Somehow, there has always been empty spots in the garden. I’m hoping that this latest round of seeds and transplants changes that.

Indoor setup is going really well. I finally have that figured out to the point where my baby seedlings aren’t dying. Bottom-watering is the key, for sure. I don’t think I have it completely optimized, and I have much to learn, but no death is a good start.

I moved a tray of seedlings upstairs to go outside: all lettuce. I moved another tray of seedlings that was outside, to inside, as it appeared that the indoor controlled environment was more favorable for the baby plants. Looking at plants that I seeded indoors and outdoors at the same time, though, shows that direct seeding produces MUCH bigger plants than transplants. My bean transplants (lentil, black and pinto) are duds compared to the direct-seeded ones!

I transplanted some spinach sprouts from the front porch to the plot. I transplanted the lettuce into the plot as well.. just a little bit here and there and everywhere.

Then I put a bunch of new seeds in the ground, in the botched herb area. I wish I got the herbs going, I wonder if the soil was too cool back in May.

In the third row, from back to front, I planted:

  • Kohlrabi Purple Vienna
  • (Space where basil sprouted)
  • Beets Detroit Dark Red Medium Top
  • Carrot Nantes Half Long
  • Pea Snowbird

House-side row in container, from back to front:

  • Leek American Flag
  • Bunching Onion Parade
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Carrot Touchon
  • Chives Garlic

I started a new egg carton in the indoor grow room for starters:

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Dill

What else… Indoors, I set up the hydroponics system and am so excited to finally be at this point. The arugula is growing… slowly but surely. I am excited to see if there is higher growth now that nutrients are included. One out of four sunflower plants sprouted. I tried to rustle up the soil a little, in hopes that the other three would sprout. I have low hopes on that.

I harvested the microgreens. The radish did well, the pea shoots not as much. They were all definitely moldy. Moldy maybe isn’t the right word… but some type of fungus activity on the roots. I have a lot to learn with microgreens, but feel like I need to go all-in if I really want to grow them. Hydroponics is more of an interest for me, anyways. Maybe I’ll make the jump.

Outside, the herbs on the front porch aren’t dying. Some are barely hanging on, some are doing pretty well, actually. I forgot what is what… lost that long ago. I will have to wait to see. They require frequent light watering.

Transplanted raspberry shoots are dying. The preexisting raspberry plants are doing better than ever, which is great. I’d like to propagate those even more, and that may require cutting down decorative flowers and plants along my house. Hmm…

The berry bush is looking good. I’ll have blueberries. The strawberries have definitely taken, but they’re pretty small. I think it’ll take a year before they start spreading. But, there are several berries ripening right now! I just want to see a big bushy patch!

Potatoes are flourishing. Flowers are starting to appear. No pest issues anymore, seemingly. The leaves and twigs as mulch/mounds seemed to be a good idea. Great growth.

The other potatoes, carrots, beets and brussel sprouts in pots are doing OK. Nothing gangbusters. The fourth container with mustard greens has been excellent, however. I cut them all down in one *shink* of the blade and they’re growing right back! Super fun.

In the main plot, I’ve harvested all of the arugula and all of the spinach, and left two plants each to flower. Kale is coming in nicely, but a lot of pest issues with holes in the leaves and slugs crawling around. The flowering kale has developed seed pods. The flowers have all dropped so I will keep a close eye on when I should cut them down and harvest the seeds. I think I will be able to reap a LOT of seeds.

Pak choi was doing OK, but bolted so fast! Bummer. I cut a few leaves and ate ’em, but didn’t get to the tasty-looking stems. I just let them both flower and do what they do, and will focus on collecting those seeds as well. I am excited about collecting seeds.

The lettuce is finally looking big enough to harvest. I will wait a few more days, so I can eat the rest of my spinach (lots of salads lately), then cut it down and focus on replanting the first greens row.

My second row of greens sprouted nicely! Happy about that! I wonder if it was the brown paper keeping the soil evenly moist. I don’t think I’ll put that down for the new seeds, though. Kind of a pain in the butt to lay out and stuff. Plus the water doesn’t really soak through the paper.

Tomatoes are flourishing. Really fun to watch. I need to explore some pruning methods, some trellis options, and just do more research in general. Peppers are growing nicely. Nothing crazy.

Beans are looking great: lentils kind of ho-hum, pinto and black beans slow and steady growth. Quinoa is looking ever-better. I did an experiment a few weeks ago by thinning half of the quinoa row. The non-thinned plants are doing so much better. Crazy! I think it’s because they kind of stand up on each other. I am anxious to continue thinning but the good growth makes me think twice. I will keep a close eye and take it day by day.

Rainbow chard is getting bigger by the day, and I think I’ll keep a close eye for bolting before harvesting it all. I’ve taken several leaves off that have blight, cut around it and eaten.

Peas are doing really well and have started flowering. I think a harvest is around the corner. I never thinned those out, and it’s a big bush. I don’t think I’ll thin them by now… Carrots are growing bigger every day, too, and I haven’t thinned those out. I don’t think I will!

Broccoli is growing, but starting to flower, no real broccoli. That is a bummer. Maybe the smaller one will do OK.

My last round of seeds in containers is looking good. Everything has sprouted, which is excellent. A lot of greens, but the broccoli and cucumbers have sprouted and are growing too! The broccoli is really crowded so I think I may want to thin that out. Hmmm… so many experiments to do.

Garlic looks crappy, onions from seed look crappy. Onions from transplant look good. Chives look the exact same as always, and I haven’t harvested any.

What else… I think my last harvest was probably around 4 or 5 clamshells worth of greens. I think I’m up to about $50 worth of produce that I’ve grown. That is one smaller harvest (mostly arugula), one bigger harvest (mostly spinach), and several tiny harvests for one smoothie-worth. Plus my microgreens! That is a pretty generous estimate, and definitely just an estimate.

I think that’s about as good an update as I can make right now! So fun!! Here are some random photos from the past couple days or week or so.

Spinach harvest

Finally microgreens! Tried a few times, here is an actual end-product.

Radish and Pea microgreens. Note the fungal activity haha…

Potatoes comin’ in strong!

They’ve taken off. Nearly 2′ tall

Greens, turnips and radishes have sprouted nicely. Fairly good germination rate. We’ll see if the transplants take… they are very small transplants.

Arugula harvest

Indoor grow room is rockin’

Hydroponic arugula. They all sprouted!

Microgreens from a few weeks back

Kale and Pak choi, solid germination. Lettuce comin’ in too.

Quinoa is bigger every day! With beans in the background, the fourth row is starting to fill in.

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June 16, 2020

Let’s see… I want to journal as much as I can but there is a lot going on! Let’s start with seeding then.

After over three weeks, my mesclun mix, taking over an entire half row, hasn’t sprouted. Not a one. Very frustrating. So I put down a varied mix. I think I didn’t keep the top layer of soil evenly moist enough… so I tried something highly experimental and laid down some brown paper from a shipment a couple months ago. I laid it down, wet the paper, poked holes for seeds and kind of just shoved seeds in the holes. Looking at the nearly mature greens, I tried to strategically sow the seeds in the most bio-intensive way I could. I really hope they come up in a big even layer of tasty greens. I don’t know if the paper mulch will work… We will see. I think if I more carefully put soil over the top, I may have more luck. But also, if I can keep this paper wet I know the seeds will be moist enough. Plus, hopefully this can cut down on weeds. From the back to half-way to the front, in the second row, I sowed seeds:

  • 2 rows of Arugula
  • 4 rows Spinach
  • 8 rows lettuce: Black seeded simpson, Lolla rosa, Gormet mix, Mesclun spicy mix, and four rows of French mesclun mix
  • 3 rows of Kale Premier
  • 3 rows Kale Blue Vates
  • 3 rows Kale Dwarf Blue Vates
  • 1 row Seven Top Turnip
  • 2 rows Radish Cherry Bell
  • 1 row Beet Detroit Dark Red Medium Top

I don’t know if these will sprout, either. Again, highly experimental.

One more bit of seed I put down was carrots in a blank spot in the regular carrot row.

I put down mulch on the long side by row one. The grass and weeds are getting a little hard to manage and I wish I didn’t have grass in between the planting rows. I think just having that grass in the middle is hurting my anti-weeds campaign.

Otherwise, things are growing really, really well. Last week was quite cold, which helped my greens. I harvested a bunch of arugula, some spinach and some rainbow chard. I think the arugula and spinach will be good to harvest completely any time. Then what? Get more seeds in the ground I guess. I think I harvested around $10 worth of greens. I want to keep an ongoing tab of how much value I can pull from my plot, knowing that I spent around $1,200 this year to get it up and going. Er, up and growing!

Side note: quite a bit of the rainbow chard has blight on it, and definitely more than a couple spinach leaves have brown spots. Hmm. Don’t know how to cut down on that. Especially the chard. THey’re almost like soggy brown/grey spots. Ish.

Hmm what is that blight?

Small selection of the crummiest looking rainbow chard. It’s growing really big!

The first harvest more than a little here a little there. Maybe one or two clamshells worth…

Arugula coming up big, and probably ready to harvest it all.

Otherwise, everything is looking good. Herbs are not growing at all, which is frustrating. Well, basil is sprouting in the ground and in a container. I am super, super excited to see cilantro growing in a container as well. No mint, nothing else. Well, maybe something else, but it could be a weed too.

Beans are comin’ along. Quinoa is slow going but growing. I kind of thinned half the row, and might do the other row. Maybe in a few days… they are growing all over each other and I am led to believe that one plan will grow really tall.

Lentils look nice, just getting bushier and bushier. I think the beans and quinoa like the heat and I’m glad to see sustained 70+ degrees all week. Tomatoes are growing, same with peppers. Slowly and surely. Peas are really fun to watch, and they’re coming up really well. Not really climbing yet… I might want to reassess the trellis. Onions are OK, the ones from seed don’t appear to be growing much at all. Kale is doing well. Lots of flowers on the two-year kale plants but haven’t seen any seeds yet. Potatoes are really strong, looking great.

Berries look fine, blackberries have beautiful flowers. Blueberries are a nice little bush, haven’t looked at amending the soil to lower the pH… doesn’t look too bad or like they’re struggling. Strawberries haven’t died but they’re not flourishing! Raspberries are flourishing. I transplanted a bunch to the front yard and those aren’t looking super great.

Finally, my transplanted herbs, started inside, almost died but they’ve become resuscitated for the most part. PHEW. Those are on the front porch and I realllllly hope they start growing soon. A few are sprouting leaves. It’s a start.

Did I post on the indoor setup? I don’t remember. Oh well, that’s good for now. Here are some photos:

Noooooo French mesclun mix. 3 weeks later, it’s not coming up.

Plot lookin’ nice! Highly experimental brown paper with many many seeds underneath.

Potatoes looking great.

Excellent growth in the back potato box.

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:

  1. Lettuce Gormet Mix | Lettuce Lolla Rosa
  2. Cilantro | Rosemary | Garlic Chives
  3. Pak Choi, Kale Premier, Kale Blue Vates
  4. 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.

Transplants:

  • 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

Seeds:

  • 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.

June 1, 2020

Yep, I had the first harvest of kale last night, from the transplants from last year. I transplanted two near-death plants from last year’s botched garden and they took nicely. They didn’t sprout a lot of leaves but I could tell they were growing. Then, after further research, I realized that kale flowers in the second year, and that is what was happening. They’re growing seed pods or flowers or something, and the leaves taste pretty bad. Oh well, it will be fun to try and get some seeds and replant them!

Otherwise, things are looking really good. The herb row hasn’t sprouted at all, and neither has my second round of lettuce. The beans are definitely coming up, the quinoa is looking pretty good. The stars of the garden so far are arugula, which is sprouting leaves quickly, and lentils. The lentils nearly all germinated and I’m really excited to see how they grow up. I haven’t talked to anyone who has grown lentils beans before. We’ll see if it’s all worth it… Also, the potatoes are looking really good. It’s supposed to be hot this week so hopefully that doesn’t have a negative effect on any plants.

Finally, all the transplants are looking pretty good! I need to do more research on trellises, and need to look a bit closer at thinning some of my plants, which doesn’t make me feel good to think about!! I don’t know how to go about it… thin according to the seed packet or info online? Or just wait and see, use my intuition? Or not thin and try to maximize my yield? I think the best option is to try and test a little bit… some thinned more and some less.

I’ll take pictures and post soon.

May 25, 2020

I gathered 5 or 6 containers and put them on the edge of the garden by the fencing and put two rows in each pot, about four seeds each spaced perhaps two inches apart. This is kind willy-nilly so we will see how they pop up!

Otherwise, garden is looking really good. I am very pleased thus far, and it’s really exciting to see things starting to grow.

The arugula is taking off like crazy, and the true leaves are starting to show. That will be nice. The transplanted kale has certainly taken root and growing really well. No kale has popped up yet, though, which is interesting. Pretty much everything in the first row appears to have germinated except maybe the kale and broccoli. Not seeing too much evidence of the carrots, either. Spinach looks really good so far, lettuce is coming in OK. I feel like the next week or two weeks will be big growth in the greens row (row one).

I am especially excited about the lentils, which have really taken off all of the sudden. That was the very, very first sprout, but it was a weed! And now the row of lentils has come up and they look really nice, uniform and strong.

All of the transplants appear to be doing OK, except maybe a few of the weakest chard plants. Hopefully those can take root and survive because I love swiss chard. The berry box is looking really good and the strawberries seem to be taking hold. The blueberry plant is beautiful! It is flowering. My experimental severed raspberry stalk will likely die but that is fine. Plenty more of those. I will try to tie up the raspberry canes to enhance fruiting this year. Gotta do more research on that. The blackberry bushes haven’t seemed to grow at all, but they aren’t dying either so that is OK.

It will probably take another week or so at least for the other transplants to show growth, I’d think. I am really looking forward to the other rows to start popping up… should be sooner than later! Although I’m nearing 3 weeks in the very first row (the greens row), and just 3 days since I sowed a lot of seeds. These next two weeks will be kind of slow, but I really hope things take and by then we are off.

I am excited to mulch around the plants and I have a lot of organic material to do so with. I just have to plan a little bit on how to use it in the best way… mix it all together? Probably the best bet.

The indoor garden, which is really what I am excited about developing further, is not doing so hot, unfortunately. Many of the seeds haven’t sprouted at all, at least in one tray. The beans are looking really good, and the herb tray is hit and miss. They all started drooping, I did some research, started feeding water from the tray itself instead of spraying the tops, and things seemed to recover. Well, one of the early sprouting tomato or pepper seedlings look pretty well dead. I might need to start that whole one over again. I’d like to try peppers strictly indoors.

Finally, the potato shoots look really good and they’re starting to grow. The spuds haven’t done anything and I don’t really know what to expect! All in all, really good and I am super exciting! These next two weeks should be fun to watch.

May 22, 2020

I filled out the many containers now dotting the big plot. I also filled in pretty much the rest of the four rows in the big plot with various items.

The four big containers on the side of the front porch have (from back to front):

  • Beets
  • Mustard
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrot Touchan

I kind of just spread seeds around and put dirt over the top with these ones.

In the third row (closest to the house), I filled the last two big containers with Yellow Onion starts from Menards.

In the second row, I transplanted starts into the bigger containers (from front to back):

  • Yellow Onion
  • Tomato Roma
  • Tomato Roma

In the first row (furthest from house) I transplanted starts into containers (from front yard to back):

  • Tomato
  • Tomato
  • Chard
  • Tomato

In the second row itself, I transplanted a bunch of starts:

  • Pepper Banana
  • Pepper
  • Pepper
  • Tomato Roma
  • Tomato Roma
  • Tomato Roma
  • Tomato
  • Tomato
  • Tomato
  • Chard
  • Chard
  • Chard
  • Chard
  • Chard

Finally, I filled a bin with soil and put a trash bag around the sides to block the sunlight from penetrating the soil (?? don’t know if that needed to be done…), and filled the back with potato spuds, and the front with potato shoots.

Finally, I filled the first and third row last containers with Parsley that had been soaking in warm water for a day. I have to remember this one because I can’t see any plants yet!!

I have just a handful of empty containers in the garden, plus 8 or 10 on my front porch that would be great for herbs.

May 22, 2020

I sowed a bunch more seeds today. Earlier this week, I filled up a bunch of random pots and containers I found on the side of the road. Big score. That gave way for maybe 10-20 more areas for a plant to grow. Although now I have to step around something to get to anything.

I planted the rest of the second row from the house. From the front of the yard (where the onions and peas got planted a couple days back) to the back:

Chives Garlic

Bunching Onion

Cilantro

Rosemary

Basil

Dill

I put seeds in almost all of the containers in the walking row closest to the house. The first couple pots are empty still, but then I planted (from front yard to back):

Empty

Spearmint

Peppermint

(Forgot!)(??)

Oregano

Oregano

Basil

I also planted seeds in the second row from the neighbor’s house. I planted the back half of the row with Lettuce Mesclun Mix. It has, like 17 different varieties, so I just sprinkled a bunch of seeds in a line and we’ll see what comes up!

In other news, I transplanted some strawberries from the neighbor’s yard. One is looking good, one is looking bad, and the middle is OK. The berry bush transplants seem to be doing just fine, which is great because they were expensive! Either way, they’re small… I might try to propagate them somehow… they probably need to grow more first, though.

The first row I planted, now just one day over two weeks ago, are all coming up nicely. It is super exciting. Very small yet. I am watering once in the morning, a nice even spray.

DIY makeshift watering can. It works great.

The indoor grow operation is failing terribly. Sheesh. How demoralizing. I got everything perfect, and the seedlings were looking really good! Then the most recent ones to pop up… I think they were tomatoes, kind of keeled over right away and looked like they were going to die. One big strong black bean had big leaves popping out, but then they started to curl under. And the herb tray that was starting to sprout all starting wilting. Boom, boom, boom… and I knew something was going wrong. What the heck? Temp right, humidity right. I think I was watering too much. I was spraying those babies twice a day, a nice heavy soak. I now know that perhaps watering from the bottom may be a more effective method. Back to the drawing board. I barely checked on the seedlings today out of frustration. I don’t know if I should just kill them or keep it going. I need the containers if I want to try again!!

May 16, 2020

Today I took care of a few miscellaneous tasks and fell pretty good about where things are at. There are a few sprouts in the ground, I think the frost danger has passed. I cleared out a bunch of old raspberry canes. Then I transplanted two blueberry bushes and two blackberry plants into the front planter.

I had a bunch of potatoes in two varieties. Some were a normal spud with little sprouts coming out of the eyes, some looked closer to baby reds and had a long shoot of one end. I did the first batch in the North/South row in the alley planter box. The ones with the long shoots went into the East/West row. I did about four whole potatoes and cut up a few other to make about four chunks, and I planted four of the long shoot potatoes.

Then I did a few more plantings in the big garden plot. The peas and onions went into the 2nd row to the east, and I did the southern-most part of the row to the first post:

Pea Snowbird

  • 1″ deep
  • 2″ spacing
  • 2 rows about 6″ apart, 3′ each for 6′ total
  • 20 seeds?

Onion Country Hybrid

  • 1″ deep
  • Sprinkled seeds
  • 3′ total

I did beans in the bean row, and planted some pinto and black beans towards the north end of the plot, between two posts:

Bean Black Turtle

  • 1″ deep
  • 3″ spacing
  • 3′ long
  • 12 seeds total

Bean Pinto

  • 1″ deep
  • 3″ spacing
  • 3′ long
  • 12 seeds total

May 9, 2020 – 9pm

I was very pleased to make a few crucial investments to the basement seedling room. A small space heater seemed to do the trick for temperature, although I probably need a humidifier as well. With my LED grow lamps, one T12 flourescent lamp, and two new LED shop lights, I feel like I have a good variety in lights and can test to see what setup works best, and keep investing from there, if need be. My last investment in the indoor space was a smoke detector, because my main concern is the electrical wiring, space heater, and buckets of water (to try and increase humidity), plus a plastic wrapped wooden frame. It seems a little shoddy, perhaps dangerous and risky, but I am going to forge ahead with what I’ve got!

Once I felt comfortable with the temperature, I put a bunch of seeds into old egg crates:

Tray 1 – 6 varieties, 3 slots per variety (from top to bottom):

  • Tomatoes – San Marzano
  • Peppers – California Wonder
  • Tomatoes – Delicious
  • Peppers – Carnival
  • Tomatillo
  • Peppers – Poinsettia

Tray 2 – 6 varieties, 3 slots per variety (from top to bottom)

  • Basil
  • Garlic Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano

Tray 3 – 2 varieties, 6 slots per variety (left to right)

  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint

Tray 4 – 4 varieties (left to right)

  • Quinoa (6 slots)
  • Lentils (3 slots)
  • Black Beans (3 slots)
  • Pinto Beans (6 slots)

Tray 5 – 1 variety, 12 slots

  • Quinoa, previously sprouted

I just have to make sure to not move any of the trays and I’ll be able to track what is what!

May 6, 2020 – 4pm

Immediately after finishing the fence project, I sowed the first seeds in this whole shebang. Well, besides the pollinator flower blend against the house. I filled the westernmost row, and 1/4 of the far southern side of the easternmost row.

Lentils

  • 1″ deep
  • 1″ spacing
  • 8′ long
  • 75 seeds

Kale Blue Vates

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 10″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 15 seeds (3 bunches)

Kale Premier

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 10″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 15 seeds (3 bunches)

Kale Dwarf Blue Vates

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 10″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 15 seeds (3 bunches)

Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing (tape)

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 2′ long

Spinach Bloomsdale

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 6″ spacing
  • 4′ long (2- 2′ rows)
  • 8 seeds

Lettuce Gourmet

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 6″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 4 bunches of seeds

Lettuce Lolla Rosa

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 6″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 4 bunches of seeds

Arugula Slow Bolt

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 3″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 8 small pinches of seeds

Pak Choi

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 12″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 2 small pinches of seeds

Broccoli Di Cicco

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 12″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 2 small pinches (5 seeds per pinch)

Broccoli Sun King

  • 1/4″ deep
  • 12″ spacing
  • 2′ long
  • 2 small pinches (5 seeds per pinch)

Carrot Nantes Half Long

  • 1/2″ deep
  • 0″ spacing – sprinkle
  • 4′ long (2- 2′ rows)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

This has been a lot of work. Today was the day that the garden was built to actually support usage, although tomorrow probably begins the process of enhancing, repairing, and modifying.

Here are the specs:

  • Main garden is 30′ by 12′ with four mounds about 1′ high and 18″ wide
  • Garden box is 14′ by 2′ and 10″ high made out of untreated cheap 1×10 pine boards
  • Purchased 10 cubic yards of “Garden Blend” from Duluth Dirt
    • Garden Blend a mix of 2/3 black dirt and 1/3 compost, tested for vegetable growing conditions
  • Fence around the perimeter with light poultry netting

The heaping pile of sod that was dug up from the side yard.

 

First load of dirt arrived – 5 cubic yards of Garden Blend from Duluth Dirt.

The dump truck dropping the other 5 cubic yards of dirt.

First bucketfuls of dirt to form the first mound

Lots of dirt, but lots of side yard to fill in, two 5 gallon pails at a time.

4 mounds formed in good time, lots of dirt to go.

The mounds the next day after drying out a bit, and after moving all of the sod pile to make way for compost in the back end.

Lots of dirt left, little bit of sod to get picked up from the free ad.

Fence is up.

Front yard box: 14′ long, 2′ wide and made of 1×10″ cheapo pine boards.


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