Saturday, April 16, 2011

milestone reached: all plots weeded!

YEAH! I weeded all of my plots! Even all of the grasses and vetch that overwintered in my south garden. They were much easier than I anticipated to pull up with my bare hands. I have left them lying on top of the ground and I will do the lasagne method on them with some cardboard and what I have left of soil amendments (I only have 2 bags left...:( ). I'd love to use my own compost instead, but I just don't generate enough for all the stuff I have in that bin are not quite ready. I may just use it anyways.

Oh, and thanks to freecycle, I got some awesome compost tea for free!! score! Note to self - dilute it 10:1 (water:tea) ratio before use!

I've started more seeds in hopes that I can still grow some vegetables from seed on my own. I'm getting a little impatient, but I am telling myself that I've spend enough on the garden that I don't needs to spend more on plants, when I have the seeds for it. It's soooooo tempting tho. If I do find exactly what I want at a nursery, I may but it tho...we'll see.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tough Learning Lesson

My seedlings grew great with the lighting fixtures and the heat mat...but once faced with the outside elements, some died! :-(

Most of it was my fault tho. Next time, try to acclimate seedlings by placing them outside (during the day only) for 2 - 3 days, then after that, up till at least a week, leave them outside.

Also, this year, its been weird weather (when is it NOT during spring????). Through March till now, we've had highs up to the low 80s and lows to the low 60s to mid 50s. It is near the middle of april and the day temps are around low to mid 60s. this weekend it should go into the low 70s.

**It may be best to plant veggies starting mid April (if you can wait till then), which means to start hardening seedlings off during early april.

**Start seedlings around late February, and plant every 2 weeks thereafter.

The time I started seedlings this year was good. Every 2 weeks was good because sometimes some seeds don't sprout, sometimes it takes longer to sprout certain seeds (like peppers and eggplant!!!)

Well, during the planting of veggies, it looks like I may lose most of my tomato plants, I lost ALL of my cucumber plants, and I believe my zucchini plants are fighting to least they haven't shriveled up completely like the cucumbers. And its been a week or so since planting, so I think they will make it.

I have some rapini that have NO problems with being moved out. I haven't planted them in the ground yet since I'm not sure exactly where to plant them, but I will this weekend.

There are a few other plants (my peppers, eggplant, some butternut squash, some corn, some okra, a couple of zucchinis, maybe a couple of tomato plants too) in containers that have been acclimating this entire week, so I hope to find homes in the ground for them.

**BUY: I don't like the idea that I will be purchasing more for the garden (I spend probably $300 - $400 on the garden already ($200 of which is reuseable), most of which is for amendments...I need to get another compost container).

I will buy some cucumber seedlings (I may try to grow mine more time), some tomatoes, and a good six-pack of corn.

Nectarine tree has the peach leaf curl...make sure to spray ground and tree next winter (january) with the copper fungicide.

I got a few plums, almonds, nectarines, and cherries (YIPEEEEEEE!!!!) growing. I see buds popping on the apple tree, and not just on the part that I got 3 apples from last that is also exciting!

Garlic are growing well...we'll see if we get any bulbs. I counted about 30 plants out there.

I am planting potatoes this season for the very first time. I am growing them in 32-gallon sterilite tubs (safe plastics are 1, 2, 4, 5...these sterilite tubs are 5's)...4 of them. NOT ENOUGH. I bought to kinds of potatoes - the purple viking and the german butterball. 5lbs total of spuds, and could BARELY plant a 1/3 of it. I will try to dig up the merlot grape and see if I can plant a few back there.

Oh, and I dug up the concord grape! I gave it to a co-worker (the merlot one will be going to him too...I just have to dig it up). I bought a ruby seedless to take it's place. If I don't plant potatoes where the merlot is, I'll look for another seedless table grape...maybe flame seedless. but I am not in a real hurry.