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Garden Report v2.5 - Fall Wrap Up

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{Cross-posted at}

So, the fall snows have started, and things in the garden are just about...

Yeah. Snow, yesterday and today. Today we got enough to stick on the ground and in the trees a bit. This picture was taken at the start of the snow, and you can compare and contrast with the similar angle picture from last week. Just lovely. I'm hoping this isn't too much of a setback for all of the seeds I put in last week when the garden soil temperature was 60° F. I think most things (spinach, peas, beans, mesclun) should be fine, along with the perennials already out there (chives, strawberry, garlic). However, I am slightly worried about the carrots, as I have read that if the temp sticks for too long below 45° F, they might not germinate at all. The weather is supposed to at least take a slight turn for the warmer later this week, so here's to hoping that happens as planned.

This white stuff outside is having an interesting impact on my inside seedling starting efforts as well. Because of the snow, my hardening off of the lettuce is going to take a little longer. And because the lettuce is in the larger pots on the top shelf of the inside growing area, I'm forced to keep the tomato and pepper plants in the small seed-starting cells, just because I don't have the room to transplant. I was hoping that I would be able to switch the lettuce to outside this week, and the tomatoes and peppers would take their place in larger pots on the top shelf. At least I didn't put the potatoes out yet. However, this doesn't prevent me from starting other seeds inside.

A couple days ago I planted a bunch of stuff, some of it is probably a little on the late side, but will have to do. The herbs were all started (Curly parsley, sweet basil, thyme, sweet marjoram, cilantro, dill, oregano and sage). Most of them will be inserted somewhat haphazardly about the garden, while some will go in pots and stay in the house. One thing I wanted to start but forgot to get seeds for is the mint. I'll have to make a note of that for my next shopping trip. Also started were eggplant (Casper - a white variety), okra, red and green cabbage (Ruby Ball and Parel, respectively), and tomatillos (Mexican Strain organic). Most things inside seem to be doing fine, but there are a few disappointments.

For starters, it appears as though I may have to buy some onion sets to start. The ones I started from seeds are just not doing well at all. I had some success last year with them, but this year they just die off one by one in the pots. The red (Red Bull) variety are almost all dead, though I am having a little better luck with the white (Talon). I am also kind of disappointed with the pansy and petunia seeds I started, which are taking forever. While the marigolds are going like crazy, the other two varieties of flower I have started so far are proving reluctant growers at best. Given the cheap cost of a flat of flowers from Home Depot or the like once we're into the season a bit more, that might have to be the answer again. I have the heating mat going constantly under this stuff, but I wonder if it's just not enough heat. Providing additional heat for the space they are in would just be impractical and a waste, so I'm stuck there. I also have to remember that I should start some flowers to put in the hanging baskets that we have from buying fuschia for the front porch last year. I'll already have nasturtium, pansy, petunias and marigolds, so maybe I'll figure something out with those. Can you tell I'm not so much into the flowers at this point in my gardening?

The other flower seed I started was some of the evening primrose. This seed I actually collected myself, from the seed pods of some of the stalks from last year's plant. This plant was originally planted by Ron when we first moved in to the house two years ago, and it was a beautiful, big and fragrant plant last year. I cut it back, and put the stalks out by the compost bin. I saw them there while I was cleaning up the yard a bit, and thought I might try collecting some seeds to start my own. The pic below is of me at the table with a piece of printer paper, the stalk from the primrose, and an envelope. This is right at the beginning; the seed-collecting grew a great deal messier by the end, with the destruction of each seed-pod thing. The little black specks in the envelope are individual seeds. At least, I'm hoping that's what they are. Otherwise I've planted nothing. I started six of them, even though I don't really have the room for six primrose plants in our yard. Plus they seem to need a fair amount of light. I will likely be giving this away as well.

And I know, so far the pictures are pretty boring. Hopefully in not so long I'll have some decent pictures with actual growing plants to put up here.

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