I have been lax in updating, I know. It isn’t because I haven’t wanted too, it is because writing about the garden only happens when I am not doing something with the garden, which lately, has been just about non-stop. The weather is slowly improving here in the great Pacific Northwest. The nights are still getting cool, and the days are remaining in the low 60’s for the most part. Due to the improvements, I have been able to plant more plants outside, including sowing some direct into the ground. However, because it is quite cool still, I have planted other crops inside. I have also made some adjustments inside that, I think, have improved what I am seeing big time!
First, the adjustment. As I wrote about in this post, I had the grow shelf in the cool, unfinished basement. And, while the plants that I had germinated, specifically the tomatoes and peppers, where all doing well, they did not seem to growing as fast, or as large, as I would expect. I began to suspect that the cool temperatures may have something to do with this as I know tomatoes and peppers adore the warmer weather, and it takes temperatures of 70-80 degrees for their seeds to germinate. I also began to wonder why I had put the grow shelf in the basement in the first place. There was another, possibly better, site for it. That would be in my ‘office’. A room, upstairs, where I have my computer. My computer is rarely turned off, and as a result, the office remains quite toasty. Last Saturday, the 5th, I made the sudden decision to move everything to the office. It probably only took a couple of hours to move the plants, shelf, and light fixtures upstairs, and re-set it all up. The grow shelf, and four grow lights (plus extra ones, sometimes), caused my already warm office to get extra toasty. So much so, in fact, that I have had to begin using the window air conditioner to keep the temperature manageable. Based on the thermometer, it is usually between 71 and 78 degrees in the office now. I have seen the plants respond in a huge way! The tomatoes have exploded as have several of the other varieties. The peppers are also starting to put on some size. Of course, I also transplanted them into bigger containers at this time. This, also, had a big impact on growth. Very exciting, and I am glad I was able to remedy a situation so easily.
Next, the plants I have been able to plant, or direct seed outside:
Cabbage [transplants from seed]:
- Mammoth Red Rock [Under Hoop House]
- Glory of Enkhuizen [Under Hoop House]
- Early Jersey Wakefield [Under Hoop House]
Cauliflower [transplants from seed]:
Greens [direct seeded]:
- Merlot Lettuce [Under Hoop House]
- Brune D’Hiver Lettuce [Under Hoop House]
- Flame Lettuce [Under Hoop House]
- Red Romaine Lettuce [Under Hoop House]
- De Morges Braun Lettuce [Under Hoop House]
- Chinese Mustard [Under Hoop House]
- Arugula [Under Hoop House]
- Dwarf Siberian Kale [Under Hoop House]
- Canton Bok Choy
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
- Walla Walla Sweet
- Tokyo Long White Bunch
Peas [transplants from seed/direct seeded]:
- Golden Sweet Snow Pea [Under Hoop House]
- Oregon Sugar Pod II [Under Hoop House]
- Désirée Dwarf Blauwschokkers [Under Hoop House]
- Little Marvel Garden Pea [Under Hoop House]
- Moonshadow Hyacinth Bean [Under Hoop House]
Radishes [direct seeded]:
Carrots [direct seeded]:
- Purple Haze
- Rainbow Blend
- All Blue
- French Fingerling
- Purple Majesty
- Red Norland
- Yellow Finn
- Yukon Gold
Beets [direct seeded]:
Herbs [transplants from seed]:
- Chamomile [Under Hoop House]
- Crown Jewels Chia [Under Hoop House]
- Korean Hyssop [Under Hoop House]
- Oregano Vulgare [Under Hoop House]
- Giant of Italy Parsley [Under Hoop House]
- Plantain [Under Hoop House]
- Summer Savory [Under Hoop House]
- Toothache Plant [Under Hoop House]
- Valerian [Under Hoop House]
The garden is starting to green up, and I could not be more pleased. I was able to plant a lot out in April, which last year I was not due to lack of beds. May will see, of course, another huge dose of planting. I am currently preparing for that in the grow room. Meet the newest additions to join the grow room family:
I began working, today, on hardening off the tomatoes. In my impatience, I think I left them out too long and some of them got a little sunburned. I do think they will recover quick enough, and I did bring them in tonight, as it is going to be in the upper 30’s, and I am not comfortable leaving them out all night in the hoop houses. I think that may still be a little chilly. The next few nights, however, the temps are supposed to stay in the 40’s at night, so I may try leaving them under the hoops then and see how they do. I am quite anxious to get the tomatoes (and peppers) in the ground, but I do not want to cause any undo stress or other issues for them. Patience is a Virtue, and All Good Things Come to Those That Wait. Those are the mantras I have told myself lately. 🙂
I do have a couple of other updates, but I will save them for their own posts, which, I hope, will not take me as long as this post took to get out. No promises, but I will do my best!
Until then, Happy Gardening!
I try to live my life based on three Principles:
- Do no harm (physical, emotional, mental)
- Do everything with Integrity and Honesty
- Find and follow your Bliss and do it with Joy (as long as it doesn’t violate #1 or #2)
Prior to the Spring/Summer of 2013, I was not sure what would fill Principle #3 for me. There are many things that I greatly enjoy, and that fill my life with Joy. Some of those include:
- My family
- Tai Chi
However, even though I greatly enjoy all these items, and they all bring me extreme Happiness, I did not consider any of them my Bliss. Perhaps I should explain what I mean when I say “Follow your Bliss”. To put it simply, it means: Follow your purpose, your passion, that message you have deep inside your Heart. Follow your Heart, the reason you are here. After minimally planning and growing a fairly successful garden in 2013, I realized I now knew what my Bliss truly is: Gardening.
I found so much Joy in all aspects of gardening. The planning, the planting, the growing and caring for the plants, and the harvesting and enjoying the fruits (literally) of my labor. It was so much fun, and so much work. However, it is work I greatly looked forward too. I would come home every day from work, and the first thing I wanted to do was to remove my shoes and socks and go outside to walk in the garden; to have “Garden Time”, as I started calling it. I loved seeing the plants growing larger and larger. Watching them produce wonderfully healthy food for my family and I to eat was amazing. Introducing my daughter (she turned 5 in July) to gardening was a treat. She loved helping me plant, and when it came time to harvest, she would be out there everyday, with me, finding produce to pick. She would get very excited every time she saw a red tomato, or a Pole bean that was ready. She really loved pulling up carrots and radishes out of the ground. She also greatly enjoyed eating many of the veggies we harvested.
This blog will expand on all of this and so much more. I will be using it to share my Joy with any who choose to read it, and I look forward to hearing any feedback from those that do.
Until next time, Happy Gardening!