Playing in the dirt.

Posts tagged ‘Bed 1’

Zoom! Like a Rocket

Okay, yes, it’s a terrible pun.  Of the seeds I planted a week ago, the arugula was the first to sprout, with several little green faces showing up by yesterday morning.  It got close to freezing last night, but never quite got there, which is good, because I did not cover the bed.  I wasn’t feeling particularly well yesterday, and decided that if it was only going to take a week to sprout, I’d just replant them if they got nipped.  It did rain off and on all night, so I did not have to haul water this morning, so I won’t know how it went last night until I get off work this afternoon.

The cucurbits were planted indoors on Friday, and this morning brought two moldy zucchini peats, two moldy watermelon peats, three cantaloupe sprouts, and the suggestion of sprouts in all the other peats.  I’m planning to plant one squash bed in seedlings and one in seeds for each of the cucurbits, then compare the results between the two at the end of the season, to see if I need to bother with starting them early in future years.  Cucurbits don’t like to have their roots disturbed, so tend to make poor transplants, but our growing season is so short, and our nights so cool, that careful transplanting might be the only way to get fruit for most varieties.

It’ll be an experiment!


We Are Go!

It’s official, there are seeds in the ground.  Repeat, there are seeds in the ground.

Yesterday, I pulled all the staples holding down the chicken wire, watered the soil, then raked in two bags of compost to make up for what I took out in produce last year and what settling there was over the winter.  Then I ran out of steam.

Tonight, I re-strung my square foot markers, and planted one square each of:

  • Onions for greens and sets for next year
  • Shallots for the same reason, though some of these might actually get large enough to eat
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Kale
  • Radicchio
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Carrots (Paris Market)
  • Carrots (Dragon)
  • Daikon radishes
  • Radishes (Early Scarlet Globe)
  • Radishes (French Breakfast)
  • Spinach
  • Lolla Rossa lettuce
  • Bunte Forellenschluss lettuce
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Red Romaine lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Mizuna
  • Kohlrabi

All of those should be okay even if we get another freeze, and some are supposed to be planted before the last frost, anyway.  We’re technically a month away from our average last frost, but the forecast for the next week at least is 70s during the day, and above 40 at night (Fahrenheit, for my non-USian readers).  I have plastic milk jugs to cut down for cloches, and I can throw sheets over the bed cover if the weather turns on us again, so I’m pretty confident.  This is a little earlier than last year’s first planting, which happened on May 27.  I’ll be planting additional squares of most of these after I get the new beds built.

Starting to Look Like a Party

Today brought a few more sprouts!  Two more radishes (one of the German Giant variety, to go with all the French Breakfast sprouts), a second spinach, three more beets, and I’m pretty sure a cucumber all arrived since last night.  I wasn’t able to get a great picture of the cuke, so hopefully it will be unfolded tomorrow, and I can confirm it was actually a sprout, and not some random bit of detritus posing as a sprout.

Beet sprouts in garden soil, marked with yellow stars.



Four French Breakfast radish sprouts in garden soil, each marked with a yellow star.

Radish. Radish. Radish. Radish.  (French Breakfast)


A German Giant radish sprout in garden soil.

Radish. (German Giant)


Spinach sprouts in garden soil, each marked with a yellow star.

Spinach. Spinach.

And the poor bedraggled $300 turnip is still there, still bedraggled, and I still don’t know if it will recover from being snacked on.

A bedraggled turnip sprout in garden soil. Pink twine is visible in the top left.

Turnip? Or my first contribution to compost?


New Arrivals

It seems that the radishes weren’t the only ones to get a little competitive once the newcomers were in the ground. After watering tonight, I noticed a brand new beet seedling and a shy spinach seedling peeking out.

A beet sprout in garden soil.

I’m a beet!

A spinach sprout in garden soil.

I’m a spinach!

Sadly, it appears that someone munched the $300 turnip.  I don’t know whether the poor wee thing will recover or not, but there are plenty more turnip seeds to be had.  I think I was a bit too close when I snapped this:

A ragged turnip sprout in garden soil.

Sad turnip is sad.

Lazy Radishes

Readers, the radishes were supposed to sprout in 4-6 days.  I gave them 14, then planted new sections yesterday.  Guess what I found this evening, when I went to water.  Three French Breakfast radish sprouts in the first section!  Two are barely breaking through the soil, so I have marked each with a yellow star to make them easier to find.

Three brand-new French breakfast radish sprouts in garden soil.

Fashionably late.

The $300 turnip is still doing well, too.

A 5 day old turnip sprout in garden soil.

Five days old.

May 27 – June 2, 2012 Weather Report

Sunday, May 27, 2012

  • High: 57°F
  • Low: 32°F
  • Wind: 24mph, gusts to 33mph (12:00pm); 26mph, gusts to 45mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); 43°F (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 15% (12:00pm); 29% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Partly cloudy (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)
  • Lunar phase: Waxing crescent (42% of full)


  • 1-1: Lettuce. Rouge d’Hiver.
  • 1-3: Lettuce. Forellenschluss.
  • 1-5: Lettuce. Salad Bowl.
  • 1-7: Lettuce. Mesclun mix.
  • 2-1: Spinach.
  • 2-2 to 2-4: Pea. Sugar Snap.
  • 2-5 to 2-7: Cucumber.
  • 2-8: Spinach.
  • 3-1: Radish. German Giant.
  • 3-2: Radish. French Breakfast.
  • 3-3 to 3-4: Carrot.
  • 3-5 to 3-6: Beet.
  • 3-7 to 3-8: Turnip.

Watered: 2 gallons

Monday, May 28, 2012

  • High: 62°F
  • Low: 36°F
  • Wind: 18.7mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 39% (whole day average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 3 gallons

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

  • High: 69°F
  • Low: 28°F
  • Wind: 9.6mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 40% (whole day average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 4.5 gallons

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  • High: 72°F
  • Low: 35°F
  • Wind: 14.3mph (whole-day average)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 15% (12:00pm); 29% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Partly cloudy (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)

Watered: 4 gallons

Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • High: 69°F
  • Low: 38°F
  • Wind: 12mph, gusts to 23mph (12:00pm); 14mph, gusts to 23mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 42% (average)
  • Overall: Fair (whole day average)

Watered: 3 gallons + negligible rain

Friday, June 1, 2012

  • High: 77°F
  • Low: 43°F
  • Wind: 21mph, gusts to 31mph (12:00pm); 17mph, gusts to 28mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: 0.03 inches
  • Humidity: 29% (12:00pm); 20% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: A Few Clouds and Breezy (12:00pm); A Few Clouds (5:00pm)

Watered: 5 minutes (outside water now on, and hose all the way to the garden!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

  • High: 76°F
  • Low: 47°F
  • Wind: 5 mph (12:00pm); S 13 mph (5:00pm)
  • Wind chill: n/a (12:00pm); n/a (5:00pm)
  • Precipitation: none
  • Humidity: 23% (12:00pm); 32% (5:00pm)
  • Overall: Fair (12:00pm); Mostly cloudy (5:00pm)
  • Lunar phase: Waxing gibbous (97% of full)

Watered: 5 minutes + negligible rain

Now, We Wait

Today was planting day.  Mr. Teaspoon had come across some bright pink nylon twine while he was out shopping one day, and thought I might like it to lay out my “square feet.”  It was a lot more fashionable than my original plan, which was to mark out my grid on the frame edges and lay temporary markers across it while I planted seeds.

Bright pink twine forms a grid over a filled garden bed.

The bee’s knees.

I used a pencil as a dibble to make holes for my seeds, which gave me the brilliant idea to write on the frame what went into each square (some of which are 11″x12″ an others are 11″x11″, to accommodate for the 4 inches lost in each direction).

Labels in pencil on a garden box frame, reading "Peas, 5/27" "Spinach 5/27" and "Rouge d'Hiver 5/27."

Inspiration strikes!

In each square of the northernmost row, I planted Rouge d’Hiver lettuce, nothing, Forellenschluss lettuce, nothing, Salad Bowl lettuce, nothing, Mesclun lettuce mix, nothing.  (The empty squares will be planted later, so we can enjoy a rolling harvest, rather than having everything come on at once, half of it be wasted, and then nothing again for a month.)

In the next row, with the help of Teaspoon Jr., I planted spinach, peas, peas, peas, cucumbers, cucumbers, cucumbers, spinach.  When the peas and cucumbers begin to vine, I will build them a trellis to climb.  They’ll offer the lettuce a little shade during the hotter part of the summer, hopefully helping keep it from bolting as quickly.

In the third row, I planted German Giant radishes, French breakfast radishes, carrots, carrots, beets, beets, turnips, turnips.

The fourth row will be planted later with a repeat of the third row.

A grid layout of a garden plot using "square foot" techniques.

Assigned seating.

Now the waiting begins, to see if the weather cooperates enough to let the seeds sprout, to see how many of my carrot seeds actually fell in their holes and how many blew away when the wind came up before I was finished, and to see whether the whole project together has enough of the right pieces to make food happen.  With a bit of luck, there should be sprouts in 7-10 days.