Friday, April 29, 2011

One beautiful day sandwiched between days & days of RAIN

Well, at least one day this week was sunny and somewhat warm. It is has been such a gloomy, wet, depressing spring that the only thing that has kept me up and moving was my dreams of a stellar garden this year.

So, of course, I took advantage of this one lovely day to get some work done for the garden.

First, I transplanted all the seedlings into bigger and better homes. The pansies all went into their outside pots and they are in the process of being hardened off this week. I also transplanted tomatoes, zinnias, marigolds, basil, lavender, Queen Anne's Lace and a few pepper plants that survived (some nibbling creature has been eating the leaves off all my pepper plants - grrr) into bigger pots so their root balls can get a little bigger before transplanting them into the garden next month.

I then got to try out my new soil cube tool. I actually won this little gadget recently in a drawing at Highly Uncivilized. Since I so rarely win anything, it was a real joy when they contacted me. And now that I've actually tried it out, I am THRILLED that I won. It is one of those little gadgets that you look at and say, "Cool!" but then don't buy because you are just not quite sure if it is worth the investment.

Well, this thing totally is worth it. It was produced by Deeply Rooted Organics. Look at the nice, orderly blocks I turned out in a quick hurry this afternoon. The beauty of using soil blocks is the roots will air-prune themselves, meaning, when they reach the outside of the block, they send a message back to the stem to put out more roots. The result is a compact, healthy root system that will not suffer from root shock when you transplant them. Plus, there is no plastic pots to wash, store or throw away. So wonderfully green and organic, it makes me swoon.

It even came with a specially made pair of tweezers to move the blocks when it is time to transplant them. And it works, too. I had a few blocks that needed to be shifted around and it held the blocks together nicely as I lifted them into a better position.

I planted more tomatoes and peppers, so I can stagger harvests this year, as well as some sweet alyssum and sweet peas. For kicks, I started a few radish seeds as well. I plan on direct sowing most of them but thought it might be fun to experiment a little. I have room under my grow light for at least 3 more trays, so I'll be blocking up some more soil and starting more seeds soon. I just need to mix up more of the special soil mixture they recommend.

Might as well keep starting seedlings while it rains this weekend.

Come on, Sun. We miss you. Come back soon! And stay awhile next time, please!!!


Rani said...

Your seedlings look great. Mine are a bit weak and leggy but I don't have a grow light, so they've been reaching for the flourescent light on the ceiling. Oh well. I've been told that I can replant the tomatoes up the stem and they'll fill out.

You're going to have a rockin' garden this summer.

Lynne said...

Last Sunday we had one day of sunshine between days of rain - but we are heading into winter!

Ellen said...

That soil blocker is very cool!

I'm a dab hand at "paper pot" making for my seedlings. I start them in a small plastic pot and then go into the paper pot size before planting.

Looking foward to some more sunshine . . .