The messy reality of my garden in its current state.

So basically all of my seedlings died. I transferred a few of them, but they didn't make it. The ones I had inside got too leggy. The tomatoes in particular just turned purple in the stems, then the leaves turned yellow. I'm pretty sure it's mainly because I used the wrong kind of lights. I was really discouraged for a while, but life goes on. The garden must go on! I can't let this stop me after I've put so much effort (and um, money) into this project.

So I got some pepper and eggplant plants at a garden store, and everything else I'm starting from seed in the ground. This weekend I built another 4'x4' garden bed (veggie 2 in my garden plan) and I transplanted seven kinds of peppers and two eggplant plants. Some of the peppers already have flowers Plus I started melons, cucumbers, corn, and wax beans. I also just re-started the herbs that didn't make it from seeds. A week ago I built the 6'x6' garden bed (veggie 1 in the plan). Fortunately for me, I have long arms and can reach the middle just fine. I started two Roma tomato plants, one cherry tomato plant, and one crookneck squash plant from seed. Then I inter-planted more carrots, beets, leeks, and radishes. I took a tip from Joe Lamp'l and re-used some plastic containers as mini greenhouses in the hopes that it would help my tomatoes germinate -- we had some cool evenings last week. Whether it's due to the covers or not, the tomatoes have sprung up and look good so far.

Meanwhile, the spring vegetables seem to be doing mostly okay, despite some of the really hot weather we've had. The cauliflower and broccoli are starting to show teeny tiny heads. Only 2-3 cauliflower plants look like they might not make it or at least are way behind the others. On the plus side, if they die, we can plant more summer veggies in their place that much sooner. We really have plenty of cauliflower and broccoli.

Somebody has been eating the bok choi. I found a bunch of slugs on it, and caterpillars on the cauliflower and broccoli. I used the thumb and forefinger method on these little guys, which gave me great satisfaction. The caterpillars in particular bled a deep green as if they were filled with pure chlorophyll. I also scattered some coffee grounds. I haven't seen any uninvited guests since.

Besides that, this is the somewhat messy state of my garden.
Weeds are starting to appear, particularly poke-weed berries, which have enormous tap roots and are really hard to get rid of. I wish I had a picture of what this yard looked like when I moved in -- as messy as it looks now, it's still a great improvement. I'm not sure what to do with the areas between my garden beds. Some have grass (mixed with clover) some don't. I don't think it makes sense to put down straw between some and not others. (I also don't want to buy straw.) I'm thinking of just pulling up the most offensive weeds (dandelion and plantain type weeds) and letting the clover fill in. I actually don't mind the clover in the back yard as it doesn't need to be mowed as often as grass.

I still have to build the last of the garden beds which is for the flowers. Of all the seedlings that died, I am most disappointed about my delphiniums. I'm hoping that with plastic covers to protect them, I can get some seeds started in the ground. They probably won't produce flowers this year though. Bummer.


  1. I covet the cauliflower! I decided not to put any in this spring and I'm already sad.

    My backyard is crazy with the clover too! Back in the day, people used to want to mix in the clover with grass. So, I'm RETRO!

  2. sorry about loosing your home-started seedling. Most people don't realize how much light seedling need. I start mine under 4 shop lights, set at no more than 2 inches from the top, and put the seedling outside on mild days so they get used to the sun. Starting indoor is only a very poor approximation of spring... we do th best we can!

    Good luck with your second batch (cauli-flower looks good!!!)

  3. Our tomatoes are currently going through the same slow death. I'm writing a post about it today. Everybody told me seedlings were difficult. . . how hard can it be? I asked myself. The tomatoes are laughing behind my back.