Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh My Garden

Dear friends,
I hope this post finds you all enjoying some warm late spring weather and plenty of time in your gardens too! I was thinking of hanging a sign on my blog that says, 
" I'm in the Garden " but I figure that's where most of us are these days!  Today, I got up bright and early to check on my tiny seedlings in the greenhouse and do my morning garden walk. Max came with me of course...

My first year with a greenhouse has had some ups and downs. Mostly ups. As with any new project there's a learning curve but I'm not going to let it keep me from enjoying the process! So far I love my shelter logic greenhouse. It is sturdy, and heats up nicely even on overcast days which we have often here along the northeastern seaboard.

 Here's what's UP in the greenhouse
Three flats of Drop Dead Red Sunflowers have sprouted and look very healthy!
  The Vanilla Ice Sunflowers are popping up as are the Pumpkin on a Stick!

 Just look at my sunflower babies reaching for the sun!

The Cosmos also sprouted in good time and look strong and I'm seeing signs of life in the tomato flats  as well!

 And what's NOT!
 The Zinnia's have given me a challenge... I didn't use any heat to start my seeds and some of them just have not germinated. I'm relying on the heat of the greenhouse to get my little seeds to sprout... One entire tray of Envy Zinnia's didn't sprout and the others have a few popping up here and there! If they don't pop up soon, I'll direct sew them right into the raised beds. Maybe things take longer with out heat? Maybe I didn't water them enough after planting?  Maybe some of them were bum seeds? Or, maybe that cooler  weather  we had last week slowed things down?  What ever the causes were, I have overcome the disappointment and have continued planting seeds anyway! I've made a note in my garden journal to plant more than what I think I'll need just in case I lose a few next year.

 Did you know there is a wealth if information inside the Botanical Seed packets which includes planting, growing and harvesting tips alongside botanical names and how to make your cut flowers last longer. I am loving learning about each flower and vegetable I plant this way.

image from my garden notebook
 Next on my " to do list " is to implement a way to my garden notes and seeds/seed packets. Little Farm in the Big City shared a wonderful tip in her farmgirl Friday entry last week that I love!
Be sure to check out the link for the entire post where she shows a great tutorial. It's easy- peasy and efficient too!

I've kept a garden journal/binder for years to keep track of what I plant ( and a plant wish list ) but I love the idea of  lined note cards that would include information about:

Name of Plant
Spring, Summer or Fall bloomer
Date Planted  (Inside or Outside )
Days to germinate
Days to bloom
Harvest date
Diseases/pests/ life span
Sun/shade or both

Garden Notes
 I would also add notes at the end of each season.
Ratings as a cut flower and what it looks nice paired with .
More, less or none next year...
Was it a WOW bloomer?
Heirloom/ Organic 

Sweat Peas doing and overnight soak in water for planting tomorrow in this hanging basket.

 That's the view from the greenhouse today!  Come back soon  to see what's growing everywhere else!

Daydream Window from the rear of the greenhouse.
 Oh, what the heck. Here's a sneak peak!

My Lady Banks rose is going strong on the side of the hen-house! 

Happy Growing and as always, DANDELION WISHES!

 How do you organize your garden notes?I'm taking today's garden notes over to Heidi's Country Garden Showcase! You should come too!

 PS. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I shared some of my " Mom Moments "
over at the MJF Beachfarmgirl Blog in my last post! Come on by for a chuckle!


Farmgirl Heidi said...

This is a wonderful post Debbie. Your greenhouse is working out great. Zinnias are tough without heat. A few tricks I have learned for tough seeds- I cover trays with saran wrap to increase heat and humidity, but I check it daily. Remove if temp hits 75+ inside and remove as soon as seedlings emerge.

For really tough, thick seeds like gourds, I scarify them. Take two sheets of fine sand paper place one flat inside a cake pan, pour in some seed and gently sand up and down just a few times and not using too much pressure. We want to rough it up, but not really sand through into the seed. That almost always works. You're already soaking seed overnight and that's the other trick I know to speed things up.

I love your Lady Banks rose. I hope to add a few roses to my hen house and chicken garden someday...

Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Hello Heidi!
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me a note and thanks for the greenhouse tips... I have been using saran wrap and plastic covers for all seeds while they germinate... I guess I'll have to start my zinnia's inside with heat next year for an earlier start...but so far so good! You've got me thinking about where I can add some fruit bearing bushes! Perhaps surrounding the cutting garden next year! ?

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

You have such a pretty setting for the green house too! I have been loving the Botanical Interest seeds. We used them last year but never the larger mixes or many flowers other than zinnias or bachelor buttons. The red sunflowers would be a nice accent.

Clint Baker said...

I love the tour through your garden! Everything is so pretty! Hope everything else is going well with you Ladies?
My good friend Todd works for Botanical Interest. He is in charge of all the sales and distribution! He loves working there!

daisy g said...

Lovely seedlings and blooms! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Unknown said...

Hi Kathy! I'm trying their bachelor buttons this year as well. We should be able to plant directly this weekend with out any worry of another frost...Don't you just love the artwork on their seed packets?

Unknown said...

Hi there Clint. After reading your post on Damping Off I feel more enlightened. Great tips there for plants and humans! Oh, I think I would love working for Botanical Interest too! How fun would that be?

Unknown said...

Hi Daisy,
Thank you for the visit and the kind words! Come back soon!

Jan said...

Hey there, Deb,
I just stopped by to tell you of my new little project that I've got brewing. It's called a vertical, or hanging succulent garden. You can use wreaths to make a lovely hanging garden (after you root the succulents) or if you're lucky you just might happen to have some old picture frames (that you got at a garage sale and cost was only $1 apiece!!). Hubby Karl and I are brainstorming on what kind of a back to put on them so that you can successfully water them while they're in place. Thinking about mounting them on the garden fence...Do a google search and you can see the process! Woohoo...

I see that you have some pretty RED sunflowers started. I just purchased some RED seeds, too. Have you ever tried a 'Teddy Bear'? The plants are about 3 ft. tall and the flowers look like a tight mum and very YELLOW!!
Glad that you're having so much fun! Love those sweet peas too!

Unknown said...

Howdy Jan! Nice to hear from you! Your project sounds great and quite creative! Send me some pic's when you are done...I would love to see how you two put it all together! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun too! That's what spring is for!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Loved catching up with you and yours. LOVE your new endeavors with the greenhouse. You're right, there is a learning curve.

Yes, I have been in the garden and doing interviews for radio and print. Also doing lots of writing and just finished reviewing covers and wrappers for the new bird book. Every small detail takes so much time (as you know).

Hope you and your family are all well and happy,


Sharon Lovejoy said...

P.S. I jot daily notes in a journal and on a calendar, which I keep referring to for bloom times, etc.


Unknown said...

Hello Dear Sharon,
Thanks for stopping by to say hello! I'm guessing you are working on your novel too? Good girl! :)

Hen Jen said...

oh my, those huge doggy ears!! -I'm in love!

Your greenhouse looks wonderful, so pretty!


Deb, I sure do love this post. Your greenhouse and plantings are such fun to see. You do know that you and Heidi are making me want a greenhouse! It has been in my mind for years but seeing the results you two are having is making my decision easier. Thanks for the inspiration! Lady Banks looks wonderful we have them and they are such vigorous growers with little care..Love those little bloom covered roses. Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

Hi Hen Hen! Yes, THOSE HUGE DOGGY EARS are sooooo soft! We are in love too!

Unknown said...

Hi dear Dolly! Thank you! I'm loving the greenhouse but I think Heidi has me beat by a thousand miles... I'm learning from her too! She's a pre!
That being said, YES.. you need one too! I ordered my Lady Banks ( Banks is my maiden name ) from Park Seed last year and it has performed beautifully! Have a wonderful weekend sister Dolly!

Unknown said...

Dear Sharon, Thank you for stopping by and catching a glimpls of my new endeavors! You are in my thought always and we can't wait for the new Bird Book to hit the shelves, internet etc... Will we see you this way on another book tour? Sure hope so!

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