Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seedling & Outdoor Garden Update

First off I have changed the comment layout. I have found that blogs that use my previous layout can create some difficulty if you don't remember everything and have to go back and read again. So I changed to the one that embeds the comments below the post but then found it confusing that there is not very good separation between comments. I have now changed it to the pop up one as it separates each comment clearly and then you can check back on the post if needed. Whats your thoughts on the comment layouts?

I have built a platform for the seedlings. Nothing special, I just threw it together with material in the basement and then affixed it to the metal shelf. It provides better light for the seedlings and make the heat mat perform better as it is not sitting on a cold metal shelf.

The Big Chile II peppers are growing very nicely. They are just starting to grow true leaves and I will be thinning them shortly. I have still not started my other variety of hot peppers because they have not arrived yet.

The lone early tomato is also growing well. It has just started to form true leaves. It will be potted on to a 4" pot once it roots into this pot. Once April arrives I will transplant it into a large pot so I can place it outside during fair weather to hopefully produce early tomatoes.

Now for the onions, I have accidentally dumped my "Prince" storage onions, which was pretty stupid of me. I then thinned and transplanted them back into the pot and start some fresh ones just in case. Good thing I did because the transplanted ones are not looking to good. I checked the recommend onion sowing date on the Ministry of Agriculture site and they recommend Feb 16th. I planted the second batch Feb 24th so I am still pretty much on schedule even after losing a month on the first ones.

I have not mucked with the "Armador" shallots so they are still doing well although they do look a little weak. The weather needs to improve so I can get them out into the coldframe.

Speaking of the coldframe, I am regularly checking to see if any of the seed has germinated, nothing yet. I have been monitoring the temperature and it has held at 5 to 10c(41-50f) during the day when the outside temperature has been anywhere from -8 to 6c (18-43f). That is a good sign and shows that the sun is certainly getting stronger.

My Pinetree order is starting to make me panic. I placed the order 5 weeks in advance of having to start anything and figured it would be here in about a week like all my other orders. I have tried to confirm that it has been shipped via e-mail and received no response. I then tried phoning them yesterday and got a recording that their number is not in service. Finally, today they answer and said they are just working on orders from Feb 9th and I ordered on Feb 11th. I am hoping my order arrives by March 9-16 as that is when I need to start all the cole crops. I am guessing they are swamped with orders because of all the economic doom fearers out there. I think in the future I will order my early sown seeds in the fall!

I finally got a photo of the snow-less yard. The last snow storm that past missed use as a low pressure system from the north kept all the snow to the east. Although we were lucky to be missed by the storm it has been extremely windy & cold since last Saturday and it is supposed to stick around until next Thursday when it is going above freezing again.

I will end with a couple photos of the spring bulbs breaking ground. I was very excited to see these and it is a sign that the weather will be turning for the better very soon. The first photo is Daffodils and the last one is Iris reticulata. The Iris reticulata is my favorite spring bulb.


  1. Gosh, Dan...I think I'd be upset with Pinetree too! Maybe they need to hire more help.


  2. Holy moly are you ever in a warm climate - spring bulbs, already? I had a similar experience last year - ordered a little late and ended up getting my seeds way after their sow date. That's why I got all frantic in January this year for ordering seeds and finalizing lists. Nothing sucks more than waiting for an order that comes too late. I hope your Pinetree order comes in soon!

  3. Hehe, other London (bit closer to home) though I do carry a bit of an English accent (I blame my boyfriend who hails from that side of the pond).

    Out of interest I noticed you have lovely purple beans. I have red ones growing at the moment and they're turning out to really enjoy whatever I've been doing. They've grown 5 inches in 4 days and I wonder if your little ones have been doing something simular?

  4. Yeah Pinetree does say during the busy season that they can take up to three weeks to send out orders. I've found in the past it tends to be two weeks, but I'm thinking that you are probably right and they are more swamped than usual. BTW I ordered December 31st from them and they were shipped on January 6th and got here on the 9th. Usually that time of year would take just a couple of days. I ordered earlier than usual this year due to fear of things not being in stock. Lots of seed companies ran out last year and I figured with the economy it would be much worse this year. I have two things on backorder. Which reminds me their note said they would probably show up in 30 days. They haven't. I should call. Buying seed was so much easier a couple of years ago.

  5. Granny - Yes it sure does make you a little upset. Most things in the order will not be started for a while but the cole crops really need to be started soon.

    Kathy - We have sure had some warm weather in southern ontario, I hope the snow stays away for good. I think I will follow your lead and order in Jan next season. I might end up double ordering the cole crops from William Dam just to make sure I have them on time.

    Mandi - I direct seed my beans outdoors near the end of May here in Ontario, Canada. I am guessing yours might be stretching for the light?

    Daphne - They did say something about being back ordered on the phone. In the future I will order much sooner from pinetree.

  6. That sucks about your onions, dan.The seedlings are looking good...


  7. I need to put a thermometer in my cold frame to see what the temp is. I was considering getting one of those digital ones that I can put a sensor in the cold frame and the readout in the house. Then I don't have to go out into the cold to check it.

  8. EG - Yes it does really suck! I am hoping with some extra coddling I can get the second batch to perform just as well as the first should have.

    Chiot's Run - Me too, they put the standard min/max La Crosse wireless one on sale at a local shop for $9.99. I am impatiently waiting for them to go on sale again.

  9. It's all looking good Dan. I like the pop up comment box best. I want to refer to the post if need be. Everyone is using something different so it is really hard to get it down.

  10. They're turning into lovely plants, already caught up to the other big seedlings. They'll be ready for spring soon enough!

    Takes 65 days from seed to adult plant but these beans have decided to leap a head.

    Now I have to keep up with them hehe.


  11. I read reviews of Pinetree before I ordered from them. They take 3-5 weeks usually, but the quality of their seeds has been good.

    Your garden is looking great. I am just getting the hang of my camera, but your photos are always great.

  12. Tina - I like the pop up as well, my only concern is if it gets stopped by pop up blockers?

    lilegyptiangoddess - Seedlings can be a hand full.

    Red - It seems their long processing time was not disclosed very well. Oh well, I have double ordered the stuff I need asap and the rest will get here when it gets here.

    I must admit I am as much of a hobby photographer as I am a hobby gardener. I find shooting in manual mode inside works best and I take a few different exposures until the colours are right. The metal halides can make some really funny coloured photos until you find the right exposure length.

  13. Look on the bright side.. if you have such cold Winters then you will be sure to have less plant diseases and viruses than we do here, but I guess you have a shorter growing season! .. I planted your tomato seeds yesterday in a heated propagator in the greenhouse!

  14. Thank-you for that link to the ministry of agriculture. I had already made a huge excel file to determine when to start my seed, but I love to get Canadian input!

    Very jealous of your irises. I just moved to a new house in late November, and it has no garden yet. Unfortunately that means I'll be green with envy at the neighbours who have spring bulbs popping up.

  15. Never has. Not since I've been blogging, but I can see your point. Your readers would let you know.

  16. I like the pop-up comments -- my browser window didn't block it.

    I'm glad that the snow missed you. Hopefully the weather will begin to warm up very soon. i think your onions are looking very good.... mine always look a little puny until I get them transferred into the garden. Then they perk up.

  17. Pop-up is fine with me or whatever you chose! The platform looks great. It is wonderful when you can find a good use for stuff just lying around. Poor onions, good thing you planted more as they do not look so great. But you never know, they may make a come back! Yes, the Sun is getting stronger and good to see your yard without the white fluff on it. :-)

  18. conservative gardener - Ha, yes one tomato. This one is the tomato I started really early for my area in hopes of harvesting tomatoes by June 1st. I have 12 other varieties to start some time near the end of march for outdoor planting from May 15-22.

    matron - That is true the cold will kill off many bugs and disease. We do have a pretty short season here. April-May I can plant cold tolerant crops, June-Sept I can grow the warm season crops and Oct-Dec I can grow cold tolerant crops again. Can't wait to see the tomatoes grow! I will be starting your broad beans near the end of April as I believe they can take a light frost?

    Shauna McCabe - The link is very useful, I use it all the time. Good luck with the new garden, the Iris reticulata I picked up potted at the grocery store last spring and just planted them outside after they flowered.

    Tina - It must not be a problem if you have not encountered it.

    Judy - I'm glade the snow missed us too, it would have brought heavy wet snow. Thanks for the onion encouragement :-)

    Skeeter - I am giving the first batch of onions a couple weeks to start looking better or they are compost, good thing it is still early. The yard without snow is great to see, especially so early. If it only didn't uncover an icky brown lawn.

  19. Sorry to hear about your onions. I am finding that I have onion seedlings starting in the beds on their own, leftover from a failed fall planting attempt. They are doing so well I think I might just early sow them outdoors in the future instead of starting indoors. We have a milder climate in the Pacific Northwest, so this might work ok.

    Ok, I have to dissent on the pop up. If it was just posting the comment in the pop up I don't think I would mind, but since it is also the space for reading comments I don't like it so much. I'd rather see the comments inline with the article. Just my humble $0.02.

  20. Sandy - Maybe I will sow some and place them in the cold frame and see how they do. In my climate I could not direct seed them until the middle of April. I agree having them in natural light would be a great improvement.

    I am still on the fence with the pop up. My main concern is people that are not blogger friendly may have the pop up blocked by their browser. I wish that the embedded version was designed a little better.

  21. Are those old mold/fungus spots on your pine Seedling chamber? If so, and you are dealing with a bit, just spray around the plants, on the wood, ect, time to time, with Hydrogen peroxide 3%, and/ or a bit of diluted molasses. Molasses is a fantastic anti fungal treatment in some cases.