June 11, 2020
I got the seeds out, and the containers out, and went for another round of starts. I don’t know what to expect here, and if I’ll be transplanting all of these, or if they’ll all die! I think I have a better method, learning all the time…
I filled up two squares of hemp fiber with seeds to try microgreens again. I used almost one pouch of Pea Early Perfection, and almost one pouch of Radish Cherry Giant, which is 1/4 of the tray total. I intend to put down more seeds in a week, and more in a week, and hopefully just have a weekly rotating microgreens setup going. Wishful thinking, I think.
I filled up four egg containers:
- Lettuce Gormet Mix | Lettuce Lolla Rosa
- Cilantro | Rosemary | Garlic Chives
- Pak Choi, Kale Premier, Kale Blue Vates
- French Mesclun | Mesclun Spicy Mix
With four small 2″ square containers, I seeded Sunflower Russian Something.
Then I evened out the rest of the seed starter soil mix I bough way back when, and put in four little rows of spinach.
Finally, I tweezered in Arugula Slow Bolt seeds into the foam net pots, and those are sitting in the hydroponic tray in an inch of water. I would love to figure out how to grow with the hydro setup. I got it for something, right?? Years ago!
In the grow room is the hydro container, the microgreen tray, and a tray with #1 and #3 and the Sunflowers.
Outside on the front porch are trays #2 and #4 and the spinach.
I also put #2 bin compost – leaves mixed in with sod square remnants and two years old compost – on the back lot potato box, on the whole outer side of the main plot, and a few other random spots in the main plot. I have a lot more mulching to do… I think it is a good thing to do.
This morning, I transplanted all of the indoor herb sprouts to containers on the front porch. I really hope those take, but it is so much easier to tend to them than transplants and seeds in the main plot. Gah, I need a better watering system. Or more knowledge.
I hope I get a lot of seed starts in this latest round of sowing because I think I’ll want to fill in empty spots in the main plot as soon as possible!
Otherwise, things are looking good. Small bugs on the potato leaves but I don’t think the tiny holes will be a big deal so I am going to just monitor. Mustard Greens comin’ in good, arugula looks awesome. Swiss chard is doing really good but has some brownish soggy spots on many of the leaves. Spinach is growing well, too, but similar brown spots on some leaves. Less that 5% overall, really. Lettuce is coming in nice, but slow. Pak Choi is looking great. Peas are fun to watch. Lentils don’t seem to be growing very fast. Beans and quinoa are kind of stunted, seemingly, but it has been cold this week, much colder than the week before. Still, the soil seems dry. I am so confused about watering…
None of the French Mesclun, and few of the herbs in the herb row have sprouted at all. It is defeating. Maybe I haven’t waited long enough? Maybe they’re duds. Either way, I will likely be reseeding lettuce seeds soon. Tomorrow is three weeks for all those seeds.
Berries are ho hum, tomatoes and peppers are just chillin’. Onions look fine, carrots look good but a big open spot should get resown. Kale is holding its own. Big kale is fun to watch and I’m really excited for seeds! I think they’ll be round black seeds.
Saturday June 6, 2020
I put a couple transplants in the garden, and filled in the rest of the containers with seeds. The main plot is looking really full! All of the rows and containers are full.
- Squash: 1st row (near the front – roadside), where the broccoli hasn’t appeared to come up. And 2nd row in between pepper plants (near the front – roadside)
- Corn: 4th row, intermixed with pinto and black beans
- Beans: (started indoors)(!!): 2 of each- Lentil, Pinto, Black, more Lentil
- Broccoli DeCicco: middle row of containers, from front to back
- Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson: 2 containers, middle row of containers, from front to back
- Lettuce Mesclun Spicy Mix: middle row from front to back
- Cucumber: 2 containers, middle row from front to back
- Arugula: 1st row containers (closest to neighbors), two containers
- Swiss Chard Fordhook Giant: 1st row containers
The garden is looking great. It is super exciting. I put down some mulch, but was scared to go all in. I will wait a week and reassess. Jeez a whole week!! I doubt I’ll be able to hold back putting more mulch out.
It was really fun to put compost down around the kale seed plants, which I did in the middle of last week, during a hot spell! It felt nice and the plants seemed to take it fine. Now it’s probably cooler than 50 degrees, really windy, and overcast. Anyways, the compost was noticeably warmer by digging down a little bit. Very cool. It’s a two bin system, and seems to be working pretty good! It maybe looks kind of ugly going around the garden but oh well.
The bean row is looking really good. Those have come up so well! I don’t know how they’ll look or what growing method can increase my yield, and there isn’t a ton online talking about home gardening black beans, pinto or lentil beans. There is some info on quinoa, and that is looking pretty good as well! Half this row’s seeds were purchased at my local grocery store. The beans did well inside, too, and I finally felt secure in hardening and transplanting them outside. They went onto the back deck in the shade for about 5 days, pretty much all day outside and all night on the kitchen table. Not even back to the grow room… none have died yet since the hardening process, despite totally dropping the seedlings at least twice.
Here are the first signs of herbs. I have been frustrated and anxious about the big herb row I planted last, which wasn’t really sprouted at all yet. I have to do the counting from when I actual sowed the seeds. I don’t remember off hand how many weeks that has been. But I do see a few sprouts of something in the containers. Hopefully not weeds.
The transplanted kale, which was the very first plant to hit the new soils of the main plot, has not only taken really well, but started to flower. This is interesting and unexpected, until I read that kale have a two-year cycle, year two where the plant puts all its energy into making flowers then seeds. I am excited to harvest the seeds of these two kale plants! I could try microgreens, or try and preserve them for future years, I dunno, sell them?
The greens row, row 1, is coming in real nice. Not explosive growth, and I wonder if it’s too warm for them. I just don’t know! It might be worth to try out a few things, especially if the weather gets warmer. The kale was kind of spotty coming up, and I actually transplanted a kale plant that was planted far too close to a spinach plant. I might kill them both from the transplant, or I might save them both! Time will tell. Spinach is looking good. A few wilt and die off. Plenty growing nicely, though! Lettuce is slow to grow but looks pretty nice!
Peas in containers along the west wall are coming up. Maybe not as prolific as the peas in the row, but not bad for containers!
Swiss chard is growing great! They took, I think the spacing is good and they appear to be plenty happy! The flavor isn’t excellent but this will be a great addition to the greens mix and I’m so excited to eat it.
Arugula continues to be the star of the greens row. It is super tasty, and I think I’ll be able to get the first reasonable harvest within a week. It would be good to test a few harvest methods… cut back 50% versus… 5% or something. Half and half? Pak Choi looking OK… one good plant, one medium and one small so far. Broccoli hasn’t really come up. Maybe one plant, but still kind of hard to tell.
I am kind of nervous about tomatoes. Some look pretty dang good, some not so much. I don’t exactly know what they need… I think they need mulching. I might do that tomorrow… or soon anyways if it gets warm, try to keep the warm in the soil. Soil is cold today! I might need to reassess the support situation with tomatoes. Maybe old raspberry canes will do for now.
Carrots are hit and miss. One row looks good, one not so much.
It’s kind of interesting to ponder what will happen with the oft-overseen container plants. Tomatoes are holding their own, chard looks good, and oregano hasn’t sprouted. Or was that… parsley? Some herb in the last pot.
Peas are coming up nicely. I am excited to eat these. I have doubts about my trellis situation. These poles aren’t strong. Neither are my knots. Onion is looking good. I wonder if I’ll get any yield in the containers? I regret not putting at least one or two of those onion transplants in the row!
Lentils are still one of my favorite things to watch. They came up real strong, and now appear to be slowing slightly, or maybe just getting bushier. I have no idea how these will look. I think I can trellis them up a bit, grow them up instead of out a bit. But I also don’t know how the seed pods form or anything about lentils! I mulched half of this row.
Quinoa will be interesting. These are some spindly seedlings! I don’t know how they grow up to be such robust stalks. I’ve never seen a quinoa plant in my life, I don’t think!
The garlic that grew green sprouts in the kitchen is growing. Not fast or anything… who knows. I don’t think I’ll harvest it until 2021 anyways. I guess I don’t know! Hmm. I understand that you plant it in October… I’ll do more at that time.
I appreciate my raspberry bushes even more than ever. They are so bushy and look great. I don’t remember how they’ve looked in other years, but I think I’ll have plenty of berries this August or so. I tried to tie them up this year… just kind of holding them in place where they are right now. We’ll see if that is a positive move. I don’t have a control subject.
The big pots are looking OK. These are beets, mustard, brussel sprouts, and carrots. The mustard is coming up the best, for sure. Carrots are sprouting, though!
The berry box is ho hum. Beautiful plants, not a ton of growth. It is cool to see the blueberry flowers and the strange bulbs on the blackberry.
I transplanted a few pesky raspberry plants from around the yard to the empty wildflower plot. None of those seeds really came up. I think it’s mostly weeds. We’ll see!
The strawberries transplanted from the neighbors are not dying, but not thriving. Maybe one of them. They all seem to be growing up OK but also dying off frequently. Hmm. Meanwhile, the strawberry patch next door is a huge tangle of vegetation! Well, this may change later this year, or next year. They are all still growing, so that is good.
Finally, potatoes have GOT to be one of the more fun plants to see come up. Holy crap these grow fast! I am going to have to add material to the already-bulging plantar box in the alley. 1″ lumber was a terrible idea. I might have to fortify the sides with bigger lumber… if I can make an investment in bigger boards that would be idea. I might have to! And need to learn more about potatoes.
I don’t think the sunflowers sprouted or will sprout. It isn’t sunny by the fence, anyways. Overall, excellent. I don’t have anything going indoors, and it’s shut down. I don’t know why. It’s too hard. NO! I will try to get a project going downstairs soon.
It feels good to have the entire plot with seeds in the ground, or established plants. In fact, the only dirt left untouched from the original 10 cubic yards is on the front porch. That is reserved for the herb seedlings that survived the sprout from downstairs. In fact, it’s a pretty good germination rate! I need to keep that sprouting going! It’s a painfully slow process, and death comes so easy, and it can be stressful and discouraging to have the indoor grow room running. But what do I have to lose!? I could easily have seeds going right now. Gah.
Projects I want to explore more are: watering options such as a drip line, mulching the entire garden, and looking at additions to the soil. Do I need to lower the pH by the blueberries? I don’t know.