Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The alyssum that I just planted Sunday have sprouted. I had them on my heat mat, and I'm sure that helped, but that fast??

Monday, March 30, 2009


Well, I just came back from the shed, and nothing really looks different than it did yesterday. Not that I thought that it would, just like to check. Of course the seeds I just planted aren't going to be coming up yet. I did notice that my Shasta daisies are sprouting pretty well though. The pepper plants are starting to get their second set of leaves. Not enough to transplant yet though.

Peeking outside the shed, I noticed that the cherry tree that we planted last year is budding out with just a hint of green starting. It always feels good to know that a tree that you planted last year made it through the winter!

I fixed my outdoor thermometer so I can again monitor the high and low temps for the day. My new gardening journal has a spot on each day for the temps. I did not want to rely on the airport temps in Peoria. I wanted accurate temperature readings for my neck of the woods.

There is a chance for thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. I am waiting impatiently for a good spring storm.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crop failure

Two of the pepper seeds that I planted never came up. One was the free seed that I received from Baker Creek Seeds (Yellow Star Hot pepper) and one was seed that I had since 2006 (Salsa Delight Hybrid). I thought about replanting the yellow star, but figured since I over planted enough, I could do without. No one really like the hot peppers anyway. I have quite a few Impatiens that have not sprouted either. They are this year's seed too (Flavours hybrid). Everything else seems to have decent to excellent germination.

Today's planting

Another busy seed starting day

6 Rubin red basil
21 Sweet basil
9 Parsley
9 Cilantro
6 Oregano

Packet of Ailsa Craig Exhibition onion
6 Black Krim tomato
2 Black Cherry tomato
2 Yellow Pear tomato
2 Red Lightning tomato
6 Sheboygan tomato
6 Crnkovic Yugoslavian tomato
6 Pink Brandywine tomato
6 German Pink tomato
6 Italian Heirloom tomato
6 Caspian Pink tomato
3 Amish Paste tomato
6 Roma tomato
1 Jelly Bean tomato
1 Marcellino cherry tomato
1 Amish Salad tomato
10 Imperial Star Artichoke

18 White Sweet Alyssum
18 Purple Sweet Alyssum
18 Johnny Jump Up Viola

Busy planting day in the shed

I am taking a break from potting seeds for a moment. I have potting up LOTS of seeds today. I will make sure to post what was planted today later.
My seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds came yesterday after quite a delay. I was disappointed because I purchased my artichoke and Ailsa Craig onion seed from them and they are getting a very late start. They did however note that they have seen an increase of 30% this year which seems to be the norm across the board from what I have been reading. They included the following coupon apologizing for the delay. I thought that was nice. I made a mental note to order especially early next year. The price of their seeds is very cheap.

Late winter storm

Last night started with heavy rain (including the snowfall, we had over an inch of precip) and a couple of thunder claps. At 1am I woke up to sleet hitting the window. I later woke up to 5 or more inches of snow on the ground. It is now 3 pm, and the snow is almost gone with the promise of 60 degrees tomorrow. You have to love spring in Illinois!
My purple and white crocus has about had enough between the driving rain and then snow.
The daffodils aren't holding their heads high this afternoon either.
The view outside my potting shed into the side yard as the snow was melting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Outdoor blooms

Peony buds
Yellow crocus
A not so good picture of columbine. My beds still need cleaned out from the fall leaves.

The yellow crocus are starting to bloom, and the daffodils are budding quite nicely. The peony is also up. The forsythia is budding out as well as the lilac leaves.

What is growing under lights today

Lots of sprouts! And I haven't even planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and squashes yet!
The top shelf is all of Lauren's plantings. I planted many perennials from seed yesterday as well as broccoli. I should have planted it earlier. I had it, but just was not calculating right. I will have to learn for next year.
I think that I need to plot out my tomatoes so I know exactly how many to plant. I like to overplant! Something to do for tonight.
We are supposed to get a lot of rain tonight. 1 - 3 inches. I am hoping for some good thunderstorms. Good for fixing nitrogen in the soil.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today's planting

9 Sweet William mix
9 Hollyhock mix
9 Lychnis - Diamonds and Rubies
9 Shasta Daisy - Alaska
9 Columbine - Wm. Guinness
9 Columbine - Dragonfly Hybrids
18 Coleus mix
18 Floxglove
18 Stock - purple
7 Ivy cuttings

18 Broccoli - Green Goliath
18 Broccoli - Romanesco Italia

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blooming crocuses!

The white/purple crocuses in the east bed (front of the house) are blooming and the yellow ones are on their way. The first thing to bloom this spring.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sprouting today.....







1. Pepper plants
2. Onion plants
3. Lauren's butterfly mix - I did not think that this would even grow. The seed was so old.
4. Lauren's planting - unsure exactly what it is - she would be able to tell me though.
5. Lauren's alyssum
6. Lauren's sunflowers and lettuce
7. More onion plants. I love using leftover containers from fresh mushrooms. They make great small flats!
This post did not come out very well. I am not very good with the pictures. The layout looks much different in draft form than on the blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The onions are sprouting!

I just went out in my shed and checked on my plantings, and I have onions starting to sprout! I had figured on a couple of weeks based on the seed envelope information. So exciting to see!

More seeds planted

Today's plantings:

6 Golden Marconi peppers
22 Impatients - Flavours hyb. mix
33 Impatients - Butterfly hyb. mix
9 Gerbera daisies - mix
9 Geraniums - Paint Box mix
9 Delphinium - Pacific Giants "Summer Skies"
6 Salvia - Blue Bedder Sage
9 Dianthus - Siberian blues (Hardy pinks)

I wonder why it is that I always feel the need to plant SO many seeds! I have planted a total of 78 pepper plants!! I may have to sell them or give them away. I know that I will use allof the impatients. I have a lot of old seed for perennials and veggies that I am trying to use up. I may have to get another shelf for lights.

Yesterday was very nice for outdoor work with today promising to be in the low 60's. My neighbors were bitten by the spring bug and taking leaves off their garden beds. I am waiting a couple more weeks. March is far too fickle!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lauren's plants

Lauren's (my 9 year old) seeds are starting to sprout. When I was in the shed planting my veggie seeds, she was going through all of my seeds asking, "Can I plant some of these? How about some of these?". She loves to garden! These are not marked, so I do not know for sure what is growing right now. I will have to have her let me know and post it later.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Planting seeds`

I planted onion and pepper seeds today. Two varieties on onions and eight pepper varieties. Don't ask me what I think that I am going to do with all those peppers...I planted nine of each variety for a total of 72 plants. Maybe I will give them away at work. I don't like to have partial flats and a some of the seeds were old and may not germinate well or at all. Have I convinced myself that this is okay yet?? I overplant every year. This looks to be no exception.
I am still waiting for my seeds from Pinetree Seeds. Their website states that there is a 2-3 week wait after ordering. They are much cheaper seeds than elsewhere, and maybe everyone else was being frugal this year too!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More seeds in the mail

My next seed delivery came yesterday and today. I received an second delivery from Seed Savers Exchange (somehow I ordered 2 packets of Sheboygan tomatoes!), Bountiful Gardens, and Baker Creek Seeds. Baker Creek even sent a trial seed packet of Yellow Star hot pepper.
This delivery included the following:
Bountiful Gardens:
Southport Red Globe onion seed
Early Summer Yellow Crookneck summer squash
Seed Savers Exchange
Australian Brown Onion seed
Parade cucumber
Sheboygan tomato
German Pink tomato
Crnkovic Yugoslavian tomato
Gold Medal tomato
A&C Pickling cucumber
Italian heirloom tomato
Baker Creek
Huge Lemon Oxheart tomato
White Hailstone radish
Golden Marconi pepper
Sweet Chocolate pepper
Romanesco Italia broccoli
Yellow Star hot pepper (free seed!)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where are the crocuses?

My crocuses are nowhere to be found so far this year. I was thinking that they are usually up by now. I have them in three different spots, and there is nothing in any area. The squirrells could not have gotten them in two of the spots for sure. There is now change in the grass in the area they are planted.

While I was out looking, I did notice some other growth starting on the south side of the house by the foundation. Surprise lilies and daylilies are coming up and some iris are greening. I also found a peony bud.

Peony bud
Surprise lilies

Seed Inventory

I just finished doing an inventory of all of my seeds on an excel spreadsheet. I love excel for this type of work. I wanted to post a copy on here, but I cannot figure out how to do it. When I figure it out, I will post it. I have emailed Kathy of Skippy's Vegetable Garden. She seems to have a lot of blogging experience and can maybe help. If this can even be done. Any other suggestions?

Another delivery yesterday

I received my Johnny's seed order yesterday. Zucchini squash Costata Romanesco. The description from their website is as follows:
Best-tasting. Distinctive Italian zucchini, prominently ribbed. Medium gray-green, with pale green flecks and ribs. Big, large-leafed bush with only about half the yield of hybrids, but much better tasting; clearly better textured, nutty, and delicious, raw or cooked. Also a good producer of heavy male blossom buds for cooking. Packet: 30 seeds.
Days to Maturity or Bloom: 52
I have never grown this variety before. It sounds delicious, and I am looking forward to eating it!