November 2011 Grow Project Update

November finds my GROW project seeds from Renee's Seeds pretty much finished. We've had 3-4 frosts which have brought the end to my 'Yellow Splash' Marigold and 'Italian Cameo' Basil plants. Both of these two annuals did very well in my garden.  The basil was tasty and able to take a fair amount of neglect (it's been a busy year and much of the garden has been treated, unfortunately, equally!) and the marigolds never ceased to shine.  I'll be planting both of these again next year in greater quantity.  Marigolds are a great companion plant for tomatoes since they repel nematodes.  Marigolds are such a versatile annual, easy to grow and they usually perform prolifically.  When you have a sunny spot you need to fill and can't figure out what to plant, plant a marigold! The Garden babies lettuce is going to be started very soon in pots indoors. I…

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September GROW Update!

It's almost time for this gardener to get some lettuce growing in the vegetable garden and I don't have a lettuce update yet for the GROW project but I can show you how the basil and marigold seeds have done. We've been suffering from drought over the last few weeks and watering on a daily basis is becoming a necessary evil.  You'll see why when you peak at my 'Italian Cameo' Basil. It's really not doing much right now.  The dry weather is taking a toll on my potted plants (which aren't many).  The 'Italian Cameo' basil grows smaller than other basils which is ideal for planting in pots.  It has the same flavor as the larger Italian basils. The 'Yellow Splash' marigold is putting on a pretty show near some tomatoes. 'Yellow Splash' has a bright yellow flower which must be the reason for its name. It gets shaded…

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August 2011 GROW Project Update

Marigold 'Yellow Splash' It's the second day of August which means it's time to see how the GROW project seeds have fared since our July Update!  'Yellow Splash' Marigolds As you can see in the picture to the right we're starting to get a few flowers on the 'Yellow Splash' marigolds in the vegetable garden.  I started more seeds a while back but haven't gotten them planted in the garden yet. Here's a look from July: And here are the same seeds now (in the same container): They've grown a little but since they are still in a relatively nutrient deficient soil mix they haven't grown much. 'Garden Babies' lettuce  The 'Garden Babies' lettuce has come a long way since July.  It's too hot to grow lettuce outside but with a couple grow lights indoors you can grow lettuce nearly any time of the year. From July: Now: 'Italian Cameo'…

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July GROW Project Update

Another second of the month has arrived and it's time for an update on my seeds for the 2011 GROW project! Here's the Italian Cameo Basil - I have it planted in a container but I suspect the soil mix is too heavy for the basil. Its growth has been fairly limited over the last month and I may need to transplant the basil into a lighter soil mix. I planted one Marigold 'Yellow Splash' next to the tomatoes in the vegetable garden but wanted more to plant in other areas so I started a few more from seed indoors. Marigolds are a good companion plant for tomatoes because they deter nematodes. 'Yellow Splash' is a hybrid of the African and French marigolds. It's way too hot right now to plant lettuce outdoors so I began planting the 'Garden Babies' lettuce inside as well. I'll transfer these seedlings into pots…

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GROW Project: My Nasturtiums are Invisible

If you look in the garden you won't see my nasturtiums. That is because they have developed a rare sort of variation called invisibility. No matter how hard you look you will not find them. They have developed a superpower beyond the ability of all creatures to completely evade detection! At least that's what I'm telling myself... Well... I tried, but I just couldn't keep them going. The heat and the lack of sufficient water did them in for good. They were hanging on by a thread last month and I was hoping they would still be at least present and accounted for - but alas poor Spitfire, you are not there! If they could have hung around long enough they might have just enjoyed this beautiful weekend which was filled with fantastic weather! I came indoors only to eat, sleep, and write a post! As a substitute for the…

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GROW Project: Nasturtiums and an Arbor

OK I'll have to admit it the arbor part of this post is an attempt to offset some of the misery that my nasturtiums are suffering. The heat of this summer has been way too intense for any of my nasturtium plantings to thrive so I guess I should just be happy that they continue to survive. Before I show you the current state of my nasturtiums I'll sow you want the arbor garden looks like at the beginning of August. The arbor and the nasturtiums do have a small connection - they are planted near each other! If you were following me way back in the April of 2009 you probably remember the arbor I built for a Better Homes and Gardens contest. I didn't win but I did get to build my arbor while someone else picked up the tab. On the other side of the arbor is…

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GROW Project: Hangin’ in There

I'd like to say some great things right now about my nasturtiums. I'd like to tell you that they are taking off and look fantastic but about the best I can do is say that we're hanging in there. It's just been too darn hot to get anything to grow happily from seed. June was excruciatingly hot, well over 10 degrees hotter than normal. To make matters worse it hasn't rained here significantly in over two weeks. It's rained nearby, just not here. The other day I watched helplessly as the weather map took the colorful clouds bearing inches of satisfying moisture completely around our area. Then to add insult to injury the clouds rejoined each other after passing by us as if they were intentionally avoiding us. So here is my little nasturtium under the Japanese maple sheltering from the 95 degree sun. It looks like it's time to…

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Grow Project: ‘Spitfire’ Nasturium Take Two

Sometimes everything is grand and the garden grows so well that the gardener efforts are minimal but other times the garden seems to want to thwart the will of the gardener. The latter case is true at least so far for my nasturtiums. When I last mentioned our rising protagonists they were planted surrounding the garden obelisk near my side entry arbor. As the week wore on the little Spitfire nasturtiums succumbed to the rigors of life in the garden and faded away. That happens sometimes, it's just life in the garden. Stuff grows, stuff dies, stuff grows again, and you guessed it... After the first set of nasturtiums resigned themselves to the afterlife I planted new seeds directly in the garden. The odds favor these nasturtiums because they have not had to acclimate to the outdoors. Sometimes the process of hardening off can be rough on a new seedling…

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Grow Project: Spitfire Nasturium on a Garden Obelisk

Last Sunday I should have posted about the Grow Project with the Nasturtium seeds but unfortunately our internet connection was out and the weather didn't let up until Sunday night. There's only so much blogging you can do without computer/internet access! I'll update you on the progress of the 'Spitfire' Nasturtiums again in the future and hopefully I'll have a bit more to share as these plants are still quite small. To bring you up to speed on the nasturtium progress I planted two of the nasturtiums that I grew from seed in the ground last week (See the previous Grow Project: Nasturtium Post) at the base of this garden obelisk I made during the Arbor project last year. The obelisk was made from leftover scrap material from the arbor's construction. It's a little bendy on one side but still functional. Since the nasturtiums should grow to at least 3…

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Starting Nasturtiums for the Grow Project

Recently I started a few nasturtium seeds as a part of the Grow Project hosted by Mr. Brownthumb. Renee's Seeds offered to send seeds for several volunteer garden bloggers to try. Each month throughout the season I'll update you on the progress of the nasturtium seeds as they grow. Seed Starting Mix on left, Potting Mix on the right Today's update is filled with mixed results. When I started the seeds I decided to experiment with seed starting medium. I planted six seeds three of which were in a commercial seed starting mix (peat, vermiculite etc.) and the other three were in a commercial potting mix. Both sets of seeds were put in peat pots for easy planting later in the garden. I hope to plant a few directly in the vegetable garden as a companion planting option once the frosts have past. Nasturtium Seedling Nasturtium sprout The results find…

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