to start keeping them in check.
Also reappearing are dwarf dahlias that I started from seed last year. Wasn't sure if they'd make it since I didn't dig up the tubers for winter. I love surprises! Especially the non-weed kind.
Out in the vegetable garden, I dug up more radishes only to find almost all have been eaten or picked at by something. Lots of holes and trails around the outside. I salvaged what I could. I wonder what got to them? I was going to seed more carrots in that patch, but I think I'll try a different spot.
Went on a shopping trip with the babies and got some Ozark Beauty strawberry plants. I'll put them in containers. Also got a parsley plant since mine aren't growing.
I have 6 spaghetti squash starts inside. Probably more than I'll need. Seeded some cucumbers and beans out by the trellis fence in the veggie garden. The lettuce is looking really good out there, and the peas are starting to grab on to the cages. Still lots more I wish I could do but I guess I'm keeping busy enough. Gave away lots of tomato plants and now have two Romas and four Sweet 100 cherries. Bought canning supplies last week so I plan to can any extras this year!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leggy Seedlings

Leggy Red Sails Lettuce
There are some vegetables that I don't remember ever seeing in a garden before. I've only seen them cut up at the grocery store or on my plate. Lettuce is one of those, as is broccoli. So I start my lettuce seed inside and, not knowing what the plant should look like, don't think anything is wrong when they are all falling over. That must just be how lettuce is, right? Hmmm so then I do a little Google search for advice about growing lettuce, and I find out that fallen over lettuce is called "leggy." Same goes for broccoli. I have leggy lettuce and leggy broccoli. Well I'm giving them a chance. They are all out there in the garden. Leggy lettuce has been out for a couple of weeks; broccoli for several days. The lettuce seems to be getting stronger. Some of the broccoli stems broke in a heavy rain. I'm seeding directly into the garden in case the first don't make it.

I'm always learning!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Year's first harvest!

I tried one radish on Sunday. Still a bit too small, but at least it tasted like a radish. I'll let them grow another week and then try another one. It's pretty exciting to try something from the garden already!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Setting Out

Some of the seedlings have moved outside! The lettuce is all out in the garden. But this week I read that lettuce doesn't like being transplanted. You're supposed to seed it where it will be. So now we will see. The seed pack SAID I could start it early indoors. I also put some lettuce seed out in the garden for a later crop, or in case the first set doesn't make it. The green onion starts are out along with a few more seeds for those. I think I should start even more. We really like green onions. It would be so great to not have to buy them at the market.

I moved all the tomato and broccoli starts into 4 inch pots with Black Gold potting soil. They've been spending their days outside but I bring them in for the evening. I hope they've been enjoying the sun as much as I have.

Today I moved the chive starts into the outdoor pot with last year's parsley and chive plant. It'll be so nice to have an abundance of chives to throw in to pasta or potatoes.

Also moved the basil starts into bigger containers. Hope they all start to grow. Last year I learned the hard way that you really cannot leave basil outside until the temperature really warms up. I lost all of my basil plants over one night last June. So these basil plants will be spending the nights indoors along with the tomatoes and peppers probably through mid-June or later. I'll probably pot some of the basil with tomatoes when they get to their final pots. That way I can bring them all in together if there is a frosty night in the forecast.

Another thing I have learned is that you can sow carrot and radish seeds together in a row. Supposedly, since the radishes grow faster than carrots, they can mark the rows so you know where to weed. And the radishes will be ready to harvest before the carrots, so they won't compete for space. So this week, I planted three rows of a mix of radish and carrot seed. This is because my four rows of carrots planted about a month ago are showing nothing but weeds at this point. I wish I'd done the mixed sowing in the first place. I hope the carrots do start to grow. I have heard that they can "sit in the ground a while."

I am scheduled to check on the first set of radishes tomorrow, but I think they had a slow start so I don't expect they are quite ready for harvest.

Out front, the bluebells are starting to put on their show along with the forget-me-nots. The cornflower will be soon. It's a mostly blue garden right now but there is some pink rock cress and phlox. Oh how I like perennials and self-sowers! Less work for me. They just grow themselves.