23 January 2011

Gardening in 2011

I love planning my garden.  Thankfully, with the help of resources like Dave's Garden, the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange seed catalog, and the agricultural resources of NC State University, I think I've got a great plan on my hands.

As I mentioned before, I've started my little seeds under a grow light. They seem to be doing well.  I have more seeds to start soon, but I wanted to get started early in order to see how viable some of my seeds were.


Dolce Vita Basil Blend........................13 seedlings
Borage..................................................2 seedlings
Oak Leaf Lettuce Blend.......................MANY seedlings!
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes..................3 seedlings
Sun Gold Tomatoes..............................6 seedlings
Long Purple Eggplant
California Orange Wonder Pepper
Orange Fogo Thai Chili Pepper
Chocolate Habanero Pepper
Red Mushroom Pepper
Scotch Bonnet Pepper

The earliest that I would expect to see emerging seedlings from the eggplant or peppers would be around the end of this week.  They all seem to take around a minimum of 10 days to emerge.

In addition to these seedlings, I have a table full of coleus plants. You can propagate coleus by taking clippings and putting them in water.  After a few days, they'll start producing roots. I did that months ago now (with the help of my mother).  As a result, I have 15 coleus plants which I moved to 3" pots a month or so ago.  I've got a good variety - they range from bright green to deep red, and I'm very anxious to get them into the garden.


After my never-ending front flower bed rehab last fall, I'm excited to enjoy a verdant landscape.  Because coleus isn't free or all that cheap, I decided that I'd go ahead and just root as many as I can.  If I have too many, I can share them with neighbors.  Just below here you can see my plans for my front bed.  Everything is already in place except for the Phlox and Coleus.

My biggest goal with my overall gardening this year is to increase the productivity of my veggie garden by also increasing the pollinators that I attract.  I have a mason bee house which I plan to hang out back.  I've also worked to plan out a garden that could (if all goes according to plan) do wonders for attracting butterflies as well.  I have planned out a handful of plants that are nectar plants for butterflies, as well as larval plants for them.

Nectar:
Mint
Parsley
Coneflower
Yarrow
Sweet Alyssum
Lavender
Globe Candytuft
Sunflower
Phlox
Coreopsis
Aster

Larval:
Parsley
Hollyhock
Aster

I've also ordered all of the remaining tomato seeds that I need to get this party started.  Soon, the vacant section under the grow light will be filled with even more tiny adorable seedlings.  I'll keep you posted.

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