Going back to my theme of “this wouldn’t grow in Minnesota” I planted some things in my western Washington garden that I could not get to grow in my Minnesota garden. David Austin roses lover the maritime climate here without any winter protection. Perennial herbs are such a treat. But the star of the day is this Monrovia yucca plant. It’s a first for me. I think I have been waiting three years for this yucca to bloom. Worth the wait, don’t you think?
A couple of days in the high 80’s and my garden (and this gardener) are wilting in the sun!
Not this bad, but my sugar snap peas are complaining, and the San Marzano tomatoes that are waiting for the space currently occupied by the sugar snap peas are complaining and my tomatoes in Walls of Water have outgrown their protection, which they no longer need. Gardener, get to work!
I will always be a vegetable gardener. I still get a thrill from being able to go out into my garden and pick a salad for lunch. I am able to do that about eight months of the year and I would like to up that as I know there are gardeners on the Pacific Northwest who are able to do year round harvesting. Every year is different in some way. This is the first year I have has a good crop of radishes that the slugs did not find. In my hopeful sort of way, I put down a few radish seeds every spring thinking they will be my trap crop to be sacrificed the slugs but not this year.
My big success this so far this year has been sugar snap peas. I planted two varieties, the early Super Sugar Snap that I began harvesting today and the slightly later Cascadia which is blooming now.
My struggle this year is with cucumber seeds/transplants. I started way too early and the first transplants were ok for about three days in the ground, then died. Next I tried direct seeding and that was a bust! Today I went back to indoor lights and heat mat with germinating mix. Seeds are cheap. I hope the third time is a charm.
This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.
I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!
I started my first trays of seeds yesterday. Slow germinating petunias, delphinium and a few others. Plus a wide variety of lettuce plants that will grow in my cool greenhouse for crunchy salads in March and April. My light system is totally laughable. I repurposed my SAD light and propped it over the seed trays. Instead of having the lights move up and down, I vary the distance from the lights with different sized plastic boxes. It works for me. I like to think it was a creative use of things on hand. I enjoy viewing the Rusted Gardener videos and hope you will also.
Record keeping has been a learning component for this transplanted gardener. This is my second full season in this climate and my notes from seed starting in 2013 are paying off now. What I do is not fancy or professional, just enough so I do not feel like I have to guess every year or repeat mistakes!
This is a greenhouse gardening book that is a must-have for any gardener with a Sunspace or Greenhouse. Published in 2000 by Fulcrum Publishing, but still very informative. I re-read it every fall.