April 15, 2008
it was a beautiful sunny day on saturday and my seed trays were still showing no signs of life. A random trip to the hardware store (i’ve been reading up on basement renos) and before i knew it, i walked out with 20 tomato plants. it’s like they beckoned me with their awesome tomatoeness – you know that tomato leaf smell? one sniff and i was transported to the possibility of bushels of yummy salad possibilities.
i picked up a mix of cherry, yellow pear, best boy and some other random plants. i also got some purple cauliflower (i’m convinced that the plant tag image must have been colour-edited, because there is no way that a vegetable could be that purple), various peppers (including jalapeno) and a few small swiss chard plants. all planted and filling up one of my lovely raised beds (below on the right).
I’m still trying with the seed trays, but it seems so complicated – strong lights 5 inches away, fans to prevent spindliness, hardening off… i gave up before i started and just planted the seeds in trays, popped the lids on and left them outside to fend for themselves. i also have the sneaking suspicion that i should have started the whole process a little earlier.
the bed that was planted in late February/early March (below on the left) is coming along – the peas are about 4 inches high, the spinach is almost to the baby leaf salad stage, and the scallions, beets and mixed lettuce have shown themselves. carrots and marigolds have yet to make an appearance.
i finished construction of the last bed measuring 4’x4′ up against the trellis. This is where the camellia tree used to be. it’s a bit shady, but i think it will be great for more lettuce and spinach over the next few months, and then beans during the heat of summer. i did plant sweet peas against the trellis on the sunny side, along with two clematis vines from last year, but they haven’t shown up yet.
i cleared out a bed closest to the back steps off the kitchen and made a herb garden next to the existing rosemary. First, I relocated the herbs that made it through the winter unscathed (chives, garlic chives, lemon balm, oregano, greek oregano, thyme, fennel, and i think marjoram), and then i added purple sage and dill. I’ve also begun my herbal tea garden in the same spot – three kinds of chamomile, lemon verbena, mint, and spearmint.
the chives have been going into salads already.