Today I spent quite a while in the garden planting. I planted Optimum Corn, space miser zucchini, lemon cucumbers, romaine lettuce, summertime lettuce, and crook neck squash. I transplanted the celery into the south square foot garden and put the shade cloth over it. It's really in need of the shade right now while its getting established. I also spent some time texting back and forth with my sister who is gardening in a row garden for the first time. She needed to know how far apart to plant onions. Where to plant things - I always plant my tallest items on the east since my rows run north and south. I'm just glad she is willing to ask questions - it makes for a better crop and then she won't have to waste as much time with trial and error, cause I know I did. What are your gardening questions?
Monday, May 13, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
This is the Romaine Lettuce Plato II. I purchased the seeds at Anderson's Seed and Garden last year. As you can see, the seeds are still doing well and had no problem sprouting. I think after I harvest the spring crop I am going to try the Outback Romaine - it grows taller and is exceptionally heat tolerant. Nothing like fresh lettuce with grilled hamburgers, especially when you're allergic to wheat and can't enjoy a hamburger bun.
More about Romaine Lettuce Plato II from Anderson's Seed & Garden:
This popular Romaine has upright growth reaching 10 inches tall with large, thick, medium green, slightly rumpled leaves with creamy white centers. Tender, crisp, and sweet flavored. It is tolerant to many lettuce diseases and is slow bolting. Approximately 65 days to maturity.
This is the Summertime Lettuce. I purchased the seeds from Andersons.
More about Summertime Lettuce from Andersons:
Summertime head lettuce is an excellent choice for cultivation in warm to hot climates. Here in Cache Valley it can be treated like loose leaf lettuce. This sure heading iceberg variety produces medium-sized, firm heads in about 75 days from direct seeding. Heads are medium green, with a short core. Summertime has demonstrated very slow bolting under high temperatures, and shows good resistance to rib discoloration and tip burn.
Here is one of my many jalapenos transplants. I have learned that peppers take a long time to sprout and need a heat mat. I use an old heating pad. To get the Serranos to sprout I actually had to turn it up on high. Serranos take the longest. If you are going to start your own - plant January 1st. I started the bell peppers and jalapenos the same time. They really don't need to start until February 1st. They can't go outside until all danger of frost has past unless you plan on covering them.
Here's more about Jalapenos from Andersons:
An improved, medium maturity Jalapeno type with blunt-ended, dark green fruit, ripening to red. The upright medium sized plants produce excellent yields of very hot peppers and provide very good foliage cover for them. A popular type for certain markets. 80 – 110 days to harvest.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
So this year I decided to ditch the old plastic trays you can buy at the garden center. You know? The kind that flats of flowers come in. Holding eighteen 3" pots filled with soil and water was fine on the tables but move them an inch and they break.
So as you can see I upgraded to something a little more indestructible. They have a 10 year warranty but I don't really care. What mattered was they were about the right depth and heights and width and all 3 of those containers fit between the ladder game. And I like the clear look.
A look in the first one shows a little container of green onions. 1 pot of bok choy, a whole bunch of celery in peat pots, 2 bell peppers, many jalapenos, and Serranos too. I'm leaning towards Salsa this year. Last year it was all about the tomato sauce (I made homemade spaghetti with 2 quarts of tomato sauce tonight and it was delicious - lasagna will be made from the left over sauce later this week).
This tray is full of cold weather veggies and items for the covered square foot garden. Summertime Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and swiss chard.
I must admit that I've NEVER eaten chard or kale - I'm only growing them for my parrots. Oh ya, PARROTS, with an S. Yes. And they are super fun! We've had Kiwi, a yellow sided green cheek, since last April. Today we purchased Mambo, a green cheek. She is not quite a year old and was living with the cutest family but her owner is moving. Today we got Mambo to jump on command, step up when asked and without biting, and target train to learn the clicker and get a treat. Someone held her all afternoon and Kiwi even showed off his basketball skills while she watched intently. The best part was the end of the day when she let me scratch her head and neck and fell asleep in my hands.
And last of all I have the 5" peat pots with the heirloom tomatoes. 2 are early girls but the rest are either cherokee purple or pink brandywine. I saved the seeds from the pink brandywine and they grew well last year so I'm using them again. Best flavor ever!
Saturday, July 07, 2012
The asiatic lilies that I purchased on clearance last year have bloomed and they are gorgeous. I just wish that they lasted longer. The nice thing is that each year there will be more and more.
The ground cover is looking beautiful.
The lettuce did really well. The carrots are so yummy. And this year is the first time I have harvested garlic scapes.
I added them to my roasted potatoes and it was a perfect addition.
They are delicious and by harvesting them from the garlic plants the garlic are supposed to get bigger.
Putting the romaine lettuce under the floating row cover made for more tender and bug free lettuce.
The snow peas were so sweet.
The Summertime lettuce is small but very tasty.
And Kiwi is enjoying the snow peas and making the biggest mess of my windows. I clean them every couple of days.
Friday, May 04, 2012
I'm going to be teaching gardening to the Relief Society ladies at church on the 10th. Any of your best gardening tips would be great - especially cutting costs when gardening. Link me to your posts in a comment or leave a comment here.
I've tried to kill off my basil a number of times already. There was the time it was on the deck and it reached 80 degrees and well, imagine what the dark brown deck must have been. They started to will and dry out. I ran them inside to the air conditioning and gave them a cool drink of water.
Then I left them out overnight when it got down to 34 degrees. So I brought them in to warm up and gave them a warm drink of water. My mom taught me that if I left them out and it got too cold you must bring them in before the sun hits them. You might be able to save a few by letting them warm slowly.
If the sun hits them they are goners.
Isn't it interesting the difference a few items in your garden can make?
For example, the row cover. I purchased it and cut it and sewed it and added string through the ends so I could tighten it and tie it off on the ends. I put it on my square foot garden nearest my master bedroom. I have great spinach this year. The large one I started indoors. The smaller by seed. Much easier to start off outside!
And all of my romaine is alive and most look really good after transplanting. Some are smaller but they are all outside looking beautiful and I'm happy about that.
And the dutch cabbages are all doing really well.
And this Michihili chinese cabbage is doing great. I had to pull 2 that went to seed. I'm going to plant the seeds directly in the square foot garden with the cover and see how they do.
My carrots are looking good. I thinned them after this photo. It's easier for me to thin them when they are tiny and don't quite look like a carrot.
And my big daddy onions are doing well. I made a Tri-Tip roast this week and added in a bunch I had sliced and frozen from last year. I will be making french onion soup with the beef stock and onions along with my Udi's gluten free bread as the crouton.
This is my Summertime lettuce. It's starting to form a head. My son informed me he thought it was a weed and was going to pull it out. I'm so glad he didn't.
And my baby bok choy is looking nice as well.
And out and away from the square foot garden I have my peas in my row garden.
The nice thing about having the ball valves on each line of the drip line is that I can just water my onions and peas and garlic right now without watering the rest which means fewer weeds and less compacting of the soil before planting the rest of my garden. It's a cold wet day today or I would be outside killing Bind Weed for sure. (It looks like morning glory) You can see a few sprouts next to the peas. It's also about time to thin the peas.
Our last frost date in May 16th but we usually get a good hail storm the first or second week in June. I plant my pumpkin seeds on May 16th and have always had great success. Corn can go in the same time. But things like pepper plants don't go out until the 3rd week in June. Tomatoes go out but are covered. Most are doing well. Only one looks a little stressed out. Squash, Zucchini and green beans get planted June 1st.
Monday, February 13, 2012
This weekend I finished putting together the other two shop lights. The full spectrum sunshine bulbs are working great. I love the color. It's a very soothing light verses the regular florescent bulbs.
I also have stacks of new seeds for this year. I think I am going to try and start my baby bok choy March 1st.
The romaine lettuce is doing well.
The chinese cabbage is almost all sprouted at this point. The few you can't see in this photo I can see when I look directly at it - those sprouts are just tiny.
Green onions. Just about time to thin them a little.
And good news. My Pink Brandwine (Left) and Reb Beef Steak (right) have sprouted. Unfortunately it's a little early so these are going bye-bye and I'll plant mid-March and see how it goes from there.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I have been using grow lights for the first time and I really like them! It's nice that they are on an automatic timer otherwise I probably would not like them so much.
So far my onions are doing really well. They are in the window sill behind my couch because I'm trying to get another light that I can raise up high. The only problem is that no one has them in stock. I went to the bulk seed store and purchased all of the seeds I'll need for the year. Potatoes come in the end of March so I'll have to wait for those.
So here is my Romaine Lettuce:
They are shorter and greener under these lights. I'm thinking that's a big plus!
I have another type of lettuce to grow as well but I want to plant it a month after these so that I have a little rotation going. It's a type that grows well even in the early summer months.
One the left is a Michihili Cabbage sprout. It's an heirloom Chinese cabbage. I've never grown it before but I love Moo Goo Gai Pan and I think this would be a much better idea that dutch round ball head cabbage. Although that little dark green sprout right above the OT in blogspot is a dutch round ball head cabbage. I wanted to grow what was left of those seeds and it looks like we'll get at least one cabbage out of it.
A little better view of the michihili chinese cabbage sprout. If you look closely you can see two little white specs in two other starter pots. It seems to start easier than the other cabbages I've tried. It always keeps gardening interesting when growing something new. You have to watch it more closely and learn more about its habits the first year or two.
Anyone else grown chinese cabbage before? Any tips?
This weekend I planted:
Go check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions. So many gardeners from all over the world growing veggies! It's fun to watch.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
It's February 1st - again. How about that? I know that last year I planted a bunch of cold weather vegetables on the same day and was going out of my mind because the ground was so soggy that I didn't get my garden tilled until the end of April.
That's a long time to have lettuce, cabbage, and kohlrabi sitting around the house - in my window sills to be exact. In my dining, living room, and bedroom window sills. My husband doesn't have very many pet peeves but that is one of them. And they really do block the view.
Three things have changed this year:
#1 - I have two square foot gardens that don't require a tractor to till and with better drainage I will be able to plant even if the spring is extra soggy thanks to my awesome dad and my husband too. (I still have lots of space to be tilled - there are some things that grow just fine in regular old soil)
#2 - I finally figured out how to hang my full spectrum light over my plants so they are on a table in the basement and not in my dining room window.
#3 - I'm not planting Kohlrabi
These little jiffy pots fit in my Jump Start 12 inch window sill trays. I refilled them today. I don't like these for peppers or tomatoes. Last year I had a hard time getting the tomatoes and peppers to sprout in them. They are great for all of my cold weather veggies.
You might notice that is actually the plastic piping from a ladder toss game. I purchased the light at Lowes last year and it just sat in the storage room until today. I stood out in my garage trying to figure out what I could use.
And then I saw it. I practically skipped into the house with it.
It's all just kind of shoved in the corner. It doesn't look great but it's better than sitting in the windows on the main floor of the house. The heating pad is on low on a timer. The light is on a heavy duty timer with 4 outlets in it, perfect for when I get another light or two. (I bought it years ago for the Christmas lights on the front porch) It'll be on from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
I've never used grow lights before. This will be interesting.
On the left is the Pink Brandywine. I purchased the plant at Walmart last year. It's an heirloom so I collected some of the seeds and I decided to try and start some now. If they grow - good. If they don't I will know by March 15th - in time to purchase seeds somewhere. It was a delicious slicing tomato. It just takes forever to grow. End of season sort of tomato but so worth it.
The middle pot hold green bunching onions with seeds I collected myself. I've done it before. They grow like crazy with no problems.
The pot on the right is the Red Beefsteak. Again - just trying to see if the seeds I collected with sprout. It's a late season variety.
Romaine Lettuce, and 2 boxes of spinach. I might plant more but I need another light before I do. I have always started Spinach outdoors but the last 2 years were a total flop. So I'm experimenting and starting it indoors just for kicks. And I'm going to plant them in my west square foot garden.
Just a few bits of stuff started. The boxes on the right are not filled with anything. They are just sitting there so everything is in one place. The Jump Start tray not on the box is on a heating pad. I find that the cabbage starts better when the trays are kept warmer.
It's about time I made my seed list. This year I want to keep my expenses down in the veggie garden because I want to plant a few more trees (the 4 last year were $450) and bushes. I better get my plant written down or else...
The best part - this cost me $0 this year. I haven't purchased anything for my garden since September of 2011. I do need some seeds. But I'm going to try to not get all crazy eyed when I go into Anderson's in a few weeks.
And to keep my tomato cravings in check I've been making tomato soup with the canned tomato puree you see in those jars. It's spicy with home grown garlic and onions too.