Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ghetto Garden No More

So all of those seedlings I meticulously cared for, are all dead. I knew, I KNEW that I should not have tried to plant them outside so early. I'm not that upset over my hard work because the broccoli actually sprouted very quickly and was not hard to grow from seed at all.

I read on the National Garden Association's Q&A page what was wrong with my seedlings. First I did some research while growing it from seed that once the seedlings reach 3 inches, it is time to plant them. According to my nifty calendar, I was supposed to start hardening off the transplants mid-March. But my seedlings had reached 3 inches in mid-February! What to do? Well (obviously) planting outdoors was not the right choice. In the Q&A section, someone else had the same problem as I did. The person who answered the question said that "drooping broccoli," means that the broccoli has had too much moisture and humidity and that it grew too fast. They recommended removing the plastic covering that sits over the seedlings as soon as the sprouts emerge. Also don't keep them in a warm window sill. Make sure they are getting light, but not too much. Otherwise the broccoli grows too fast and they are ready to plant before its time.

So now that I know all of this, I'm going to wait one more week. Next week I will plant the broccoli seeds exactly the same way I did before. But this time the broccoli will grow quickly, just in time for me to start hardening it off for transplanting outdoors.

Good thing seeds are cheap and starting over isn't that big of a deal! Hopefully this will work, and I no longer have to have an ugly painter's tarp tent in my back yard!!!

This past weekend I was out of town but came home early from my trip to enjoy the nice weather and get out in the garden. The soil was finally dry so I was able to run the tiller through the entire garden again. I found some very old lime in the shed while we were cleaning it out the other week and spread that over the far half of the garden. I hope the lime is okay- I figured it won't hurt it. And I tilled it under. The far half of the garden, where the soil is very heavy clay, I found that the pH is lower, around 5.5. I didn't have much lime, but I figured the lime I did have, may help raise it just a bit.

I also have a compost pile working. Its not in a bin, but I'm hoping RNH and I will make a bin eventually. The chicken poo and food that I have been throwing in it have made a wonderfully dark soil. The small amount that I had I tilled into the garden as well. I think I see why people compost now! It was full of worms!

I also moved the garlic that I had planted earlier in the year, before making a map of my garden. When I planted the garlic I made the rows run from East to West. I did some research and found a nice garden plan where the rows run North to South for certain sunlight reasons. By using this plan, I had to relocate my garlic. It was actually very easy to do and I was able to see if the garlic was growing or not. I threw out some of the bulbs that didn't even have roots (the soil had been so wet, I was worried about the bulbs rotting before growing). I found that the Elephant garlic is growing surprisingly well. I'm hoping that it will continue to grow well after the big move!

2 comments:

  1. I love my compost bin but I don't have any wormies :(

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  2. I know, I'm jealous of it! I need to invest in one I think! But so far my random pile in the woods is working pretty well. We'll see if I have some extra cash this summer!

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