Peas have moved outside

on Wed, 02/24/2016 - 23:12

IMG_0304.jpgSince the weather is getting nice outside, and my pea plants are getting big, it's time for them to go outside to get them hardened off. This will help them to get used to the cooler temperatures outside so that they are shocked by the colder dirt in the ground (or in the pots). They'll go outside for a part of the day each day until they're ready to be left outside entirely.

Thus far I have 55 plants outside. I'll be keeping some for myself, but the rest will be up for sale. Those are:

Sugar Snap: 10 plants 8 plants (2 ppu)

Oregon Giant (large podded snow pea w/ sweet peas): 17 plants

Burpeeana Early (3" pods with 8-10 sweet peas; prolific and early): 12 plants

Dwarf Grey Sugar (heirloom edible pod snow pea): 10 plants

Cascadia (sweet snap pea that grows on a short plant): 6 plants

These are $2/each and come in a ~3.25" pot.

Did some outdoor planting

on Mon, 02/22/2016 - 23:12

2016-02-16-18.30.jpgI was able to do some outdoor planting today, as the weather was really nice today. We were supposed to have gotten heavy rain yesterday, but it never really came. As such, my planters were damp, but not soaked. That meant I could finally get my tulips and hyacinth in the ground. My husband is really bad about buying anything for me for holidays and such, so I picked up some plants at the store instead. 

Between the weather and my injury I haven't been able to work outside like I normally do. My poor daffodil pot had gotten knocked over, spilling most of the dirt. But sure enough it returned and I have a couple flowers on it, even though it's in maybe 3" of dirt. I added more to it today, so now it doesn't look quite so sad.

I also pulled two deep containers onto the patio, sprinkled carrot seeds (one a rainbow mix, the other some short 'n sweet), and covered them up with more soil. They're under the patio so I can better protect them from any hard rain or temps, but they can still get sun once they pop up.

Hoping to later this week go out and pull up any dead plants and start getting things organized for planting. Getting very excited about spring!


How-to: How do I know when to plant?

on Mon, 02/22/2016 - 22:43

Here are some great resources for finding out when to plant things in Oregon. If you live in another state, do a Google search, as there are likely similar resources available for your state. For here I just Googled this: oregon vegetable planting calendar

Oregon gardening calendar

Oregon vegetable planting calendar

Here's the calendar for where I live (Zone 8)



Seedling update

on Sun, 02/21/2016 - 23:34

So many things growing. Just the last few days several things have popped up, including cauliflower, broccoli, and the second batch of peas and beans. The last batch of them has started moving the dirt around, so we should see them in the next day or so.

If viewed from the front page, click on "Read more" to see the full gallery.

How-to: My setup

on Sun, 02/21/2016 - 22:44

Over the last few years, I've learned a lot about growing vegetable, herb, and flower starts indoors. The first few years I just put them under my dining room light and a lamp and wondered why they were so spindly and weak looking. Why they often times died. Then I realized that they must not be getting enough light.

We have a grow store nearby that sells lighting, plant food, light stands, trays, and more for growing plants indoors. A good amount of it is targeted to marijuana growing (which is legal in my state), but is also excellent for growing your seedlings indoors.

Lighting setup

2016-02-21-09.38.jpgI went in and talked to an employee and explained what I was doing. They sold me a Hydrofarm 4' light that has 6 tubes as well as a 4' Jump Start stand that can hold the light. This pretty much covers my entire dining room table, even when I have in the leaf. I absolutely love this light. It is amazing the difference between when I was just growing them under a lamp and when I got a real grow light. The plant grow stronger, bigger, and faster than under just a plain old light.

This will be the third growing season that I've used the lamp and stand. They've served me well. And when we had an issue with some of the connectors breaking on the stand, Jump Start sent me new ones at no charge. Excellent company and I love their products. Thus far I have not had to replace any of the bulbs and I have my light on about 12 hours a day for a few months. I haven't noticed much of an increase in our electricity from them, either.

This year I decided to increase the amount of seedlings I can grow at a time, so I purchased a heavy duty shelf at Home Depot, some chains and s-biners to hang the lights, and some more 4' grow lights. I originally planned to do one light per shelf for 3 of the shelves, so I bought three lights. But after hanging them, I realized that I wasn't getting quite as much light as I might like when the lights were down low, so I decided two lights per shelf might be best. So I went ahead and set it up that way. I currently have two shelves covered and will be purchasing two more sets to do a third shelf. The other two shelves are being used for storage, such as seeding soil, trays, tray lids, and pots.

Veggie starts - 2014 and 2015

on Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:34

Just some of the photos of veggie starts I sold in 2014 and 2015. Some of these are at the size they were when they were sold, some are part-way there. Often times the peppers and eggplant already have buds on them. The tomatoes sometimes do as well, but they are still too small and buds should be pinched off to allow the plant to grow more before producting fruit.

Lots of work done today

on Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:34

We got the heavy duty shelf put together and in place so that now I have the room to transplant more of the seedlings. I got all of the beans and peas transplanted today. Will work on more over the next few days. I have more pots coming tomorrow, so I'm waiting to work on the next batch until then.

In getting everything organized, I also found the stash of seeds that I bought last year when they were on clearance. Yay! That means more varieties that weren't already on my list.

You should see the roots on these peas and beans! They're huge already.

Spring already?

on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 23:12

Well, seeing as we've been having warmer than usual temps in our area, and the long-term forecast seems to show the same, local weather forecasters are saying that it looks like winter is indeed behind us. That means it is time to get your gardens ready for the first seedlings of the spring season! This can include carrots, onions, peas, beans, greens, herbs, broccoli, and more!

I already have a lot of these going and am working hard to get them transplanted to larger containers so they have even more room to grow. Hopefully tomorrow I can get a count of how many of each of the items I have growing. I've already started a second batch of peas and beans and picked up some more seeds at the store since I'd run out. I also ordered some scarlet runner beans, as I had a request for them. Apparently they are quite pretty when in bloom.

I already have dibs on many of the peas and beans and need to find out how many more people want them. This way I can ensure that I have enough growing. Thankfully I have very good luck with peas and beans (near 100% germination rates), so the key is to get enough growing so that they are ready in time.

So if you want peas, beans, greens (various lettuces, spinch, kale, broccoli, various cabbages), or herbs, you should let me know ASAP so that I have enough growing for everyone. I know that I do have a lot of the Little Gems growing, which are a nice sized Romaine Lettuce. One head is often times just the right size for a meal. These have been my favorite of all the Romaine varieties I've tried. I probably have at least a couple dozen of these going right now, maybe more. I've got to finish transplanting and separating them so I can get an accurate count. Most people grow at least several of these at a time since they don't need a lot of room.

Welcome! About this site...

Zucchini seedlingsWelcome to my blog on container gardening. I lived in an apartment and as such didn't have the option to plant anything in the ground. As such, I had dozens and dozens of containers surrounding my patio filled with herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Now I am lucky enough to own a house and am working to greatly expand my gardens.

I started out with just a few planters of strawberries around my garden. Then I added a few hanging baskets of flowers for our son. Each year I've expanded and expanded my garden. I've been buying bigger and bigger containers and adding new plants. I've found some things that have worked well for me - like the Asian finger eggplant that produced probably 100 eggplants - and things that haven't - my rapini never grew and it's just too cold for melons to do well.

I hope to share what I've learned thus far, tips, and more through this blog. I also hope to hear from you about what has worked for you.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries! Lots of photos there showing what I'm growing, how the plants are doing and more!