G Is For Gardening

Yes it is true that “G” is for gardening, but it is also for germination, growth, and green!

G IS FOR GARDENING

Our plants are coming along nicely under the warmth of the grow lights, their safe little haven in their seed cells.

Some of the plants have already been transplanted into larger pots, due to their fast rooting systems, and need the extra room in a larger pot to expand their growth. While the other plants are still growing, their roots are still not yet to the stage of being transplanted. Wonder how I check if they are ready to be transplanted? I take a small thin butter knife and slide it down the side of the seed cell, then slightly pull up the soil around the plant. If I see roots all around the sides, it is ready to be transplanted, if not, I drop it back into the seed cell and check on it at a later date.

One thing when starting your plants indoors yourself, you don’t want to disturb the growth of the plant until it is ready. Plants are tender and need lots of love and attention to grow into a nice sized plant.

Also, you never want to over water your small plants either. Watch their leaves! Their leaves will tell you everything. If they are yellow, they are getting too much water, but some plants require that their soil is always moist, but this is something that you learn when you have been a gardener for awhile. If you are just starting out, I would suggest that you water your plants in small amounts until you learn the best amount of water that they need.

One last important note when starting your plants indoors, is to check on them many times during the day, and once again before you head to bed. Since the grow lights stay on 24/7 until the plants get bigger, you need to always make sure that your plants soil does not dry out. Once the plants get transplanted because their root systems are in need of a larger pot, this is the time to get your plants used to “sleeping”. By sleeping, I mean that you turn your grow lights off for a certain amount of time, which tells the plants that they need to learn how to sleep. Then you turn the lights back on for a few more hours, but this step is only done when your plants have been transplanted and are getting bigger in growth.

How well do you know your garden plants? Can you name the eight plants below? 

4-2-15 t

4-2-15 r

4-2-15 m

4-2-15 ci

4-2-15 ce

4-2-15 ca

4-2-15 z

4-2-15

Do you think you named all eight plants properly? As always, we love sharing our gardening experiences with you!

Reaching For The Sky: Progression Of Our Garden

Watching your plants grow is exhilarating and an experience.  Our plants have been in the garden for almost a month now, some are struggling, while others are thriving.  Our weather has been up and down, had some rain, and daily up keep in the garden from weeds & bugs keeps us really busy. 

We thought that we would share with you some “Progression Photographs” of our plants to see them when they first peeked out of the seed cell tray, to how they are currently doing in the garden.  It is amazing, thrilling, and quite frankly a little nerve-racking trying to do all you can for these little plants to keep them going, while you hear of other people’s  gardens are thriving and you wonder “that are they doing differently than us”, but you trudge on and do your best. 

We started our thought of a garden earlier in the year and said “let’s do it, let’s plant a garden“!  We got tired of paying $2.99/lb for red peppers and thought that it is time to start growing our own!   So, we did the research on how to build a raised garden bed, figured out exactly how much rich garden soil we needed, and started our seeds indoors under a grow light.  Then the waiting began.  Every day we stared at the soil in the seed cells, hoping to see a glimpse of green ….nothing, then about three days later, we saw our first sprout, a cucumber!  Holy cow, we thought, man those things germinated fast! 

Now that the plants are in the garden and have got themselves acclimated to being outdoors and the weather, we feel that we should start seeing some leaps and bounds and some major growth.   We take photographs of the plants every day so we can see how they are coming along (kinda like what we did last year to our pumpkin plants) not to mention their progression in growth.  It is amazing to look back on the photographs to see how small they actually were back then, and can hardly imagine picking fresh vegetables from them one day.  The whole process is amazing to us, but we are so glad that we have started this journey in home gardening, and we’re ready to do it again next year. 

For next year, there will be a few things that we won’t do & some things that we’ll change, for instance:

  • First, we found out after the fact, but we will not leave our grow light on 24/7.  We found out that plants need to learn to sleep and need the night/day difference when growing up.
  • We will not start our cucumbers indoors.  We started them indoors waaaay to early and by the time we got them in the garden, they were getting stringy and out of control.  So, if we do plant them indoors next year, we will start them closer to the actual date of taking them outdoors.  They grew well indoors, but we just started them too early.
  • For our tomato plants, we will start them indoors next year (just like we did this year, but we lost all of our little sprouts & they died).  What we did wrong this year is, we planted a few seeds in each little seed cell and never clipped them down to only one plant per seed cell.  We think this killed the plants.  We could not bring ourselves to clip any of them, and thought we could separate them when we transplanted them into peat pots – – wrong!  Their roots were inter-twined and could not be separated.  So for next year, we will plant only one tomato seed per pot and we should not have the growth problem, not to mention that we will have to probably start these indoors around February/March.
  • While shopping for bags of potting soil, we happened to pick up a bag here and there and found that only the Burpee Potting Soil worked best for planting seeds indoors.  We had picked up a bag of soil from Marcs that we used for my flower seeds, and almost all of the seeds that we planted – died.  This soil was so horrible and if you breathed on it too hard, you could blow it away.  So, buying the better and more expensive potting soil is your best bet, don’t buy the cheap stuff!

Home gardening is truly an experience, one that we have enjoyed and the knowledge that we have learned along the way is priceless. 

PROGRESSION PHOTO’S OF OUR COPENHAGEN CABBAGE:

 

 

PROGRESSION PHOTO’S OF OUR LETTUCE: