Seedling rescue

Well I messed up. The leggy seedlings definitely needed to be outside, but they certainly didn’t need to be in the way too hot greenhouse.

Those are some damaged seedlings. Problem is- it’s actually kinda warm out now. Warm and sunny. So in the greenhouse bench it wasn’t warm- it was hot! Luckily the raised temps and sunny weather means the greenhouse is unnecessary so I took the plastic off of it.

Then it was just a matter of repotting the survivors.

I managed to save three zucchini, one Boston pickle cucumber plant, two romanesco and two sunflowers.

And there is absolutely no guarantee any of them will survive their early transplant.

But they look ok, and by being in the sun but not in the greenhouse they should toughen up.

I took the opportunity to move the indoor seedlings outside- and to plant some more.

Another 6-pack of romanesco and sunflower, along with a 6-pack of the telegraph improved cucumbers and Swiss chard because you can never have enough of them.

So my greenhouse bench is now just a bench. It might sprinkle tomorrow which might mean I have to take the trays indoors or move them to the table, but it should be clear for at least a week and a half.

Of course I gave up trusting San Francisco weather forecasts a long time ago, so I’ll just have to be on top of things.

I am slightly concerned about wind knocking things over- so I put a bunch of rocks inside the drip trays to try and weigh things down. That also could fail. We’ll see.

At least hopefully I saved a few of them.

Part one of new raised bed adventures

It was dry today, and it will be dry tomorrow. Then a bit more rain- then dry for a while. It’s the first good break in the weather so I’m taking advantage of it.

The first step is mowing everything I can get my mower on.

Under the greenhouse was a priority, but the most important place to mow and weed was the areas where I’m going to put my new beds.

Up here against the fence needed some work, including a lot of hand weeding.

Over here needed work too. I filled the compost bin almost halfway full before I was done.

Then I figured- I don’t have the soil yet, but won’t it be easier if I set up the new beds now?

Mallet time.

I ordered these two new beds over a month ago expected to be sent two smaller boxes. Instead to save money they bundled up both beds in two boxes which makes sense but made the package incredibly heavy. Wrestling it outside was very fun.

Luckily before I ordered anything I measured the areas well, so I knew for a fact the beds would fit in their new homes.

They still need straightening out, and tomorrow I’m going to dig out the remaining weeds and lay down some newspaper for weed prevention. Then it’s just a matter of covering both new beds with a tarp to protect them from the rain. Don’t want my new beds turning into swimming pools.

Then next week I’ll finally be getting the soil to fill the beds.

This was a lot of work, but better to break it up. I know from experience lifting multiple bags of soil first from the car to the back, then from where I set them to the beds is a CrossFit level of activity, so doing this now means in a week I’ll only have to do that, and I’ll be free to collapse afterwords.

I am very tired.

Spinach ahoy!

So I just straight up lost my patience yesterday. It’s been long enough for the seedlings in the greenhouse to have sprouted by now- and the one Swiss chard seedling that sprouted has died. Nope! Time for some direct sowing!

I will still need to start seedlings to replace the spinach that grows in two months or so- but I’m not using the seed starter mix or the coir pots- clearly they don’t hold onto enough moisture in a greenhouse environment. Basic cardboard pots and basic potting mix is good enough for seedlings. Lesson learned.

So I mixed the nice dank soil from the ex- pepper pot into the new spinach bed- and sowed some alrite seeds on the left, and the monstrueux de viroflay on the right.

No muss no fuss. Should have done this from the start. I’m still glad I set up the greenhouse bench- it’s definitely going to help down the road, but I’ve got to be smarter about starting seeds.

Captain’s log: August 24th 2018

So today was gloomy as usual- though a little warmer, almost 70 in the early afternoon.

It’s heat more than sun that ripens tomatoes- so even with the gloom as long as the temperature continues to stay warm-ish, the new growth and a more cautious watering schedule means that I might get more than these 3 tomatoes.

The eastern peppers are doing great. So are the western peppers, for the most part- but that one hatch plant is just growing like mad. There are baby peppers growing, and most importantly it has been brought to my attention that pepper plants can live many years and produce every summer. I had been hoping to get rid of the shitty plastic planters but damn- perennial peppers…

Speaking of perennials- I really have to cut back the African blue basil. It’s just too wild, and I’m sure it’s hiding some nasty bugs. But it’s attracting so many bees…

I pulled out the marjoram plant- it had gone completely to seed.

I also have to cut back the shiso a bit, it’s being nibbled so I have to trim it back.

Same kinda holes as the sage.

Considering the amount of horrible cabbage moths that have been flying around I’m pretty sure it’s the moth caterpillars that’s causing the damage. Considering the gloom, slugs and snails could also be the culprit. So as a precaution I put down some Sluggo. It’s a bait type organic poison- I use the pet safe version. Once you wet the ground you shake the pellets around and the slugs eat it and die instead of your plants.

The carrots are growing nicely despite the off and on aphid load. I’d like them to get a little bigger before I pick them- but they’re very nice.

I’m still misting the seedlings everyday, it it will be a week or two before anything sprouts.

I love how well this greenhouse bench is working out.

For now the new bed is empty.

It waits… it hungers… for seeds!

I might sow some spinach direct into the bed on one side and wait for the new seedlings to fill the other.

My next big task this weekend is to tear down the bean vines and do a deep weeding. I have to get this done this weekend because starting Monday- the new semester starts. Might be too tired next week for big projects.

I’ll probably also do the trimming and pruning of the herbs.

Also:

Is that a wasp? Are my fava beans attracting wasps? It’s gorgeous but I do hope I don’t get stung…

Or that my silly bee eater becomes a silly wasp eater.

Seedling care pro-tip

This one is actual not sarcastic like my fairly obvious tomato pro-tip. When I started my seeds in their little biodegradable pots I used seed starter soil (totally optional- I just like it) and watered it on the work table from my watering can.

Well that made a huge mess. The water just sort went right through and soaked the table. You have to water these bad boys really gently.

So I got a spray bottle that I store in the greenhouse bench so I can mist the seedlings everyday. This way I’m not watering the ground, wasting a ton of water, and possibly disturbing my seeds.

Happy spinach!

By the way the greenhouse bench really works. I unzip the sucker so I can get to misting and it feels like 10 degrees warmer than it was outside. And it wasn’t even sunny today! Hallelujah!

Winter greens here I come!

New greenhouse bench and sowing some seeds!

My big week of garden construction before university starts up again, has really kicked off! I’m starting with my greenhouse bench.

I actually have a really nice greenhouse waiting to be put together in the shed of doom.

The problem is- I got it like 3 years ago and never set it up, and dad made a really good point about anything that tall being an earthquake risk- so we’re going to brainstorm this winter about best practices before we set up the big one. And it will be *we*. Problem is- the big one is big enough that I seriously doubt I could put it together myself. So since dads not up for it right now- the little one will do. Also, there are a ton of logistics. Do we level the ground and put pavers down? Do we secure it somehow to the fence? To the brick?

Anyways- I have seedlings to start in gloomy weather- so it’s construction time!

Luckily for me putting together furniture/shelving is my idea of a good time. More than half of the stuff in the house was put together by me. I put together my first big piece of furniture when I was 8! It was an entertainment center for one of the old square TVs. Dad was all set for us to do it together, but when he realized how good I was at it and how much fun I was having, he just kicked back and watched me put together a piece of furniture taller than I was. He knew a good thing when he saw it.

So armed with a screwdriver and opposable thumbs- I got to work.

Ta-da!

All I need is some seedlings! So I got out my seed start and my bio-degradable pots and got to work!

Swiss chard, romaine and the “alrite” Japanese spinach.

Here they are in their new home.

Everyone’s favorite plastic owl is on guard! And hopefully by the time the seeds sprout I’ll have the new bed laid out for some of them.

Honestly a lot of vegetable gardening in this sort of completely unpredictable climate is making the best of not great situations. Like the tomato plant is inexplicably still alive- though I doubt I’ll get more than 6 or 7 tomatoes. The peppers are inexplicably still producing, though how good the peppers will be in a month is also sort of up in the air. The fava beans remain the scariest thing in the garden. My herbs keep on trucking. I’m sad the zucchini died- but, it is what it is.

The fall/winter season has officially started!

If we have a late season heat wave I’m going to scream