Monday, May 2, 2011

My Garden Grows

Here are some of the veggie plants I've started that will be planted in the raised beds in the near future. Peas, lettuce, spinach, celery and carrots here. I've also started some chamomile, kale and broccoli and have even more seeds still to come! Sadly I got myself a painful sunburn the other day while I was building the beds -just in the area's on the back of my shoulder blades (foolish of me to change shirts and not think to touch up the sunscreen application) and it's excruciating to wear a shirt much less use my arms for much of anything which causes my skin to move. Ugghhrrrrrr. So until the pain subsides I am carefully tending my sprouts. I got them started using compressed pellets that expand with water and a tray that holds them and has a clear plastic lid to create kind of a mini greenhouse. Yesterday, to satisfy my need to continue on the project, I transfered the already sprouting ones into peat pots with soil which stinks like hell which then promptly led to me taking them outdoors for the first time. Coincidentally I just read that you should move indoor started seedlings outdoors into a shady area first before planting them in full sun so I considered that this was their first step toward the garden. Because I don't have an area that's shady all day that can accommodate them I left them out overnight and let them get the morning sun but brought them in before the mid-day sun burned them. It seems to have agreed with them  as they all straightened up nice and tall while previously they'd begun leaning at almost a 90 degree angle toward the window. Anyway, brought them in for the middle of the day and took them back out once the sun was behind my building and the porch was shaded again. They'll stay out tonight and we'll do the same routine tomorrow and on until it's time for them to be planted. So exciting!!! 
Considering how far along this part of the yard and garden project is, I've begun to obsess about the rest of the dusty lot. I love succulents and have quite a few potted and would love to have some beds of succulents in the yard but that's a lot of plants. To get me started I decided to prune my flapjack plant which I've had for probably ten years. It was all of about three circular leaves when I first got it and now is crowding and overflowing from a large pot. I used to start new ones all the time from cuttings and used to have a pretty sizeable container garden but I guess I was too generous and gave most of them away to friends. I generally hate to cut plants up (beyond just taking one piece off here and there) but as I began pruning the flapjack I found that there were just as many babies underneath that wanted to come out but had nowhere to go. Also, the plant was crammed with dead leaves that had fallen underneath where I couldn't see or reach them so I'm sure it's a lot healthier now, too. Look at all the clippings I got just from that one plant! 

And just a few more from another plant.

I'll still have to invest in some echevaria, as any of the variety are my favorites, and some of those that look kind of like cabbage (don't know their name) -both grow long stalks with beautiful bright flowers on them. And I'm also entertaining the idea of making them all their own (lower) raised bed once the vegetable garden is up and running. We'll just have to see. 

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