05 July 2013

A Few Vegetables and Herbs from my Garden

These Early Blood Turnip-rooted Beets came up quickly, and grew well in the heat while I was gone.  Now all I need to do is thin them!  I love beets, and I'm going to experiment with loving beet greens this summer as well.   

I ordered several varieties of tomato seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom SeedsAlthough I didn't label my photo very well and therefore don't know which variety is shown here, I was pleased to see that most of the little tomato plants had more than doubled in size in my week away from them.  They had not grown quickly in their toilet paper tube starter containers, and I believe I waited too long to set them out.  (I set them out as soon as I could, but because of the move across the country, it was not early in the season.)  So now I'm looking for hints to help me figure out how to get the seedlings to grow faster when I start them indoors next year.  More nutrients?  Larger starter containers?

From scanning over the Baker Creek Planting Guide, I think I may start with larger containers for the plants that need to be started as many weeks ahead as things like tomatoes and peppers.  None of my plants had the three recommended inches of planting medium, and would have needed transplanting before my last frost date.  I also started my seeds in actual soil, and I'm finding that Baker Creek (and others I read after planting my plants) actually recommend a soil-less planting medium.  This guide is wonderful, and I plan to read it in full before the next planting season.
We planted Baker Creek's Emily Basil and Genovese BasilThe above has been my best specimen all along, and added a couple of sets of leaves in the last week.  I hope it keeps shooting up, because I'm hungry for pesto!

My Tomatillo Verde plants were worrying me for the longest time.  They would leaf out, yellow, and drop the bottom leaves.  I did some reading, and discovered they would need more nutrients.  They seemed to stabilize a little when I put them in larger pots; however, they still did not grow.  I added an organic plant food to the soil when I planted everything here (more on that in a moment), and kept my eye on them while it rained for several days in a row.  When the sun came out and the temperature rose while I was gone, they shot up and probably all the plants tripled in size while I was away.  So the key thing I learned?  Lots of water, lots of nutrients, lots of sun.  They seem happy and stable now, and I hope they grow to the height and productivity I've heard are possible for them.

About adding the plant food to the soil.  What I bought really could be considered soil food as well as plant food, and I tried to find something organic.  I hope I succeeded.  My hope for long-term gardening is that I will not need to feed the plants, but instead that constantly feeding the soil with compost from my kitchen and a wood chip mulch will feed the soil and make it welcoming to the plants without adding plant food from the store.  However, since this year is the first the little corner in the yard has had vegetables growing in it, and the soil hasn't been fed much before, I decided the little guys needed a boost.  Especially after their 2800-mile drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.