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Archive for the ‘seedlings’ Category

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For Christmas this year my husband bought me this awesome new grow light from Gardeners Supply Company. Last year I grew seedlings in the back window, which was less than ideal. I had a small space and not enough light. Now I have 18 sq ft to grow my seedlings.

Here’s my little greenhouse. I only have 1 heating mat, which I may have to expand to two soon, since my light is eagerly awaiting more seedlings. There are jalapenos, poblanos, wonder bells, basil, dill and summer savory. The poblanos and bells were planted on the 26th, just a little slow to germinate. The others were planted on January 3rd.

Here are the first seedlings under the grow light. These are serranos, purple beauty and canary bell peppers. These were planted on December 26th.
Just for fun I thought I’d share a few pictures of my purple veggies. We cut these up and had them for snacks on New Year’s Eve.

Chef’s Choice Blend Cauliflower

Purple Haze Carrots.
Both of these varieties are grown at the White House Garden. I saw them last night
on the food network, pretty cool!

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Not much gardening occurred this weekend, but that doesn’t translate to nothing to report in the garden…

Ever since the Grow Green book came out this year I’ve been pining after a batface cuphea. I’ve looked all over the place with no luck. I talked to someone who bought one at the Zilker Garden Festival, but I didn’t make it this year. Then last week I talked to a friend of mine, a casual gardener, who had recently planted three batface cupheas. That is just not fair! She shared with me that they had several at the Red Barn in North Austin. I drove up Friday during my lunch break and was able to find some. They aren’t flowering yet, but I was told they are fast growers. Now I just have to figure out where to plant them.

We had guests over for dinner on Saturday night and I decided to make goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms. I grabbed several from the garden Saturday morning, but as I started to put them together I realized that I could use a few more. As I started opening the newly gathered blossoms one of them was buzzing. I peaked and saw a bee inside. I immediately moved towards the door to throw the squash blossom outside, but before I could, the bee escaped. I screamed, threw the blossom, and yelled to my husband that there was a bee in the house. He seemed less concerned than I was. Well after I had a chance to collect myself I went for the blossom, since you don’t want to waste a perfectly good squash blossom. As I picked it up, a bee flew out. I screamed and threw it again. I was then very confused, I could have sworn I saw the bee fly out. Turns out there were 2 bees in that squash blossom. Luckily they flew to the sunroom and were buzzing around the windows. After about 10 minutes of coaxing I swas able to return those bees to the outside. Maybe that’s why they say to gather the blossoms in the morning.

On a side note, I also made pesto with the garden basil and cooked up some zucchini and yellow squash. Yum!


On to the mysterious sprouts… For the past several weeks I’ve seen what I swear are squash and tomatoes seedlings. I could be wrong about the tomatoes, but the squash family is pretty distinct. I couldn’t figure out how these were getting everywhere, especially in the back yard. Finally I figured out that I had used homemade compost in the recent plantings. The compost must not have been hot enough to kill the seeds, so last seasons veggies were sprouting in the garden. I guess this is why you’re supposed to avoid weeds in the compost pile. A few squash plants are much easier to deal with than milkweed.

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>Seedling Update

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I realized that I haven’t posted pictures of the seedlings since the first week. They are doing really well, in fact, after the first week I already had to transplant the okra. The tomato roots are growing way outside their little containers, so I envision transplanting the them soon too. The peppers seem to be a little slower than the tomatoes, but when they do germinate, their leaves appear really solid. 

I went to my first organic gardeners association meeting at Zilker on Monday. I really enjoyed it, and plan on going back next month. They are having their annual herb and vegetable transplant sale in early march, where the members sell the seedlings they’ve grown. I hope to be able to participate next year. With as many seedlings that one packet of seeds generates, it would sure be nice to share.

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>Seeds update

>Almost all of the seeds are sprouting now. I think the combination of the cover and heat pad did it. I am removing the cover starting tonight, since most things I read said that once the seeds have sprouted you should remove the greenhouse cover. Hopefully, they continue growing as they have been. At this rate I’ll need to start gathering larger containers. I have a few leftover from last spring, but no where near the 72 I’ll need.

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>Okra Already Sprouting??

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I just planted the seeds last night and tonight I checked to see how everything is doing and the okra is already sprouting. They are pretty warm, with the greenhouse top and the heating pad on the bottom, but I didn’t expect results this soon. Maybe it’s typical for okra, I’ll have to do some research…

Here’s my setup. There’s room for 72 seedlings. The sections are a little small so I may have to transplant later, depending on how they do. This is my first time with seeds, so I’m being a little optimistic.
Okra closeup

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