April 13, 2013 - Seedling Saturday

The seedlings have grown a lot since last week (top photo), and are now taking up two full shelves.  Most of them have been potted up into larger containers.  The top light had to be slanted to compensate for the height of the tomatoes, and is now 15" up from the shelf the plants are sitting on.  I'm hoping they don't get too much larger in the next three weeks, when it will be time to plant them out in the garden.  

So far I've put 80 peppers and 17 cherry tomatoes into larger cups, way more than I can use in my garden!  My newish (since last spring) neighbor, across the street, was working in his garden yesterday.  It was a new garden last year, just a few squash plants in the corner, but he enlarged it by a lot this spring and was out planting when I went over to introduce myself and ask if he could use some tomato and pepper plants.  It turned out he had already purchased and planted all of his tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers!  He's an elderly gentleman, and he seems to know quite a bit about gardening, but I was shocked that he was planting those warm season crops already.  Our night temps are still in the 30s, with occasional frost warnings.  I have planted as early as the last week in April, but more than once I've had to cover the tender plants.  It's really much safer to wait until the second week of May.  

My neighbor's new garden.  The photo, taken from across the street, is a bit deceptive.  The garden is probably about 80 feet long next to that fence, and 6-8' wide.  I hope his tender plants don't freeze.  Now just wait for his garden to be way ahead of mine, just to prove me wrong!  


33 comments:

  1. No need for garden envy, Granny! Yours is always gorgeous (AND enviable)! Your plants are looking quite healthy. Three weeks is a long time for growth! You'll be moving tomato plants around your house in no time for more room!

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    1. Megan, it's supposed to warm up a bit next week, so hopefully the plants can spend nights in the shed and days outside! It has been handy having them in the house though.

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  2. Your seedlings are looking so lush and healthy. Your neighbor is taking a big chance. Maybe he'll end up needing your extras after all.

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    1. Rachel, if he does, I'll have plenty to share!

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  3. Sometimes you win when you plant early and sometimes you lose. I try to plant my main crops when I'm pretty safe, but I often do a handful early because you never know.

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    1. Daphne, I have enough extra cherry tomato plants that I'll probably take a chance on early planting. I can always replace them if they freeze. I'll wait on the peppers though, as they aren't so overwhelmingly large :-)

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  4. I think I will go shopping at your home nursery there! Your neighbor may need some of your plants after all if his freezes! Nancy

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    1. Nancy, if you lived nearby they would be yours!

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  5. Granny, Your neighbor may need some of your plants anyway. It's way too early to put out peppers and tomatoes. I think you are going to have your hands full by the time it's time to plant them out!

    My plants have really taken off this week. I'm glad that I started most of the tomatoes later. They sure can grow quite a bit in a few weeks. I'll post tomorrow, will a full update.

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    1. I agree, Robin. Especially since he purchased all of his plants, so doesn't have any backup replacements if they freeze. Even if they don't freeze, the cold weather will keep them from growing right away.

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  6. Its kind of nice to have a gardening neighbor! I hope the weather holds out and his starts will be OK. If not, he'll just have to come knocking on your door for more:)

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    1. We have a freeze warning for tonight, Tosh. None of his tender plants are covered :-(

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  7. Your plants look great. I learned my lesson several years ago, never plant before mid-May unless you can cover the plants. I lost just about everything. It's nice that you will be able to help him out if he ends up loosing them.

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    1. Rhonda, I do sometimes plant earlier, but only if I have backup plants. May 1 is pretty safe here, the second week in May is almost fool proof, and sometimes (like last year) I can get away with planting the last week of April. We're looking at temps in the low 70s with lows in the 40s next week, so this might be an early planting year. I usually slip garbage bags over my tender plants, more to protect from wind than from fear of freezing.

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  8. Hello, i've been an admirer of your gardening talents and your blog for quite some time now, however i think this is the first time i've commented. Your seedlings are abundantly amazing! Thank you for the idea to use solo cups rather than peat pots!

    I'm writing to inquire what kind of shurb that is in you header? How beautiful!

    Thanks so much,
    whit

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    1. Hello, Whit, I'm happy you finally commented! That is a flowering quince in my header photo. It is in full bloom right now, and I just love the color. It also produces some fruits, but I've never used them. Some people do make quince jelly, but I keep my shrub quite small, so seldom get more than three or four quince from it. It flowers on previous year's wood, so to keep the size under control I will be pruning it just as soon as all the blossoms have dropped.

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    2. PS: The plastic cups are nice, as they don't wick off the water like peat pots do, I can write on them with a Sharpie for identification, and they can be washed and reused year after year. I always end up cracking a few, but most of my red cups are 2-3 years old! The smaller (5 oz.) cups are great for things like lettuce, cabbages, marigolds....plants that can go out before they get huge like the tomatoes and peppers.

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    3. Oh, quince! Thank you. I've seen these bushes everywhere, and you are the first person able to answer the question. I thought i'd love a whole hedge of those, until you so kindly mentioned "size control" and "pruning". :) Maybe one or two among the apple trees would be too bad.

      Bought my plastic cups the other day and have started potting up the tomato starts i won't be using this year. Those cups are great containers for a plant sale, like you say, write on them (skip those annoying plastic plant markers) and water occasionally.

      Thanks so much for responding to my questions,
      Whit

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    4. Whit, they would make a lovely hedge. I keep mine quite small, about 4' high and wide, but even full grown they seem to only get maybe 6-8' high. They have thorns, and get the same pests as apple trees do. I think keeping them pruned right after blossoms drop makes them prettier. My neighbor doesn't prune hers, and the blossoms are rather sparse on hers. I've had mine for about 20 years, and it's quite well behaved...it hasn't been bad to spread or sucker.

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  9. Очень хорошо у вас получилось. Буду просить мужа сделать такие же полочки для рассады. а лампочки какие?

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    1. Tatiana, Floresan Dükkanı Işık 48-in, T12 ampuller.

      http://tinyurl.com/d2phovv

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    2. Google Translate is my friend ;-)

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  10. I escaped potting up - it has been in the 90's here and 60's at night, what a difference! Out they went... Yours are looking good!

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    1. You're lucky, Erin. I'm wearing myself out packing them all outside on decent days and back inside at night. The tomatoes that I up-potted just this week are already filling their 16 oz. containers with roots, and sucking up water like you wouldn't believe! I think I'll be safe to plant them out in about 10 days, keeping backup plants just in case.

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    2. Your seedlings are looking marvelous! I am getting ready to start hauling my tomatoes in and out of the greenhouse for a week or so - to let them finish hardening off. It really adds a lot of extra time to my morning and evening routine, but it pays off to do the process properly. Your neighbor definitely is being a bit of a gambler for your area, but honestly, if I don't lose some plants every spring and fall - then I know I played it too safe and probably missed out on some opportunities. Have to live a little dangerously sometimes. :D

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    3. Kitsap, the weather man keeps changing his forecast, but I hope I can start hardening off mine by next week. I think I'll see if they'll all fit in the big dump cart, then I can put them in the shed and wheel them out during the day. Save a lot of carrying in and out. Hmmmm....I have a big sheet of clear plastic. Maybe I can convert the cart into a mobile greenhouse, LOL!

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  11. Morning AG,

    My tomatoes and cellery are a match for yours, but as usual you suprise me almost every month when you post. Now you are a linguist --lianquaist lingist-- A PERSON OF MANY LANGUAGES. LOL This year I want to plant a great deal of "Marconi" sweet peppers and the first batch of seed did not come up. I did see a small hint of green in one of my 30 soil blocks for the peppers this morning. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Tell Robin I missed Her blog to. I go there first and follow all blogs from her list.

    Have a great garding day
    Frank from Virginia

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    1. LOL, Frank, a linguist I'm not! Google translations aren't exactly spot on, but it does give me some idea as to what is being written and how to answer. I love that it also detects and identifies the language! I love the Red Marconi peppers, and it's a good thing I do because mine had 100% germination. I think all of my peppers did, except for Quadrato Giallo D'Asti, my poorest performer. I have up-potted more than 90 peppers now, and figure I have room in my garden for about half of them.

      I'm still waiting for those garden photos you promised me :-D

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  12. I may not get to plant anything this year. We are still only in the 40s and 50s for highs. We should be in the 60s at least. I guess it gives me time to get other stuff done around here.

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    1. We're cold again, too. I hate my front yard mulch, and it's been too cold, rainy and windy to get out there to remove it/move it elsewhere and figure out a replacement (probably rock). I have more onions to plant, a new rosemary to set out, carrot seed mats made and ready, and an extra packet of bush beans that I'm going to take a chance on getting in early. I have bean, pepper and tomato beds to dig and prep. If this cold wind would just STOP! Oh, as if I didn't have enough to do, I have to call in tonight to see if I have to show up for jury duty tomorrow. Bah, humbug.

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    2. Now I bought 66 feet of cedar facia boards that have to be pre-primed and painted so Son John can replace the rotting ones he just pulled down. Then there's another 66 feet of rain gutter to paint, along with downspouts, etc. Yes, sometimes it sucks to be me!

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