Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29, 2009

Sorry for yet another hiatus.  Between work and the entertainment of my inlaws who are in town from California, I have had few moments to play in the garden.  Well, at least until today.

I got left out of the sight seeing and fun stuff with my inlaws today because I was stuck helping over at my folks house.  It didn't take as long as I'd thought, so I got back home in time to see the garden in sun for the first time in eons.  It actually got into the upper 50s, maybe even the lower 60s today.  Oh, and it was 83 under my hoop covers, hehe. 

On the way home from my folks, I ran a few errands.  The first was to Lowes, to pick up the 2x2s to re-build my potato bins.  While there I made an executive decision and broke down and bought the 10 inch pond baskets recommended for the SWCs.  I still think they're way too big for an 18 gallon bin, but seeing Raybo's newest video, I will just make the hole to the wicking basket smaller.  Now the only problem is the loss of a significant amout of space for the water reservoir.  Oh well. I'll save the receipt and keep looking.

While I was there I also bit the bullet and picked up two 31 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck bins for my cantaloupe SWC.  They were $15 each, but I was tired of searching out the best deals.  I just don't have time.

What does that mean?  That I can have our SWC construction party any day now.  That's a good thing since April 15 is about our last frost date, even if most stuff is held off until May 1.  Stay tuned for that party, it will be a blast!

Also while I was out, I swung by Emery's Nursery in Lynnwood and grabbed 5 square quart pots to finish potting up my teacher's tomatoes.  For mine I'll just take up the space and use my cottage cheese containers.  They worked well for me last year, and if I run out of room under the lights I can just put them in the window sil again.  Hopefully it's late enough in the year for that to work.

Now I know what you're thinking, good weather, time on my hands, I must have built my potato bins.  Alas, no. I didn't have that kind of time.  What I did do was take my seedlings for a walk.  Their first time outside to harven off...

Don't they look good?!  No, not everythign survived, and I still don't have a clue what some of them are (like that big leafy thing, it's either lettuce or stevia). I'm going to regret not tracking what I placed where in the light system.  Stupid me.

Here's a look from another angle.

You can really see the big leaved thing.  Whatever it is, it's taking well to the light system, and I've got two of them.  Maybe I'll plant one in a pot and another in my beds.  If it's lettuce I'll trash the potted one and vica versa for stevia, hehe.

While they were sunning themselves, I planted more carrots.  Then I direct sowed some cauliflower in the same squares where the winter freezes killed my overwintering cauliflower, though I left the front squares open so I can plant broccoli in them. This year the broccoli gets top billing because it's slightly shorter than cauliflower.  I'll plant more of both elsewhere, probably in bed #4, but for now I just wanted to get my cole crops in the ground. 

I also planted some radishes because they should be coming up by now.  Yep, I'm late on my salad makings, though if I wait to plant my seedlings any longer, I'll be able to harvest from my light system, hehe.

Well, it's late and I've got to head to work eary tomorrow so we can go to the zoo with the kids in the afternoon.  I sure hope you had nice weather this weekend and got out in your garden more than I did.


  1. sinfonian - your plants look great! And the big "leafy thing" is huge! Ha! Don't fret over the 10" basket....Keep a lookout for a post I'm doing this week, it might make you think differently.


  2. I just seeded some radishes & spinach out in the soil on Sunday, it may be too cold yet but it is worth trying. If you plant radishes they should germinate no problem in your climate.

    I am almost certain that big green leaved plant is an oriental green, maybe a mustard green. It can be planted out now as they are very hardy. It is growing really well that's for sure. The stevia will have small, oval shaped leaves that are a light green color.

    I linked to your BAYG bin on my blog.

  3. Your seedlings look great. Definitely better than mine!

    I'm going to be building six SWC for tomatoes soon. Looking forward to seeing what kind of results I'll get. :-)

  4. I bet the seedlings enjoyed their "walk"! It's amazing what some natural sunlight will do for a plant's over all health (rain water seems to be more health giving than regular water as well!).

    Glad you got a little time in the garden this weekend. Sounds like you could use it.

  5. I evidently didn't buy the ideal basket to use for a SWC either, but I had an idea to cut a section of PVC and cut 2 circles of equal diameter to glue to each end of the pipe. Then this is inserted in the middle of the wicking chamber to make a 'bunt cake' reducing the overall volume of the chamber and thereby the flow of 'wicked-up' water in the basket. Raybo thinks it could work. Just some food for thought. ;)

  6. I thought the leafy seedling looked like a mustard green as well, but pretty sure it isn't stevia.

  7. I'm vote that it isn't stevia, too. The pics I've seen of stevia make it look more like a spider plant. If it IS stevia, you should shop those leaves around! Maybe the local starbucks will let you put a basket on their counter.

  8. Hey dude! Just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgot about the containers. I'm looking for the right size box to put them in. (we get all kinds at work). BTW, is there any seeds you need or want?


  9. The seedlings are doing great.... I'm not sure what that big leafed one is though.

    The pond baskets worked fine with my 18 gallon Rubbermaid containers. It must have not gotten the soil too wet -- the tomatoes loved it in there.

  10. your plants are looking good! Too bad we dont live closer or I'd love to do a SWC building party too.

    I found some pond baskets that are 5 in deep and 6 1/2 in wide for $1.62 each on amazon, I'm hoping those work OK, it just seems to take away half the height of these sterilite 18 gal containers. boo.

    I'm thinking I may just give away most of my longer season inderterminate seedlings and stick to det. paste varieties with shorter seasons. short plants, and I can make a second planting of them halfway thru summer and not have huge sprawling vines to deal with.

    I'm trying to think of what your big leafed seedlins is- it doesnt look like any of my lettcues, but it does resemble the bok choi if that helps at all heehee.

  11. Sin, I took a pic of a stevia seedling of mine, so you can tell what yours look like. Look here.