Thursday, April 29, 2010


Some of my tulips this morning, around the peach tree.My cucumber, cantaloupe and cosmos seeds have sprouted. I'm still waiting on the majority of my watermelons seeds so that I can unplug the heating mat (only a few of those have sprouted).

I also started my morning glory and okra -- the last of my starts.  I soaked them for a few days -- more than I wanted to, actually, and some of the seeds looked mushy, though most were intact, and a few had sprouted already.  Let's hope they work.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Full Spring Bloom; Round Three of Seed Starting

Today is one of my favorite days of the entire gardening season, as almost all my Spring bulbs are in bloom, except for the earliest of them such as crocus.  My tulips just opened this morning, and my daffodils, muscari and hyacinths are still flourishing.  Also in bloom are my iberis (candytuft) and creeping phlox.  There's such an array of colors this time of year.

I also began my third round of seed starting:  in peat pots I began cucumbers, cantaloupe, and watermelon, and also started four flats of cosmos.  Finally, I soaked a bunch of morning glory and okra seeds to start tomorrow.

Lacking room under my grow lights, I took the gamble of putting out my last round of starts in my cold frame, which should keep any frost away, even if the shock of the cold might be too dramatic.  It's always an experiment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Potatoes, Cherry Blossoms, Tulips

I finally got to plant my seed potatoes today (Red Pontiacs and Yukon Golds), after a number of days of steady rain, then a few more days to let the soil dry out so that the potatoes didn't rot in the ground.  My whole family loved the Yukon Golds last year, and I'm really looking forward to a good crop this year.

My first tulips have opened, right underneath our front window.My cherry tree is opening up its buds, as is the peach tree.  The cherry is new, so it's the first year of blossoms for me.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Putting Down Seeds

Sowed a number of mid-spring crops in my raised bed in the back yard and around my front garden:

Bok choy, pak choi and chard in my front garden, in a new bed I created with new organic soil last Fall. Currently there are chiondoxa blooming in it, to be followed soon by saxatilis tulips, which should fade about the point the veggies should be up.  I'll follow those with summer veggies: tomatoes, etc.  So the plan this year is to plant more veggies in the front garden, mixed in with the flowers.

With that in mind, I mixed some leeks in with my various alliums, so that they'll more or less blend right in.

In my raised bed I planted three types of carrots (baby, danvers and purple), a mesclun mix, beets, and endive. That bed is full, until it's time to pull up the cold crops and plant the mid-summer ones.

I also bought some yukon gold and pontiac red potatoes, which I'll cut this evening and let “cure” for a day or two before planting around the yard.

Finally, I planted 24 purple gladiolas beneath our front window.

In Bloom:
Muscari, daffodils, anemone and chiondoxa.
A whole bed of hyacinths (white and purple) are stunning and smell heavenly.
My first tulip head has turned color (a nice yellow).  
My cherry tree has produced its first blossoms.

Winter losses:
1 Russian Sage (I've lost one every year)
1 creeping phlox that didn't transplant well (I divided a few, but only three survived)
1 hydrangea
2 hibiscus (probably planted too late last year to get a good start before Winter)
1 blueberry bush is barely budding
My Summersweet looks dead, but they're late starters, so I'm not worried about it yet.
All my clematis survived, though they probably won't bloom this year as they are all producing new wood (and they're the bloom-on-old-wood kind).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dividing Seedlings

Somehow I managed to divide my little tomato and nicotiana seedlings into larger flats without killing them.  Tomatoes often don't like root disturbance, and I'm not the most gentle when it comes to handling plants, so I didn't think they'd survive, but they did.  Now I'll have a few dozen tomato plants to kill off through the course of the summer.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things are growing

This has been a very abnormal Spring, with everything blooming and sprouting early.  My full-size daffodils are in full bloom now, as are my muscari, chiondoxa, squill, and a number of other little bulbs.  The tulips are forming flower heads, and are about a week away from opening.

In my raised bed, my sugar snap peas haven't sprouted yet, but my mustard, mache, daikon radish and spinach have all poked out of the soil.  Yesterday I sowed four rows of kale (my daughter loves it, baked in the oven til it's crispy).

I need to pot up the plants I started under grow lights, as they are out-growing their containers.  One of these days.

Monday, April 5, 2010


My first tete-a-tete daffodils, framed by squill.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Peas and Crocuses

My peas are in the ground!  As are mustard, mache,  daikon radish, and two rows of spinach.  I had to clear a couple of inches of oak leaves from the raised bed to plant them, but they are in.

It's been a good year for my crocuses, and they are at their peak right now.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My broccoli and nicotiana starts are up and already a little leggy, so I moved them closer to the grow lights to slow them down.  My amaranthus hasn't sprouted, nor have my impatiens or tomatoes.

I saw pots of pansies at Whole Foods yesterday evening.  I'll have to run to my favorite greenhouse and start potting some up for my front porch.