Monday, March 26, 2012

Gardening in the Dark - Updated with Photos

This is probably a first for me. No pictures, not tonight anyway. Photos added 3/27. I did garden most of the day as well as in the dark tonight. I was hoping my dwarf Tophat blueberry bush would arrive today, and was sort of waiting on it to finish up my work, and it won't come until tomorrow now, so that meant I left a bunch of stuff out and just a bit more work that needed finished. I could have waited until tomorrow, but I got started on finishing up my newspaper pots and just went ahead and filled them by my back porch light.

Things accomplished today:

  • Potting up of 81 tomato/pepper plants in newspaper pots
  • Run to Walmart/Dollar Tree for more seeds, potting soil, fertilizer, and hanging baskets (I couldn't pass up a few packets of $0.20 seeds at Walmart... and I think I was short on pepper seeds anyway...
  • Mixed potting soil with fertilizer
  • Filled and planted summer squash and zucchini in my Dollar tree buckets from last year 
  • Made remaining 25 newspaper pots
  • Potted up remaining 24 tomato plants and 1 lone basil plant in the dark on the patio

I've been dreading the potting up stage. Partly because I do so many at a time, but also because, once again, I was late in making my newspaper pots so all of that had to be done at once.  My hubby helped out tons with the newspaper pot making last night, which was a welcomed first.

I know it's early to get those zucchini and summer squash started, but they worked so well in the buckets last year, and it's been so consistently warm. I noticed a few volunteer watermelon plants growing in the compost pile the other day, and found a squash of some sort (probably zucchini) that already has its first true leaves back in the turtle pen. I figured if they grew in nature on their own I could risk a few seeds now. The pots are portable too, so that means a trip to the garage or even the dining room if we get a temperature drop. I just about wrote "late" temp drop, but Spring has come so early, that I feel thrown off, it wouldn't be "late" it'd be normal.
Squash volunteer in turtle pen

Spinach seedling (excited with how much growth I have so far, spinach is not one I've had much success with)

Lolla Rossa lettuce seedling

Valerie lettuce seedling

Broccoli and lettuce

Snap peas, radishes, and the non-existent carrots

I feel like my tomatoes and peppers are "behind" because they are so small in this potting up stage (they do have a phosphorus deficiency at the moment, but that will clear up with the fertilizer and fresh soil...). Realistically they are way ahead, they are completely hardened off, seeing as how they have spent MAYBE two days inside at the very beginning. IT'S STILL MARCH. I have to keep telling myself that. 

Solomon on the compost pile
The turtles think Spring is in the air. There shouldn't be any shortage of fertile eggs (at least next year..), I'll just leave it at that. I'm wondering if there will be early egg laying... May 18th is the earliest Eleanor has ever laid. We'll see... 


  1. Non-existent carrots? I see carrots!

    Solomon is so darned cute.

    1. I've never grown carrots, looks like weeds, grass, and tomato volunteers to me!!

      I like my turtles too, though my husband may think the ' cute' comment is a bit much for his 'dinosaurs' ;)

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    3. Sure looks like carrot seedlings in between the peas and radishes! Hey, as one who has watched "Land Before Time" countless times with the grandchildren, I think dinosaurs are cute!

    4. I'll just have to trust you on those carrots and wait them out!

      Land Before Time is definitely one we own for future children! (And for my husband!)

  2. I was just dying with the warm weather we had. It felt like summer not spring. Now things are back to normal. It feels so cold after all the warmth.