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March 31, 2008

It's Spring! Let's Start Planting!

Sunshine and Seed Trays

As I mentioned a month or so ago I've been garden planning! For the past two weeks I've been meaning to get around to planting my seeds indoors to get them going and have a bit of a head start once the frost has passed, but we've been super busy the past few weeks and I feel like I've been going in super fast motion. Every time I think things are going to slow down they seem to speed up! Yesterday I finally got around to planting my seeds.

On Saturday morning I sat down and drew out a few grids and set up what I want to plant and in which hole it would go. For some reason I only did three plots, when in reality I should have done six! I don't know how I got off path, but that was ok. Yesterday morning when I realized my error I made two more grids. I didn't make a plot for the last 40 because I had planned to plant them all as marigolds and I didn't need a grid for that! ;o) I have three greenhouse boxes and each box will hold two trays of 40.

As I worked on the grids Alexis sat with me with her own notebook and made her own diagram. As we planted and I checked things off my grid, she did the same on hers. It amused me! ;o) She is really excited about the planting aspect of the garden this year. Last year she was mildly interested, but she was plenty interested in harvesting! This year she's all about the garden period and I love that! She even chose some seeds of her own to plant, though hers will be planted directly outside in a few weeks. It's so much fun to have her involved. Her zest for life is so contagious!

Seed Planting Diagrams

In the first tray we planted 40 tomatoes (2 Green Zebra , 2 Santiam, 4 Martian Giants, 2 Zapotec Pleated, 3 Amana Orange, 2 Burbank Red, 4 Arkansas Travelers, 2 Yellow Perfection, 4 Brandywines, 5 Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes, 5 Gold Currant Cherrys and and 5 Yellow Pear Cherrys....Alexis loves the mini tomatoes, thus the increased numbers of those varities.) We should have more than enough to share with my sister, some of our friends and be able to can some tomatoes for use through the winter and make some salsa as well.

Seed Planting Diagram: Tomatoes

In the next block we planted peppers, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and amaranth. (2 Purple Beauty bell peppers, 2 Italian Relleno Sweet peppers, 2 Ring-O-Fire Cayenne peppers which I use for pest my pest control spray, 3 Pimento-L Sweet peppers, 4 Cal Wonder green bell peppers, 2 Giant Szegedi yellow sweet peppers, 2 Butternut squash, 3 Zucchinis, 3 Yellow Crookneck squash, 2 Italian Pink Bi-Color eggplants, 3 Smart Pickle cucumbers, 1 Lemon cucumber, 3 Northern Pickling Cucumbers, 1 Crimson Sweet watermelon, 1 Sugar Baby watermelon, 1 Golden Honey watermelon, 1 Desert King watermelon, 1 Hale's Best Jumbo Muskmelon (cantaloupe), 1 Jack-O-Lite pumpkin (small pumpkins), 1 Big Max pumpking (100+ pound pumpkins) and 1 Hopi Red Dye Amaranth.) Alexis and I both are pepper and cucumber fans. I'm going to try and make some dill pickles this year hopefully! I've wanted to do that for years, but in the smaller garden I never seem to have enough pickles to play with.

Seed Planting Diagram: Peppers, Squash, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Melons, Pumpkins and Amaranth

On the next grid (and this was the last grid I did on Saturday) I plotted herbs, flowers and "medicinals", which in reality are just more herbs or flowering plants in most cases. (3 Poppy Joe's Basils, 2 Forest Green parsleys, 2 English Thyme, 2 Greek Oreganos, 2 Italian Flat Leaf Parsleys, 2 Dukat Dills, 2 Bouquet Dills, 4 Russian Mammoth Sunflowers, 1 Korean Licorice Mint, 1 Borage, 2 Bells of Ireland, 4 Righteous Red Zinnias, 1 Yarrow, 2 Evening Sun Sunflowers, 3 Kablouna Mix Calendulas, 4 White Sweet Alyssum and 3 Feverfews.) I'm glad I had the grids wrong in my head though, because I had wanted to plant more herbs in addition to the ones that we are going to plant directly into pots on my front porch. I added more in the additional grids I did yesterday. I had hoped to plant the pots on the porch today, but it's too rainy. It appears it will rain for a few more days so maybe we'll get to do that later this week.

Seed Tray Diagram: Herbs, Flowers and "Medicinals"

Yesterday on the first grid I plotted out onions, leeks, celery, broccoli and more herbs. (6 Siskiyou Sweet onions, 8 Sherwood leeks, 6 Celebration celerys, 6 Nutri-Bud broccolis, 2 more Dukat dills, 2 more bouquet dills, 2 more Forest Green parsleys, 2 more Italian Flat Leaf parsleys, 2 more Greek oreganos, 2 more English Thymes and 2 more Poppy Joe's Basils.)

Seed Tray Diagram: Onions, Leeks, Celery, Broccoli and Herbs

Next up we planted more flowers. (2 more Bells of Ireland, 6 more Righteous Red Zinnias, 6 more Russian Mammoth sunflowers, 6 more Evening Sun sunflowers, 6 more Calendulas, 3 more Yarrows, 3 more Borages, 3 More Korean Licorice Mints and again 5 more Zinnias, because after all they are so beautiful.)

Seed Tray Diagram: Flowers

The last of the six trays was seeded with marigolds. I have two huge flower beds in front of our house, so I can't wait to see the riot of color! I labeled the back of each box so I'd know which way was the top of each grid. I also put a label on the foot of each individual plot with what was planted there so that I wouldn't turn things around and then not know what was what.

Seed Tray Close Up

Now we wait. We should have some sprouting going on by the end of the week. I'm going to be keeping track of this through the seeding on to the garden and then through the fall harvest so if you're interested check back soon for an update! I do an all organic garden as well. and we'll be planting the garden itself in a few weeks. When it warms up even more we'll plant some corn, beans, carrots, okra, etc. directly into the garden. This year most of my seeds came from Seeds of Change, but I also got a few from Gardens Alive and Park Seeds.

So is anyone else planting this spring? I love to hear what other people have planned and are doing so share if you are! :o)

Posted by Dianne at March 31, 2008 1:12 PM

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Wow! I so wish I had a green thumb. I can barely keep my spider plant alive, and its one of the heartiest plants I have ever had. Poor thing. It keeps trying to just die, but then I water it and put it through more misery.

Posted by: laurie at March 31, 2008 2:41 PM

LOL Your last sentence literally made me laugh! :o) I love to grow things. Although sometimes I have a brown thumb too. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at March 31, 2008 3:11 PM

Wow! That's impressive!

I'm planning to dig up about half of the back yard and put in some slightly raised beds. I'm excited, but nervous. I started a bunch of seeds this weekend too.

How big are your plots? I really need to read up on how close together things can go.

Posted by: Allie at March 31, 2008 3:18 PM

Wow! That's impressive!

I'm planning to dig up about half of the back yard and put in some slightly raised beds. I'm excited, but nervous. I started a bunch of seeds this weekend too.

How big are your plots? I really need to read up on how close together things can go.

Posted by: Allie at March 31, 2008 3:18 PM

I'm actually debating how big I want to do. I'm leaning toward doing several smaller plots (12X6) to make things easier. Or I may do one big plot and make walkways with mulch to divide it into smaller sections. I'm leaning toward the latter at the moment, but I may change my mind before I start digging. At our old house I had a small yard and a small garden that was 12 X 6. It's amazing how much you can plant in that that small area though!

Posted by: Dianne at March 31, 2008 3:45 PM

I came to check out your DB cake, but instead was sidetracked by your garden plans. Oh my gosh, I am so jealous!! Everything looks so wonderful...you're going to have so much fun!

Posted by: Nan at March 31, 2008 8:33 PM

I am very excited I must admit! I just love planting a seed and watching it grow. Then follwing through until you can harvest fruits and vegetables! It's just so much fun! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at March 31, 2008 10:09 PM

Are you using peat pots in those flat bed planters? Using those here, and I'm loving how the veggie seedlings are sprouting!

Posted by: Lemon Tartlet at April 1, 2008 5:10 PM

There are peat pellets about the size of 1/4 of a banana in each hole. Once they start sprouting and get some roots I plan to take them out of the little holes they are in so they can have a bit more room between each plant. So far the past two days have been dreary and we haven't had much sun so they aren't doing much yet.

I like the idea of a peat pot though! That's really neat! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at April 1, 2008 8:39 PM

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