The day after transplanting, I came home to this. My precious cucumbers, shriveled up and sad. I’m blaming the tarp (and myself, but mostly the tarp). In my last post. I mentioned that I didn’t cut holes first, I put the plants in first. This was a huge mistake (but also the tarp’s fault, somehow).
I took the tarp off and put a sheet over all the plants. They were struggling with the sun, above are the tomatoes. I left the sheet over for a week.
As you can see, those three are the ones that have been surviving. I added more soil as well. They are definitely growing straighter and seem stronger than this picture. I think I saved them, at least 3 of the 5 anyway.
Lastly, the watermelons are fine. Of course they are, I was worried the most about them. Isn’t that always how it works out 🙂
“A person who never made a mistake is a person who never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein
According to my directions, it was time to transplant my seedlings. I bought my city pickers at my local home depot, you can also get them online. I mostly followed the directions. The unit comes with directions and google has them as well.
First, you layer the potting mix and cover it with some lime. I used Kellogg Garden Organics Raised Bed and Potting Mix (available at Home Depot) and Espoma Organic Garden Lime (Home Depot). Next you add more mix and dig a trough to put the fertilizer. I used Kellogg Garden Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer (Home Depot). Then you cover it with the last of the mix.
Here is where I went really wrong. I put the plants in first, instead of cutting a hole and them putting the plants in. This was a HUGE mistake. I usually am pretty careful and follow directions but in the excitement I wasn’t thinking. I will write more on this later but in addition to cutting the plastic all weird I needed more soil and didn’t put the seedlings in far enough. You do not want the leaves touching the plastic, it will dry them out.
This is how one is supposed to put the seedlings in, cut a hole then place them in.
My next post doesn’t have great news, the cucumbers might not make it. Whomp, whomp 😦 I’ll wait a couple of days, a few might pull through.
“The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.”
In seeing the success of my seedlings, I ordered heirloom seeds for flowers and lettuce. The flowers are edible and I need some mixed lettuce to go with my tomatoes and cucumbers. I ordered the seeds from Food52 #myf52 the link is below.
Since these came as standard packs of seeds, I did some research on how to start them up. I went to homedepot.com and did some research to find these window green houses. I would love to have my own beautiful green house but alas my porch is not big enough. These were less than $3 and they are reusable. Home Depot sells the peat moss disks or the plastic is recyclable. These are the disks after I poured 1 3/4 cups of water on them. The moss is not organic but there aren’t any fertilizers listed.
The instructions had me pull the netting open gently. I then fluffed the moss and put my seeds in. I did all of the flowers; Borage, Chamomile, Calendula, Marigolds, and Glorious Gleam Nasturtium. I also planted the mixed salad and the spotted trout lettuce.
The covers went on and I put them on the windowsill in an area that doesn’t get quite as much sun. I am planning on growing the lettuce behind my tomatoes. Hopefully once they fill out they will block the sun for the lettuce.
My mini-watermelons are coming along just fine. Three of the five have started growing and I definitely consider that a success. They have finally reached the top of the bag. Their second leaves are coming in.
This little guy came up late. The seed is still on there 🙂 All five cucumber seeds sprouted which is exciting.
Most of the cucumbers are starting their third leaves, except the little one.
Tomato seedlings have several leaves now. This weekend I’ll be heading to the garden store to get my city pickers planters and materials. We have chicken nugget the weekend I’m going to transfer them and he’ll have more fun planting than shopping – for some reason 5 year old’s find dirt more fun than a store. I’m also getting more seeds tomorrow, edible flowers and mixed greens. While I don’t plan on eating the flowers, I do want to have some flowers outside and options are nice.
After seeing my cucumber shooting out today, I crossed my fingers for watermelon seedlings. I should be happy – I have healthy tomato seedlings started and four out of five cucumbers are really growing now. But I want watermelon. I want sweet watermelon juice making my hands sticky and seeds I have to spit out/save for next year. I want cool refreshing watermelon on a hot summer day. Wonderful, organic watermelon. Enlarge the picture and look on the left and the right – do you see them!? They are pushing through (barely)! I think I planted four seeds, it might have been five. No matter because at least two are growing. The weather has been a little cooler that I’d like. While frost is not in the forecast, cooler temperatures can delay the growth. I guess sometimes you do get want you want.
“Life’s a garden, dig it.” unknown
For my birthday last year, B-rad bought be this beautiful purple orchid. He came home on his lunch break – he cleaned the apartment, set up our little table, placed the orchid on said table with my card, and planned a dinner. It was wonderful. We kept the flowers in bloom for a while, then slowly they fell off.
I saddened at the thought of not having this gift anymore. It was such a beautiful plant and it reminded me of my wonderful birthday celebration. Thankfully, with the internet anything is possible (seriously, what did I do before google). I followed the directions from the link below and a new bloom has arrived.
I’m not really sure why, but two side buds fell off – you can see them in the top picture. I’m hoping the ones next to the bloom open up too!
The flash may have been a little too harsh. Next time I’ll note to use a different fstop or play with the ISO. I also want to try bouncing the flash next time to soften the light.
There are gorgeous textures and the flower is beautiful with intricacy. I’m thrilled that it has bloomed again. Orchids are not a cheap flower and regrowing them to experience their beauty is such a gift.
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” Lady Bird Johnson
My tomatoes are doing so well! They really seem to reaching for the sun, I’ve been turning them so they don’t lean to one side. I can’t wait for the summer and warm, organic tomatoes. B-rad loves himself some tomato sandwiches – toasted bread, salt and pepper, with some mayo; oh so delicious. Sometimes simple sandwiches are the best.
My cucumbers have started growing. I believe I planted five seeds, I’m hoping the fifth one will push through. It has been cold for us, I think that is why it is taking a bit longer to these guys to sprout. Maintaining the warmer soil temperature is a bit trickier than I thought. Fresh cucumber salads, on sandwiches, tsatziki for lamb burgers – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
My watermelon seeds haven’t pushed through yet. I hope those aren’t a bust – I’m excited for mini watermelons (but not too excited in case they don’t grow).
I’ve also ordered some flower bulbs. I think flowers on our front landing and back porch will brighten everything up. Plus fresh flowers smell wonderful and are easy to decorate with. I’m also planning some air purifying house plants. Many green things for the future.
“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” Unknown