Spring gardening, outdoor edition

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think we’re past the danger of frost now, so today I transplanted most of the seedlings from the peat tray and moved them outside.

A pot of basil seedlings just beginning to sprout

Basil growing on the windowsill

A row of little pots lined up on the porch railing

From left: jelly bean tomatoes, thyme and chives, mint and bunny tails in the terra cotta pot.

Rectangular planters and small round pots on the porch railing

In the rectangular planter, I pulled out last year’s parsley (it wasn’t healthy), and planted bunny tails in the middle; I’m pretty sure I planted seeds on either side, but now I’m not sure what kind they were. I thought basil, but most of those have come up by now, so it might be nasturtiums, which take longer to emerge. The two small round pots and the smaller rectangular planter all contain thyme, grown from seed.

Two small round pots, a rectangular planter, and two flower pots

From left: two small pots of chives, a rectangular planter with basil and nasturtiums, and two calibrochoa flowers. I had calibrochoa for the first time last year, and loved it: great colors, and it bloomed all summer (at least until it succumbed to aphids), plus it doesn’t require deadheading. Mostly I prefer to grow things I can eat, but a few flowers are just so cheery.

A terra cotta pot with dusty miller, little white flowers, and little orange flowers

Speaking of which, this year I added two 12″ pots at the base of the front stairs to brighten the entry. Each pot has dusty miller, a Diascia hybrid (the orange flowers), and a Nemesia fruticans (the white flowers).

Pink flowers, pale greenery in a pot overlooking the stairs

I also added a dianthus in the front. I thought it was something else – some of our neighbors have plants with a similar shade of pale greenery and super-saturated magenta/fuschia flowers, but I don’t know what those are called and this isn’t it. Still, it’s nice and bright.

A patch of earth bordered by 2x4s and rocks, a rectangular planter to the right side

Back to the backyard: This is the same patch where I tried to grow squash last year. (The squash did very well for half the summer, then abruptly died.) This year, I planted a few rows of carrots, with sweet peas along the back, close to the fence, and nasturtiums in the front. The seeds have yet to sprout, but we only put them in on May 3, and they may take up to 21 days to emerge. In the rectangular planter to the right are radishes and some more nasturtiums.

Birds' eye view of rectangular planter with radish seedlings sprouting

The radishes are very enthusiastic. This is my first year growing radishes (and anything from seed, for that matter), and I’m looking forward to them. (Does anyone know when to pull them up to eat? That’s the trouble with root vegetables…)

A row of 8 orange buckets with tomato seedlings and cages

Last but certainly not least, the stars of the garden (I hope), the tomatoes! Ben turned the soil from last year and added more soil, and helped place the cages, though obviously the seedlings don’t need them yet. (And this year I’ll be more vigilant about trimming the plants so they put more energy into growing tomatoes and less into growing stems and leaves. Last year it looked like Jack and the Beanstalk back there.)

There are four varieties of tomato: Sun Gold, Sweet 100s, Jelly Bean, and Gardener’s Delight. I’m especially looking forward to the Sun Gold and Sweet 100s, which I tasted from my cousin’s garden last summer.

I also added a few more basil seeds to the tomato buckets, as tomatoes and basil are supposed to be good “companions,” though I’m afraid the buckets will become somewhat crowded and I may have to thin them.

A birds' eye view of one of the orange buckets with tomato seedlings

A few more orange buckets contain strawberry plants from two summers ago (they keep surviving, though they didn’t produce any berries last summer, or at least none I got to before the birds and squirrels did), the rosemary that spent the winter indoors, and some sweet pea seeds (Knee-High and High Scent) that have yet to emerge.

The back porch from the back yard; buckets below, pots and planters on railing

The view from the hammock.

The peat tray was a success, I think, and I was able to give the extra seedlings away to friends and co-workers. Now it’s time to sit back, water, and watch things grow!



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Filed under gardening, plants, spring

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