Thursday, April 29, 2010

Starting The Season

I have been productive this last week, which is why I haven't found time to update my blog. But here I am.
First off, there is a 4-H Plant Sale in my county in May that I will probably attend. Why not help out the community and benefit from it myself? I think it's a great idea.

I've done quite a bit of work outside since my last post. These are the things I have planted:
Purple Carrots
Multicolored Carrots
Garlic (late)
Runner Beans
Honeycrisp Apple Tree (named Richard)

2 Morning Glory plants

I had meant to attempt to start a greenhouse but I think if I've held out this long, I can wait another 2 weeks when everything will go out anyways. I have begun hardening off a few plants, mainly my peppers because I am so worried about them doing well. This is my most treasured crop so I don't want to take any risks. Not to mention, I don't have the best setup inside. The plants are in front of a window, yes, and I DO have a grow light on them but for how much I have, I should probably have at least 3 lights on the table. I know this, I just don't want to spend so much money. BUT when I know it will be nice out, I will put them outside.

Now to go over some individual planting problems I am faced with.
I failed myself a bit earlier this year by not labeling things that I planted. I have a general idea what some are but guessing is not that accurate. I don't believe my pansies came up, nor my poppys. Things that I misplaced: Bergenia Roses, Bellflowers and canterbury bells. I'm sure there are more. If I can find pictures of seedlings, I'd be able to identify them but it's hard to find those. Some of the flowers haven't been showing much growth in the last few weeks which worries me but I just re-arranged the table so that may help. Being that some of these plants are perennials, they might not get established and flower until next year which is fine.

I believe I just found out that what I had thought to be my hollyhock growing big is actually a bunch of pansies. That's great because I believe the ones I planted are black. Well maybe. So many seedlings look alike. I have some fuzzy-type seedlings and I have NO idea what those are. I'm going to have to do some mega research. Bummer. This will definately not happen next year. Lable lable lable.

I will get pictures up later this weekend hopefully. I need to document this year better so I can learn from it all next year.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mail-Order Plants

I received my plants from Michigan Bulb Co. yesterday. This is the first time I have gotten actual plants (not seeds)mailed to me. Not what I was expecting except for my lilac bush. I planted everything yesterday except the bush. I put the strawberries with my original strawberry plant and onions next to that. I also pulled some hostas out of the ground and moved them to a boring spot that nothing else can grow in. I tilled some of the front where a mojority of the flowers will be planted. I planted my new old fashion bleeding heart as well as the 6 new hibiscus plants. Last but not least I put all 24 Iris bulbs in the ground. I'm unsure if they will come up this year or not...maybe not until summer, we shall see.

I took some string and created a ladder for the peas to grow on and transplanted the sweet peas that I had started indoors, they aren't looking too healthy but hopefully will be fine. The rose bushes, lettuce and sweet peas that are planted outside have quite a bit of growth, it is exciting!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Planting Calculator

I just found this wonderful planting calculator that tells you based on frost dates when you should be: planting, starting, hardening off and transplanting all of your plants. Not that it's THAT hard to make your own calender but why not have someone else do it for you :) I have also thrown together a list of vegetable plants that can be planted outside before last frost. If you can't tell, I'm getting to be an anxious gardener with all of the nice weather and would love to start putting some things outside other than my peas and lettuce.

Here is what you can plant before last frost, once the ground is workable:
Snow Peas
Onion Sets
Swiss Chard
Mustard Greens
Onion Seeds
Brussels Sprouts

Bachelor’s button
California Poppy
Sweet Peas
Rose Mallow/Tree Mallow
Sweet Alyssum
Bells of Ireland
Black-Eyed Susan
:::::::(Cold-tolerant seedlings)
Ornamental Kale
Dusty Miller
Pinks(Dianthus Chinensis)
Cape Daisy
Johnny jump-up

Hopefully that will help a little, I know I will end up glancing back at this list occasionally to see what I can put in the ground this early. I do have some poppys started, I wonder if I can put those in now? I guess I will have to do some more digging.
Also my first outside bloom today was a daffodil, hopefully the tulips will start to soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seed Shopping Tip

I'd like to give a little hint to all of you internet users. If you are ever shopping online at Park Seed, Burpee, Michigan Bulb Co. or anywhere else (even not for seeds), take a second before you check out and pull up a google screen. Type in whatever website you are using and the words "Coupon Code" There is generally something for (virtually) every website out there. My last order with Michigan Bulb Co. I did this and saved myself $20 on a $45 order, just for looking it up. You can often get free shipping, half off products, free with purchase products or percentages off the entire order. I have probably saved myself 300 dollars this year alone(so far) from doing this. Granted it makes me want to buy more but that's my own problem ;)

Here are some current coupons out there for the websites I use, Enjoy:
Park Seed
Michigan Bulb Co.
Thompson and Morgan
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Harris Seeds

Hope this helps.
Some may not work everytime, but it's always worth the few seconds it takes. Anything I can do to help out my fellow seed/plant shoppers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Morning Glorys

Oops, I definately started my morning glorys too early. First blooms of the season yesterday. I got home and they had already closed up but I will see them tonight when I get home. Cute little white and purple flowers. I wish I could put them outside but that will have to wait. Putting the sweet peas in the ground this weekend I'm pretty sure. It doesn't seem like it will even freeze at night until fall. It hasn't even really gotten close to 32 in the 3 weeks. I have to be patient though.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Shopping

Just ordered a few new things for the garden. I decided to check out Michigan Bulb Co. for some actual plants vs. seeds, which I try to avoid doing. With some plants, it's just a better idea to buy a started plant. These new plants consist of an Original Bleeding Heart plant for along the garage with the ferns. This spot gets no direct sunlight (if only an hour maybe) and needs some color. I also purchased a few new Hibiscus plants-6 total--Perennials Including this Sub Zero Hibiscus mix including light blues, reds, pinks, dark reds and purples and a Hardy Perennial mix of reds, pinks, and whites. I found a deal for buy 12 get 12 free for Mixed Dutch Irises which will be wonderful!

I also found a deal for 3 strawberry plants for $3 something and some cheap onion sets. Lastly (if I remember right) I finally got a lilac bush for the backyard, though I may try to convince my boyfriend to let me put it in the front yard, we'll see. I have wanted a lilac bush for years, I am glad I finally have gotten one.
These should all ship within a few weeks. Being that they are plants, they have to wait until mid april or so but I will try to be patient. I am also waiting on some garlic and a white raspberry plant which should also come soon. So Exciting!

As for my plants and plans for this last weekend to get a lot done, we're making our way slowly to having the front grow spot ready. Derek and I pulled out 90 percent of the roots from the old large bushes. We are almost done which is exciting. I can't wait to have flowers growing there because it looks very dull and bare now. Our nosy neighbors asked what we were doing in that nice but obviously worried tone. "You going to plant flowers there?" which was meant in the "you better be doing something there!" kind of way. But yes of course we are and I can't wait for him to be impressed by the Hibiscus and Gladiolus and a million other flowers this year.

I forgot to mention I splurged the other day and bought one of each-red tulip, white/orange daffodil, pink hyacinth, just to add some different color to my small spring flower display. Along with that I got 2 rose bushes. If I remember right, they are both Hybrid Tea Roses, one is orange/pink/white, the other is scarlet colored red. I hope they grow fine, this is my first time with roses and they were pretty cheap. Wish me luck and cross your fingers. :)