Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 32: Seattle is Growin'

Devie! Your lettuce looks like lettuce! I see a peaking radish and that beautiful picture with the raindrops. You are such a photographer! I LOVE your plants.

We have had a LOT of rain here in Seattle, so I'm not totally sure I should take credit for the growth of my beautiful plants. In fact my basil is not fairing so well. I got the healthiest plant I could find, but I may need a new one in a few months, or maybe the tomatoes are too moist. I haven't figured it out yet, but we'll see. But, besides that minor setback (I use basil the most in the kitchen so I want a lot of it)... oh yeah! And the beans. What can I say about the beans. They aren't growing! That's what I can say. I read up on beans and although the packet they came in says they should be sprouting by now, beans in general take a long time. I am keeping that pot the most moist so I'm just going to hold out hope. Who knows, maybe he's the late bloomer (yes, he) and he'll taste the best! Well, at least that's what I'm telling myself, despite Devon's chiding. But besides all that check out how the rest of the garden is thriving...

I think we should use some of our cilantro, it's out of control! Burritos this weekend sounds amazing, or maybe some vegetarian chili. I can't believe it's April and I'm already eating my work!

My catnip has finally bloomed! Hallelujah!

My blueberries are blooming on those sticks I bought (haha) and look beautiful. I can't wait for them to grow! And my spinach are cute little V's.

Not sure you can really tell here, but my strawberries are flowering! There are 3 white blooms on the plant. I'll get more pictures as they get bigger. Beautiful!

And my lettuce is getting bigger! They are my favorite, really. Cute little clovers with purple edging. I can't see eating them or thinning them out, which should probably happen soon, what do you think?
And the maters are getting bigger, well, the plant is, no maters yet.

I'm having a lot of fun watching them grow. With my first sprout of catnip the beans are my only outstanding green. I'm jealous of Devon's progress (yeah, Devon, I'm jealous) but at least I can start eating haha. I've decided. It's burritos.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chicago- Day 22: The greens are growin'

Although my garden is not as far along as Dina's in terms of transplants, I have to say that my seedlings are thriving! It is so encouraging to go outside every day and see new growth. I finally thinned my lettuce seedlings to a reasonable quantity and my spinach is starting to get big. Four leaves each! I tried to save as many different colored lettuces as I could find so that I would have all the varieties that were in the mixed package. What can I say, my garden is just so gourmet!

Meanwhile, in radish land, foliage is exploding everywhere! The radish leaves have really grown recently and I'm beginning to wonder if they are too crowded. On top of the giant leaves, carrots are starting to pop up in multitudes. The leaves are so small and there are so many. What if I end up with deformed carrots? That will make for an interesting post. But, based on my calculations my radishes and spinach should be ready for harvest in about 2 weeks! How exciting is that.

I am jealous of one thing: Dina's patio is just so cute! I still have a bare porch with only 2 pots. I guess my goal will have to be adding some patio furniture and beautiful flowers to make the porch more welcoming. Dina's is just so cute. I want to sit on it and enjoy the view!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seattle- Day 21: Part 2: A Garden To Be Proud Of

Well, after my excitement with the seedlings popping up, I was fully motivated to work on my transplants, which I had purchased the night before with some co-workers after a good ol' American meal (burgers, fries, chocolate malts). But, it was cold outside, well for me, don't worry about the plants. So I geared up-- tank top, tshirt, thermal, sweatshirt, sweatpants, knee high socks, and tennis shoes. READY!

As you can see, the patio was in a bit of dis-array. Plants everywhere, pots everywhere, soil bags galore. But I just pushed on. Aided by Magneti, my darling 2 year old orange tabby, we began to prep the pots.

I won't bore you with the all the details, but some highlights and learnings...

Tomatoes were first. I got this "best tomato cage ever" thing from Home
Depot and it may be the best but it was overkill
for my little tomato plant. I ended up with Champion Tomato plant and
and it is so small compared to this GIANT cage. So I improvised, taking a key from Mom's book, who is the queen of improvising and making things work. I just took the twist ties from the cage packaging and molded all three posts together to make one big stake, which it turns out the Bountiful Container ladies recommend anyways, go figure. So, don't waste your money on a crazy cage if you're not planting a ton of tomatoes. It didn't even fit in my pot (I threw the basil in here too, in case you're wondering).

Next, the blueberries. They were my last plant to pot, as all the other had gone smoothly with fertilizing, planting, watering and arranging. I ended up running out of soil (you see how big that pot is!) and made an emergency Home Depot run. Another bag of soil, some moss (which I had forgotten) and a rolly-thing. Now, a rolly-thing, you may ask? Well, I keep having nightmares of ruining my blueberries (which I am the most excited about, save the mint) with root rot. The ladies of The BC (Bountiful Container) constantly talk about water sitting under the plants and how susceptible blueberries are to root rot. So, with a solid concrete floor beneath my pots I figured it best to prop it up and give it some good drainage space. Hence the rolly-thingy. Super cheap and added bonus, I can roll that giant pot around instead of lugging it everywhere and throwing out my back. Yay! Oh the moss? Helps keep moisture in and makes the pot look gorgeous with that green on top, don't you think?

So, it took me about 4 hours to do it all and then clean up. I think my patio looks amazing, but I'll let you be the judge.

Don't be jealous, Devon, Chicago weather will allow your planting soon. Plus, I think the rainy Seattle weather will help keep everything moist, so I don't forget.

If only it were warmer. I can just imagine myself sitting out with all my greenery sipping a cup of tea and watching the water with Magneti and good book by my side. It's a really, really wonderful feeling. Now we just sit back and watch it grow.

Seattle- Day 21: Part 1: t's Alive!!!

Woke up to a gloomy morning in Seattle and a hungry cat. So I aroused myself from bed with the intention of transplanting today! Dragging myself and a cup of tea to the window of the patio to strategize... wait! What's that I see?! A SEEDLING!!! A lettuce seedling at that. No wait, THREE SEEDLINGS!! I was so excited I immediately called Devon, who was up and awake and full of congratulations.

I am thoroughly excited about the rest of the seedlings (spinach, beans, & catnip) now knowing that I may not have killed them or somehow kept them from growing (it has been a chore remembering to water dirt).

Thanks, Devie for the support and excitement, now on to the transplants!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicago- Day 15: Lesson 1

Don't plant all the seeds in the packet!

You will end up with lettuce like this...

The Bountiful Container book says that lettuce should be 6" apart. 6 INCHES!!! Man, did I have to kill a lot of lettuce. Unfortunately, the seedlings are still so small that I can't thin the seedlings to 6" without damaging the other seedlings around it. I basically pulled up as many as I could and will continue pulling them out once they have grown a bit more. So now my lettuce has a bit more room to breath.I also had to pull out a lot of radishes and spinach to make room.

So the moral of the story is DON'T PLANT ALL THE SEEDS IN THE PACKET! The end.

Also, we have been getting a lot of rain here and it has been fairly warm so carrot seedlings have just started to pop up. Hurray! They came up much sooner than I expected.
Dina- is your new kitty enjoying your garden? I'm sure it will enjoy that catnip soon enough!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seattle- Day 12: The Seeds are Sow'n

Well it's about time! I finally got my seeds in the ground (thanks to our darling brother making fun of me for being slower than Devon). Things have been crazy, though I suppose that's just another excuse. Plus, Devon's last posting totally motivated me. To have something living, besides myself (and a few lowly houseplants)around sounds great. So, I planted my seeds! No pictures, it's just dirt still, hahaha.

What's now in the "ground", you ask? Beans, Lettuce, Spinach, & Catnip.

Now, Devon did mention that I have a quicker planting time. Since Seattle is a little nicer in the weather area (no offense, Devon, no offense) I have the ability to plant sooner, since we're way past the frost date. BUT...

It has been COLD! In the "Bountiful Container" they suggest waiting until the nighttime temperatures are at least 45 *F for awhile before planting and well, they're not yet. We actually had a little frost last night! So, I have decided to wait a bit before bringing in my transplants. But that doesn't mean I haven't perused the transplant aisle at a few nurseries.

With seeds in the ground it looks like I just have to wait out the coldspell.

Devie- Are your seedlings any bigger yet?!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chicago- Day 8: First Sprouts

Happy Easter!

This Easter is especially happy because I've had my first radish, lettuce, and spinach sprouts! It is a momentous occasion to be sure. My very first sprout was actually discovered by my bf. A radish! Of course I had to capture the moment with a photo. My very first seedling ever!!! Over the next couple of days I have had some lettuce sprout up and today I have my very first spinach seedling. What a great Easter present. For a while I was afraid I was too impatient to be a gardener. "What do you mean I have to wait 7 days for a single sprout?!" But truthfully, 5 days isn't too bad now that I actually see some progress.I will definitely have to thin out the seedlings. Remember how I put ALL the seeds in the container? Already I have crowds of radishes competing for space, so soon I'll have to choose the strongest ones to survive. Guess I don't have to plant as many seeds as I thought.

The weather has been very warm here the last couple days, up to the 80s, which is a record for this time of year. But transplants won't be at the gardening center for another couple weeks or so. I'm getting anxious to plant some more veggies! I guess all the excitement with Dina's planting is getting me impatient for my own planting. I'm sure we'll hear all about her transplants soon.

Here is a look at my lettuce mix sprouts:

And my first spinach sprout:And look! A little chick came and visited my garden for Easter!