April 18, 2009: Seedling Saturday

2009: My neighbor's T-shirt

Yesterday I finally started my compost pile. In fact, I had enough leaves and grass clippings to completely fill the black composter, with some left over to fill a circle of poultry wire. Today they had already begun to shrink in size, so I'm going to give them a week then turn them both into one pile and add in some manure (I didn't have any to spare yesterday).

The ugly black barrel is hiding behind the garden shed now.

Only one bag of leaves left for this year's compost.

The spinach has grown a bit since last week, but still not ready to thin and eat.

The sweet onions (left) aren't quite as husky and large as the yellow onions (right).

All of the new strawberry plants are alive and well.

Some of them are beginning to blossom! I'm supposed to remove these first blossoms, but I'm not going to. I'm too hungry for a "real" berry, even if it is small.

The quail wander through the garden each morning and nibble at my Prizehead lettuce.

The Red Romaine, which is right next to the Prizehead, isn't bothered by the birds.

Too bad only three of 18 nasturtiums sprouted, as those three are really nice, sturdy plants.

Alderman (Tall telephone) peas. There was a bit of cutworm damage to these this week.

The radishes were supposed to be ready to eat by now, but they aren't.

The first planted beets are beginning to get their true leaves.

The carrots are still hard to spot in the photo, but they are also beginning to develop leaves.

Super Sugar Snap peas along south fence. The tiny Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seedlings are just emerging at their feet.

The peppers have enjoyed being outside through all kinds of weather. They haven't gained much in height, but are getting stronger.

The tomatoes, however, did suffer a bit from sun/wind burn. They will pull through though, I have no worries!

This photo is for Dan. My "average" sized tomato on the left, Black Cherry in the center, and my underachiever on the right...Chico III. The small one was in a close tie with Marglobe.

The Arizona tomatoes can no longer live in the plant window, as the taller one doesn't fit any more. They have to sit next to the window, on top of the freezer. What a pain to have to move them every time I need something from the freezer! Today I sat them on the covered patio, after giving them 30 minutes of sun in the yard. I'll increase their time outside gradually, and hope to get them outside for good on May 1.

The Arizona peppers get the window all to themselves now.

And just look at the blossoms forming on them!

Happy gardening!


  1. So many fabulous photos. I love your spinach. Mine isn't nearly as big. The stuff under the row cover only has one true leaf right now. The ones out in the open only seed leaves.

  2. Hey Granny, everything loooking good. Wait untill June, they will be fantastic.


  3. Daphne, everything seems to look better in the photos...when I look at the garden as a whole, it looks quite empty! We're heading for a couple of weeks of really perfect weather now, so I expect to see things really pop.

    John, thanks. Even mid-May, hopefully ;-)

  4. Granny, everything's looking great! I also like the looks of your soil, because it's dark colored. I shot 5 videos today! Will post one tomorrow for ya...

  5. Your plants are looking great. Your spinach is ahead of mine, I keep hoping for true leaves, ones of these days. Thanks for the tomato photo, looks like my black cherry is exactly the same size. I also have two that are the same size as your smallest one, purple calabash & chocolate strips. You are going to have lots of peas, wish I had that much space devoted to peas.

  6. Good finale with the pepper buds.

    I'm ashamed to say I haven't even planted my strawberries. The roots are wrapped in paper towels and the plants are sending out leaves. And here you have flowers already. The old green-eyed monster is showing.

  7. EG, thanks. Yep, that's real rich soil...100% compost! If you look closely, you can see bits of the newspaper I glued the carrots to in their photo :-) I'm real happy with those glued carrots! Wait until you see my squirted lettuce!!

  8. Coming along nicely annie's granny! My sweet onion plants are also quite a bit smaller than my yellow storage onion plants. Noticeable difference in the thickness of the stems and the speed of growth. I may give the sweet onions a shot of fish emulsion tea tomorrow to see if a nitrogen boost may be what is needed to catch them up.

  9. Dan, I have to cover all that fencing with something, it might as well be peas...and pole beans!

    Cheryl, hey, I'm green with envy over your healthy looking seedlings. I was a complete bust at growing lettuce and brassicas under lights! I did finally end up with some healthy looking marigolds, but none of mine are anywhere near blooming like yours are! BTW, another seedling sprouted where I planted the borage, so borage it is :-)

  10. Kitsapfg, I'm going to just let mine do their thing, and hope I don't have 175 onions maturing all at once!

  11. Oh Granny your plants are so lovely. It makes me feel bad about how spindly and small mine are. Someday I shall over come. Please keep sharing your garden secrets with us all so we can be as green as you. =)

    Sorry your lettuce starts didn't go over well (mine haven't done great either). Do you just plant lettuce seeds directly in the garden then?

  12. Great post Granny! Good luck with the compost this year. Leaves are ambitious of you. They don't compost well unless you mow them over a few times to chop them up. That's what I normally do. Dump them in tall grass and let the mower mix the greens and browns for me, hehe.

    Your spinach is farther along than mine (go figure), but that spacing sure is tight. Good idea to thin with eating baby spinach.

    I sure hope I don't have cutworms in my beds. I don't have a solution for them. I still haven't purchase DE (haven't seen it for sale).

    My radishes are so far behind yours. I know the package says 22 days, but it's more like 6 weeks. hehe At least our carrots look the same!

    Ah, to have tomato seedlings again. My wife says I can't call them seedlings anymore, they're plants. She's right. They so desparately want to be planted out. Maybe this weekend, maybe next. But I know what you mean. We have to bring them downstairs from a spare bedroom and take them all the way out to the garden. Boy are they heavy in 2 quart pots full of wet dirt, especially when you have 8 such pots in a flat. Whew!

    Great looking garden Granny, color me impressed!

  13. I'm a bit jealous myself. We had snow again this weekend. When you plant your peppers, do you pluck the blooms off? Last year, my peppers didn't do much for a long time. Once we pulled off the tiny peppers that were blooms when we bought the plants, they started to produce. Too bad I waited so long to do it. Just wondered if you had any similar experience.


  14. Jenn, the lettuce in today's picture was all that was "plantable" from my indoor starts. In a few days, we'll see how well my next lettuce planting experiment turns out...the squeeze bottle lettuce :-D But yes, I have always planted my lettuce directly into the garden, rather thickly, and used the thinnings as transplants wherever needed, just lifting them out with a kitchen fork. Don't feel badly about spindly and small. Notice I didn't post photos of my brassicas!

  15. Sinfonian, shame on you! You didn't read my post http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-10-2009-it-hurts-so-good.html where I had 12 bags of leaves scattered all over the back yard so I could mow over them? It cut them down to three bags, including the grass clippings! However, I did have to layer them all with fresh grass this week, as I had a LOT of it, and I found another bag of the neighbor's leaves behind my arborvitae in the corner of the yard. So that bag has yet to be shredded...next week, when I mow again.

    Mr. H had to have his truck back, so I moved the seedlings to the back patio table, and he helps me move it out to the yard each day, as soon as the temp hits 60F. At night we tent them with plastic on the patio.

  16. Granny,

    Everything looks so wonderful. You are out of the gates now and will put us all to shame. My spinach is growing very slowly. Your's looks much better than mine.


  17. Amy, I've never removed the blossoms from my peppers. I've only had really good luck with peppers getting ripe one time, and I am quite sure that was the variety...I'm thinking they were Gypsy...absolutely beautiful and very prolific. I get lots of green peppers, but not many turn red or gold before they freeze. These peppers will stay in the containers they are in, as I have 8 more of them to put in the garden! I didn't know they were all going to survive ;-)

  18. Oh, Liisa...the beauty of your garden puts mine to shame! I'd give up my good spinach for your pretties any day.

  19. Granny...Everything is looking great! I love your Seedling Saturday post. I am amazed at your pepper plants with blooms. How arethe Purple Beayty's doing?

  20. Everything looks so good! And your peppers - mine don't even have true leaves yet. Mmmm, strawberries. :)


  21. Don, the Purple Beauty Peppers are still really small. Of the two survivors that were planted at the same time as all the other peppers, one is about an inch tall and has just developed its first set of true leaves and the other's first true leaves are just now beginning to show. One more (later planted) has just recently put out seed leaves. Even the largest of the three has a tiny, skinny little stem.

  22. Connie, I was in such a rush to buy strawberries this spring I didn't check out any of the stores or nurseries except Mac's, and all they had were Tristar. I wanted to do half that bed in June bearing, but I ended up putting onions there! Next year I'll expand the strawberry bed. Those big peppers are the ones I started in AZ in January, but the others are looking pretty good too...except the Purple Beauty :-(

  23. I love all your photos! I'm really hoping I can get my camera back into order soon... I have so many things I need to take pictures of. I have a feeling I'll have so many photos to upload when I finally get it working again that I'll break the server... hehe. And things change so quickly, too!

    I'm jealous of your strawberries... I've been looking for some and can't find them. I plan on calling around to the more obscure nurseries around and seeing if anyone has them yet. I was at Lowe's yesterday and they have TOMATOES out already but no strawberries. And we still have about 4 more weeks until the last frost date, too.

  24. Bethany, you've been promising to get that camera fixed forever ;-)! I keep looking on your blog for the pictures, but they are nowhere to be seen. I want to see that lovely garlic up on the property! Mine didn't do so well. I'll bet those potatoes you planted up there grow really well.

    I got my strawberries bare root from a local nursery. They were the worst looking ones I'd ever planted, and I got four fewer than I was supposed to get, and they cost twice what I'd have paid through a garden catalog, but they are coming along quite nicely.