Gardening in the Blind


Busy days, Busy nights
March 30, 2010, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Indoor Gardening, Seedlings

Seedlings started with a new label system

I have been entirely too busy lately.  Between worrying about my father (he had a series of surgeries) and the stresses of work, I have found one bit of peaceful solitude in an unlikely place.  My basement.  I have found my plants that are growing and my little seeds I am planting seem to have an uncanny ability to let me forget about everything else.  It is my little escape from everything.  When I am down there playing in the dirt, talking to the seedlings, time slips by unnoticed.  But more importantly my stresses of the day seem to slip away until the next day.  This has become  much more than a hobby, it has become my therapy.

Tomatoes, eggplant and moreNow this has it’s good and bad sides.  It seems that lately I have needed so much “therapy” that I have a whole lot growing.  Last weekend I planted 4 trays to fit on my new heating pad.  That makes 8 trays sitting on heating pads, 5 trays off the heating pads but under lights and my potato pot.  My transplanting is going to be a full-time job soon.  But as my sometimes wonderful husband said, we can just rip up more grass to accommodate my plantings.  Which leaves me pondering where I might do this.  We will see after I get a count of what is growing. 

A little over 10 days ago I planted peas.  Then as weather would have it, it started pouring.  I thought at first it might be ok.  Then on the second day I got a little worried now on the third day I have realized that I will be replanting the peas this Friday.  I am afraid they washed away.  It hasn’t been just any rain, it has been a flood of rain.  Hopefully it will stop and the old man that’s snoring after he went to be and bumped his head will get up and face the sun!

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Peas and Arugula – Yet another bed
March 16, 2010, 12:35 pm
Filed under: Garden Planning, outdoor gardening

Peas with the supports I added to keep them upright

Call me silly, but I am going to turn the soil in this bed on Friday pending the weather.  If all goes well, I will be planting the peas pretty darn soon! 

Peas are great for helping to improve soil.  You want to plant them every 1-2″ in rows 24″ apart.  I am going to plant a row of parsnips in this bed which leaves me with about 4 rows as I will scrunch them just a bit.  So, 4 rows of peas each row 48″ long.  This leaves 192″ of peas.  Hopefully this will increase the production compared to last year. 

After the peas have expired, I will follow it up with the entire bed of Arugula.  I did this last year with much success.  I look forward to doing it again!

The parsnips will be planted and left until at least after the first few frosts.  The frost sweetens them.



Planting time continues (a little bit)
March 15, 2010, 4:03 am
Filed under: Companion Planting, Garden Planning, Indoor Gardening, Seedlings, Tomatoes

Newly planted cells

This weekend as mentioned in the last post was very rainy.  So after I rearranged the seedlings, I planted more.  I planted Eucalyptus, Mallow (Mautian and Tall), Parsley, Horehound, Jacob’s ladder, Hollyhock (tall and double flower), Thyme, and another Cilantro pot.  Then Deron can downstairs in time to do his packet of early tomato seeds.  Last year was Cherokee Purple.  This year is Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifters.

So far the tomato count is 24.  It will be climbing again soon.  It seems I am a pro at throwing in a tomato here and a tomato there.  I believe when I am done with the beds and other plantings I should be close to 45 this year.  This is a considerable cut from last year, but I hope it will be a good tomato year and we will be able to harvest more than last year!  (It was really bad last year due to the weather and late blight)

Stay tuned for more information on some of the herbs listed above as well as updates on the growth.



Rainy day habit
March 14, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Herbs, Indoor Gardening, potatoes, Seedlings

Today is Sunday, March 14, 2010.  It is raining for the second consecutive day.  So, what a perfect opportunity to go clean up down stairs and update you!  I have had to rearrange things to allow for the basil not to touch the lights as they are growing so big!  Here are three pictures to update you with:

Potatoes

Cilantro and Arugula

Cayenne Pepper



Tomato Beds
March 13, 2010, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Companion Planting, Garden Planning, Tomatoes, Uncategorized

Cutting Board of tomatoes before I canned them

The easiest for me to lay out contain tomatoes.  The recommended minimum spacing is 18″.  I like to squeeze it a bit.  Due to the size of my bed (4′ x 8′) I like to divide the bed into 16″ squares.  This makes 3 squares across and 6 down.  Next I figure each row will have 2 tomatoes and one of a companion plant.  Bed one will contain Marigolds and parley with the center square horehound for extra productive plants.  The other tomato bed will have carrots and marigolds.

 

Bed One will look like this:

4 Marigolds, 1 tomato, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 Horehound, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 tomato, 2 parsley

2 parsley, 1 tomato, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 Horehound, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 tomato, 4 Marigold

Remember each represents one 16″ square.

Bed three will look like this:

25 Carrots, 1 tomato, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 horehound, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 tomato, 25 Carrots

25 Carrots, 1 tomato, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 horehound, 1 tomato

1 tomato, 1 tomato, 25 Carrots

With this bed, I will do what is called succession sowing.  I will plant a row of carrots, wait 1-2 weeks plant another row etc. until all 5 rows are planted within each square.  This will allow for the carrot harvest to last longer!



Crop Planning
March 7, 2010, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Garden Planning

BASEMENT CILANTRO!! Looks like it needs to be trimmed soon!

It is now getting closer to the start of planting time and I have yet to finalize my plantings.  I have been lazy this winter.  I ordered seed a bit haphazardly since I didn’t plan as much as the past.  So, since it is March, I have decided to make myself get off my butt and enlighten (or bore in some cases) my readers 1 bed at a time.  I will describe what I am planting and the spaces needed for it.

Before I start posting on that, I wanted to explain a little about crop rotation.  Crop rotation is very important.  Not only does it keep your soil healthier, it helps prevent nasty bugs and pests from surviving year after year producing higher yields.

Last year I have the following:

Bed One: Beans/Cucumbers

Bed Two: Tomatoes

Bed 3: Roots then Arugula

Bed 4: Onions/tomatoes

Bed 5: Cabbage/Kale/Lettuce

This year I am mixing it up a bit and subtracting the roots for the most part and adding an additional tomato bed.  I am not growing cabbage, I’m tired of the cabbage worms, so I am placing the kale and lettuce in the ground not in a raised bed.  Given this, I will have the following:

Bed 1: Tomatoes

Bed 2: Peas then Arugula

Bed 3: Tomatoes

Bed 4: Beans

Bed 5: Onions

This will allow the beans to replenish the nitrogen in the soil, the tomatoes to enjoy the old bean bed and NO more cabbage worms hopefully! (I’ll believe it when I see it!)

I will continue posting for the ground and what the differences will be as I get to it.  But Bed 1 will be the next post.