May 16, 2008

Growing Challenge Update #3

Okay, I'm officially on a roll here - three posts in one week. As promised, this post will be an update on my planting plan and how the garden is growing.

Rob was kind enough to take a picture of my planting diagram, which is shown here. It may seem strange to note that I am an architect by profession, which means that I have the access and the ability to draw this up in AutoCAD or REVIT, but I still drew my planting plan by hand. My reasoning is that as an inherently imprecise adventure, gardening shouldn't necessarily be subjected to straight lines and dimensions. Besides, I like to bring the drawing out into the garden with me, exercising my right to change my mind by revising things as I go along whenever I'm out there working on things. As this is my first year with veggie gardening, we'll see how that goes as things progress.
Now, for the progress I've made on the plants themselves. I initially planted two 72-cell seedling trays, using coconut coir for seeding medium and placing the trays on a cart in the basement. I used artificial lighting with daylight CFL bulbs, three 1-bulb shop lights per tray. Just about everything came up right on schedule, and I quickly found that I'd planted WAY too many seeds in each cell. But, after five weeks and lots of thinning, things were growing like crazy.

Except the tomatoes, which still staunchly refuse to grow beyond 1/2" tall. I asked my sister, who is studying to be a Master Gardener, and apparently the poor little things had developed powdery mildew from being over-watered. Oops - something to note for next year.

Thinking it may have something to do with the light they were given, I moved everything upstairs to the guest bedroom window for some true sunlight.

Everything except the tomatoes kept growing and growing, until the beans started to bloom indoors.

It was definitely time to plant things outside. Which I did last weekend.

It turned out to be a nice enough day for Jack to come out and "help."

I broke down and bought three tomato plants and splurged on two pepper plants from our local farmer's market - organic and locally started, so I didn't feel too bad. I also direct-sowed some of my plants, such as marigolds, daisies, alyssum, onions, radishes, carrots, lettuce and mesclun mix. As you can see, I had lots of seeds to choose from.
After an afternoon of planting, most of the seedlings were in the ground. I don't have a picture of the final product right now, but I will be out there planting the final three tomatoes, nasturtium seeds, and a few more squares of lettuce. Be on the lookout for shots of my fully loaded planter, coming soon!


Green Bean said...

Good for you! Your sister must be jealous. I am.

Melinda said...

LOL, GB - indeed I am! ; ) Looks great, Lori!