Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Potting up

I potted up some of the tomatoes and tomatillos yesterday. I can't find the giant stack of pots that I put in the garage last year. I'm worried DH tossed them out (!) I'll have to hunt around to find more for the rest of the tomatoes and the peppers, eggplants and basil. I started WAY too much stuff. Must make a note to start less peppers and eggplants next year and to curb the tomato list a bit. Picture is Thor (rose) that I started from a cutting in 2008- had a rough year last year but should be ready to plant out this year. Will probably put it in the new bed by the mailbox.


Sun & Clouds, Late Day Shower Risk East

Mostly Cloudy, Shower Risk East

Mostly Sunny, Pleasant

Partly Cloudy


Mild, Mainly Clear

Warm! Nice!

Calm & Mild

Warm & Beautiful Weather Continues

Mostly Cloudy

Slight Risk of a Shower

Mostly Cloudy, Risk of a Few Showers

Breezy, Risk of a Shower

Mostly Cloudy & Cooler

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peas & Beans & more...

I started the peas and fava beans last week in newspaper pots under a deli container out in the garden (you can see it under the teepee in the previous picture). Despite the cold (it got down to 20 at night this week and daytime temps were in the 30's) the Alaska peas have started to sprout. Cascadia's aren't coming up but they are old so I don't have high hopes. Fava's haven't come up yet. I set out the spinach and onions (started from seed) in the garden today. They are still in their paper pots. I'll probably plant them later this week.
I saw some daffodils yesterday along the highway-I think it's a warmer microclimate being between concrete sound barriers on either side of the highway. They looked so pretty. My neighbors primrose is flowering- dark blue. Mine aren't doing anything yet but they do look green so that's encouraging.
Wintersowing is going well I have things starting to peek out. I did bring some jugs in the other night when it got down to 20. I also covered some up with a drop cloth. It looks like everything made it. I moved the chard in the garden (the ones that seem to have survived the winter) and I planted more in one of the flower beds.
I need to pot up tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, basil and eggplants this week. I also need to get the sawz-all from my brother to start making Earthtainers (http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/). I came to the realization that I have WAY more plants than space (especially tomatoes) this year and will need to utilize the deck, patio, driveway and flower beds. I plan on canning and drying this year (total beginner). Come September we're going to have tomatoes coming out of our ears, DH is probably going to kill me! But we use diced, peeled and tomato sauce all year round so as long as they don't go to waste...

Saturday, March 20, 2010


More tomato news: Yesterday Hillbilly, Dr Carolyn's Pink and William's Striped poked through. This morning I see Aunt Ruby's German Green, Goose Creek (!), Pruden's Purple, Green Grape and Dr. Wyche's Yellow. Very exciting! I still have 5 that haven't poked through- Principe Borghese, Indian Stripe :( KBX, Black from Tula and Stupice. 2 of the 3 tomatillos are up.

Yesterday I planted (in newspaper pots) peas (Alaska-8 pots of 2 & Cascadia-8 pots of 3) and fava beas (Aquadulce- 12 pots of 1). I put them in a plastic deli tray with a clear dome on top and I'll set it out in the garden today (safe from the dog). I'm also going to set the onions out for a while today to harden off. I'm not sure if they need to be hardened off before planting but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.

I went to a farm store yesterday that DH told me about: bad move on his part! I got some stuff for the dogs then went a little nuts in their summer bulb section- dahlias, gladiolus', crocosmia, caladiums, and oriental lilies. Sweet!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Crocuses are up!

We've had a nice string of dry, warm days. The backyard is no longer a swamp. The crocuses are up and blooming. I saw some snowdrops on my way to work the other day. Brandywine and Green Zebra are finally up. I still have quite a few that haven't emerged. If they aren't up by the weekend I may try to sprout in baggies. I went out after work yesterday and moved some of the choppedup leaves off of the flower gardens on the south side of the house. Things are coming along...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Springing Forward...

This past weekend we moved the clocks forward and I saw my first robin of the season- 2 sure signs of spring. 2 more tomatoes sprouted: Black Cherry (yay!) and Kelloggs Breakfast. I plunked an addtional seed in the pots that haven't sprouted yet and took off the humidity dome so the ones that did sprout don't get too funky. I'm keeping the heat mat on for now. I turned the fan on this morning. I'll keep it on for a few hours and then put the aluminum foil reflectors back on around the seedlings. I adjusted the timer on the lights to 14 hours. Tomatoes were looking a little skinny. Peppers and eggplants are starting to show their true leaves. Onions are looking pretty good. I trimmed them back too. I have plenty of peppers going (including the ones that got mixed up) I just got Hungarian Yellow Hot Wax seeds from Swallowtail Gardens (along with Bee Balm, Blue Asters and Black Knight Delphinium seeds) I'm going to start some of them too. What the heck! It's pretty wet here. All the snow has melted and it's been rainy. Our yard is a swamp, everywhere we walk it's like stepping on a sponge. Standing water in the back yard. The Southeast part of the veggie garden is usually flooded but I think by building up the soil and adding a lot of shredded leaves has alleiviated that some. The forecast looks pretty good so I'm hoping we'll be able to plant the peas and fava beans this coming weekend. A note about the picture-someone asked if I had posted pictures of my pottery. I've never taken pictures of my work until this weekend. Here's a mug. I like the glaze and the handle is really comfy. I wish it were bigger. This is the 1 lb mug. I also made 1.5 and 2lb mugs. the 1.5 size seems to be a good fit for me. I need to get some bisquing and glazing done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Things are growing!

Tomato Update: Black Zebra, Cowlick's Brandywine, Purple Dog Creek, Reifs Red Heart, Box Car Willie, Super Sioux and the 2nd Tomatillo Verde decided to join the party. I checked my wintersown containers and the Bachelor's Buttons are coming up. I dodged the raindrops today and moved some shredded leaf mulch around the flower beds and found all sorts of exciting things going on- Columbines are pushing through, daylillies, nigella, hollyhocks too. I have to look around and see if I mapped the flower beds because some things are coming up and I'm not sure what they are- ergynium maybe? I checked out some of the roses and they appear to have tiny leaf buds! The first bloom of the season is in sight: a purple crocus is up and should be blooming within the next day or two!

Friday, March 12, 2010

....and They're Off!

The tomatoes sprouted yesterday! First up is Green Grape followed by Peacevine. Running closely behind is Earl's Faux, one of the Tomatillos and just starting to poke through is Black Mountain Pink. I checked this morning and coming on strong are: Black Krim, Tigerella, Cherokee Purple, JD's Special C Tex, Golden Queen, Absinthe and Jaune Flamme. that's 11 out of 33- 1/3rd are up! Same ratio with the Tomatillo- 1 out of 3 are up. Of course I'm staring intently at Goose Creek hoping to see it poke through- nothing yet. I'm also eagerly awaiting Black Cherry- I saved the seeds from last years plant. This is the 2nd year that I have saved seeds. Last year was a huge sucess- I had 100% germination. I only planted 1 seed of each tomato except Black Cherry I planted 2 in the same paper pot. I'm not crazy about cherry tomatoes but love Black Cherry. I'll probably check them 30 times today...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Warmer than the forecast

The forecast this week was supposed to be in the 40's, the temps have gotten up into the 50's and may hit 60 today. We still have quite a bit of snow. Our back yard is turning into a swamp. I'm hoping we don't get too much rain this weekend. I've wintersown quite a few more containers: 1 delphinium, 2 bachelor buttons, 1 nigella, 2 cleome, 1 delphinum chinensis, 1 echinacea purpurea, 1 foxglove, 1 cilantro, 1 1/2 lettuce and 1/2 broccoli. I tried putting a container on the deck but the new dog started plaing with it so I had to move it. Maybe she'll settle down by next year. Total container count is up to 45. I went out to the garden this morning and it's possible that the chard survived the winter, it's too early to tell but it looks promising. The picture is of my moms front garden that I "redid" for her. It was tulips, hostas and weeds before. I took out the weeds and added sedum angelina, russian sage, coral bells, coreopsis and a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Errr...uh oh!

Finally! My pepper seeds sprouted...and...I accidentally tilted the baggie they were in and all the seeds got mixed up. So I have no idea what is what. I tried to sort them out by size (it was pretty tough) and I knew how many of each kind I had so I tried to find others of the same size and pair everything up. Maybe next year I'll try to get some of those little baggies that my tomato seeds come in and cut up paper towel to fit inside and only put seeds of one kind in each baggie. My bad... On a lighter note: I think I'm going to start the tomato seeds today, they are each going

into their own paper pot so I won't have to worry about getting them mixed up. I guess I'll start the Tomatilloes too. I know nothing about them so I'll pretend they are just like tomatoes and hope for the best. We've got 10-ish weeks until the last frost but I'm jumping the gun 3 weeks later than last year...

Ample Sunshine
Few Clouds

Partly Sunny
Partly Cloudy, Chilly

Mostly Sunny
Mainly Clear

Sun & Few Clouds
Partly Cloudy

Mostly Cloudy, Showers South
Rain/Snow Showers

Few Showers Posbl.
Few Rain/Snow Showers Posbl

Few Showers Posbl
Mix Posbl.

Monday, March 1, 2010

19 more...

...Containers for Wintersowing-I'm just using gallon milk jugs this year. I have a system set up: First I label them all with my Deco Art pen, then I draw the cut line, poke the drainage holes in the bottom and then make a cut almost all the way around (leaving a "hinge"). Then I fill them all up with soil and water them down. Match the seed packets to the pre-labled containers and then sow the seeds. Finally, I tape them up and put them outside (in the front where the dogs can't get them). The "assembly line" method is a lot faster than the way I did it last year (one container at a time. Yesterday I sowed: Blackberry Lily, Pink Bleeding Heart, Salvia, Cardinal Flower, Catmint, Coral Bells, English Lavender, Globe Thistle, Hollyhock, Hyssop, Maltese Cross (two containers), Oriental Poppy, Penstemon, Royal Catchfly, and Russian Sage. I need to find a place to put all of this stuff. I'm trying to plot out areas before I plant and just thought of a spot to make a new garden bed- The area where I have Hippolyte and Winchester Cathedral roses really needs a make over...