Farmer Lu…that’s me! Ha! More like Wanna-be Farmer Lu. Back in March I shared my excitement of sowing seeds indoors, hoping to get a nice head start on the growing season. Really…didn’t have a clue what in the world I was doing…still don’t. That’s okay though as that is what this little blog is all about…living and learning. All of the seeds started out fantastic…begging for a chance to make it out to the garden. Well, the first casualties were my oregano. They just shriveled up and died. Rest in peace little oregano.
Then, when I started hardening off (process of getting plants used to being outside) my baby seedlings, they all pretty much stopped growing. This crazy phenomenon also occurred after transplanting to larger pots. What could it have been? Perhaps, I started to harden them off too early? Maybe I wasn’t carful enough while handling the roots during transplantation? I didn’t use lamps while growing the seedlings. I just stuck them in a window, so maybe they were not getting enough heat. There are many reasons why the plants could have been stunted. I want bore you with all of the known mistakes that I made…although, it would probably provide some entertainment for you seasoned gardeners. I will say that sowing seeds in the toilet paper rolls worked well. Next time, I will not cut them in half as the seedlings quickly outgrew them.
Alright…moving on. So…although the seedlings growth seemed to be stunted, I decided to transplant them to the garden. In my neck of the woods, North Georgia, our last frost date was April 14. I transplanted a few days after. Four days after transplanting, I lost my cucumbers. *Wiping tears from face*
Theennnn….the weather took a turn for the worse. We had 5 days of nonstop cold rain. Awesome. Not exactly the best conditions for newly transplanted plants.
All that I have left of my seedlings are tomatoes, basil, and onions. All stunted. I decided to play it safe and buy some tomato plants. (Just in case.) I actually found some really nice ones from Wal-Mart. Here is a picture of the 8 Brandywine Tomato plants that I grew from seed.
These guys were this size for a whole month. Seriously. Out of the eight plants, I removed four of the tiniest ones and replaced them with nice and big healthy plants.
*You are the weakest link. Goodbye.*
Then, a miracle happened.
I promise the very next day my tomato plants began to grow. I did the same thing with the 4 cherry tomato plants. Removed 2 and planted 2 store bought big healthy plants. The original ones are still there and they are growing, but not quiet as fast.
I sowed some seeds the same day that I planted the tomato plants. Yellow squash, zucchini x2, spaghetti squash, and cucumber. The zucchini did not sprout, so I had to resow them. I planted 3 different cucumber plants 1-2 weeks apart with hopes of having a longer growing season.
Oh…and let’s not forget the jalapeño plant that the hubs insisted on planting.
Of course, his plant was the first to produce fruit. Grrr…
I forgot to take pics of the onions. Wouldn’t matter. You can hardly see them. So sad.
That’s my mini summer garden. Hopefully, I can squeeze in one more bed this year for a few winter crops.
Brandywine Red Tomato x4
Beefsteak Tomato x2
Rutgers Tomato x2
Super Sweet 100 Tomato
Sweetie Tomato x2 (not sure what I am going to do with all of these tomatoes!)
Sweet Marketmore Cucumber
White Wonder Cucumber
Crookneck Yellow Squash
It’s a small garden, but I think it’s perfect for a first timer. I would love to plant a salsa garden next year!
The most important thing that I have learned so far is that a patient gardener is a successful gardener. Sometimes, it is difficult to see California gardeners with bountiful veggie baskets or even the neighbors tomatoes that are already turning red. Patience.
I have one more picture to share.
Hooray for the first baby tomato!!
Any advice for the first timer? How are your gardens looking so far?
Thanks so much for visiting!