June 5, 2010

My First Harvest!

I'm writing this blog in an e-mail. This is my first time e-mailing a blog, I hope it works.
Today is harvest day #1! I'm so excited. With our lunch today, the kids and I will have a salad of leaf lettuce, spinach and baby beet greens. The beet greens are the tops I cut off while thinning my beets after planting a couple of weeks ago. I'm suprised how quickly they grew as I was under the impression that they were slow starters. Must be that Mel's Mix!
Here's to many more harvests!

May 28, 2010

I've learned my lesson...

So, the strawberry plants I planted in the Strawberry Topsy Turvy never did anything.  I have learned not to buy the strawberry plants in the little baggies in soil.  I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out as they just seemed to be roots and a little bit of stem.  Plus they were all brown and yucky looking.  Needless to say, they have gone into the yard waste.

I went to Canadian Tire today and checked out the garden centre.  They had 4 inch pots of strawberries for $1.49 each.  I bought 15.  They have beautiful pink flowers and some of them already have little itty bitty berries growing on them.

As soon as I got home, I cleaned all the yucky plants out of the planters and planted the new strawberries.  It definitely looks much better!  Here's a before and after for you:

These are the "yucky" strawberry plants.  They never did anything.  Almost a month later, they still look exactly the same as when I took this picture.

And here are the beautiful new strawberry plants.  They have blooms and some have berries starting up.

And just because I took pictures of the tomato and the SFG today, I figure I'll post those for you too.
My tomato plant suddenly had a growth spurt this week.  Must be the hot, sunny weather we've been having.  It's decided to grow up and is now shaped like a U.

And as you can see below, the SFG is coming along too.  I'll post more detailed pictures later.
The lettuce, spinach and bush beans have really taken off.  I may have to put a shade cover over the lettuce and spinach as they're predicting more hot, sunny weather and I don't want them to bolt.  Quiltbea had an amazing idea to use wire coat hangers and clothespins to put shade cloth over her plants.  I may have to steal that idea.  I hope she doesn't mind me mentioning her and linking back to her blog.  You should check it out!  :-)

May 23, 2010

Finally an Update!

Life happens and as such, I have been lax in updating my SFG Blog.  Everything seems to be moving right along since my last post.  All of my seedlings are growing strong and fast.  I had to break down and buy an eggplant as my attempt at growing eggplant from seed was an epic failure.  I'm still recovering from the sugar pumpkin disaster.  I decided to plant another one from seed in a separate container in another location of my yard.  Since I freed up that square, I decided to plant beets there instead.  I planted three different varieties: Detroit Dark Red, Early Wonder and Chioggia.

Now on to the current pics:


The carrots are finally getting their true leaves.

Eight of the nine spinach plants grew.  Not sure what happened to the ninth. 
Maybe I forgot to put seeds in that hole.  LOL!

This is the leaf lettuce.  There was another plant in that empty spot, but it didn't make it.  I'm going to replace it with a seedling from my sister-in-laws SFG when she thins hers.

This is the mini butterhead lettuces.  Only 4 "head" lettuces should be planted in a square,
but these are "mini" lettuces, so I thought I'd try six and see what happens.

Here are my bush beans.  I have 5 that have come up fully and you can just see 2 more breaking through the soil.  This leaves 2 empty spots as I planted nine in this square.  I'm going to carefully dig down where I planted those seeds and see what happened.  Maybe I planted them too deep.

Beet seedlings.  I just planted these last week, so they're coming along well.

Black Beauty Eggplant.  I picked this up at the store last week.  It's already growing new leaves since I planted it.  I added a support that I got at the dollar store.  I hope it holds up ok.

And finally here is my sugar pumpkin setup.  I planted the seed last week and set it up against a trellis against the pool.  I'm hoping the vine will grow up the trellis and across the pool fence.

So, that's how things are going in my garden right now.  Sorry for the delay, but I hope to keep this updated more frequently now that everything is growing so well.  I'm also hoping to start harvesting some leaf lettuce in the next couple of weeks.

May 7, 2010


I decided today that I better start hardening off some of my seedlings so I can finally plant them in the SFG.  The first one I started with was my pumpkin seedling.  I took it outside and let it sit in indirect sun for a couple of hours.  That was enough for the first day, so I brought it back in.  As I was putting it back in it's spot with the other seedlings, disaster struck.  I broke the main stalk! 

My poor little pumpkin seedling. Struck down just as it was starting out in the world.

I'm not sure if you can see in the picture, but it's holding on by a little thread.

I wasn't sure what to do to possibly save the little guy.  Suddenly I had an Ah-Hah! moment as I remembered back to science class in grade school (LOL) where the teacher showed us how to grow cuttings and seeds in paper towel in a glass.  Hey!  I'm willing try just about anything right now!

I made a clean cut and placed in a glass with some wet paper towel.  I also ran the end under water for a few seconds in a vain hope that it would stimulate it somehow to start sucking up some moisture.  I know!  But I'm desperate!!

I guess we'll see how well this little experiment works.  I know I'll be MUCH more careful in the future while moving these little babies around.

May 3, 2010

It's Alive!!!

I discovered the first signs of life from the seeds I planted last week! It was so exciting. I just had to take some pictures.

This is broccoli.  As you can see there are three plants there.  I'll thin them when they get bigger.
Here is some lettuce.  I'm not sure if it's the leaf or head lettuce.  I didn't mark the picture when I took it, so I don't know which square this particular little guy is in.  I'll thin these when they get bigger too.

This is my spinach.  I may plant more of this when one of the lettuce squares is done.  I love spinach, but didn't plan well enough to get more than one square right now.

I also have one little carrot seedling coming up.  But it was so small, there was no way I could get a picture of it.

I was so excited when I noticed my new little seedlings today, that I nearly jumped up and down to tell my husband when he got home.  It's so nice to finally see something come of all the hard work we've done getting our SFG setup.  It will be even better when we can finally harvest something and eat it!

May 1, 2010

Only the Obsessed Stand in the Rain Planting Seedlings

That's me!  Obsessed with my SFG.  I actually stood out in the rain today planting onion seedlings in my SFG. 

I planted my own onions from seed indoors a few weeks ago. Let's just say that was an experiment gone wrong. In the future, I will only plant onion seedlings or sets. I bought a 9-cell pack of red onion seedlings at Lowes today. I had no idea that each little shoot coming up out of the soil was one plant. I was able to plant a whole square of 16 and 12 more in another square that I had also planted 4 surviving green onion seedlings that I planted from seed. I counted the plants left in the pack and there are still 35 onion seedlings! I have a pot a can plant a few in. The rest I'm going to plant in among all my perennials all around the house.

5 out of the 6 leek seeds I planted indoors survived. So, I planted those today too. I also built a high rise for them so I can add more Mel's Mix as they grow. That way I can get a little more of the tender white part of the leek.

They're kind of small still.  I hope they do some major growing now that they're in the SFG.  We'll see what happens.

Here is an updated pic of my SFG.  You can see the high rise I built on the back square there.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm planting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries in Topsy Turvy containers. I got my tomato planted the other day, but I had to keep it covered for a few days due to the weather. I took the cover off yesterday and the leaves have already turned up to the sun. The tomato plant seems happy. I think it's already grown bigger too!

I planted 30 strawberry plants in the strawberry Topsy Turvy today. They look kind of sad right now. I hope they perk up soon.

Some time in the next week, I'm going to head back to Lowes and get me some more seedlings.  I definitely want to get some broccoli.  My broccoli seedlings all died, so I have to replace them.  I may also get an eggplant seedling.  I'll have to see how the one I planted from seed does over the next couple of weeks.  I can't plant eggplant outside in my zone until June anyway.

My lonely little eggplant seedling. It's so tiny!

I have 6 pepper seedlings, 2 cucumber seedlings and a sugar pumpkin seedling in the house waiting to be planted. I just transplanted them into bigger pots. They were definitely outgrowing the Jiffy pellets I had seeded them in. I made some little pots out of newspaper and planted them in there. I may or may not plant them directly in the SFG in the newspaper pots. I haven't decided yet.

April 26, 2010

Upsy Daisy!

I bought myself a tomato plant today.  I started seedlings or planted from seed everything but tomatoes.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe I wanted to make sure my tomato plant had the best start.  I chose a variety called Early Girl.  It's supposed to grow to maturity in 50 days.

I decided early on that I was not going to plant tomatoes in my SFG.  My mother had one of those Topsy Turvy planters last year and her tomato plant did absolutely amazing in it.  So, to save some space and make my garden a little more interesting, I bought a Topsy Turvy and planted my brand new tomato plant in it.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it.  I'll post one tomorrow.

Now, it's still a little early to plant tomatoes in my zone (5a), so I've covered it with a blanket for the night.  It's only going to get down to +1C overnight, but with the wind it's supposed to feel like -5C.  I don't want my tomato to get a chill.  I hope the blanket works.

I'm also going to plant my peppers and cucumbers in the Topsy Turvy.  I have to wait until almost the end of May in my zone though.  We'll see what happens.  Hopefully it works out as well as I hope it will.

Call me crazy, but I bought a strawberry Topsy Turvy too!  Hey, I should buy stock in this company.  Hmmmmmm.....  Sorry, I digress, back to the strawberries.  The Topsy Turvy has 15 holes in it that apparently can have 2 strawberry plants in each, for a total of 30 strawberry plants.  I bought 3 packs of 10 strawberry plants and will plant them in the planter some time this week.  My 2 year old loves strawberries, so these will go over really well.  I hope to get some berries this year, but I know I may not get anything until next year.  Fingers crossed.