Monday, April 23, 2012

Crazy Time!

I am frantically trying to get my gardening act together. I really do more than one person can handle while raising a bunch of kids. I get myself frustrated every year, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Sunday my husband put up shelves so I can move the flats out of my plant room into the natural light. They will do so much better now.
I cleaned out the right bed, tilled the dirt and planted tomatoes on the far end with jalapenos. There are cucumbers along the back and some garlic in the corner next to the blue barrel. I still need to figure out something for the middle front.
The left side is all tomatoes. The pots are the daylilies that will go around my upper pond.
The center bed has cantaloupe at the far end (we still need to put up a trellis) and some bell peppers. I have to figure out what to put in the rest of the bed.
Cucumbers and the rocks mark the garlic rows. My husband is bringing me some paint stir sticks to make labels. The dirt is holding at 60* and up to 66* today.
Here are nine jalapeno plants.
The cantaloupe on the end and 15 bell peppers. I have a lot more pepper plants, but can’t decide if I should plant them or grow something else. I think a guy only needs so many peppers.
I have flats full of flower starts that need transplanted plus 401 things that need taken care of around my home. I love gardening. I anticipate it all year long. April and May are my two stress-filled months getting it all going while school is winding down and sports are starting up. Throw in some drama with my kids and I'm usually taking two steps back rather than forward. Hopefully tomorrow will be a more productive day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring is Here!

Olivia and I did some work in the greenhouse. I’d like to get the furnace running and my flats moved out into the sun.
One should always finishing cleaning out the beds in the Fall. It wasn’t a lot of fun to do now, but we got it done. Then I tilled the bed on the left. At the end of last season I topped each bed with 3-4 inches of compost and needed to mix it in.
My husband brought me home two really big thermometer’s to check soil temperatures. He’s always bringing me odd stuff for my gardening. The undisturbed bed was 46*.
I dug two feet down to the bottom where it was also 46*.
The dirt that had just been tilled read 52*. The air temperature during the day was 80*. It still gets down to 30* at night.
I’m not a big fan of Spring and mud. I’d like it to go from Winter to Summer.
Seeing the sun shine and my garden beds buried drives me nuts so I spent some time Saturday and Sunday flinging snow into the drive to melt. (This photo was at the beginning).
Hopefully in the next few days we’ll have things up and running. Some of my plants have outgrown the plant room especially the tomatoes and Impatiens.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Busy Times

Spring is an insane time for me. The weather is getting warmer so I want to be outside. My kids tend to act out with Spring Fever and I am at the school a lot. Planting needs to consume all of my time, but can’t. This will be a brief catch-up without super accurate numbers.

First round of Tidal Wave and Wave Petunias that I planted from seeds purchased at Lowe’s. There are approximately 60 plants.

Tidal Wave Petunia

Wave Petunia

Wizard Coleus with about 8 plants. I am not having luck with the Coleus like I did a couple of years ago.

Wizard Coleus

California Wonder Bell Peppers have around 70 survivors. I also have 9 Jalapeno plants.

California Wonder Peppers

I have a variety of Dahlia’s coming up. Here are four flats plus I just planted several more.


This is a flat of Petunia Hybrid Choice. I’ve never grown the smaller border petunias and just stick to the Wave varieties, but thought I’d do something different this year. This flat had a clear plastic cover and has essentially been ignored as in no water for a couple of weeks.

Petunia Hybrid Choice

Same seed packet, but grown without the plastic cover. Obviously the greenhouse effect makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, the covers are $3 each and I need about 100!!

Petunia Hybrida Choice

My first year growing Carnations and there are about 70 that are hanging on.


I have around 200 Impatiens of different varieties that are doing great. I’ve been pinching them back which is something I never bothered to do before. It sure makes a difference in the strength of the stem.


Early Girl Tomatoes about 2 feet tall. These will be for the greenhouse and I think there are around 25.

Early Girl Tomatoes

Another 20-some plants of Sweet 100’s and Purple Cherokee. I also will be starting tomatoes to try growing outside.

Sweet 100's and Cherokee Purple

Border Scarlet Geraniums (26). I seem to lose more than I keep.


I have 10 Rainbow Coleus.

Rainbow Coleus

Moss Roses that could use a transplanting. This is my first year with these as well.

Moss Rose

Lots of Stocks coming up.

Dwarf Stocks

Plus multiple flats of Snapdragons because I tend to be a little rough transplanting and lose quite a few. Too big of a hurry!


Livingstone Daisy…one of my favorites.

Livingstone Daisy

I have flats and flats of Zinnia. I am planting the 100-foot bed along the fence with them. I know it is a move I am going to regret, but I am getting tired of the Petunias.


A very late start to these Maverick Geraniums. I hemmed and hawed for over a month on my seed order and then it took over two weeks to arrive. I have many plants that are way behind which is greatly going to affect my success.

Maverick Geranium

One of the late starts are the Wave Petunias. Highly unlikely I will have very big hanging baskets (again) this year.

Wave Petunia

Here’s the whole plant room. Thousands of little plants vying to be the one who goes into my garden.


My plant room will hold 168 flats (and 42 shop lights)….one flat holds 10 - 4 inch round pots or 18 - 3 inch square pots or 12 - 6-packs with 72 plants…you get the idea. There’s room to have a lot going on (and it seems I always want more room!).