Spring Garden update

A quick check on the garden tonight and even though it was a bit cooler and cloudy today, the garden seems to be off to a decent start. New plants sprouting and the early planted plants are not looking worse and in most cases actually improving.  Once we get through a chilly morning tomorrow, the weather looks to warm up and get sunnier so I am anticipating some more good growing days ahead.

First Pea plant has emerged

First Pea plant has emerged

Just three days in the ground and here are the radishes already

Just three days in the ground and here are the radishes already

Lettuce sprouts are also making an appearance

Lettuce sprouts are also making an appearance

This Brandy Boy tomato seems to be enjoying its new home. Nice and greed with new leaves already starting.

This Brandy Boy tomato seems to be enjoying its new home. Nice and greed with new leaves already starting.

Zucchini with a bloom already.

Zucchini with a bloom already.

Not sure what to make of the early blooming zucchini plants. I wonder if it is perhaps a sign of distress. I guess it is possible starting them inside earlier than I should have as well as being cramped into the smaller container messed up its development cycle.

All in now

Another great day today and I decided to roll the dice and go all in with planting the garden. The 10 day forecast has nothing colder than 44 degrees and many more days in the 70s and even 80s. So, after work I went out to the garden and got to planting.

Planted today:

  • Pole green beans
  • Zucchini plants and seeds
  • Cucumber plants and seeds
  • Yellow squash seeds
  • Sweet corn
  • Kale

Most of these are just repeats of the tried and true from previous years.  I will record a bit more details about the Sweet Corn since this is just year two and last year didn’t go as well as I would have hoped.  This years variety is Kandy Korn.  Lesson number one from last year was to not over plant and make sure to leave a little room for the plants to grow.  This year I cut back on the number of seeds I planted and have about 18 seeds planted in each of the four rows.  I also tried to stagger the seeds by placing the adjacent row’s seeds in the middle of the two neighbors.

According to the Kale seed packet, it is recommended to plant it in a container.  I retrieved one of the old pots from the garden and planted some Kale in it.  I will follow up in a couple weeks with a second back to try and extend the harvest a bit.

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Sweet Corn. This year's variety is Kandy Korn.

Sweet Corn. This year’s variety is Kandy Korn.

Watering the seeds

Watering the seeds

Easter planting of radish, lettuce, peas and … tomatoes?

The weather recently is more like late May than middle of April. With temperatures over 80 degrees yesterday (record high temperature) and upper 70s today, you couldn’t ask for better weather on Easter weekend. Saturday I spent some time tilling up the garden beds. I’ve been neglecting the soil for a while now and in the years past I haven’t had a lot of time to spend in the garden when it was dry before jumping straight into planting. With the weather being so warm this year, I really didn’t have any excuses. I picked up 10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil from Lowes and worked two bags into the five beds that haven’t already had something planted.  By the end of the day, those beds looked pretty good and ready for planting.

10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil

10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil

Two bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil tilled into the bed.

Two bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil tilled into the bed.

Five beds tilled up and ready for planting

Five beds tilled up and ready for planting

So, my seedlings have not been looking good since I transplanted them into the bigger pots. I tried more water. I tried less water. I moved them outside to the deck where they could get some fresh air and real sun. Nothing I did seemed to help.

A tray of not so great looking tomatoes

A tray of not so great looking tomatoes

Yellow and sickly looking seedlings

Yellow and sickly looking seedlings

What to try next?  Well, with the warm weather we have been having I figured what the heck, let’s just plant them in the garden and see if that helps. So today, Easter Sunday, I decided to go ahead and plant half of the tomato seedlings.  I’ll try and nurse the remaining inside as a backup should a freeze or frost still happen this spring.

Before I get too far ahead of myself though, I needed to update the new garden planting plan for 2017.  Below is my plan for this year.

Garden planting plan for 2017

Garden planting plan for 2017

Today I planted two plants of each of the three tomato varieties, Brandy Boy Hybrid, Oh Happy Day Hybrid, and Cherry Baby Hybrid.  In addition to the tomatoes, I also planted some more seasonally appropriate vegetables.  I planted the Sugar Snap Peas, Radish and more lettuce.

Peas planted and ready to grow

Peas planted and ready to grow

Little tomatoes planted a little too early

Little tomatoes planted a little too early

Second round of upgrades

Today I got a chance to finish transplanting the rest of the seedlings into some larger pots. Since the weather was much nicer today, I took advantage of doing the task outside on the deck.  Eight more tomato plants and two of the lettuce plants scored an upgrade.  Four of the lettuce seedlings were left over and instead of finding some place inside to cram them, I figured I’d let them take a chance out in the garden.  With 70 degrees today, a forecast with snow on Friday morning and then back to 70+ on Sunday, it might be a bit too early but we’ll see how they do out there with the onion plants.

In news from the past garden season, tonight’s dinner featured sweet potato fries from last year and canned green beans from the year before that.

Upgrading seedlings outside on the deck

Upgrading seedlings outside on the deck

More tomatoes getting some room to grow

More tomatoes getting some room to grow

After some time outside, this is the complete set of seedlings

After some time outside, this is the complete set of seedlings

Lettuce vanguard

Lettuce vanguard

Hands dirty

The weather is always full of surprises.  After a quick peek at the garden last night, I felt there was little chance it would dry out enough today to get the onions planted. To my surprise, when I checked today after work there was an area big enough for the onions that was good enough.

Again this year, I planted two rows of each kind of onion. There are red, white and yellow. Now all I need is some rain from mother nature (forecast for tomorrow evening) and we’ll get them growing.

Six rows of onions

Six rows of onions

Row of onions

Row of onions

Needing some room to grow

I’m afraid I might have started some my seeds a bit early. The tomatoes are fine but the lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini seem to be growing faster than spring weather is getting here.

To give some of the plants a bit more elbow room, I transferred about half over to some 3 inch pots.

I also received my onion plants in the mail this past weekend.  I checked the garden tonight and it is still too wet to plant.  Tomorrows weather looks like a great day, but I am not too confident that a single day will dry out the soil enough to prep it for planting.

Crowded seedlings

Crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Transplant in progress

Transplant in progress

Spring seed starting

A little late with this blog post. I actually started the seeds back on February 26th. Since then they have been growing nicely.

I started off again this year planting some tomato and lettuce seeds. I always have way more plants started than I have room in the garden, so I cut back this year and just started four cells of each type of tomato and the same for three types of lettuce. That left me with two empty rows. After a few days, I decided to go ahead and try something new this year and start my cucumber and zucchini inside too.

Here are the dates so I can refer back to this again next year.

  • Tomatoes and Lettuce planted on Feb 26th
  • Lettuce emerged on March 1st
  • Tomatoes emerged on March 4th
  • Cucumber and zucchini planted on March 5th
  • Cucumber emerged on March 9th
  • Zucchini emerged on March 10th

Below are some pictures because, well, what is the point of a blog without at least a few pictures.