Prep for Costa Rica

While B-rad and I were married in October, we (finally) took our honeymoon this past week. It was awesome and I’m definitely going to post about it 🙂 but this left the problem of what do to with the plants.  We have friends here but none of them live close enough to ask them to come and water.IMG_0703B-rad is better at this type of problem solving. He went to Home Depot and found the raindrip system. It is meant for out door hoses, but we found a connector and hooked it up to the sink. I put the setting for every 2 days and for 3 minutes.  IMG_0702 B-rad and Chicken Nugget setting up the little hoses. The system is pretty cool, it came with different connectors which made it easy to run the water to all of the plants. IMG_0709Chicken Nugget helping out/poking holes into the dirt. Kids loves dirt 🙂IMG_0704  Tomatoes are doing great. You can see the hoses, they are quite small and B-rad attached them to rail with zip ties.  IMG_0706Also, my cucumbers are doing great. They are attached vines to the railing and the flowers are coming along nicely.

We got back yesterday and I am happy to report the plants are huge.  I am going to take some pictures once it stops raining (rain in San Diego, finally).


The Cucumber Sadness

dying cucsThe 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).

IMG_0645I 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.

IMG_0646As 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. IMG_0644

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.

IMG_0638First, 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).  IMG_0639Next 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.

IMG_0640Here 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.”

Paramahansa Yogananda

Thriving seedlings

IMG_0628My 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. IMG_0633

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.

We will eat watermelon!


IMG_0569After 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. IMG_0573Enlarge 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

Seedling Check-in


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.

IMG_0562My 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

Hello Seedlings!


There is that saying – two out of three ain’t bad. That has happened with my seeds, two out of three seemed to have worked. They are growing fast and it’s awesome! I’m thinking about bumping up my seed start times for the cucumbers and mini-watermelons, they are starting to sprout their second leafs.


This little guy still has the seed on this leaf. It’s so amazing what grows from seeds and what they provide.


I was trying to capture the beautiful little hairs on the plan with my macro lens. March’s month goal is photography related. I’m hoping to work on getting better shots.

“A garden is grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” Gertrude Jekyll