Thursday, May 27, 2010

The short on the tall.

Sunflower seeds are by far the fastest sprouting in my bunch.

I put them in soil and see them popping out only 2 days later.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Charlotte and the Serendipitous Wooden Box.

There's something serendipitous about not having EVER cleaned out my garage - hidden, highly usable treasures.

I was going to venture out to find some sort of wood to build a structure around my garden to support the 2 yards of soil we deposited in there. Then it occurred to me to that I have a garage full of mystery and I should explore.

I sidestepped a structure full of treasures from a Harley to an old box-spring only to stumble upon these wooden beauties. They were covered with spider eggs which did have me scratching at my arms, legs and head squeamishly after picking them up, but they are perfect for the job and FREE so I dealt with it.

If Charlotte could save Wilbur - I can deal with "her offspring" long enough to save some money.

I think the boards might have been used to build a shelving unit at some point in the past (they had a mushroom pattern paper stuck to them), but yesterday they were reborn as my garden box.

My uncle is picking up the taller ones to saw them in half so that we can cover the entire space without spending even a dime on the wood :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back Yard Farming.

Maybe having a 12' by 6' plot of earth for gardening in my back yard isn't enough to qualify me as a farmer....but when you add in the four dogs we have prancing around it, stray cats that have made my yard home, and a plethora of birds perched on wires plotting their next dive into my freshly planted seeds...creative license tells me I can call myself a back yard farmer.

I'm going with it - "Farmer Jamie."

I'm proud to report that after nearly 2 months of not being able to dig in the yard - we have made progress. We dug out the rest of the garden and filled it with 2 yards of soil. 2 yards, which equates to two people shoveling nonstop for three hours to empty the truck bed.

Dirty nails are prettier than polished ones to me on days like these.

What a sense of accomplishment :)

PS. Even in mostly overcast Ohio you have to water plants daily (and on sunny days maybe more than once) if you want them to stay alive. One day out in the 80 degree heat was enough to kill a few of my new seedling babies. I think they might have been spared had I watered them in the morning rather than the night before...but that is just a guess. Shade might have been the only hope.

It's survival of the fittest on my farm. And I'm learning.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet Elliot.

I want to introduce you to Elliot - my first and only garden dragon.

I met him at Gayles Garden Center about a month ago and fell instantly in love with his thankful, uplifting grin.

On Mother's day he made his way home to me and now I want to share is beautiful little face with all of you.

Isn't he charming and magical?

Peat Peat - RePeat.

I wanted to share my progress with you. Here are the seedlings that I planted in peat moss. They seem to be growing beautifully.

The third picture is of the seeds that I ignorantly planted in topsoil, then replanted in potting soil on the same day that I stared the seedlings in peat moss. In comparison you'll see that peat moss is the clear winner!
I adore these little guys.

The best part about this collection is that through all the transporting and re-potting I have no clue what is in each cell. It's a mystery collection. I can't wait to try to figure it out as time goes on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rain Rain. Rain. Rain Rain.

So, Ohio has been rather moist this spring. I still haven't managed to fill in my newly dug garden with sand and soil. Every time we get the time to do it the skies open up and fill the hole up like a swimming pool.

I have made some decisions about how to proceed, especially seeing now that the area we dug does turn quite swampy.

I am going to fill the hole first with a layer of sand. Then I'm going to build the area up with landscaping ties to elevate the garden and use quite a bit of soil to create depth.

My seedlings are looking great - or were until I came out to find them swimming in water this morning. I dumped out the little swimming pools and hid them in the garage until the rain stops. I'm hoping we get some sun tomorrow so I can dry them out a bit. They definitely are swampy. I should have drilled holes in the containers once the seedlings got to a height where the lids didn't stay put. Let's hope this wasn't a fatal error. I love my plant friends.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Peat Moss is the clear winner.

If you are wondering if there is a difference in the way plants sprout in peat moss vs. potting soil. There is. In the one week since I've dropped seeds into their respective containers, the peat moss has blossomed and the potting soil has not. So I have these adorable little sprouts coming up now :) Gardening ties and soil this weekend :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Top - Pot. It's not the same forward as it is backwards.

I made my first big gardening blunder before the plants ever hit the soil. In my hasty shopping process I erroneously grabbed a bag of top soil instead of potting soil. And as the letters in full reverse accidentally imply, the top soil did exactly the opposite of helping my seeds to germinate and pot themselves. They molded and turned into tiny cement-like soil squares.

After mourning the loss of all my new potential seedlings, I went back to the Lowes and picked up a peat moss seedling greenhouse and started over.

I even picked through the topsoil looking for seeds that hadn't been ruined and replanted them in potting soil as well.

This part was a great lesson in seed identification. Beans and Squash varieties were easy...perennial flowers, not so much. But I gave it my best shot.

The top soil clumps that I couldn't identify seeds within - well I didn't have the heart to just toss it aside. I had been really putting my time into watering them adn beckoning their growth. So, next to my fence I placed a mystery pot. I packed it full of potting soil and the top soil failures. As many as ten different plants. Who knows what will come up! Not what I intended going into this, but fun none-the-less.

Now the question I'm trying to answer is, "Can I pick any Kale in the summer months or will it just taste bad?