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Farm Fun

Third batch of seeds started tonight. I've actually had a lot more success than I expected, given that many of our seed packs are dated back to 2004 or 2005. Not all of them have germinated. I'm not sure that my carrots are going to do anything at all, and some of the others sprouted but seem like they died off after I put them in the ground. I keep trucking away though. I've picked up a few new seed packs too. I think I need more hummus or compost to help a lot of these out.

From the first batch, I successfully have the following babies:

** Gourmet Lettuce – some of them died off after being put in the ground, but some are hanging in there.

** Broccoli – wee seedlings are still going strong, though not getting much bigger.

** Onion sets – hanging in there. Only a few have died out.

I'm pretty sure that my serrano peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes died after being put in the ground. I'm still hoping to see some activity, but I can't find any of those peeking up at me.

From the second batch, we have:

** Zucchini - All of our squashes took off with a strong start, allowing little seedlings to be planted out. Definitely see all those, and hopefully they'll last.

** Yellow Squash

** Acorn Squash

I also sat out store bought seedlings of red cabbage and one tomato plant, and those are doing well.

I've planted my spinach & jalapeño in flats, to try to give them a stronger start before putting them in the ground. Both had little root sprouts, but I have yet to see seedlings pop out of the soil. I'm going to give them a few more days, but I fear they might have died outside in the flats. My grand bell mix is still in the sandwich baggie and looks like it's trying to sprout a little bit. I'll give it another day or two before I give up.

I'm giving a few of these another try, even though they didn't germinate the first time.

** Spinach – Bloomsdale, long-standing
45 days – Mar-Ap & July-Aug. Rows 12'' apart, ½ '' depth, seedlings 6'' apart

** Serrano Peppers
73 days – March-May. Rows 18''-2' apart, ¼ '' depth, seedlings 18'' apart. Sunny spot & fertilize at 6'' tall.

** Cilantro/Coriander
Ap-July. Rows 12'' apart, ¼ '' depth, seedlings 6'' apart

** Pole Bean – Kentucky Wonder
60-75 days – Ap-June. Rows 3' apart, 1 ½ '' depth, plants 10 '' apart. Stake.

** Alaska Peas
55-60 days – Ap-June. Rows 1 ½' apart, 1-2'' depth, 2' apart. Water ground, not plants to combat fungus.

** Watermelon – Carolina Cross #183 (giant) Lame seed pack only gave 5 seeds.
100 days. Hills 5-7' apart, 1'' depth.

** Cantaloupe – Hale's Best
85 days. Rows 5-6' apart, ½'' depth, plants 2' apart. Cold sensitive.

I have one store-bought strawberry that needs to be put in the ground as soon as I figure out where, and I broke down and bought two bell pepper plants today. Hopefully those can go in tomorrow, weather permitting.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 9th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
I'm wanting to start a tiny garden, but it all seems intimidating. I was thinking tomatoes, bell peppers and some herbs like basil and stevia. Maybe carrots. I don't know. Looks like you have a handle on it even though it's not a total success. Surely more success than I would have. :)
Apr. 9th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
You should definitely give it a try! It's often trial and error - especially the first time, or the first time in a new place. My first couple of years didn't do all that well, but I really was kind of half-assed with it. I managed quite a good little harvest last year, when I tried in earnest (and our kid's tummy's depended on it! lol).

I just read an article in this month's Mother Earth News about bag gardening. It seems pretty interesting, and looks like it would work best for a tiny garden like you want. (They have quite a large set up in the article, but so many bags would actually get pretty expensive.) I suggest you check it out. Basically, you buy bags of top soil and cut a large hole in the top, poke a screwdriver through for drainage/root holes on the bottom, and plant directly in that better soil. You could probably have a very decent starter garden with half a dozen bags, and we bought at least that many bags of hummus to try to improve our soil.

Another good thing, if you're serious about successful gardening, is to find a place to make a compost pile. All our extra food scrapings, grass cuttings, leaves, and garden trimmings go in there. After a year or so, you have very rich, free hummus to improve your garden. And it also cuts down on trash fees. And we found a number of volunteer plants that popped up from discarded food seeds. That's actually how we got so many acorn squashes last year! We didn't even plant any, but they came from our compost and we were all happy with the surprise. (And if you don't want surprises taking over your plots, just crack any seeds and smash roots before throwing them in.)
Apr. 9th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
Tomatoes are cold sensitive and do best if you wait to plant them until the end of April (when it's 50 degrees or higher at night regularly). Then then grow like weeds and you will get volunteers - they really like a hot and humid summer. :)
Apr. 9th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I started them a bit early, but it had been so hot here that I thought I might get a head start. Then, of course, it turned very cold the last couple of nights! I think I'll try some more and keep them inside under lights for a while, until they're big & strong enough.
Apr. 9th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
random thoughts

peas, potatoes, lettuces, cold weather greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.) carrotts, can be put out as soon as the ground is workable in marchish

tomatoes, squash, peppers, etc., are all sun lovers, so don't go out til, basically, after mothers day. you can start them in pots/flats in april in a hot spot, but bring them in/cover them alot, if the weather goes down into the low 30s.

if your stuff sprouts, but then doesn't get its second set of leaves, or just stalls out, you need to feed them. compost tea is awesome as it makes your compost go much further. it's easy. get a big bucket, throw a spadefull of compost in the bottom, fill with water, stir frequently for a few days, dilute the hell out of it (the water should still be dark brown, not clearish), water all your plants with it. then you can dump the compost in the bottom out on your garden. it gets double the use that way! i keep a bucket of compost tea on the go at all times. unless your ground is uber uber rich (not much ground like this left in the u.s.), you will need to feed everything anyway. you can also pee in a bucket, dilute it 1:10, and use that on your plants. pee is a great natural fertilizer. feed your plants regularly and they will love you!

carrots take up to 14 days to sprout.
Apr. 9th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: random thoughts
Thanks! Although I don't know about waiting until after mother's day for all my salsa-making stuff. Maybe it'll work better after I finangle a greenhouse.

Sadly, I don't have any compost yet. I mean, we have a compost bin, but it hasn't actually composted yet. I'm trying to work on that. I need to get some more of those hummus bags at least (Lowe's is over an hour away :/). Our soil here definitely looks better than our NC clay, but I do think they need food/fertilizer of some sort. I'll keep a lookout for a good bucket though.

My first batch of carrots didn't sprout at all, but I keep hoping it was just because I left too much air in the bags & they turned moldy. Those are definitely a batch from 04-05 though, so it might just be the seeds themselves. I never managed to get carrots last year, either. One day, I will prevail!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Ahavah Ehyeh

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