Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beautiful Nature

This post was created by 6-year old, Tame Dame #3.
So, when I was going outside to water the strawberry plants, I found this beautiful moth and I decided to take a picture because it was so beautiful.  I got a great snapshot!

Look closely at the dandelion to see the carnivorous wasp. Look very close, like I said already, because he blends in very well with the leaves, and if you're someone like grandma Bobbie, then you need to get your glasses on. 

Sorry that this is a little blurry, but it's a strawberry plant and it has the flowers blooming, that means that there will be strawberries soon.  Yum!  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Time in the Wild West

Springtime in the wild West desert of North Eastern Utah is not exactly what gardeners would call ideal conditions for planting. The weather is wacky, as is evidenced by the trampoline in our neighbor's tree, and all sorts of tumbleweed pileups along the fence lines! There is always a pretty good possibility of frost anytime before June, and I can depend on the wicked daily wind to pollute the air with dust, level our mailbox to the ground once again (however, hopefully not anymore now that we recently installed a sturdier post.), and blow our garbage can and all of its contents across the front yard.  As you can imagine, such wind would be fatal to tender vegetable transplants. 

This morning I woke up to the pitter patter of falling raindrops. I welcome the weeping heavens.  It means it is too warm to snow, plus it feeds our ground with the moisture it desperately needs. And I love the smell of rain, don't you?  Here's a look off of our front porch.
We are taking baby steps with our yard landscaping, as you can probably tell.  I'd like to draw your attention to the narrow strip on the bottom right-hand side of the picture between the house and the walkway. This is where we recently planted flowering sweet pea and yellow columbine seeds. I have hopes for a beautiful trellis scattered with fragrant sweet pea flowers and flourishing columbines at the base come this summer.  

Despite the springtime weather woes, there are some hardier plants that have a decent chance of survival and can take a hit or two of frosty weather (think peas, radishes, spinach, onions, and cabbage). That's what's going in our backyard veggie patch soon.  May the rains fall softly upon your fields 'til then. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Transplanting Time

Our seedlings are 2-3 weeks old. Using a kitchen spoon, we transplanted our starts into bigger containers. 
Very gently we pulled apart the plants to separate the roots. We shall see if they survive in the next few weeks. 
Next, we put the transplants into larger containers. We made a few of our own using Styrofoam cups with four notches cut out of the bottom.
Then we filled the cup with soil up until it covered the root ball and was about the same height of the soil was before the transplant. We are using a special soil for starting seeds, one that doesn't have a lot of fertilizer which might burn the new seedlings.
Finally, we put the transplant under our grow light and filled the bottom container with water about halfway up so that the roots can go down and get their drink. Soon we will need to fertilize using liquid fertilizer. We will go to the nursery sometime and see what is available.
All our seedlings are looking pretty good. We shall see how the transplants end up over the next few weeks.
The above picture shows the artichoke seedlings that we transplanted about a week and a half ago. You can see that they're a lot larger than the transplants that we planted today. Plants really do like their room to grow.  In the background of the larger artichoke seedlings, you can see some of our tomato seedlings and wildflowers and marigolds that are growing like champs.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One Week Later, Sprouts And Seedlings

We started seeing sprouts after about 3 days. One week later, everything had sprouted. We pulled off the plastic at first sign of sprouts. Then we turned on the grow box lights and left them under the lights all day.  We turn the lights off when we go to bed, then turn them on when we wake up. So many seeds germinated that we had a lot of thinning and transplanting to do. 
You can see some of the sprouts we thinned laying on the soil in the pot. It is hard to pull seedlings because you want to let everything grow, but it's something we must do for strong and healthy plants.