Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seedling Progress

Romas & Cherokees
I just moved these to the grow light shelf yesterday, so they still look as little sad. The true leaves haven't shown up yet, but should within the next few days.
Peppers, Romas and Herbs
The peppers are looking really great. They are already growing their third set of leaves. I thinned them out this morning to give them a little more room to grow.

I did some calculations and realized that I will be running out of space once I transfer to 4" pots, even w/ 18 sq ft! I'll probably have to use the window a little bit this year as well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Seeds

Friday the 8th during my lunch break I drove to The Natural Gardener and picked up some seed packets. Since the peppers and herbs are well underway, it's time for tomatoes. I picked up "yellow pear" cherry, "supersweet 100" cherry, "cherokee purple", "green zebra", and "celebrity". I also bought toma verde tomatillos and some amaranth.

Planting Dates

Romas - Jan 7th
Cherokee, Zebra - Jan 10th
Cherries, Celebrity - Jan 16th

Last fall I spoke to The Natural Gardener about making my own seed mix. They recommended a mix of Worm Castings, Perlite, and Vermiculite. As for amounts, you want it too retain moisture, but not be too soggy. The amounts I have used for my seed mix are 4 parts perlite, 3 parts worm castings and 2 parts vermiculite. So far it's working great.

Monday, January 4, 2010


The cold weather can be a bit discouraging. I found I had a bit of cabin fever over the break, all of the time off and too cold to go outside. I'm not as brave as some, as under 60 degrees is pretty much off limits for me. The few nice days that we did have were spent outside with the family roaming around.

I did manage to put some of my time to good use, practicing my canning skills. Canning is a necessary step for my goal of eventually eating produce only from my garden. They also make great gifts :)

I used Jenny's recipe from "Rock Rose". This recipe was so delicious, I'll be using it again. It was also very easy. My 12 year old daughter made a batch and turned it into shortbread lemon bars, mmm! I've frozen several bottles for later.

This corn relish recipe is from the official Ball canning cookbook. It uses frozen corn, which is always in season, and cabbage straight from the garden. It has a great vinegar bite to it, with a nice sweetness as well. Next time I may add a little heat.

Fig Jam. This was my first attempt at jam. It was very easy and turned out well. This one is made with dried figs, so can be made year round. This was also from the Ball cookbook.

Christmas Present - Jump Start on Spring

For Christmas this year my husband bought me this awesome new grow light from Gardeners Supply Company. Last year I grew seedlings in the back window, which was less than ideal. I had a small space and not enough light. Now I have 18 sq ft to grow my seedlings.

Here's my little greenhouse. I only have 1 heating mat, which I may have to expand to two soon, since my light is eagerly awaiting more seedlings. There are jalapenos, poblanos, wonder bells, basil, dill and summer savory. The poblanos and bells were planted on the 26th, just a little slow to germinate. The others were planted on January 3rd.

Here are the first seedlings under the grow light. These are serranos, purple beauty and canary bell peppers. These were planted on December 26th.

Just for fun I thought I'd share a few pictures of my purple veggies. We cut these up and had them for snacks on New Year's Eve.

Chef's Choice Blend Cauliflower

Purple Haze Carrots.

Both of these varieties are grown at the White House Garden. I saw them last night
on the food network, pretty cool!