Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beginning of Gardening Season

Here in Tennessee, the weather is sporadically attempting to warm up and everyone is starting to work in their yards again - mowing grass, clearing out dead brush from the winter, getting new bulbs and trees in the ground.  The garden centers are filling up with flowers and fruit trees and young veggie plants.

I have begun to work myself.  Today I mowed and edged 1/4 of the front yard that grows faster and also trimmed some bushes.  Then I temporarily placed a line of stepping stones right down the middle of rectangular veggie garden, I'm dividing it into 2 sections and this will make it much easier to tend things without getting muddy.  Hopefully.

Over the past couple weeks I've been working on starting my seeds indoors.  These pics were taken on March 25, mostly everything has grown since then, I'll update again soon.

  This is my high-tech indoor seeding zone - a spare bedroom with little furniture (good floor space) and decent light from a south-west facing window.
Sadly, this is the most action the toboggan has seen in a couple years.  Oh well.

Here we have cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, morning glories and surely other things I'm forgetting.


Yellow squash.
You can see the first tiny "true leaf" in the center of the  cotyledons.  When two of them have emerged and grown to a healthy size, it'll be ready for transplanting.


Pumpkins and sunflowers.

As the sprouts grow bigger, I'll transplant them from these cells to larger containers, which will then move to the garage which has windows and gets pretty decent light.  Then I'll shift the young plants to the front porch during the days, back to the garage at night and then finally let them stay out overnight night to complete the hardening off process. 

In 2011 I had great luck with corn in 5 gallon buckets.
In 2012..... not so much.  It was incredibly hot and dry last year and neither my 5-gallon-bucket corn nor my ground-planted corn had any edible success.  There were a couple puny little ears but that was it.

This year I'm planning to add more soil amendments to the vegetable patch (claybreaker and organic garden soil) because our yard is really heavy red clay and I think it will help with rooting and drainage.

Tune in later for more!

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