Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 14 -The basil and oregano are flourishing - the parsley not so much. The broccoli is very spindly and fragile. Five nasturtium seeds sprouted nicely, which I'm happy about because I plan to intersperse them with the tomotoes and vegetables for insect control. The gallardia is just starting, but the chives, forget me nots and blueflax haven't germinated (yet?). There are a couple of very fragile looking spinach and eggplant seedlings. The Envy (Lime green) zinnias are disappointing, because they did germinate, and then regressed . I'll definitely try planting them again outside in a few weeks. I grew them one year with pink verbenas, and I received lots of compliments on the combination. I plan to transplant the basil, oregano and butternut squash within 48 hours- not outside yet - just into larger containers.

The back yard is greening up, and I haven't watered at all.

However, the front is only greening up in spots, and it is very dry. It faces south and east.

Some of my neighbors have already started watering, but I've been waiting until all danger of frost has passed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 10 for My 2018 Seedlings

   That seed-starting potting soil is really good, I think.  Most of the seed packets say to allow 7-14 days for germination, and many of the seeds sprouted in the first seven days after planting them on April 1st.  I have gone ahead and added a few drops of water to individual cells, when they appear dry.  I have tried these seed trays in years past, and made the mistake of counting on the tray cover to act as a terrarium cover to provide all the moisture after the first-watering, and the seedlings dried out and died.  I think its because the tray isn't air-tight, plus my sunspace, where I'm germinating them, is usually pretty warm.  I don't add a lot of water, though, because I don't want to cause mold to grow, or some other negative outcome.

   I'm thinking of where I'm going to plant the Butternut Squash seedlings in a few days, because they're growing so fast.  I bought some organic container potting mix at Walmart that I like, and I think I can find a large enough pot in my yard for them.  

Just Natural Organic 
Container and Potting Mix

   I wish I had a place in my yard where I could grow them in the ground.  I might develop my one in-ground patio planter, but I'm not sure yet.


   I got a new patio-set umbrella for my birthday, and I'm looking forward to using it!  (Thanks, Son :)


    I found some really great live-herbs in the grocery section at Wal Mart.  I used the Basil in a salmon dish that called for oregano, because a Google search told me they're sustitutable.  It worked out well!  (I snipped a good bit of the Basil plant, but the instructions on the bag say it will grow back.)

          ____________________________________________ USA, LLC


Walmart's ProVitamix Professional Series

 w/64 oz. BPA-Free Container


Womens' Crocs on sale at Walmart!

Monday, April 9, 2018

     A lot has happened, garden-wise, since my last post.  My life "returned to normal," so to speak, after Spring Break in my town, and then "we got through another one," as my dear departed Dad used to say after a busy holiday; this holiday being Easter. (Fyi, my parents had six kids, so you can imagine the excitement we used to have during the holidays.)  Admittedly, my family's Easter was tame in comparison, but still not boring at all! 
Organic eggs with red onion skins

Dyed and decorated eggs

These pine needles came in handy:)

   I managed to plant at least some of my seeds on Easter Eve, at which time I realized that I don't have enough seed-starting cells for all of my seeds, plus many of the plants will do better if I just plant them directly in the soil in about a month, after all danger of frost is passed.

Seedling tray - 3 days
 The Morning Glories already germinated!

The Basil, Parsley and Broccoli, Day 6

Here are the seedlings today, April 9th. 
The Butternut Squash aren't going to last long in here.
The Morning Glory vine is trying to 
wrap around the squash seedling.

   We did have a light snowstorm in the past week.  It was good to get the moisture, but I decided to cover my new volunteers with plastic bags, because the overnight temperature was only 24 degrees. 

My Pansies made it through the 
freeze, with a little help.

    In the past, I have tried planting before Mother's Day, because we have so many warm days in the spring, but I have always regretted it because we usually have one last May snowstorm. I've been browsing online for containers, thinking that I can use many that I already have, with maybe a BPA-free liner or something, but I think I'll be okay with the right container mix, because I've read that the plant will only uptake the nutrients it needs, and leave the rest, anyway.  I'll rinse the containers out well, though - at least the ones with edibles planted in them.

Since it has been a few years since I have attempted some semblence of a vegetable garden, this season is just going to be trial and error anyway, with plans to start acquiring the right equipment, anyway for use in future seasons (if the apocalypse doesn't hit - running joke), or, "Lord willing" (do the back-Easterners still say that)?

Basically, it's going to take me a few years to really build it into anything substantial or productive.  This is really just my hobby, so I'm going to try my best to use "organic" methods, but I'm not going to try to pretend that I'm 100 percent "natural."  I'm not looking to spend a lot of money, either.  I live in "farm country" as it is, with readilly-available local crops- organic and non - so I'll be lucky to break even on my bedding flowers, some lettuce and a few tomatoes. I kind of doubt it with the rest, due to the high cost of soil, containers and fertilizer.  Hopefully I'll start composting sometime, but I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure I'm that ambitious.  Of course I have a couple of family naysayers with more energy vs. time than I have, so I'm sure its a little frustrating for them, but I'm enjoying myself.

   I did finally settle on a really nice all-cedar raised bed container.  I qualified for free shipping, so I don't even have to go to the store to pick it up, although they did offer optional "free in-store pick-up."  I almost purchased a really nice, but smaller, composite, self-watering portable container that's available in about 8 colors, for only $30.00, but I decided to go with the all-wooden raised bed.  I might still get the portable container, though, because I think I could use it inside during the winter in my little "sunspace."  I'll wait and see what I'm going to need once I start transplanting, and planting, outdoors.

   The portable container implements a cover that they call a "mulch cover," to use to conserve moisture, so I that gave me the idea to design some sort of covering like that for the raised bed container, with one of my tarps.

One of Walmart's many raised bed kits, below: