Garden and Greenhouse

Progress Report

Isn’t it amazing how much a plant can grow in a week? Potting up helps that process along, of course, giving the plant’s roots more room to grow.

Today I set out the eggplants in the planter box in the greenhouse. I had to cut and pull quite a lot of spinach and lettuce (which should have been thinned more, I know) to make room for the eggplants, but that’s okay. The spinach and lettuce are starting to show signs of imminent bolt, so it’s time to use them and let one or two go to seed for next year. For now, they actually provide the eggplants with a little warmth when the temps dip at night, so I’ll cut and pull the spinach and lettuce gradually over the next week or so.

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I also set out the bell peppers in the greenhouse planter box. I put them on the side of the greenhouse that gets good morning sun. Not much spinach came up over on that side, so I have room to place one tin of seedling tomatoes between the bell peppers, where they will get good light.

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I reuse everything, so the tags you see in the photos are almost always not what’s growing in the containers.  I write on the back sides of the tags (and sometimes the front sides as well) with waterproof marker.  I always write the name of the plant and the seeding date or transplant date, so I can track progress as the plants grow.

Some other transplants will have to sit down by the heater at night for a few more nights and be moved up onto the potting bench and into the sun in the morning. It’s still getting quite cool at night here (in the low to mid-30s), although we should be warming up soon.

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Some of you might be a bit shocked that a mostly-greenie (that’s how I think of myself) would use styrofoam cups as pots.  Let me tell you, they work wonderfully, and I reuse them from year to year.  This is the third year of use for these cups, and they show no signs of breaking down.  I use a sharp knife to cut slits around the bottom edge and in the bottoms of the cups for drainage.  I label them with the plant’s name and transplant date, using a permanent marker or just an ink pen.  When it’s time to set the plants out, they slide out of the cups far more easily than they come out of plastic containers (which I also reuse).

Tomorrow, I’ll plant the melons and winter squash. I held off a week because of the cool nights. I’ll have to move my peppers out of the heated sand box to make room for the melons and squash, and I wanted to give the peppers a little extra time before they have to leave their cozy place.

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All the greenhouse seedlings (even the mixed up tomatoes that were upended on the greenhouse floor) are making good progress and are right on track for planting out when it’s time.

I’ll close with a series of photos from my herb beds, just because the plants are so pretty right now:  oregano, lemon balm, lady’s mantle (a.k.a. dew cup), clary sage, garden sage, and blooming rhubarb.

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May your fingers be dirty and your thumbs be green.  Mine are.

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