Saturday, April 10, 2021

Basil started in PTs: Genovese, Thai, and Purple

 Genovese:  30 from the OSC 2018 packet.

Thai: ~12 (collected 2018)

Purple:  ~12 (collected 2018)

Hollyhocks: 2 (out of 15) have sprouted so far, put into potting mix (inside)

Zinnias started in paper towels

 - Lemon Cupcake x~30 (store bought this year) 

- Tall misc collected (the three baggies) x ~90

- Short yellow collected 2020 x ~20? or x30?

- Short orange collected 2020 x ~20? or x30?

Used newly-collected mown leaves to mulch the chard/parsley/onion/broccoli

Would be fantastic to not buy any cedar mulch, well at least for the backyard, and use leaves instead as mulch for water retention.  Saves money, and doesn't leave behind those big chunks of wood.

Peas started hardening off; added pre-soaked peas to fill gaps, WHICH SOMEONE ATE WITHIN HOURS!

Hardening off:  Placed them in mostly-shade behind the chairs, on the ground.

Pre-soaked peas:  Soaked them overnight, put them into the gaps this morning before setting out to harden.  Wow!  Someone found and ate the seeds within hours of me putting the trays out to harden!  The potting mix was clearly dug in those gaps, and the seeds gone.  Whoever it was didn't bother the sprouted ones / seedlings, even the teency ones.  So, I'm pre-soaking replacements and will try again, but keeping the pea trays raised up off the ground.  My first guess is it's the mole/vole/mouse rodent thing I see occasionally; second guess would be birds but I don't think so.

Transplanted chard, parsley, onions, and wimpy broccoli

 General approach was to mix in these:

- kelp meal

- alfalfa pellets pre-"dissolved" in hot water (they dissolve really quickly, 10 minutes is plenty) (this is my first time ever using alfalfa pellets, bought them from Ritchie's yesterday)

- some of the leftover horse manure went under the parsley, onions, and broccoli (not the chard bec I forgot)

Used pencil crayons as cutworm defense for a few of them "just because", though I haven't seen any cutworms or grubs or anything in the central bed.  I always worry I'm piercing key roots when poking the crayons into place.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

No-dig: Garlic bed, which was mulched thickly with leaves, soil nice and soft!

Wow!  The soil in the garlic bed by the kitchen door, which I mulched thickly with mown leaves last fall, is nice and soft, very easy to put my hand in.  (Discovered this this spring while moving a few garlics to fill in gaps.)

This makes me really want to try some no-dig beds, starting this coming fall by doing a thick mown-leaf mulch.  It's a lot of work to collect the leaves especially since they mow down to nothing, so it takes a LOT of leaves and mowing, but, if it means not maiming worms etc. next spring, it will be worth it. 

I'm thinking next year the entire kitchen window bed, the air conditioner beds, and at least part of the west bed would be good candidates.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Indoor-sown kale are all dying

Oh dear.  Brassicas seem to not exactly be my forte.  The indoor-sown kale have all been dying.  At first it was just a few, now it looks like it will be all of them.  I had started to put them out during the day for cooler temperatures than inside, but even before then two of them were clearly dying; and now, they'll all on the way out, though I wonder if I went too fast with having them outside for too long.

Oh well, hopefully at least some of the WS ones will make it -- so far they look ok, just slow to grow.

Monday, April 5, 2021

WS: All jugs have germinated except the lupins

 No sign of the lupins, but all other WS jugs have had germination now.  (with variable rates)

More lettuce sowed, with kelp meal

 Central bed, where the zukes/rondes will go later.  A generous sprinkling of kelp meal into the lower part of the soil.

- northmost mini-bed = Ruby Leaf (from last year's collected seed)

- south to that = Tom Thumb Butterhead to the west (from the foil collection), Black Seeded Simpson to the east (from the foil collection since no more of last year's collected seed left)

WS comparison: Indoor chard WAY more advanced even though sowed a week later

Huge difference so far between the WS chard March 7th, and the indoor-raised chard March 13th.  The WS chard started appearing a week or so ago, still tiny, just starting to get first true leaves.  The indoor-raised chard is lush and thriving with 1"-2" leaves.  I've taken to re-hardening off the indoor-raised chard lately.

Will be interesting to see if the WS chard catches up.

Carrots sowed (direct)

Didn't bother with the corn starch gel this year.  Just direct seeded a few seeds per hole.

- Nantes west-most

- Bolero (new-to-me variety this year) central

- Touchon east-most

Beets sowed outside, with kelp meal

Put a generous sprinkling of kelp meal several inches down.

These are the beet seeds collected last year from the year-two fridge beets, which I started in a paper towel a few days ago.  Once a rootlet appears, I'm putting them in the ground.

Northern-most are spaced 16/foot, will put the southern-most at 9/foot.

Bird sightings -- non-backyard

 Just for fun, I'll start keeping track of birds I see, while out and about etc.  (i.e. this is not a list of birds seen in my yard)

I won't bother listing typical year-round birds like crows and seagulls.

April 2021

- brown creeper (Forest Valley near Innes) (my first time identifying one of these!  April 3rd)

- killdeer (coyote alley south field)

- chickadee

- robin

- cardinal

- Canada Geese

- Snow Geese (my first time seeing/identifying these!  April 5th in flight while at Lavigne)

- Hairy woodpecker

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Bird sightings -- backyard

 Here are birds who I've seen visiting the backyard:



- song sparrow


- song sparrow

- dark-eyed junco

Reference: Outdoor killing temperatures

 Handy resource showing the killing temperatures for various uncovered vegetable plants.

Asparagus spears appearing

 The first asparagus spears are poking up their heads, specifically in the most neglected bed north of the compost bin.

Kale transplanted from WS into pots

 The Premier Forge kale that was WS'd March 20th has now been potted.  I had sowed them way too thickly, and they were leggy (maybe because of blue plastic container?), some are just starting to get their first true leaf but I decided they needed to be moved now.  

I'll continue to treat them as WS, that is, they'll continue living outside full time except when too cold.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Broccoli transplanted from semi-WS into pots

 Transplanted the semi-WS broccoli (that had been sprouted on paper towels then moved to WS) into pots (with the Pro-mix mixture).  6 of them are the "round 3" broccoli, which was Sprouting Green, and 6 of them are from the unlabelled salad container, which I believe is Waltham based on my March 7th post.

Their roots looked good, nice development.  They pretty much all have at least one true leaf.

I'll continue to treat them as WS, that is, they'll continue living outside full time except when too cold.

Their WS containers still have some seedlings, I'll leave them to keep doing their thing.  (I chose the best ones to transplant).

Lettuce sowed in ground (collected last year)

On both sides of the air conditioner.  Ruby Leaf and Black-Seeded Simpson (the mature bag), all from seeds collected last year.

Kelp meal worked into the soil of the south-of-a/c, plus fresh dig-in kitchen scraps.

North-of-a/c has some kelp meal in the part closest to the a/c, but not the most north part bec it has last week's dig-in kitchen scraps which I didn't want to dig up.