Today’s Mail… the Pinetree Seed Order!

seed order

There are so may fun things to look forward to in this envelope.

I can’t even list them all. There’s herbs and vegetables and flowers… lots of everything that I love to grow.

Among the early starts that I need to plant asap are onions… I chose Alisa Craig Exhibition and Southport Red Globe.

I also ordered Green Magic Broccoli which can be started outdoors in early spring, or indoors now. I’m torn about that because my indoor space is tight. Is anyone else direct seeding broccoli here on the coast of New England?

I have a few varieties of peppers to get going this week along with impatiens and pansies. We grew both successfully at Bass River last year so I’m looking forward to trying it at home.

Not far behind are the ten varieties of tomato, the cucumbers, the basils, the beans… the list goes on!

As you can see I had fun with this order. Pinetree Seeds was highly recommended by my friends Ed and Betsey who grow the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. Remember their onions?

One of the things that I like about Pinetree Seeds is that you can order a smaller quantity of seed at a much lower price than most other companies. This is great for the home gardener like me who only needs twenty plants per variety at most. I can try lots of fun creative things and still stay well within budget. The cute packaging and unexpected free gift of velcro garden ties were an added bonus. Let’s just hope these seeds germinate and thrive!

My goal is to grow almost, if not all, of our garden from seed this year. I had such a good time with my seed starting adventure last year that I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the season that’s about to begin.

Yes, the season is beginning!

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The garden may look like this, but spring is coming!

Woo Hooo!!!

Did you place your order yet? What are you thinking about growing this year?

Are you as excited as I am?

Michele

Gardenplantingcalendar.com – Your Personalized Garden Planting Plan and a Free Giveaway!

It’s the beginning of a new garden year and just as I started to think about this year’s garden I was invited to try this website;

 

With a few clicks of my mouse I was hooked!

Gardenplantingcalendar.com will help you plan a wonderful garden. The site considers your local weather conditions and the needs of your seeds and seedlings, then provides a coordinated planting schedule.

How cool is that?

If your wondering about when to start tomatoes outdoors or indoors, you’ll have some guidance.

Maybe your pondering the possibility of growing potatoes in March?

Perhaps your a little nervous about just which week is best for planting your first row of lettuce.

Figuring out when to plant each type of seed or seedling is a big job.

Using the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Climate Normals” Gardenplantingcalendar.com takes care of that for you!

You simply enter data about your location, the fruits and vegetables that your hoping to grow, and your preferred growing methods.

Immediately after answering the questions your garden calendar will be ready.

I actually cut and pasted each week of the plan onto my google calendar so I could keep up with the tasks and plan each one in to my schedule.

Needless to say I’m feeling super organized and ready to go!

I can’t wait to plant seeds and I’m sure that this little boost of organization is going to propel me right into the greatest garden season ever!

So now for the giveaway;

I will be giving one reader a premium subscription to gardenplantingcalendar.com. Just say hello in the comments section by Thursday evening at 6pm eastern time and your name will be entered into my random drawing! If you go beyond a quick hi and talk about how you’d like to use the calendar I’ll add two entries.

If you can’t wait for the giveaway winner to be announced to subscribe, use the coupon code  salemgarden20  to save 20% off of a standard or premium subscription.

Gardenplantingcalendar.com is going to be a great way to get this garden season started!

Check it out and leave your comment today!

Michele

PS/ Please feel free to share this post widely! Thanks!

 

Loving My Seedlings, a Lot!

I really am! This appears to be my breakthrough year in the seed starting world. I think I got it and I love it! The time that I spent this winter reading and researching really seems to be paying off. I have quite a few plants ready for the garden now and there are more coming. Next year, look out, those seed companies won’t know what hit them! Did I mention that I finally got it and that it’s fun?

Okay, enough… here’s what I have at the moment:

IMG_5728This is my seed starting set-up. It’s simple; two shop lights with one fluorescent and one plant bulb in each. Next year I’m hoping to add a third light in the middle so that the entire table is covered.  I used the plant bulbs here at home, but at Bass River (work) I used one cool white and one warm white bulb. The seeds did very well there but I do see a faster growth rate and a sturdier plant with the plant bulb. The idea is to create light that mimics the light outdoors and the plant bulb is much brighter which is ideal for seedlings that would thrive in full sun.

IMG_5727These cantaloupe and watermelon seeds emerged from their bags (you can read about my handy dandy bag system here) the other day. They’ve been living in soil for two days and their well on their way.

IMG_5725This is cumin and purple alyssum. I have a love/hate relationship with these jiffy pots. They dry out quickly and I need to keep a very close eye on them. Actually, keeping a close eye is very helpful to new seedlings, peat pot or not.

IMG_5721The cilantro on the left is organic slow bolt, and the pots on the right are coriandrum sativum… there’s kind of a big difference in success rate so far.

IMG_5720We’ll have three varieties of basil this year; Genovese in the back, Red Rubin in the middle and Siam Queen in the foreground.

IMG_5714I started a little bit of summer squash in a jar a few days ago, planted it in the soil last night and I think they’ll be ready for the garden by the end of this coming week. I have some new ideas to help deal with the squash bugs this year so I caved and planted zucchini, even though I swore I’d take the year off after last year’s difficulties.

IMG_5702Up in my office the marigolds are showing their second set of leaves. I’m probably moving them outside later today to maximize the light and good air circulation.

IMG_5695These pumpkins and cucumbers from a few weeks ago need to be planted out asap. The weather looks pretty good so they should be in by Monday.

IMG_5691 If I could go back several weeks, I would have transplanted these tomatoes into larger containers. I think/hope the yellow at the bottom is because they need more root space. Looks like it’s time for these to hit the garden too.

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As you can see I have a lot more to do. The carrots need to be direct seeded, the beans will follow the peas that are growing, and the squash will probably be quick started then planted outside in the next week or two. I think I missed the window for growing peppers. What should we do? Start them indoors now anyway, direct sow or buy some plants?

IMG_5733My little girl started these seeds all by herself.

This is the best motivation in the world to share the garden with my kids, and with all of you. 🙂

Hope you plant something today!

Love, Michele

 

 

What’s Happening in the Garden– April 7, 2014

What’s happening? Well there’s a little bit of spring out there. It may not be as much as we’re used to at this point in April, but it’s coming along.

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Yesterday I dug  up the very end of a bed and planted some lettuce in anticipation of the soaking rain that we were expecting today, The rain is here, so grow lettuce grow!

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Chives are peeking through…

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The rosemary didn’t make it but I kind of expected that. For this plant to winter over in the kind of winter that we had this year was a huge stretch. I did manage to maintain a plant in the house and I consider that a huge victory!

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There’s a little bit of yarrow peeking through.

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The girls say hi!

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This guy is still perched on his rock but I think his front legs were amputated. Go figure?

IMG_5149 The pond is home to the canoe again.

IMG_4540Very different from the skating days of a few weeks ago. It’s only a foot deep and it’s been very cold so the kids skated up to the last possible second.

IMG_5158Mr and Mrs Mallard are back!

IMG_5161I love this old bench. It was given to Michael by Lucy Set, one of our old neighbors on Forrester Street. 

IMG_5176 Winnie was thrilled to be sitting in his spot while I planted yesterday. I think it’s time for a haircut.

IMG_5177 It’s good to see the markers coming back!

IMG_5137 And theres a little bit of tomato seedling started in the basement. More to come on them soon I hope! It looks like it’s time to get out my manicure scissors to thin them back a bit. I’ll cut off one of the two plants in the cell to give the remaining plant the best possible chance. I’m focusing a lot on seed starting at work this year and carrying everything I learn home. I love that the garden lessons that I learn for my job are so helpful to us here. You can read about our seed starting adventures at Bass River here. We’ve been having fun!

How’s your garden growing? Tell me about it!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

Making Pots From Newspaper

Here’s an activity that we worked on at Bass River today. For my adaptive gardening/horticultural therapy friends and followers, I found that as simple as this was to do, it was full of good opportunities to talk about recycling, work on fine motor and social skills and to start thinking about spring. The post just before this one on Bass River Gardens features a seed tape project that we’ve been doing, which has similar benefits. Most importantly, it was all fun! Michele

Bass River Gardens

Here’s another fun activity that we did this week to help us get ready for spring.

We made seedling pots from newspaper!

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We used a sheet of newspaper, a soup can and a little bit of tape.

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First we folded the newspaper in half lengthwise…

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then we rolled it tightly over the soup can.

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We folded it in, creating the bottom of the pot and used a piece of tape to hold it together.

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Then we slid the can out and we had a pot shape!

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We folded in the top edge to give it stability.

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And we had created a nice pot, ready for some seed starting soil and seeds. When the seedlings are ready, we’ll be able to plant them right into the ground because newspaper is highly biodegradable and a good source of carbon, and the inks are made with natural earth pigments and soy.

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Now we…

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