Seedlings growing, garlic bulbs sprouting, and preparing the garden plot

Hi all,

In my last post, I had planted seeds. Let’s see how they’re doing!

Here are the seedlings as of three and a half weeks ago, April 3rd.

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A week later I removed the humidity dome and placed the tray in the patch of sunlight near the patio door. I don’t do this every day, but I try to when it’s especially sunny and when I happen to be home.

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Eowyn likes them too. I don’t think she liked me taking this photo of her, however!

About two weeks later (two days ago) they look like this.

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As you can see, they’ve grown a fair bit in the past few weeks.

I took a bunch of close up shots, as I find it helps with identification. I would like to get to the point where I don’t need to have signs next to the plants, because I’ll be able to look at the seedling and know what it is right away.

Here’s a close shot of a watermelon seedling. The lower two leaves are round, while the incoming leaves have serrated edges.

 

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The following shots: bell pepper, strawberry, and tomato seedlings.

 

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Now for the experiments! I’ve grown sweet granadillas before and posted photos. Unfortunately, I killed them by accident by transplanting them into overly large pots, which caused them to get root rot and die. Soooo I’m trying them again.

 

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Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time. Speaking of luck, one of the date pits that I planted back in March has finally sprouted.

 

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It doesn’t look like much, and it is growing very slowly, but I’m pleased with it. It should be worth it in the long run.

I also planted brown lentils just to see what would happen.

 

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They came up quickly. I’m curious to see if I’ll be able to harvest lentils from these plants.

Now for the garden plan. I spent several hours drawing it up. The plot measures 220 inches long by 152 inches wide. Actually it’s not an even square; the front of it is 24 inches wider than the back. I calculated the amount of space needed for the plants and for pathways and made sure they could all fit into the plot.

 

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I might change it later, but for now this general layout should work. I made sure to keep the soybeans away from the garlic and beets because they aren’t compatible. Calendula is supposed to repel beet pests, so I’ll put those in with the beets. The bell peppers and tomatoes are in the middle so they can get as much light as possible with no shading from the fences. The greens will all go in one spot. I might try crop rotating, not sure yet.

Finally, I went to the plot itself and started weeding it.

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And guess what I found growing? The garlic cloves that I’d planted in the fall.

 

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Please excuse the photo quality. I only had my phone camera with me and the sun was setting, hence the overexposed flash.

My newest goals: harden off the seedlings, arrange the garden plot into sections according to the map, and directly plant the other seeds. Certain plants, like the strawberries and herbs, will stay on the balcony. I would also like to try grapes this year, which I’ll keep on the balcony also.

How do you normally start your garden? Do you start seeds indoors, direct plant them, or buy plants from the market?

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