Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Spring Weekend in the Garden, Oh, and the Corn is Up

Lots of cleanup work this weekend, and lots more to go.  Almost done planting the veggie garden.  Got the Squash, and the Peas planted, including a surprise batch at the end of the driveway.  Only thing left is to finish out the Melon row, and the Bell Pepper/Eggplant Row.  The seedlings for the last are still quite small, but I might just stick them out anyway, as I have spares in the seedling tray.

I walked around the garden for nearly 2 days before noticing that the corn was up, and about an inch high.  Well, at least half of it is up.   Now, where the heck are those potatoes?

Winds blew all day at 20 mph and above.  Poor tomato seedlings were hanging on by the tips of their roots.  I hope they were damaged. Over by the Artichoke seedlings, of which only one of the three remains, I looks like a little tomato is volunteering.  I thinned out the seedlings so it will have a chance.  I also seeded some of the Purple Peppers where the two Artichoke seedlings are no more.

Hmmm, what else.  I pruned the grape vines today.  And the chickens are steady on their march from under the oaks to their new home at the head of the veggie garden.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

God Gave Me a Good Day

Lots of clean up here and there, but the best part was the garden.   Got the first row planted with various Squash and Zucchini.   The peas are basking in a Ziplock with their innoculant tonight and will go in tomorrow along witth the Bell Pepper and Eggplants.  By the end of the day tomorrow, the garden will be fully planted.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Planted Cucumbers and Melons Late Afternoon

Left to right, starting mid row on Row 3 to the end are:

Longfellow Cucumber (Freedom Seeds)
Fanfare Cucumber (TruValue)
Cucumber (Rafe wedding)**
Giant Cucumbers (fall garden 2010)
Rich Sweetness 305 Asian Melon – Baker Creek
Mexican Melon – Gotreaux Farms
Sun Jewel Melon – Gotreaux Farms
Midyat Melon - ebay
Tigger Melon – Baker Creek
Hales Best Jumbo Canteloupe – True Value

For the size of the top, I was very surprised at how little root development there was on these seedlings.  The were just starting to emerge from the seed plugs, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

One last update for the night.  I just planted out another seed tray with Hot Peppers.

1. Jalapeno Pepper - from Bill, labeled Publix
2. Cayenne, Large Red Thick - Martha Stewart (2003)
3-8. Hot Pepper Mixture - from Bill, Burpee (2009) (mixture of Anaheim Chili, Ancho, Hungarian Wax, Jalapeno M, and Long Red Cayenne.

Another Tomato Bites The Dust, Then So Does the Culprit

As suspected, another tomato was felled by the cutworm last night.  I could almost forgive it, if it actually was seeking food.  Instead they just bite the stem of the seedling in half, leaving both parts then uneaten.  A total waste on all accounts.   So far, the  Rutger’s Tomato and Wild Everglades Tomato were the victims.  This morning, after a bit of excavating I found one worm, and dispatched it.  Hopefully, that was the one.  I rebuilt the row and planted the replacements.

Hopefully we are done with this circumstance.

After this original post, I went back out and noticed that the third tomato in the short row was gone.  It was the Brandywine.  Unlike the others, I could find no trace of it, any of it.  I replaced it also.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Hate Cutworms

My tomatoes made it through the first night looking good, except for one.  Fell victim to a Cutworms on the first night.  Now this is gonna be fun.  No doubt he'll claim another tonight, but I'll make time to find him and dig him out tomorrow.  Glad I seeded spares of each variety.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tomatoes are Spending Their First Night With Their Toes in the Soil

Tomatoes are in the ground.

Row 4 (Looking left to right, #1 is nearest bayou)

1. Hillbilly Gary – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
2. Box Car Willie – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
3. Garden Peach – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
4. Black Zebra – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
5. Brandywine OTV – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
6. Paul Robeson – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
7. Orange Strawberry – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
8. Blondkophchen – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
9. Julia Child – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
10. Costuluto Genovese – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Gourmet Collection
11. Ugly Ripe Tomato – Bill from Florida
12. Plum Lemon Tomato – Bill for Florida
13. June Flame Tomato – Bill for Florida
14. Big Rainbow Tomato – Burpee
15. Mortgage Lifter Tomato – Burpee
16. Burpee’s Supersteak Hybrid VFM – Burpee
17. Big Rainbow Tomato – Park Seed
18. Rutger’s Tomato – Ferry Morse
19. Wild Everglades – Bill in Florida
20. Cherokee Purple – Bill in Florida
21. Black Krim – Ferry Morse Heirloom Seeds
22. Pruden’s Purple – Ferry Morse Heirloom Seeds
23. German Pink – Seed Savers Exchange
24. Amelia Hydbrid – Top Notch Seed
25. Chocolate Strips Purple – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
26. Giant Delicious “World Record Variety” – Weeks Seed Company
27. Dixie Golden Giant - Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Giant Collection
28. Ultimate Giant - Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Giant Collection
29. Cosmonaut Volkov Slicing – High Mowing Organic Seeds

Row 2 (left to right in last 3 spots next to Artichokes*)

1. Brandywine – High Mowing Organic Seeds
2. Giant Oxheart - Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Giant Collection
3. Giant II – Gary Isben’s TomatoFest Giant Collection

Rows were freshly tilled, with a very light bit of homemade compost worked in. Each planting hole had about a tablespoon of Espoma Organic Bio-Tone Starter Plus worked into the planting hole. They were then watered in with a combination mixture of Sea Magic Seaweed from Bonadea Gardens, and DIEHARD™ BioRush®. Yep, I got a Orgientific on em’.

*Note on the Artichokes.  The first two, on the west side came from Naylor's in Baton Rouge.  Note sure the label said much other than Artichoke.  They are a silver grey like my old ones.  The three new seedlings are Emerald Artichoke from Ferry-Morse.  Actually the seeds came from Bill in So. Florida.  There were 6 in all, so I got a 50% germination rate.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Nellie's Coming Out Party

I have decided to give Old Nellie a "coming-out party" here on FB. No, not that kind of coming out party. As you can tell, even when young, Nellie wasn't much of a looker, so her parents (before I adopted her) never gave a coming out to society party for her. So, here you go Old Nellie, the world awaits you. Now go dance in the garden with me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blisters on Both Thumbs, Yep, It Was a Good Day in the Garden

Retilled and hilled a few rows today.  On the last row and second to last row, I planted the first five steps with Candy Corn Sweet Corn.   And I planted the last five steps on the first row with Painted Mountain Ornamental Corn and the last five steps on the second row with Earth Tones Dent Ornamental Corn.  In the middle of the I planted Silver Queen Sweet Corn.   And then,,,,,,,,,I remembered I had planted the first row with potatoes.  Awe, poop.  After a bit of laughing at myself, and a little web research, I found that I can find interplanting corn and potatoes is not unheard of.   I had planned on interplanting beans anyway, so this is a slightly different variation on the plan, right, still laughing.

So, I went ahead and planted the middle of the second to last row with Silver Queen corn as well.  And that row, I will interplant with beans, after the corn is 12 to 18 inches tall.

So tomorrow, I think I'll put down my first Cucumbers, and maybe a Melon or two.


Good day in the garden. Planted the corn. Sat back, thinking about my succession planting, then I realized. I planted my corn right over the top of my row of potatoes. Awe poop. Planting another row of corn was easy, Weeding the corn out of my potatoes, well. Still laughing at myself over a glass of wine.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Little Me Time in the Garden

Beautiful weather today prompted me to get out in the garden.  My neighbor had already done the heavy tilling with his tractor, so normally, I would just pull out the mantis to assist in building the rows.  But the Mantis is in the shop, so I pulled out Old Nellie.  In spite of the fact that Old Nellie is a thousand years old and rescued from my old bosses junk pile, she did an admirable job.  Anyway, I hilled up the corn row.  But after looking at the long range forecast, I am ready to pronouce winter over, so I am going to start putting the Cucumbers and Tomatoes too.   Of course, I'll keep some backup seedings in reserve, just in case.

Well, it's late, but maybe another update tomorrow with pictures.

Veggies Go In

Time for bed, got to wake up and plant. Was only gonna plant corn tomorrow, but with the date and long range weather forecast, I am going for it. Tomatoes and Cucumbers are going in the ground tomorrow. But I'll keep some backup seedlings in reserve too, just in case.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Seedlings, Seedlings Everywhere, But Not a Vegetable to Eat,,,,,Yet

The Egg Plant seedlings started to pop up today.

And I seedling a propagator full of melons today, as well,

Propagator – Melons

1. Midyat Melon - ebay
2. Sun Jewel Melon – Gotreaux Farms
3. Mexican Melon – Gotreaux Farms
4. Ogen Melon - Rons-Seed-Store, ebay
5. Charentais Melon - Rons-Seed-Store, ebay
6. Rich Sweetness 305 Asian Melon – Baker Creek
7. Rocky Ford Melon – Rons-Seed-Store, ebay
8. Delicious 51 American Melon – Baker Creek
9. Tigger Melon – Baker Creek
10. Hales Best Jumbo Canteloupe – True Value
11. Petit Gris de Rennes Canteloupe – Baker Creek
12. Ambrosia Hybrid Canteloupe – Martha Stewart, 2004 Seedlot

Only thing left to go in propagators now, are the Squashs.  I hope to get to that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

But God, I Don't Like Grass

God checked out my seedlings, and said, “You don't need those, I plant the garden for you.” “Well, God, I just haven’t developed a taste for grass,” I replied. God then added “Sorry about that. I gave the best taste buds to the cows you know, but I did slip some into a few vegans as an experiment.” I asked, “so, how’s that working.” He chuckled, “Well, the cows are happy about it”.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Soak Up the Sun

The Tomato seedlings are now hardened off, thanks to this moderate weather, and are spending full days in the sun.

The Bell Peppers spent their first full day with the propagator hood off and got a couple of hours of evening sun.  Over the next three days, I'll work them up to full sun as well.

I'll do the same with my little Artichoke seedlings too.

Another Tray of Seeds Goes Into a Propagator

Another Seed Propagator Tray (Very Experimental)*

1 – Lemon Cucumber (from plant that has volunteered here for several years, seeds likely came from Maria, NorCal.)
2 – Giant Cucumbers (came from fall garden in 2010, do not remember origin)
3 – Tomato (Rafe wedding)**
4 – Cucumber (Rafe wedding)**
5 – Banana Pepper (Rafe wedding)**
6 – Fanfare Cucumber (TruValue)
7 – Longfellow Cucumber (Freedom Seeds)
8 – Sugar Crunch Hybrid Cucumber (Martha Stewart, 2003 lot)

*These reused cells were very old, and didn’t expand enough to completely refill the tray sockets. The seeds were place on top of the cells and the final quarter inch on top was fill with “Compost and Cow Manure” from the local store. Not the sterile environment typically recommended for seed starting, but it they make it, the seedling should be much healthier.

**At a friend’s son’s wedding reception, small containers of seeds were offered as a parting gift. I took one of the three different kinds. These are those seeds. Should they make it, it would be cool to send them a basket of vegetables from those seeds.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Potatoes Are In, Corn Coming Up Next

The ground is still a little wetter than optimum, but not bad.  I was running late on the potatoes, I so I hand raked a 60 foot row and got them down today.   I still have a dozen or so seed potatoes left, maybe I'll stick them in one of those raised beds, since I don't have a clue what to do with those beds anyway.

Tomato seedlings got a taste of real sun yesterday and today, thanks to the moderating weather.  It'll be good all week, it looks like so they'll appreciate that, for sure.   The Bell Pepper seeds are all up as well, so I'll start hardening them off as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tomatoes Saw Their First Sun, Egg Plant Seeds Saw Their First Soil

Temps moderated today with a high of 60 and sunny skies, so I put the tomato seedling out at noon and let them enjoy their first taste of real sun for nearly 5 hours.  I have to think they are feeling a bit satisfied tonight.

On the seedling side, I did a tray of 40 Egg Plant seeds today.  Here is the layout.

1. Burpee Hybrid, Martha Stewart, Seedlot 2002/2003
2. Pandora Striped Rose, Baker Creek , Seedlot 2011
3. Cookstown Organ, Baker Creek, Seedlot 2011
4. Rosa Bianca, Freedom Seeds, Seedlot 2010
5. Turkish Orange, Rons-Seeds-Store on ebay
6. Black Beauty, Top Notch Seeds, Seedlot 2009
7. White Egg, Martha Steward, Seedlot 2002
8. Black, Gotreaux Farms, 2010
It will be fun to see how these shape up, especially those old seedlots. 


The Tomato seedlings have been thinned to one per cell.  Tomorrow, they'll even get their first taste of real unfiltered through glass sun. 

The Bell Peppers are almost all awake in their propagator as well.  This weekend I'll seed the Eggplant.  Next week, the Melons and Cucumbers go into the propagator.  We are well on our way for spring in 4 weeks.  I have started more than enough seedlings to plant in the garden, survive a late frosts, and still have many to give away to friends.  Now that is gardening at its finest.

I am still designing the layout of the seven 60 foot rows of this years garden.  And the three 8x15 foot raised beds, and the vegetables that will be interspersed into the ornamental beds. And, whatever I have yet to dream up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Does God Get Cold

God was out in the garden this evening. “Where have you been, it has been a while?” I asked. “I’m here every night, you just having been in the right frame of mind to see me” he replied. We just sat for a while, and then I said “It is pretty cold out here tonight, so I guess I’ll be going inside now.” “Right behind you,” God chuckled.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My one attempt at catching the effect of the frozen icy mist on the trees this morning. Kind of a ghostly, almost twilight zone look.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tomatoes Anyone?

Tomatoes seedlings are popping up around here like popcorn in a microwave.  Well over half of them are up and awake.   Unfortunately, this is reminiscent of last year.   Last year they popped up, but winter and overcast days lingered on, and I have tall stringy weak seedlings.

Sure as I put these in we have an uncharacterisically late cold snap, days of overcast skies, and another cold week predicted next week as well.   Thankfully, I started them late, after seeing what happened last year.  Hopefully, I can keep them strong this year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Seedling Tray - This time the BellPeppers, etc.

Tray 1 - Bell Peppers (save two) (old seed playbox)
Carnival Mix Bell Pepper - Burpee 2010 (from Bill in Fl.)
Red Ruffled Bell Pepper - Territorial Seed Company 2011
Flavorburst Hybrid Bell Pepper - Park Seed 2011 (Holland)
Habanero - Martha Stewart 2003
California Wonder Bell Pepper - Martha Stewart 2003
Big Dipper Bell Pepper - Martha Stewart 2004
Cubanelle Sweet Pepper - Martha Steward 2002
Carnival Mix Belle Pepper - Martha Stewart 2003
Peter Pepper - Top Notch Seed

Winter's Last Fling, or At Least I Hope So.

Looks like an early February arctic blast is coming through.  Dropping from a high in the mid-60s today, down to a low of 26 and a very chilly next 4 days with lows below freezing 3 of the 4 nights.  Fortunately it has been cool winter, so nothing out there has attempted an early awakening for spring.  Things are nice and hardened off, so this should be no biggie in the plant world, or at least in my plant world.