Thursday, June 04, 2009

Spring Veggie Adventures

Not much time to blog lately, so let's catch up on things. This is the crowd that resulted from my seed starting, as you can see they were beginning to get out of hand.And over Memorial Day weekend we had a big warmup, so I figured it was time to start hardening them off. The first day, they went out for a couple hours, then the next day for 6 hours or so, in a spot that only gets morning sun. The third day, I decided to make the eviction permanent......so most went on this old baker's rack, and some on the sidewalk next to the house. I decided to add the burlap to prevent any major sunburn, as the morning sun in this spot lasts up until about noon.It was so warm that my spring peepers were out in force.......I even set up the water garden tubs. After a couple days of seedlings outdoors full time, I decided to go ahead and plant many of them out. These 'Psych White' cosmos turned out especially nice, and every bit as large as anything I'd have bought for sure!I had planted some lettuce, spinach, 'Little Finger' carrots, and 'Golden Purslane' seeds in this deck planter, caged up for protection. They were sprouting well too... ....another cage of seeds, at least until the plants are vigorous. My chipmunks dig in the planters regularly, and I don't need their "help".
There! I left one uncovered with portulaca (moss rose) seeds, just to see what happens.
This dianthus came back from last year, so I just added a cosmos and woodland tobacco I started from seed, plus some alyssum seeds...

...put this nice 'Crystal Apple' cuke next to a trellis where some roses used to be...
...but after a couple weeks it lost leaves and wilted away! So I sowed some of the seeds next to it, hopefully they will make it.
My 'Papa De Rolla' beans are coming up nicely, I've removed the cage since this was taken.

Planting basil seeds where I'd usually put annuals...

...fortunately the rains have been kind thus far.
This setup has a 'Minnesota Midget' muskmelon in the bottom planter, with my fancy refrigerator shelf trellis. In the top tub there are two tomatoes, some basil, and something else I can't remember :)
This annual planter has some white borage seeds, alyssum seeds, and night-blooming phlox seeds... ...here we have 'Tasty Jade' cuke, two swiss chards, a lime basil plant, and a 'Caraflex' cabbage.
In this planter is a climbing cherry tomato, 'Green Zebra' tomato, 'Volcano' pepper, woodland tobacco, cosmos, and lime basil.Another "annual planter" with a tomato, lime basil, cosmos, and a 'Fajita Bell' pepper.......and the aformentioned lettuce needed thinning in about a week! There!
After all that work, our night temps began an ugly trend, with several "frost warnings"!

Since many plants were still on the baker's rack, I decided to use the "space blanket" from my roadside emergency kit in the car. I clipped it to the rack over the burlap, but the plants on the ground had just the burlap with this cooler in front of them to hold in some heat... ...and it worked! I've taken this extra measure a few times, but after two weeks of these stupid lows, I'm over it. The stuff I already planted was so scattered around the yard, I decided they're on their own...
....and there was some pouting/wilting...
...then a few days later-animal damage! Rats! So I re-sowed the cuke, and planted two cabbages on either side of the victim.
More wilting, but no all-out death yet...
...this planter is part of my "night-blooming garden", and has moonflower vine, evening-scented stocks, woodland tobacco, and some alyssum...
...and after the cold snaps, moonflower is droopy (luckily not dead yet).

One droopy leaf on this 'Little Lucy' okra, and we're due to have continued "unseasonable lows", but I'm hoping my seedlings are adjusting well enough. If all goes well, then the only other problem (besides bugs) that I can think of.... ...will be him!

C'mon summer, please hurry!

16 comments:

meemsnyc said...

Looks like the garden is well on its way. Cute frog. Is that a raccoon, so big!

lisa said...

Yes meemsnyc, that IS a raccoon! They get even bigger in the suburbs it seems, I saw one a few ywars back that was about twice the size of this one!

MrBrownThumb said...

You don't have a garden, you got a freaking farm going on there. I don't remember reading about so many veggies last year. Can't wait to see how your plants do this year.

Rurality said...

Wow, you make me feel like such a slacker!

My mom has to really guard against chipmonks too. Some of her planters resemble Ft Knox.

Cinj said...

Sounds like we've both been busy. I sure hope the cold nights are over with. Most of the tomatoes now have their own milk jug homes. The ones in my garden liked them so much I made a some more for the rest of the tomatoes!

I like the idea of wire over the seeds, I'll have to remember that for next year. Darn varmints.

Matron said...

It is just so great to be getting outside and doing stuff, it has been a long Winter here too. You are making great progress there.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Lisa, I missed you at Spring Fling! (Seriously.) Your seedlings look great. Spring peepers are one of the earliest frogs to call here (in March), though they still are calling now. They have "anti-freeze" to take them through the winter. Cool! (Literally.)

lisa said...

Mr. Brown Thumb-The veggie thing is new this year, and I sure hope it works out. I still have MORE plants under lights in the house...I'm afraid I bit off more than I could chew, as is par for me :) It's just that many of the seeds were from 2000, and I didn't expect the germination success that I got.

Karen-LOL "Fort Knox"! That's what I thought of when I was putting the cages together. And I know you're not a slacker...I'm discovering how long it takes me to water this stufff and wondering what the heck I was thinking! :)


Cinj-Milk jugs! Of course! I remember seeing them on your blog, but then I forgot to try it with mine...duh.

Matron-Thank you! Sure IS great to see green instead of white outdoors, even though our night temps are still chilly.

Monica-Thank you, I sure wish I could have gone to Spring Fling. It's just as well though because my attendance would have been cut short anyway: my mother had a stroke Friday night. Luckily it turned out to be mild, and she's almost back to normal already. Very scary though...she has always been completely independent and healthy. I expect her to continue being my Superhero and live to at least 100, y'know? I'd heard the anti-freeze thing about the wood frogs, makes sense that peepers would have it, too.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Lisa - what fun to see all the vegetables and herbs popping up in your eclectic containers. I may steal that space blanket idea for my plant rack - quite speedy & brilliant!

Good luck with shooing that raccoon. Would he be discouraged by ground chili pepper? I've got bird netting on the tomatoes and peppers and old wire racks laid over containers in hopes the squirrels can't dig through it.

When the Fling photos started appearing I kept looking for a person who might be you...sorry to hear you missed it but am glad to hear your mom is doing better. Bet she was glad you were with her.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

I may try the chili pepper if he proves to be a big pest...so far he's just cleaning up under the bird feeders. My absence at the Fling was due to financial reasons, and unfortunately the same kept me from traveling to mom's (though if I was in Chicago already I would have gone to be with her.) I was all set to go to see her Monday (the soonest I could go to an awful payday loan place for gas money), but then she was improving and I couldn't afford to miss work. Money is the most necessary drag I know of...except maybe the dentist!

troutbirder said...

What pains in the neck those racoons can be. Your sure have lots of good stuff growning there though.

EAL said...

Well perhaps you can make next year's Buffalo fling, Lisa. I plan to track the progress of your moonflower. I actually germinated some seeds of that (yes, me!) and have some seedlings going.

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }

[ Editor- Children’s Poem
& Adult’s Poem ]

lisa said...

Troutbirder-So far I don't mind Rocky Raccoon, I just hope he behaves himself!

EAL-I'm hoping for Buffalo...it would be cool to travel somewhere I've never been. I hope your moonflower seedlings do great, you have a longer season so they should be happy. We are finally getting a warmup this week, with highs in the 60's! Now maybe my annuals and veggies can actually GROW and get out of their grumpy "holding pattern".

Zakir-Thank you! :)

John said...

You have an awesome garden! I am a little curious about the lettuce planted from seed. Should it be in full sun? I planted a bunch of seeds that are part of a mixed seed packet of lettuce, Should I leave them outside in the sun or bring them in?

Thanks

lisa said...

I've had success with lettuce in full sun as long as the seeds are kept moist enough. If you can't water them often enough, part-shade would help. Good luck! :)