Last Sunday, I wrote a long, self-indulgent blog post about my “garden” with lots of photos and rambling about what I’m growing. A lot has sprung up since last weekend, so I wanted to write an update.
First off — my pansy seedlings began the transition into the great outdoors, and promptly died. As you might remember, my pansies had been seeded in a 72-cell tray and placed in our basement apartment’s only window. I decided earlier this week that five weeks’ time indoors had been enough, and set the tray outside early on Monday morning with the plastic “greenhouse” cover on it to shield the fragile seedlings from errant winds.. So far, so good.
Except… Monday had record-high temperatures for our area. And when I peeked outside a couple of hours later, that greenhouse cover was drenched in condensation. I ran outside and pulled the cover off to reveal a tray full of withered, pitiful baby pansies.
I haven’t felt so terrible about something in ages. I watered the seedlings with their turkey baster, and a few of them seem to perk up slightly, but the really small ones just disappeared in the muddy soil. It was really awful, and I couldn’t revive them no matter how hard I tried, so I stuck the tray in the lower shelf of the gardening bench Chris built me.
Above: the portrait of my shame.
Luckily, I had noticed that the “oldest” seedling — the first to sprout, and the most mature — had started drooping when the tray was still indoors. It had developed its first true leaves, so I decided to move it from the tray to a separate container. I had bought a few small tin buckets at Target for $1, so I planted it in there. Its roots were desperately trying to find someplace to go in the shallow seedling tray, and I assumed that was the reason for the drooping, and it would appreciate having more room to grow.
The surviving pansy is still drooping, but its stem seems to be growing stronger. I think it’ll get tall enough to not droop soon.
Needless to say, I definitely learned how to harden off seedlings the — ahem — hard way. I’ll be growing the rest of my flowers from seed sown directly in large planters outdoors, so this won’t happen again!
Everything else is growing really well! Our extra-warm week helped my herbs to sprout ahead of schedule, and my vegetables grew bigger quickly. My sweet basil seedlings were the most surprising, sprouting only about five days after seeding!
Now I’ve just got to figure out how to thin them out. Those little buggers grew so fast, so close together!
My sage has sprouted too…
…and my parsley grew taller over the past week of bright sunshine!
My veggies went pretty nuts this week, and my carrots, broccoli, and spinach (pictured below in that order) all sprouted their first true leaves. I thinned out my spinach seedlings and planted two more carrots.
The tomato plant I bought hasn’t changed much that I can tell. But my bush green beans are starting to show some life already, too! (You can see a sprout forming right of the marker.)
After obliterating my pansy seedlings, I adopted a gorgeous hanging basket from Walmart. It’s a pretty peach variety of verbena, and it makes me super happy to see every time I pass under that awning over our front door.
The only other gardening purchase I made this week was a watering jug. I’d been using a red plastic watering jug from last summer to water my outdoor plants, and I kept it by the front door, beneath the spigot. But for some reason, that was a prime hangout spot for monstrously large spiders, and if you know any fun facts about me, they usually include a loathsome fear of spiders.
So when I fetched my watering jug one day this week and saw a revolting black spider just chilling inside, I wasted no time holding the jug a safe distance from my body and banging it on the ground to knock the spider out.
I also broke the jug.
So I was in the market for a new watering pail, and found this beauty at Walmart for $5.
Can’t beat that!
Still loving gardening, and so surprised by the way everything’s growing (except, of course, those pansies). I was thinking of posting frequentish updates, maybe on Saturdays, but my camera isn’t working so well, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Until next time, gardening friends!