It's been a busy month so far, with the garden expansion and the seed starting. Quite a few things were started inside in March, and a few seeds were sown out in the garden as well. Nothing else is scheduled for planting until April 1, so here is what has been done this month:3/1 Arugula - Planted 3 cells
3/1 Lettuce - Planted 9 cells Ed's Special Mix
3/1 Spinach, Space - Planted 17 cells presprouted and 1 cell unsprouted seed, 18 total
3/4 Spinach, New Zealand - Planted 6 cells 3 of which were pre- sprouted (50% germination, the other three never did sprout)
3/8 Cabbage - Started 6 each Gonzales & Pixie (dwarf varieties) in 6-packs
3/8 Broccoli, Hybrid Super Blend Started 9 in 6-packs
3/8 Brussels Sprouts, Catskills - Started 3 in 6-packs
3/8 Chinese Cabbage, Michili - Started 3 in 6-packs
3/8 Peppers - Started 3 each (hot) Early Jalapeno & Dave's Happy Yummy Hot; 3 each Dave's Happy Yummy Sweet, Corno Di Toro, Quadrato Rosso D'Asti, Red Marconi; 6 Quadrato Giallo D'Asti (sweet yellow) in 6-packs (24 total)
3/9 Radishes - Planted 2 short rows in triangle bed #2; Sparkler and some old mixed seeds.
3/11 Tomatoes - Started 2 each Black Cherry, Isis Candy, Una Heartstock, Homestead, Marglobe Supreme, Mountain Princess, Marion, Victor, Bloody Butcher, Bush Celebrity, Coastal Pride Orange, Fabulous, Pixie, New Big Dwarf & Rio Fuego in 6-packs (30 total).
3/12 Peppers - Started 6 Horizon Orange in a 6-pack.
3/13 Potatoes, Dark Red Norland - Planted 20 (1 1/2 lb.)
3/13 Transplanted 8 mixed lettuce seedlings
3/14 Flowers, Echinacea - Started 12 in 6-packs
3/15 Transplanted: Lettuce (6 romaine), Beets (17 Chioggia), Celery (12 Tall Utah #527OR Improved), Spinach (7 Space)
3/15 Basil - Started 3 each Dk. Opal, Lettuce Leaf, Sweet, Blue Spice in 6-packs (12 total)
3/15 Camomile - Started 6 in a 6-pack.
3/15 Larkspur - Started 6 in a 6-pack.
3/15 Lettuce - Started 3 each: Ruby & Emerald Duet, Gentilina, Yug. Red, Lingue de Condrino in 6-packs (12 total)
3/15 Onions, Southport White Globe - Planted 31 seedlings (more than 180 seeds were planted, 90+ failed to germinate, and only 31 of the remaining were fit to plant.) TOTAL FAIL!
3/15 Onions, Walla Walla Sweet (plants)- Planted 68
3/15 Peas, Lincoln - Planted 35 seeds around tepee
3/16 Flowers, Sweet Peas, Eckford's Finest Mix (4-6' height) - Planted 2 pkts. , one pkt. on each side of the the kennel garden entrance.
3/16 Peas, Cascadia sugar snap - Planted 6' double row.
3/16 Onions, Walla Walla Sweet (plants)- Planted 54 (122 total)
3/17 Potatoes, Russet Norkota Planted 20 (1 1/2 lb.)
3/17 Potatoes,Yukon Gold - Planted 16 (1 1/4 lb.)
3/18 Tomatoes - Planted 2 Pixie, 2 New Big Dwarf, 2 Fabulous, 2 Bloody Butcher, 2 Bush Celebrity, 1 Homestead, 1 Marion in cups. These are my "insurance" plants to cover the ones planted a week ago that haven't yet germinated. I'm sure they'll all grow now, and I'll have way too many tomato plants again.
3/19 Flowers, Marigolds, Lemon Yellow - Planted 20 in soil blocks
3/19 Flowers, Marigolds, Petite Yellow - Planted 20 in soil blocks
3/19 Flowers, Zinnias, Lilliput - Planted 24 in soil blocks
3/19 Flowers, Zinnias, Dwarf Pumila Sprite - Planted 24 in soil blocks
3/19 Beets, Red Ace - Planted 34 in triangle garden #2
The garden plots are all raked smooth and the roots and debris have all been removed. Viewing the garden from left to right:
Hidden behind the shed is the lettuce garden and a small bed of garlic. Four cherry tomatoes will be planted next to the shed, with miscellaneous pots of who knows what in between them. Morning glories will be planted to climb the fence. There are perennial flowers along the fence line. The top section of the old (broken) compost bin will hold a hill of cantaloupe, the vines should cover its ugliness. I removed the front half of the next raised bed, to make room for a path wide enough for the wheelbarrow. I think that will actually give me enough room to expand the bed in front of it from 2' wide to 3' wide, so I'm not losing a lot of planting space. The remaining raised 4' x 4' bed has been planted with spinach, onion and beet seedlings. More spinach seedlings are being hardened off to finish the bed. The triangle beds are in the front, and have been planted with garlic, radishes, beets and peas. The long raised bed is still empty, and the soil from the bed I removed will be relocated there to fill it up. The small container at the end of this bed holds oregano. The two long beds in the front have been amended with composted manure, and so far contain only a dozen celery plants.
The raised bed, with the birdhouse on a post, is the raspberry bed. In front of that is the bottom half of the old compost bin, which will be planted with butternut squash. This is where the old maple tree stump is, which was impossible to remove. The huge roots run out for several feet, so the area is only good for squash vines to run. The next raised bed, to the right of the raspberries, is the strawberry bed. The old half-barrels will be dismantled and disposed of (they're rotted through) and pole beans will eventually cover the back fence. On the far right, just outside the kennel garden, are the sugar snap peas and sweet peas. In the kennel garden, I'll probably just plant flowers. It is always a pleasant place to sit and rest, surrounded by blossoms. In front of the kennel there is enough room for two small (4' x 8') beds for sweet corn, and probably another new bed that will be about 3' x 8 or 10'. To the far right I've planted a short row of potatoes that didn't fit in the bed that had been planned for them.
The east garden, as I've already shown, holds the remaining potatoes and all of the sweet onions. I've hooked the plastic fencing to the chain link fence with S-hooks, so I can undo them and pull the plastic over to the big gate that opens into the back yard. That way I can access that manure pile with the wheelbarrow without letting the dogs into the garden area. Son John is installing the small gate so I don't have to go all the way through the garden shed and the entire garden to get to this end of it.
Speaking of son John........my home made soil block maker broke, so I've had to return to using the plastic 6-packs for the seedlings. Yesterday John made me a new block maker from a medicine bottle. It's a nice size, and uses about half the seeding mix that the old one did. Today I made 88 soil blocks for my marigolds and zinnias.
I planted these tomatoes in 5-ounce plastic cups, half filled with seed mix. I've noticed my earlier planted tomatoes and peppers are quite tall and spindly, even though I keep the lights within 2" of the tops, so as these seedlings sprout and grow, I can add a bit of the mix as needed, until it reaches the top of the cup. I've found that method makes very sturdy, well rooted seedlings.
The bottom shelf, with its warming rope lights, is packed with newly seeded containers.
Three flats of seedlings are under lights.
Peppers and tomatoes are a bit leggy, but beginning to develop their first true leaves.
The Mini Gold tomato, planted 1/26, now has four little tomatoes on it, and several new blossoms.
All the shelves had to be removed from the plant window to make room for the tallest tomato plant. They seem to be thriving in this window, even though it faces north and gets no sun. It's been too cold to move the plants outside for some fresh air and sunshine this week.