If any of you followed along with my first ever gardening journey last year, it was a huge success and a huge learning experience! I actually found that I love to garden and tend to plants throughout the summer. In case you missed that series, you can catch up below.
My First Ever Garden Series
This year I was super excited to start my garden again, I of course was planning long before a person living in North Dakota should ever think about even gardening. I planned on using the cinder block raised bed I used last year again. I hand tilled it and spread some fertilizer early in the spring to prepare the garden for plants.
Tomato & Jalapeños from Seed
This year I did something new, I started my own seedlings! Once again this year, I received a lovely little care package from the folks at Monsanto as part of their Hey Let’s Grow Blogger project. I don’t think most people realize that Monsanto Company has a huge vegetable seed brand called Seminis. For more than 150 years, Seminis has worked hard to provide vegetable seeds that help growers and also offer consumers options and quality in the grocery store. I decided I was going to give their tomatoes and peppers a go and start them indoors. I used a YouTube video from the Rusted Garden as a tutorial.
It used a simple tupperware storage container and a simple clamp light.I had always heard how difficult it is to start tomatoes from seed because they are picky, but I gave it a go. I ended up putting the little seedlings on a timer because we don’t get near enough light here in the early Spring. The first two weeks I left the lights on for 24 hours then switched to 16 hours a day of light. Much to my surprise, my starts ALL came up and they thrived!! The tomatoes don’t look so hot in the photo below, they had survived no water during my trip to Savannah. Whoops! But they bounced back amazingly!
Garden Varieties 2017
This spring has felt like the wackiest and whirlwind spring we’ve had in a long time. It would get hot then freeze again and then all of a sudden it just jumped right into summer. And the wind, my goodness, I think we’ve had more windy days than we have calm days. But alas, it is North Dakota. All of these things have made it difficult to plant and tend to my garden and plants. This spring has already posed several challenges, but I will prevail!
Here’s what I put in my garden:
- Radish, Perfecto (started from seed)
- Beets, Detroit Dark Red (started from seed)
- Carrots, NDSU Chablis Yellow & NDSU Solar Yellow (started from seed)
- Lettuce, NDSU Coastal Star Romaine & NDSU Fusion Romaine (started from seed)
- Peppers, Big Guy Hybrid Jalapenos (started from seed & transplanted)
- Tomatoes, Seminis Better Boy (started from seed & transplanted)
- Leeks, Dawn Giant (started from seed)
Homemade Seed Tape: Failure?
I experimented with using a homemade seed tape this year as well using toilet paper. I found several tutorials online. I was excited that it would perfectly space out the seeds versus having to thin them once they get established. I am not sure what happened, but I feel like the seed tape and the seeds washed around my entire garden like crazy. I also had very poor germination overall using the seed tape versus just planting direct in the soil. Anyway, I had planned on sharing the tutorial, but since it wasn’t a huge success I’ll just share a photo of what I did below, so you can get an idea.
It seems like the larger seeds like radishes and beets did well and stayed in rows within the seed tape. They actually came up fairly well and consistently. Anyway, because of the washing of the seeds and poor germination I have officially gave in a replanted portions of my carrots and lettuce which is so disappointing as I had such a great stand this time last year! SIGH! The joys of gardening!
Anyone have any experience with homemade seed tape? Success? Failure?
Garden & Patio 2017 Update
I will try my best to update y’all on how the garden and my patio progresses this year. However, with our little nugget on the day in early September we will see how that goes! It’s already proven a challenge to plant and garden with an ever growing belly! 😉 But I still enjoy getting out there and getting my hands dirty just as much as last year. Here is what my garden is looking like right now.
I am honestly so proud of my tomatoes, they’ve survived some seriously cold weather and relentless wind. I, of course, spent many evenings ensuring they were covered so I didn’t risk frost damage. And they’ve totally bounced back and been thriving with these summer-like temperatures we’ve been experiencing. It makes up for the lack of germination of everything else that peeves me whenever I go out there!! Hopefully with the replant, I will be back up to speed in no time!
My garden wasn’t the only challenge this year, once the weather finally got nice enough, I hit up my favorite nursery and picked up ALLLLLL the plants for my patio. You may remember last year I took the leftover cinder blocks, painted them, and made a nice little planter for my patio. I also turned several items of junk into pots for plants on my patio. It seriously makes me so happy to have flowers and color on my patio! Anyway, several days later, I had an animal disaster on my hands. I am guessing a deer came through and had a heyday with my newly potted plants. Some of them were completely chewed off to the stems and some of them were completely gone. Cue all the tears and anger. I finally got to replanting that last weekend and thus far, I am happy to report they’ve been left untouched since! It is always an adventure around here!
In other parts of the yard, my rhubarb is seriously KICKING ASS this year! I already harvested lightly off of it and I could probably do it again and it would just keep growing. I am excited to see more asparagus shoots coming up and going to seed. Asparagus thus far has been a serious journey in patience as it establishes. One of these years I hope to just come out and have a bunch of asparagus growing!
Here’s what my patio is looking like these days! Lots of blooms with this warm weather!
You can follow along with all of the #HeyLetsGrow bloggers by following the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you’re up North, have you planted your garden? What do you have planted in your garden? And for all the rest of y’all, how’s your garden doing?
Disclosure: Some materials and vegetable seed in this series has been provided by Monsanto & Seminis. However, the content and opinions expressed are that of Prairie Californian.