Posted by: JerseyOrganic | May 12, 2013

Saturday chores and lessons learned

So I had a very busy Saturday today- it was great to get so many chores done. I woke up thinking it was going to downpour all day and in fact it turned out to be a pretty nice day. I started in the garden around 8AM and got my first succession of string beans planted (yes, I should have done this a few weeks ago) as well as a strip of lettuce seed tape. I LOVE seed tape. Although, if you are going to use seed tape watch out for the birds. Try to start the seeds in a cold frame or if you have some old screens laying around throw them on top. I frequently cover seeds and small plants with a screen to help prevent helicopter seeds from falling in the open beds. Any beds not being used (most of them right now) are still covered in plastic heating up, with the exception of the new string bean bed of course. 😀

Today was also a big day for my indoor transplants. Unfortunately, my indoor operation did not thrive as it has in years past. This is due to my grow light being spaced too far from the seedlings. I started my seeds at the correct time, had the temp and humidity correct, as well as ventilation. But somehow I measured incorrectly and the light was just too far away. This resulted in small plants… Usually by Mothers Day the grow room should be a jungle and instead my plants are stunted, at around 8″ tall. That being said, I lowered the light to about 16″ above the plants and transferred all my tomatoes from 4″ containers to half gallon pots. When transplanting, I made sure to put about half of each plant in the container and filled with soil. Of course, now the plants look 4″ tall again but this will help to create deep, healthy roots. Even though I am slightly behind a week or two and have stunted plants, they will still grow big and strong just as long as I take the time to properly harden them off and get them in the ground by Memorial Day. I did sit the tomatoes outside today as the overcast and intermittent sunshine is the perfect hardening off scenario.

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I was also able to get all of the cucumber plants and basil outside. They are housed in my temporary cold frame which will help shade them from the sun and winds until they get acclimated, at which time the cukes will get moved to the trellis and planted in the ground. Funny enough, when I was setting up the cold frame around the base of the trelis, I found surprise seedlings! They look to be like cucumbers so I am going to keep them at trelis #1. You can never have enough cucumbers, especially when they’re organic. You gotta figure, a cucumber is 95% water so… I prefer a non-pesticide pumped cuke!
Below is my little herb garden with horseradish, chives, and mint in pots.

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Surprisingly allll that took a few hours, following by mowing my front lawn and weeding all the flower beds, front and backyards.

Speaking of my flower gardens, they are looking beautiful and growing exponentially. Last week the remaining tulips died back, so there is only green growth in the garden right now. But boy, I am in love with tulips- definitely my favorite spring flower. The flower beds are not much to look at right now with the exception of my mailbox irises which are in full swing. Gorgeous!

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As soon as my tiger lilies and catmint bloom I will have plenty of pictures to post. Soon we will mulch and plant annuals, as well as transplant veggies into the kitchen garden. Plenty to more come…

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