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Baby Seedlings!

March 11, 2010

Okay so I have a few pictures, and a little bit of news. Most of my seedlings have sprouted, with me realizing I made several mistakes. First, I should have planted more seeds that would have germinated at around the same time. Second, I should have been more vigilant about the “no direct sunlight” thing.

You see, our house has been in a constant state of…..chaos (I think that’s the right word). I have three cats who all have decided it is their sole purpose in life to ruin whatever I bring into the house, including plants. Last time I tried to start seedlings, the little one spent all his time trying to figure out a way to knock the tray over, and finally succeeded one very early morning. About 2:30. Anyway…

So this time, the furbabies are in the back room. Not only because of the fact that they’ll destroy the plants, but also because our dog has been coming inside at night and I don’t want them to pick up any fleas.

Most of the seedlings are doing well, but I can’t help feeling like I may have messed up a bit. I think they’re like, reaching for the sun and maybe not concentrating on producing new foliage.

The only place for me to keep the trays of seeds is in our kitchen window, because the dining room and the other back room are inaccessible. That’s right. Inaccessible. As in, I can’t get to them. We have a ton of home improvement projects lined up, we live in an older house, but we’re low on money. So for now, while I’m doing my job search, I’m going to learn how to grow my own food. I’m going to try and do it as organically as possible. I’m trying to follow Edward C. Smith’s suggestions from The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, while adapting it to the challenges FL gardeners face.

I’ve also chosen the ideal location for my garden plot. Ideal for our yard anyway. It gets all day sunshine, with the strongest sun coming in the morning. There is a strip right in the middle of our backyard in which nothing will grow, not even the lowliest weeds. It is so hot, the plants just bake. The sun hits this area at around noon, and just bakes it until everything is dead, for about two hours. My garden plot will be located just to the side of this area.
Over the next few days, I’m going to obtain some chicken wire to surround the garden plot. I have a list of things I need since I’ve never done this before. At first I was thinking of just doing the whole thing open air, but the local birds have already started calling dibs on my tomatoes. So that’s what I’m working against.

Here are the plans:

The garden plot will be 9×9, about 7ft tall, surrounded in chicken wire with a door in the front. The planting beds will be 3ft wide and run in a U shape around the sides of the enclosure.

Facing North, I’ll have an area for my tomatoes, spaghetti squash and peas, since they’re vining. I also have some flowering plants that I’ll be planting in there, blue lupine and Canterbury bells. To the west, I’ll be planting the lower growing plants, and the taller plants to the east. If the sun proves to be too strong even in my chosen location, I’ll have to get some shade cloth maybe, the alleviate some of the sweltering heat on my plants. So those are the plans so far, and here are some pictures of my seed trays:

From left to right, I have: sunflowers, scallions, okra, chives, spaghetti squash, lavender, brandywine tomatoes, Echinacea, blue lupine and marigolds.

From front to back, I have: peas, German chamomile, sunflowers, bibb lettuce, Canterbury bells in the top row, and the right vertical row is more blue lupine.

On the left, the row that is barely viewable, I have okra, the next is chives, then spaghetti squash, lavender and brandywine tomatoes.

Does anyone have any feedback on these seedlings? Should I thin out the tomato seedlings or let them do it themselves? Look at those spaghetti squash seedlings- those bad boys are huge. It’s amazing how huge those leaves are compared to the size of the seeds. I love plants, they’re a source of never ending fascination to me.  Until next time!

CG

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