Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What we're growing right now

Good news! Our tomato seedlings are doing great, even though Charlie got into the box and ate a few tops. We still have plenty of tomatoes to plant in the garden. The seeds we started at the garden (pumpkins, melons, peppers and okra) seem to be doing well. THe pumpkins, melons and akra have sprouted. We may need to bring the peppers inside for some warmer sprouting temperatures.
We pioneered behind our garden to add another 10x20 foot space. We will add lots of compost and then plant this area with corn, beans and squash using the three sisters method. Things are really good at the garden. Gracie's radishes are really growing well and she enjoys eating the sprouts we are thinning.
Hopefully next week we will build a berry trellis for the boysenberries we have and the ollalieberries and raspberries I want to transplant. Maybe we can add some blueberry bushes to that area too.

I do have a bit of envy however. I recently bought huge gorgeous beets at the farmer's market so I need to plant these MUCH earlier. Next year we really need to think about our winter planting plan. We also need to start seeds much earlier.

I also see that it would be eaasy to follow Stanford Shopping Center's flower plans. Their beds are gorgeous with coral snapdragons, purple tulips and purple lupines. We could just plant whatever they are planting year round and we would have instant beauty.

blueberry bushes

Monday, March 22, 2010

A new smile


We had quite a scare this weekend. A friend was over Friday afternoon and while jumping on the bed there was too much excitement and Gracie fell off, chipping half of her front tooth. It was painful but she recovered quickly. Mama has been a mess however. Pass the tissue boxes please. Up at 1am Saturday morning, 3am Sunday, thinking what about her gorgeous smile (which didn't seem to happen as often) and her outgoing personality (which seemed to be hiding a bit.) Thankfully after calling Dr. Quo first thing this morning, he and his team were able to give us her smile back. She has been smiling and laughing ever since. She wanted the dentist to fix it right away so that she could eat apples and carrots again. We will have to cut them up into smaller pieces for a while but she is SO HAPPY. And to top it off, the tooth fairy even came last night and left TWO quarters under her pillow. Note that the tooth fairy loves to eat oranges so you can leave one or two out for her.

Tomato LOVE

So I had to break down and buy some BIG seedlings this weekend, due to gardener envy. We bought 6 Mamma Mias, 6 San Francisco Fog, 4 Green Grape, and 1 Sugargrape.

Note to self:
Your seedlings must be 4-6 inches tall by Spring Equinox in order to resist temptation.

The Farmers Market had so many tomatoes (even some with flowers $7), herbs, squash, peas, beans, etc, etc. No peppers yet
Is it really worth it to start seedlings at home? How much money do we really save?
OSH has a big backyard sale (25% off all plants) on Spring Equinox Saturday. Maybe just stock up there next year. They even had peppers which we could plant in water tubes or green house cover.

The FM is organic though so let's compare prices in the long run with heirloom vs big box.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The garden plot is ours!

Hurray!!! We have permanently been assigned the garden bed that we have been coveting and temporarily using for the past three years. Now it is officially ours! Thank goodness as we have planted 68 tomato seeds (39 have germinated to date) and today started 75 pepper seeds. Now we will have room to plant some of them. Our friend Christoph also got a plot this year so I am excited to share with their family. His daughter is just a bit younger than Gracie. We also started melons and pumpkins at Gracie's request. It may be a bit early but we will see. Common Grounds recommends starting them in April so what is a week or two early. We'll just have to protect from slugs and earwigs.I may just buy a tomato seedling this weekend to plant right away as with the 77 degree weather I feel like we should be picking tomatoes sooner than later. Thank goodness for water tubes. They speed things up by a month or so.

Tomato Seedlings:
Matt's Wild Cherry
Super sweet 100
Sweet Gold
Crimson Carmello has not sprouted. 2009 packet may be a dud
Castaluto Genovese
Chadwicks Cherry
(I just realized I didn't start any romas so that is what I aim to find this weekend and maybe a dark tomato)

Planted today:
Baby Belle (small yellow and red bell snacking peppers?!?)
Earlydew Honeydew
Galia melon (cantelope-honeydew hybrid)
Solid Gold cantelope
Tuscan melon (from saved Roberts melon-I hope they work)

Next week:
Lettuce, Heirloom, "Merveille De Quatre Saisons" 
Sugar snap peas (our first round has sprouted)
more cabbage?
bok choy
broccoli rabe
purple carrots if I can find seeds!
babette carrots
sweet potatoes?

I also pulled an ad from Sunset or maybe OG for the "hummingbird annual collection" for a hanging basket or pot. GORGEOUS! But they were asking $45 for 6 plants. I am going to recreate it.
Fuchsia "Billy Green"
Begonia "Dragon Wing"
Coleus "Sedona" and "Strawberry Drop"
and Sweet Potato "Margarita"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pigtails and Puddles

We are loving the sunshine these days. Seventy degrees for the next 10 days. If we are not at the frog pond, we will be at the garden. Yesterday we planted: suger snap peas, shelling peas, spinach, lacinato kale, siberian kale, silver chard, and we are trying to direct sow tomatoes (sungold and crimson carmello) in water tubes to compare the harvest with seedlings grown indoors. We also have radishes and carrots (Gracie's garden) that have sprouted already. Asparagus is scarce so we eat it all before we leave the garden. The strawberries look good so we hope to have a full crop this year. They also will not make it home. Tomorrow: lettuce, more direct sow tomatoes and maybe peppers.