Transplanting in the Greenhouse

When I start vegetables or flowers from seed in the greenhouse, I usually start them in trays. After they have grown enough to have a third leaf, I transplant them to cups or sectioned containers to allow them to continue to grow.

This allows them to absorb nutrients from the dirt in the tray, and then they can be moved to another container with fresh nutrients.

Geraniums started from seed.

Geraniums started from seed.

You will notice that a few of these tiny plants have a leaf starting to turn yellow. This can happen when they need more nutrients than they are getting or if they are receiving more water than they require.

I prepare new pots with fertilizer-enriched soil in varying sizes. For a flower….they will not bloom until the roots are bound up in the pot. If I plant some in smaller pots, they will get root bound sooner so the blooms come sooner. Once they are blooming I can set them in the garden. I leave some in the larger pots and allow them to bloom later.

Prepared pots.

Prepared pots.

I use small plastic spoons to scoop up the plants, keeping the roots intact; then place them in the new pot. This has to be a very gentle process.

Removing the plant.

Removing the plant.

Transfer in process.

Transfer in process.

Once the plant is placed in the new pot, I water it well. I also transfer some of the soil from the original tray, because it is already moist and will pack well to hold the plant in place as you water.

The final step is watering it in.

The final step is watering it in.

So, there you have it. How to grow and transplant your spring flowers.

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Planting Seeds

Yesterday I began planting seeds in my greenhouse.

Seeds started in recycled containers

Seeds started in recycled containers

This time of year always gets my heart excited for a new start in the garden. All the old weeds and last years mistakes can be wiped away and hope begins to grow. (“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NISB)

I had to plant the seeds that take the longest time to germinate and grow, around six to eight weeks, so they would be ready to set out after the last frosts in early May.

I planted seeds for my flower beds and pots…. Geraniums, Hosta seeds, and Sweet Peas.

Sweet Peas, have such a hard shell they have to be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting. The parable in Luke 8:5-15 covers seeds and soil. To this parable I would like to add another, a seed whose shell is so hard, it has to be soaked down, to soften the exterior and let the life giving nutrients in. Those with hard shells know what I mean.

Sweet Pea Villa Roma Scarlett seeds soaking to soften the hard shell

Sweet Pea Villa Roma Scarlett seeds, soaking to soften their hard shells.

Once seeds are planted I lightly cover with potting soil using an old soup ladle to scoop and  sprinkle the dirt

Once seeds are planted, I lightly cover with potting soil using an old soup ladle to scoop and sprinkle the dirt.

I also planted Cauliflower and Jalapeno peppers. In summer, fresh Jalapeno peppers make the best Mexican cornbread ever.

Below is my recipe for the easiest Mexican cornbread ever. Cooking and baking doesn’t have to be hard.

2 cups self-rising buttermilk cornmeal

To a one cup measure, add 2 eggs and fill the rest of the way with oil

Add  one cup of buttermilk

Mix thoroughly

Add 1 small can of drained corn or equivalent of fresh corn

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (low fat works fine)

Add 1-2, depending on size and taste , fresh, diced, Jalapeno peppers (in the winter use diced from a jar, to taste)

Bake in 8×8 dish, sprayed with Pam, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

ENJOY!

Plans for the Garden

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The weather stations are calling for sleet and freezing rain tomorrow. There will be no working outside yet. My potato bed needs to be planted but will have to wait for now.

Instead I will use this time to dream of my weed free summer garden and make plans. I will research the seed and garden catalogs that have been sent to my home and begin coordinating planting times. Some seeds take days or weeks to have a plant ready for the garden. Some plants (certain flowers) take months.

Many people make plans on paper. I make plans in my head. I order the seeds I want. I obtain seeds from the local hardware store. I buy plants already growing from places like Walmart and Lowes. I use a variety of resources. I decide what needs to be planted now and later. Sometimes I mark my calendar as to when to plant certain things. Other times I put a plan in my head and make myself remember it. It is a good mental exercise and challenge to keep it all straight, and my theory is… it keeps my brain functioning better as I age.

There is one more reason that I don’t write a lot of this down. Over the years I have found out that only God controls what I do on a daily basis. He controls the weather, the crops, and what I do with my time. I have fought His control in the past with no success. After all He is God, right? Now I give Him full control. If a garden and flower beds happen this year, it is only by His mercy and grace. We all shall see what He has planned, and I am sure there will be some neat surprises thrown in the mix. Stay tuned.