Monday, April 18, 2016

Garden 2016: Discoveries and Progress

It's a Jungle In There

Look at these two photos of seedlings:

In the first photo, it's especially obvious: one seedling is far outpacing the other. In the second photo, the group of seedlings seem a bit healthier than the one outlier. Could be random chance, or it could be the mini-greenhouse environment I setup by covering these seedlings with half a water bottle and a glass jar, respectively. See:

In someone's garden photo, I saw them employing water bottles as little greenhouses, and I decided to give it a try. Could it really be that simple and effective a technique? I'm absolutely amazed. I suppose it's just basic plant biology: plants are going to grow faster if it's hot and humid, versus the relatively cool weather we've had of late. But still, that's amazing.

I'm tempted to cover the whole X-Garden with plastic sheeting. Why not, right?

For now, I think I'll keep up with a few isolated experiments and see how things grow.

The Promise of one flower

This may not be the showiest flower, but it does hold quite a bit of promise. That would be the first flower from our strawberry plants. Last year, we harvested almost no strawberries. But, it looks like the plants wintered over and maybe they'll deliver this year. Whoo!

It's not pruning, it's harvesting

We got a little overzealous planting Heirloom Cabbage Danish Ballhead. The result: a section of the X-Garden teeming with little seedlings:

It breaks my heart to prune them, but I know in the long run, that's what needs to be done. Rather than kill a whole bunch of seedlings and toss them out, I decided I might as well jump on the Micro-Greens band wagon. Cabbage seedlings will grow into cabbage you'll eat, so surely their edible in their mico-green stage, too? Right? They certainly look good:

So later today, I'll give the greens a good wash and enjoy them on sandwich. It's not pruning, it's harvesting. Still, it's pretty heartbreaking.

Notes from Next Year's Home Depot Trip

This past weekend we hit Home Depot to pick up soil, mulch and plants. As usual, we pretty much guessed as to what we needed and for once didn't buy too much (annoying) or too little (Argh! Back to HomeDepot!). But for next year, here's what we need:

  • Need (2) 2 cu/ft bags of mulch to cover the front garden
  • Need (2) 2 cu/ft bag of mulch to cover the raised beds in back
  • Need (1) 1.5 cu/ft bag of garden soil to re-fresh the soil in front
  • Need (1) 1.5 cu/ft bag of raised bed soil to re-fresh the raised beds in back
  • Need 2 cups worth of veggie/plant food, which I've got plenty of in the shed
  • Planted a Carnations Ruby Tuesday (Dianthus caryophyllus) in the front garden, which should be perennial. Yeah, we'll see about that.

Oh the promise of a freshly mulched garden! Nothing beats it, right?

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