Monday, February 4, 2008

February 4, 2008

While the talk of the day was all about the Super Bowl, I myself was concerned about my seedlings.  Several of them didn't look so hot after the transplanting last night and frankly, all the time and energy I spent on them this weekend lingered into the day.  Yep, I'm  a bit obssessed with my garden.  I think it's the pictures I've seen of other gardens around harvest time.  I long for that time, not just for the delictible veggies we'll eat, but the lush colors brightening a once blighted area. 

When I first got home, my kids wanted to build pillow forts in their room, which gave me a great chance to check on the transplants.  In between telling them not to jump on the bed  and telling them to play nice (the kids that is, not the plants), I saw that the transplanted seedlings were perking up.  Even an hour past dark on an overcast day they looked much better. Let's hope they thrive in damp potting soil and Mel's Mix.

Whereas my broccoli and cauliflower have never failed to sprout, my lettuce and onions continue to be no-shows.  It's been almost two weeks for both of them, and I even took some advice and moved the lettuce out to the garage (on the garden window sill).  I know I have to be patient, but I figure I must be doing something wrong since not one of the 16 onions and 8 lettuce have sprouted yet.  Note that for each of the veggies, the number of seeds I planted is what will fit in 1 SF?  Well that shows my overconfidence based on how well the broccoli and cauliflower germinated.  Not all seeds are quite as easy I guess. 

Maybe I'll check if I should try the Jiffy Peat pucks on a new set of lettuce and onions?  I'm not sure they'd take to huge peat pots.  I know Judy swears by them, but I only bought a 25 pack and if I'm going to plant 16 onions and 8 lettuce, that's nearly all my stock.  I try to stay as far away from the crowds at Wally World I can help it and that's the only place I've found them.   Did I mention I don't shop much?

On a separate note, you may have read on the message boards about Judy's find about a worm farmer on Puget Sound's Vashon Island called the Worm Guy.  He's got millions of worms that are used to break down organic waste into compost to make the small island of Vashon self sufficient since their landfill closed.  My family used to have 4.5 acres on Vashon when I was little, but no, I don't know the guy.  I have thought about worms for my garden before.  You see, my blueberry bed is teaming with worms since I amended the existing soil with compost and peat moss back in October when I planted the bushes.  After I planted them I read that I should have used much more peat then I did, so I dug a trench and put more in. That's when I found dozens and dozens of fat worms helping me out. 

Unfortunately I seriously doubt worms in the existing topsoil under my beds can crawl through a layer of landscape fabric and 3 inches of gravel.  So that means I'll have to add them after I get my dirt.  MAYBE I'll consider "growing" my own worms.  You can tell I only saw the one video on YouTube on the Worm Guy and have no idea what it would entail, but I guess they like newspaper and we've got tons of those from my wife's paper route.  If I do farm my own worms (my family will commit me if they find out I'm even considering it), it will be after my LLLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG list of to-do projects this spring and summer.

Not the least of which is bringing water to my garden.  If you've seen my garden plan (see my first post or my SFG Design/Build page), you see the little H2O in the corner.  That's my hose with a wand attachment to water my garden.  Well, it WILL be, once I get water there and buy the hose and wand attachement.  Thus the project.  On the other side of our 750 SF family room directly across from the H2O symbol is where my existing backyard faucet is now.  I plan to connect a splitter to the one, then setting up an elaborate and long PVC pipe along the slab around two corners about 35 feet away to a new faucet.  That way, I can hopefully keep the one faucet on and the new one off until I need to water, then turn on the new one on and presto, water!  I don't need much pressure unless I eventually want a soaker system, but that's WAY down the line if at all. Actually, I'm thinking about leaving a full watering can out in the sun to warm up and use that to water.  I recall plants like ambient temperature water.  Either way, I'll need water over there.  That's one of my first projects after I get dirt on the 17th and 18th after my eldest's 4th B-Day party on the 16th.  

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. Thanks for coming and reading... hope you find something of interest.  I'm trying to keep it light and fun.  Register and drop a comment if you have a thought, suggestion or just want to tell me I stink.


  1. I'm glad to here that your seedlings are doing well since you re-potted them yesterday! Maybe that is all they needed :-)

    I planted all of my tomatoes this morning! Well, all except the Tim's Black Ruffles (I received those seeds in the mail today - so I planted them tonight). I'm hoping that I will have enough light for them to germinate in the window sills. We've had pretty good warm temps here for the last couple of days so when they start sprouting I will also take them outside for some fresh sunlight.

    Just think, in about a month you'll be planting outside in the garden, eh? When will you be planting your potatoes?


  2. Well, I wouldn't say they're doing better, but if curing leggy (tall thin stems) seedlings means burying part of the stems and the roots below the dirt then I did well. If not I was confused. The verdict is still out on the light. They are in the window sill in my sons' room which gets decent hours of light, but only if it's "strong" enough. My mother thought I was crazy for going so far as to do the lights, but I may have to. Unfortunately I do not know. Further, if I have to direct sow all my broccoli and cauliflower, not only will I have a bumper crop with no staggering, but may not have the season for a spring planting. Not sure.

    That's great about your tomatoes, I saw your blog entry and you're doing great, which I would expect from someone as experienced as yourself. However, I still don't understand what you're planning on doing with 500 lbs of tomatoes when all those plants start producing. My brother had 2 cherry tomato plants and his tomato loving family had to give gallon bags away left and right to keep ahead of those babies. The only reason I'm doing 2 is one will be early and the other will hopefully start producing when the other dies off. Otherwise I'll be bringing them to bad plays...

    As for my potatoes... well, part of my problem is I don't have dirt, and I haven't built my bins yet. Two key ingredients. Other than that, I need to contact Territorial Seed Co. to find out if I can get seed potatoes in early March rather than after April 1. I know the Last Spring Frost for the area is "April 1" but according to the book, you plant potatoes 1 month before LSF. Territorial has two shipping codes, one as "After April 1" and two, "Ships ASAP" I need to find out what ASAP means. I like Territorial, but if necessary I'll call my local nursary and see where I can get them in March (and pick their brain if March is ok to plant them).

  3. [...] hot after the transplanting last night and frankly, all the time and energy I spent on them this wee about Life &39n Spice...: One Stinking Flower ...May 8, 2008 ... yes, yes, yes. [...]