Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seedlings, and Closets and Trees, Oh My

This week, I'm taking a "staycation" from work, to try to get a bunch of stuff down around the house and garden.  Our schedule is chock full of appointments with landscapers, tree trimmers, and closet designers.

Yes, I have decided to get a custom closet in the master bedroom closet.  I will finally have built-in shoe racks!  It's quite fun - although a little overwhelming because you have to choose how you want the closet configured.  And once you decide, you're pretty much stuck with the outcome, so you have to choose wisely!  I know I need a lot of shoe space and the MOTH needs tons of drawer and shelf space for his enormous and continually expanding collection of T-shirts, many dating all the way back to the early '80s (have I mentioned he's all mine, ladies!).

We have between 4 and 6 appointments scheduled throughout each day.  We've received several estimates from tree trimmers, with suggestions on how to tame the hideous overgrowth in my backyard:

And a couple of landscapers who have promised to provide us with design plans and estimates.  Interestingly, they all tell me that the plantings the builder put in at the front of the house are all wrong for that space.  Most of them will have to be moved elsewhere, or just eliminated altogether.

The good news is, I shouldn't be too sad about the death of my poor tree:

Because, evidently, it was all wrong for that space too, and now we can just take it out and replace it with something more appropriate.  Oh, another piece of great news?  Evidently, there is a huge cluster of poison ivy growing in my backyard like a ground cover, and like a vine up the gigantic oak tree at the bottom of the yard.  That will have to go!

Any free moments in between appointments are spent on garden-related tasks.  Today, I planted some new seeds:

I also picked several clusters of disgusting tiny green insects off my Lettuce (Rosalita) and Swiss Chard:

I don't know anything about insects, but I think they were Aphids.  They did sort of look like this:

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Today and yesterday, I transplanted some of my seedlings into bigger pots.  Here are some different varieties of tomato, an ornamental black pepper, which I planted along with some parsley, and another parsley seedling that I've planted in a pot with some chives seeds.

Tomato Sweet 100 (Cherry tomatoes), which I grew from seed

Tomato Akers West Virgina, purchased at the Rutgers Garden day on Saturday

Ornamental black pepper (from Rutgers) with a couple of parsley plants grown from seed

A type of black tomato I can't remember the name of right now - purchased at Rutgers

Parsley from seed.  I planted some Chives seeds around the edge of the pot
Here is a long view of all the new pots lined up next to each other:

I added bamboo stakes to the tomato plants, so they can be tied up as they grow
These are all transplanted into organic potting mix with a little fish emulsion fertilizer.

Then, I snapped a shot of this little Arugula seedling, which I direct sowed in one of the garden beds in front of the house about two weeks ago.  I sowed about 6 seeds at the time and around 4 of them are coming up.  I previously started some Arugula seeds inside, but they did not do well -  I think they "bolted" because they were on heat mats and were probably too warm.  So, after that I started several more Arugula seeds inside (without heat mats) and these ones outside.  It will be interesting to see which turn out better.  However, since it looks as though my plant beds are all going to be disrupted in the landscaping process, I won't be direct sowing any more seeds in those beds for now. 

Finally, I planted this guy on the corner of my house.  I have no idea what or who he is.  I went to a  meeting of my local town garden club a couple of months ago and several people brought in plants from their gardens to exchange.  I ended up taking home this guy - the person who brought him could not remember his name, but said it is a flowering plant and grows well.  He has been sitting in his little pot for that whole time while I tried to decide where to put him.  Again, he will probably have to be moved in the landscaping process, but according to his original owner, he transplants very well, so I'm hoping he'll be fine.  If not ... well ... easy come, easy go?

Unknown plant from a stranger
 Tomorrow, we make another trip to home depot for more  pots and potting mix. 


  1. Nikki, you've got a fine start on food growing, inspiring me to get started. Good luck with your crops. Cheers.