Gymgirl's blog: My 2016 Garden Journal - FEBRUARY

Posted on Feb 4, 2016 8:54 AM

February 1 75°, overcast, but bright.

February 4 55°, cool & Sunshine.
San Marzano tomatoes finally up after almost 9 days. I thought the seeds were bad, LOL!

Thumb of 2016-02-04/Gymgirl/490732 SAN MARZANO seedlings @ 9 days.

Kellogg's Breakfast, NOID cherries, and Beets are ready for hardening off this weekend.

Thumb of 2016-02-04/Gymgirl/3b6059KELLOGG'S BREAKFAST seedlings @ 25 days.

Thumb of 2016-02-04/Gymgirl/cb3d95b]NOID Cherry Tomato seedlings @ 25 days.[/b]

Thumb of 2016-02-04/Gymgirl/d57bfab]BULL'S BLOOD Beet seedlings @ 25 days.[/b]

Thumb of 2016-02-04/Gymgirl/a2a7d0DETROIT DARK RED Beet seedlings @ 25 days.[/b]

February 6 55°, cool & Sunshine.
Watered the seedlings.

February 8 55°, cool & Sunshine.
Watered the seedlings. They're starting to change, and, I've seen that look before. Sucking up the nutrients faster than I can water them. That means they're moving past "baby food" and fluorescent lights, and need to go outside into the REAL WORLD, LOL!!! They need sunshine, rainwater, space to spread their roots, wind to whip them into shape, and some real food!

Unfortunately, a real life death got in the way...back on the tomato track in a minute...

February 10 65°, Sunshine.
Watered and fertilized everything in the veggie garden. No rain for two weeks, and none in sight... :-\
►Most all of the broccoli have heads in varying stages of growth. :)
►Bok Choy, Collards, and Spinach in the Earthboxes have skyrocketed in growth. Smiling Harvested Bok Choy & Spinach and made a salad! The Giant Noble spinach is spectacular! Need a pic, LOL!

►Absolutely have to get those tomato & beet seedlings out of the house. >:(
They are beginning to languish under the lights. Sucking up the water almost twice a day now. Need sunlight, rain, wind, and soil to spread roots...

February 15 65°, Overcast, but bright.
Did a quick walkabout in the garden:
►Two beds lie fallow (if you don't count the rogue sweeties I refuse to water in one. I want them gone...)
►The Meyer Improved Lemon is full of blossoms, again! Also, the fruits are swelling! I fertilized Wed. with Mittleider WF.
►Collards are huge in the Earthbox (EB)
►The two (2) EBs of spinach are packed and growing. Best stand of spinach I've grown to date. Fertilized Wed. w/MWF
►Bok Choy is large. I think it needs to be picked early or it gets bitter. Fertilized Wed. w/MWF.
►ALL the broccoli has heads. Need to start harvesting the largest ones before they bolt in the heat.
►Thinned the Kale last Wednesday, and fertilized. Growth is very significant as of today. Huge leaves!
►NOTE TO SELF: Need to spray Bt on the bok choy. There's at least one worm in there, LOL!

►Tomatoes indoors have fainted!! After examining, I determined a few things:
►It is too warm under the fluorescents!!! I could feel the heat! Put the box fan on and aimed it at the grow shelves
►There was NO CAPILLARY ACTION in the individual cups!!! Even though I was bottom watering, the potting mix had dried out, and the plant was not taking up any water. I top-watered each 12 oz. cup with a turkey baster squirt of Mittleider Constant Comfort, then filled each tray. After the capillary action started again, and they cooled off overnight, all the toms were standing up this morning. WHEW!!!

►Beets, same as the tomatoes above...

Setting out tomato plants today for hardening off.

The SIOUX and KELLOGG'S BREAKFAST seedlings are still outstanding!
Beginning to wonder about those NOIDS, LOL!

The San Marzanos that took forever to come up, are growing very sturdy, and very fast. That's a good thing!

February 16 80°, SUNSHINE!!!
►Finally, the tomato seedlings are outside for hardening off!
Contrary to the prescribed method of hardening them off for a few hours a day at a time, I raced to get them outside around 2:00p. It was sunshiny, so I put a few trays under the covered patio on a table. They all wouldn't fit, and I didn't want any to sit on the concrete pad. Higher up tends to keep any crawlies off.

I found one patchy, half-shady/sunny spot on a fallow raised bed I had covered with plastic to keep the squirrels out. I put two trays of the hardiest Sioux seedlings there, and left everything outside overnight.
Watered everything in the yard.
►Need to transplant the collards to the raised bed, harvest the spinach & bok choy, and use the EBs as mini greenhouses to start new seeds.
Harvested and steamed a broccoli head that was showing a tinge of blossoms. Actually, I dropped the florets into some crab boil! YUM-MY!!!

February 17 74°, Clear!!!
It dipped to 54° last night. Checked this morning, and every seedling is fine. I think the slight chill actually helped them.
So, they're out for the long haul -- no "in and out." Out is OUT, LOL!!! Today's high will be 74° and not as much sun, so, the Lord is hearing my plea. They won't fry in the heat, LOL!!

February 19 80°, Bright
Cooperative gardening at its best! A gift from a friend, who has 5 chickens in her urban home, LOL!
Thumb of 2016-02-22/Gymgirl/ea5e1a Thumb of 2016-02-22/Gymgirl/222468

February 20 74°, Overcast, but bright
Whole day spent processing food to the freezer.
Harvested all the sizable broccoli heads that hadn't gone to flower. Thumb of 2016-02-22/Gymgirl/59cad7

Left a handful of small ones to keep on growing as long as possible, but, I think I'm hoping against hope for more cold weather. Thumb of 2016-02-22/Gymgirl/15820b It's SPRINGTIME, LOL!

Harvested gorgeous Collards from the EB, and fertilized the plants to keep on going under the hoop.
Harvested amazing Giant Noble Spinach from two EBs. Fertilized the still growing plants. Probably need to move all the EBs under the patio cover, into some cool breeze...
►The Bok Choy growing in the last two EBs had mostly rotted from too much moisture. I cooked what I salvaged, but, the taste is not to my liking. I don't think I know how to cook it, yet. Will try again, since I love the Bok Choy from the store in the soup I make...need my own source.

Since rain is predicted, uncovered the two fallow 4x8s so they get a good soaking. Discovered three volunteer green bean seedlings taking off, so, it's NOT too early to plant those green beans, LOL! Contenders going in Tuesday evening under covered tunnels inside the hoop.

►The tomatoes are ready, ready, ready to go in!!!.. Soon as I can work the soil and dig a decent planting hole, in they go!
Thumb of 2016-02-22/Gymgirl/2720c6

February 22 75°, Drizzling Rain...YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
Not as much drizzle as I had hoped for, but, enough to at least moisten the two raised beds.
Discovered the Carrot seeds I sowed way back when, came up after all, LOL! All long and leggy underneath the plastic I covered the containers with to keep the squirrels out. Duh!

February 23 72°, It's Raining RAIN...YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
A real nice downpour early this morning, but, it's brightening up now. Might try sowing those beans later ... that bed should be primo moist enough!

Pretty sure the carrot seedlings got a beat down, though.....

February 27 64°, Full on SUNSHINE!!!
Transplanted three (3) Kellogg's Breakfast tomatoes to the end of RB #1. Dug very deep and filled hole with 50/50 new compost & fill soil, and added Mittleider Pre-plant & Weekly Feed.

Sowed remainder of RB #1 with Contender Green Beans. Planted ~4" on centers. Hopefully, the bed will be filled with beans!

Transplanted 1/3 of RB #2 with beets. Think I'm fighting a losing battle on the beets. Still have six trays left to transplant.

Harvested and processed all the remaining broccoli heads and sizable side-shoots. Have harvested two industrial size colanders full to date, approximately 8-10 lbs.?
Thumb of 2016-02-29/Gymgirl/e0b1f4
Process is: wash, blanch in boiling salted water, shock in ice bath, freeze flowerettes on cookie sheet, vacuum seal.

Harvested & processed another bag of Giant Noble Spinach. Cooked and ate a small portion. OMGoodness, it is soooooo good!!! "I LIKE the taste of 'taste!!!!'" LOLOL!

Sowed one flat of Gretel Hybrid Eggplants (Park Seeds)

Sowed one flat of Listada de Gandia Heirloom Eggplants (Tomato Growers)

Sowed one EB of Armenian? cukes
Sowed one EB of Slicer cukes

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Great looking plants by Seedfork Feb 4, 2016 3:47 PM 1

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