Yesterday I started another tray of seeds: fennel, beets, marigolds, asters, kale, and eggplant.
Beautiful vegetable garden Skippy has there. 😉 We too are elbow deep in seedlings, more seeds, and actually had our first harvest Friday of some kale, lettuce, tatsoi, a few of the bok choy leaves… from our hoop house. Love what is yet to come.
I just found your blog by doing a google search for "gardening blogs". I love how informative your blog is! I just started trying gardening last year, with some garden peas, sunflowers (though, "animals" ate those lol), and some flowers. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to try some indoor plants in the winter, and do more veggie and flower beds this spring!
It looks like you start some of your plants indoors? If so, do you put plastic or anything over your trays after sewing the veggie seeds to help "hold in" moisture? I am new to all of this, but my inlaws have been gardners/farmers for years and my MIL told me I should put some plastic over my tray of peppers to hold in moisture till they sprout. I just find it more of a pain to do that because of having to fight the plastic to water, then fight it again to put it back on lol! Do you suggest using plastic, or no, or does it really matter?
Also, one last question… (I live in zone 6 also), do you know of any herbicide that will kill unwanted weeds, but wont harm trees? I have a tree line along the side of my yard, near the side street, that I would like to rid the weeds but keep the trees, then plant some shady mix wildflower seeds this year.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
How exciting to have a hoop house! Maybe some day I will have room for this.
Dawn: I do start lots of seeds inside. I don't use plastic because it reduces airflow in the soil and you can get fungi, molds, growing. I check the soil daily (sometimes 2x per day) and water well once the soil dries out. This is how I do it, but its more of a personal preference thing.
I put my peppers under my fish tank where the temperature is about 78*F. They need warmth to sprout and can take a week or so to come up. It is sometimes hard to remember to check on them and water them. Once they sprout they come out and go under lights on my plant shelves where I don't forget them.
About that herbicide, I can almost never recommend something non-organic. (Unless its poison ivy – then you should use limited Round Up spraying directly on the foliage of the plants.)
Mowing is one of the best ways to control "weeds". Regular mowing will encourage grasses to grow. The easiest approach is to mow short in the spring then scatter wildflower seed, or buy small plants. Then mow again every fall and spring.
If you want to put more work into it, you could remove and brush or heavy weeds then spread a 2-3 inch layer of rich compost over the area. Then turn this under, preferably by hand. Then scatter you wildflower seed.
With both of these approaches, you will end up with a mix of whatever is growing there now plus more or less of the new flowers. To get rid of the current growth, I think the best method is to cover it with plastic to heat kill the weed seeds. I don't know if this will work in the shade though. And it often takes a full season and looks ugly while it is covered with plastic.
Maybe someone else has good ideas to add.
I planted Okra seeds today.
Love your blog as well. I discovered it thru The Inadvertant Gardener's blog. We live in Seattle area (just east) and I just ordered our seeds for the season.We're a bit late due to being ill but definately excited to start the seeds. I like the no mildew idea for keeping the tops off, and have yet to buy and use grow lights or heat pads. Last year was our first year to do a community garden and it did well despite us starting very late (July). We still managed to reap a few goodies out of the garden and learned a TON in the process by a few mistakes and a bad rainy/cool season. Thinking of starting my own garden blog as well. Yours is great to read and watch. Thanks for keeping it up. Hello to Skippy from our shih tzu Toby! And your job of doing breast cancer work is admirable. You're in Boston I presume? I have tons of family there.
I do like your grow light. Did you make it or buy one from one of the seed companies? Iv'e had seeds going for some time although I'm sure I jumped the gun a little according to my wife. Did flower transplants yesterday but lost my potatoes somewhere…. Still looking though. Keep up the good work. Oh, we have a WOF here (Waste of Fur) although she goes by Ginny. Still the same though.
I'm inspired by your blog to go out and start my seeds for my garden. A friend gave me from seeds for various heirloom vegetables at Christmas that I'm eager to try.
Wow, you have a very pretty garden! Did you build your cold frame yourself? If not, where did you get it?
Thank you Kathy for your tips. I was concerned about using plastic to kill off the weeds in that area just because I was also worried that by doing that, it may also kill some of the tree's roots as well (the root systems on our surrounding trees seem to have grown near the surface of the ground a lot.) I wouldnt be able to do any digging in that area because of the tree line's root system and the fact that most of our yard is seemingly nothing but topsoil covered boulders LOL (we live in the mountainous part of the PA region!). This is why I thought that the best option for this area as far as planting anything, would be a "shady mix" wildflower mix, since there really is no "digging" involved, just sprinkle down, step on them to get them into the soil, and/or water them into the soil naturally. My husband wanted to put some type of groundcover on the other side of the trees, the part closes to the road, but again, for as rocky as the soil is there, and as many surface roots from the trees are there… this would be quite difficult without killing off that whole treeline.
Thank you so much for your tips with your seedlings! I had to pitch my first batch of pepper seedlings yesterday because I noticed that the "biodegradable" pods I was using, had developed some type of greenish looking mold on the tray/pods… honestly, probably due to overwatering (especially since after a good 3 weeks or so of waiting for them to sprout and nothing showing up). Ah well. I'm new to all this, so I'm bound to get over excited and over water…. and make mistakes :). Like my MIL (who has 80 acres of land and her and her husband are avid gardeners) has always said…. making mistakes is how we learn!
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