Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little To Report

The title says it all! Not much happening with my many sprouts. Even my lotus have come to a stand still. My husband bought me a new grow light today while he was out... when he gets home I'll set it up and see if it makes a difference over the next week.

I transplanted a few plants the other night, probably have about 5 more to transplant and I'm done for awhile. Nothing is really growing leaps and bounds right now.

I'll take pictures of some of my favorites later!

Also, I'm starting to see reports of snow flurries again next week.... bummer!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dreery Days Keep Coming

Winter is such a bummer. When its cloudy and cold out I feel so... BLAH! I've been pretty unmotivated, but managed to transplant a bunch of seedlings last night. Meant to finish that last 6-7 today, but ran out of steam after cleaning the kitchen.

So posting updated photos of some of my transplants from yesterday, and much fast everything else seems to be growing.

Here's a bunch of transplants. Including larkspur, poppies and sunflowers.

I also wanted to share that our ducks aren't being so shy anymore... they are actually quite excited to see hubby, baby or myself come outside. They come running even from across the pond to get a nice treat!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Following the Lotus

Well, my lotus plants have moved very slowly the last week or so. No real progress to report. However, one is not doing so well, the tip shriveled up and I was concerned it was going to die before it ever got to live! It was the first of the lotus seeds to be moved too!

Here is my set up of all 3 lotus. The other 2 have the crane necks coming up, and they seem to move a little daily, but no leaves or anything appear to be developing. Again, I'm concerned I may not have enough water in the jugs. Only time will tell!

Now, to my surprise I picked up the first lotus stem as it tipped over in the water, and found at the base of the stem from the seed... a NEW SPROUTING STEM!!!!! How exciting!!!!

And now for a happy little bonus this morning, I have my first bloom on my petunia that I rescued the volunteer sprouts from pots outside in November! Sweet little bud, really makes me excited about spring.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Sprouts and Flurrishing Plants

I have a good amount of seedlings going, healthy sprouts, and even my lotus are doing well. No leaves on those yet though. I think it being so cold out has slowed them down some. Oh the other hand, the petunias I've had going since late november have their first bud! So I will have a nice flower to keep me company in the kitchen soon.

Been a bit behind!

I know I haven't posted any new growth results lately, and there has been quite a bit actually, but I've just been busy. I have managed to plant 50 new seeds since the weekend. They include peas and broccoli (which I'll be moving out to the garden in a week or 2). I've also added more poppies and blanket flower. I have 100's of new sprouts surfacing as well.

However, yesterday's snow fall made for such an exciting day I was just out and about with the baby and dog. Hubby even stayed home for work, so it turned out to be a fabulous cold day. Today its kinda brought me down about how far off spring seems to be feeling again.

I know a certain 2 year old that wanted to clear all the snow off of the garden beds we worked so hard on. She tried so hard to clean them off before she just gave up!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Calendula Sprouts

About 4 days ago I planted some Calendula I had received for free. The seed packet had said "For planting 2007 Organic Mix" which includes 2 types of yellow and 2 types of orange. I was sure being as old as they were, probably harvested in 2006, my chances were slim they would grow. I grabbed some peat pots and threw in 10 of them anyways! Well this morning I did have one emerging from the soil already. So it appears that I will get a few of them anyhow! I just don't know where in my gardens I would put them yet, I didn't actually have faith they would sprout. I'll probably mix them in my sunflower bed, that should have enough room to mix in more yellow and orange medium height flowers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Crane

The lotus has come well above the surface this morning and is stretching out its stem into a graceful posse resembling a crane! (Or even a ballerina posse) Its just so amazing to watch this plant take shape. I do have the 2 other seeds in the milk bottle muck, but they are yet to reach the surface... but soon they will too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Signs of Spring

I've repotted my snapdragons today into peat pots. They have their first set of true leaves, but out of 25 plants only 12 came up and 2 were on top of others so I had to root them out. So I have 10 left... I'm hoping repotting made a difference and those 10 I have left can thrive now. I had started them all in the same pot.

My lotus has even moved up to the surface more around 2pm I noticed the tip leaving the water. I even added a tiny bit more warm water to the container after I took the picture this morning. I am planning on photoing it again this evening. Truly, I think it is possible I may have my first leave develop by this weekend.

Though I am going through this planting and seeding and feeding and lighting and watering I am feeling like Spring will never come! It feels like January is just ENDLESS!!! Well, mother nature gave me a bit of warmth today by showing me that spring is coming, and probably early here. I found not 1, but 12 of my tulip bulbs sprouting. I planted 30+ to start with in November... so I am sure to find more as I search the yard later this week.

Reaching the Surface

Today I awoke to nice site. The first lotus seed to crack, and sprout, is the first to make it to the surface of the water in its new container. Its just breaking the surface now, so I'll be following it for the rest of the day. I'm hoping for a leaf to form before the weekend. As its been a little chilly by that window though, it may stunt that extra growth. There is a heating vent right below the cart, but doesn't seem to be helping.

Most of my sprouts under the lights and in the window did come up fast, but don't seem to have made ANY progress since then. Some are still as small as ever, weeks into this project. I'm thinking I may need to buy different lights?

Monday, January 12, 2009

We've got LIFE

Over the last couple weeks I've gotten many early sprouts. Some very recent one's as early as today too. Wanted to show what is working well for me... and how many that are not!

I've gotten some lovely snap dragons which now have their first set of true leaves, as well as larkspur which even have a second set of true leaves. I have 7 of 3 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes. I have blue lake pole beans which in a matter of days are nearly 6" tall. There are poppies, carex bronze grasses, white petunia, foxglove (which I need to pull some sprouts), morning glory, coneflower, black eyed susan, sweet william, blue flax, night blooming lily and much more. Not doing so well are English daisies that never sprouted, no signs of my trumpet lily, and my lobelia came up with 100 sprouts which have died down to about 6! Either over watered or under watered.

Trying Some Cool Weather Veggies

With our fence up now, and the gate almost finished, I couldn't help but try to plant a few cool weather veggies. It may be too early but I think they may just make it fine in the raised beds. I put in 2 rows of spinach and a row of carrots. I'll definitely post if and when they sprout.

The ducks came up this afternoon to eat with the chickens, so I took some photos to share when Zoe was done helping me plant.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lotus Develpment

I never thought January would be a busy Gardening month. I know its just this year, getting everything ready, building the big base for everything! I have to give thanks to my husband who has blown me away with how much care he's put unto everything he's done for me. He knows what I've wanted and has gone above and beyond!

Anyways, today we've moved along with the lotus seeds. They're very fast at development! I have a 3rd one with a newly developed crack... you can already see the sprout moving out. The second one is almost to replanting stage, maybe another 24 hours.

So that means #1 to sprout is ready for the muck. Its hard to see in the photo, but the first lotus seed has been plunged into a mucky soil mix in a milk jug. I'm hoping it will be ready to be moved out on the deck in a 5 gallon bucket in April. The plan is to have it relocated to the pond by June. Lets see how long until it develops some leaves. Could just be a matter of days!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Shoot Emerges / Veggie Garden Fence

Starting last night I witnesses the shoot emerging from the cracked shell of the first lotus seed. I decided I would wait until morning to photo the shoot, that it would probably be easier to see. I was right, its much easier to see now, and a bonus was found as well.

A second lotus seed has cracked and a shoot is starting to poke out. The life of my lotus have begun!

So today was gorgeous and I convinced (by bribery) hubby to put up my raised bed veggie garden fence. We're close to done, but still need part of tomorrow to finish. Sadly, tomorrow looks like rain.

Many hours of hard labor resulted in a gorgeous fence going up though. We did have company so we decided to just chill and hang out a bit here and there. Took my daughter and my friend's daughter down to the pond to feed our ducks. They are finally having less fear of us. After all, we're the nice people with the yummy food!

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Plants and Seedlings Spring

Today I planted "Arizona Sun Blanket Flowers" as well as "Tidal Wave Hot Pink Petunias". So I have 8 new seeds planted.

There are also some seedlings coming up already from the seeds I've planted in the last week. They include:

"Falling In Love" Poppies (A mix of cream, white, pink, salmon, and peach colors)
Night Lilies
Black Eyed Susan's
Green Sausage Tomatoes
Winter White Tomatoes
Russian Orange Tomatoes
Passion Flower
Snap Dragons

I also received more seeds in the mail from trading:

I'm concerned about some Easter Lilies and Poppy Mallow I planted, they are yet to sprout and I planted them weeks ago. It's ok though, I have more seeds then I know what to do with anyways.

By the way, I do trade seeds with anyone interested. Its the best way to help budget and really make a difference to your yard!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Watching the Lotus

So my 5 seeds sit in their warm bottle above my kitchen sink. Some are floating, and some are not. All the seeds have tiny bulges and swelling under their shells though. I hope that is signs of life wait to emerge.

Thinking of what to do next though, I've decided I've saved enough milk containers to use to move the seedlings, if they sprout, to another window in those. I've read I need to fill the jugs with basic planting soil and then fill with water about 3" above the surface of the soil. Once the water and soil settle I can add the seedlings. The question is... which seedling wants to go first?

Edited to add 11:39pm 1/8/09:

I couldn't resist one more peek at the seeds and one has cracked on its own. No shoots showing though.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Beginning an English Style Garden From Seed

I've spent many years in a cramped apartment dreaming of a yard filled with fragrant traditional english garden flowers. I could barely keep a houseplant alive while I was there though.

After years of saving my husband and I bought our first home. We love everything about it. Its the perfect place to raise our young daughter. However, the yard came bare of all life. Other then an acre of grass and creeping weeds. We had 2 pear trees when we moved in during May of 2008, but in less then a month heavy winds destroyed one. All we have left is one which doesn't seem to be doing well.

I've laid out a plan for the yard so far. HUGE plans.... tiny budget. So this leaves me with an acre in need of life and soon. So I've purchased, traded and was giving hundreds of seeds I've been saving for month to start my dream garden.

Since august I've managed to lay a traditional brick path with pea gravel as a foundation to the front door. Adding several perennials I purchased on clearance to line the short 20 ft walk. The small plant bed includes the beginnings of my English garden style. There is Hydrangea, yellow cone flowers, Lobelia, Cleome and Cosmos thus far. I added creeping jenny to fill inbetween those plants.

I've also made a small bed that includes Dianthus and Foxglove on the side of the porch. Very small steps to try to break up so much bare land. So what will I do with the rest?

I've begun a raised bed flower garden at the end of our deck, which is completely empty other then a white hibiscus shrub, a house warming gift from a dear friend. We have 2 raised beds set in the back yard waiting for a fence to go up, the perfect place for a veggie garden to work on with my daughter. Hopefully, the fence will be up before spring so the Chickens don't make there way inside to snack on my lettuce and tomatoes.

As for the rest of the yard, I have a plan in Photoshop for more beds...some patios...walkways... and little details like bird houses and bathes. I started 100's of seeds I've been gathering in my bathroom for this plan. They all sit sprouting under lights just waiting for spring.

So I've come to share the story of these fragile seedlings and how they take to my yard. Keeping tabs here will help me learn what I'm doing. Figure out what is working for me, and figure out what is failing and why. As ideas hit me I will come jot them down here, and as things emerge from the dirt I can document their growth. Maybe my trials and attempts at an english style garden will even help others with dreams to design their own landscapes. Perhaps I'm not the only one on this tiny budget of a few measly bucks a month?!

Before I forget, one special set of seeds are going in my kitchen right now. I will be documenting their development much closer then my lists of other blooms. In a warm bottle over my sink, I've started 5 Red Lotus seeds to go into a pond on our property. I'm scared to mess these up because of how delicate they are, but here's hoping they make it! I put them in the water 1/5/09 and I am waiting for the seeds to crack and sprout. It could be any day now... then I have to figure out what to do with them next!