How’s the garden growing? – One More Seedling Tour

Enough of the seedlings, really, I am waiting for warmer days so many things can be moved in to the garden. Here’s photo tour of the seedlings and garden in last week of May.

There is no germination in directly seeded green beans, Intense rain last 2 weeks managed to rot the seeds. Out of frustration, I started trayful of green beans inside, these have come up nicely.


Spinach on left and chard on right, spinach is growing beyond 4 leaves, this is first time for me.


Broccoli raab has put on new growth  


Dill has sprouted in container, it is densely planted because I’ll am growing dill to use as greens, won’t be growing for seed


Neat rows of radish, I have 2 varieties growing – Cherry Belle and icicle. Seedlings are about 1 week old.


And now, now so good photos – Due to intense rains and cooler temps, warm weather crops are suffering. We still have temps in lower 60s during days and nights are 40s. Feels like March… Basil is dying, Agatha tomatoes are stunted. I am being lazy to bring them inside during nights, I think should start doing that.

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May Flowers

April showers have brought many many may flowers. I am lucky to to get cut flowers from own backyard, here are flower arrangements from this week. There are countless bees hovering around in the yard, too bad I don’t have any fruiting plants waiting to be pollinated.

Purple flowers are Lavender, Orange are Geum – Mrs Bradshaw and white globes of Japanese Snowball.DSC_0029

Weekly Update: Week 22, May 2010

Northwest weather is in its trademark soggy state right now, we have been getting cloudy, rainy, cool days. Temps hover around high 50s during daytime and drop down to 40s during night. definitely this is bad time for all warm weather loving plants, tomatoes that I planted out last week are stunting back, no growth. How do I protect them from this low temps? Basil is dying, why did I plant it out so early, I should know better. I seeded 2 varieties of beans 10 days back (Green beans, blue lake bush and yard long), both have been rotting in the soil, no germination. Given my frustration, I started a tray full of beans indoors, not sure if beans can handle transplant out when weather warms a bit. Adding to all this craziness are slugs, these are everywhere. baby slugs and big ones too, I read that best way to get rid of slugs is just to pluck and throw them far away, I have been doing the same. Slugs got their favorites too – they seem to hang around more around radish, zucchini and strawberries.

Sown:  Beans – Blue lake bush, Beans – Yardlong, Beans – Gawar
Transplanted: Mustard, bunching onions
Harvested: None

I just wish for the rains to stop and give us some warmer days. Happy Growing!

Weekend Update

Phenology says – “When dandelions are out then plants beans“ and “When Bearded Iris starts to bloom then transplant eggplant, peppers”.  Dandelions are out in dozens, my girls are having ball blowing dandelions with wind, I think it’s perfect time to plant green beans and yard-long beans. While driving around I am seeing lots of Iris in bloom, but in my backyard iris is yet to show color so I am holding off on planting squash to transplanting peppers. Every garden has it’s own micro-climate, I am sitting on lower side of the hill so cold air settles in my yard almost always. I am 15 days behind warming up than plateau just 1 mile away, likewise frost hits me 10 days earlier. Rhodies and Iris are starting to bloom elsewhere but not in my yard yet, I am waiting……

Sowing: Sowing more seeds continues, but I am getting bummed by poor germination on lot of things. Cilantro, lemongrass and Dill seeds aren’t sprouting. Few of my flower seeds (red Columbine, begonia, marigolds and cosmos) aren’t showing any hope either. I’ll try some different approach – maybe sprouting in paper towel? Haven’t tried yet. Few of the Indian veggies I am trying haven’t germinated as well – Guar and karela.

Growing: Radish, lettuce and spinach has germinated. Fenugreek, peas, rapini are doing well. I should be able to harvest fenugreek in next 1-2 weeks. This will be my first real harvest of the year, I am looking forward. Bunching onion are shaping up, they are due for haircut, tops are yellowing. I wonder if it’s common or they lack some nutrients.

This weekend I bought 4 tomato plants from local Fred Meyer. Ciscoe Morris suggested in Sunday paper that this week is perfect time to acclimate tomato plants outside. I follow Ciscoe religiously and I do whatever he suggests for the week, but problem here is my tomato seedlings aren’t growing beyond 2 leaves. Well, I thought, why not acclimate store bought plants? I have never grown tomatoes ever, so this year it’ll be store bought + seeds grown (if it happens). Since I am no expert on tomatoes, I randomly chose 4 plants – Celebrity (local store fav, IND), Lemon Boy (Yellow tomato, IND), Sweet 100 (IND) and tumbling tom (DET). I have Agatha, Kimberly and Tommy toes seedlings growing.

This weeks weather forecast calls for cloudy, cold temps. Hope cool weather crops shoot up this week. Grow please grow.


I started out with sowing later than last year and my seedlings are just emerging or in their cotyledon stage. I have got all summer veggies started out this way, all cool weather crops are directly seeded.

recycled food tray and recycled foam cups with seedlings. Summer seeds were sown here – 2 varieties of Tomato, eggplant, bunching onion, sweet banana peppers and bell peppers.

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Ace sweet pepper and  Agatha Tomato seedling. Agatha is growing faster than other varieties. In few more days, I’ll plant these out in bigger cups.

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Basil and Ichiban eggplant seedlings. Basil loves hot weather, it is taking most time to grow.

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Bunching Onion and Turnip. Turnips love cool weather, were sown outdoors last week. Bunching onions also do well in cool, they’ll be transplanted in a week

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Methi sown in container has emerged. methi will do fine even in cool temps – our nights are still in upper 30s to 40s. Shoebox container holds cauliflower seedlings, these are not doing well, turning yellow and look poor.

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One of the wintersown seeds (in Feb) have bolted, label faded and I still don’t know what it is. Have you seen anything tinier than this bolting so fast?

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Rows of fenugreek (methi). My FIL seeded half bed with methi and remaining with coriander seeds. Half bed of methi has germinated well, nothing on Cilantro side. Cilantro aka coriander germinates slow, germination temp should be above 70F. Northwest hasn’t seen temps in 70s yet. I hope seeds don’t rot and stay viable for few more days…


Peas have emerged, I have just 8 plants coming up. About 5-6 didn’t germinate, lost 3 plants to hail and I have run out of seeds. In 2 small pots, cabbage is happy.

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Raised Beds are here

TADA! My FIL built a raised bed for side garden, wow I am so excited. Since he built it, he claimed it and said ONLY he’ll be growing in that bed. I am off-limit, that’s a fair deal. It’s no fancy, we held together lumber with few pieces of nail. I am cheap and don’t want to spend tons in my second year of gardening, we’ll see how long this garden bed lasts. We amended soil by adding steer manure, compost and garden soil. He sowed Fenugreek in half part and cilantro in rest.
Plan is to buy more lumber for raised beds, I think I can accommodate 3 beds on north end of the garden and 1 by the back entry. Home Depot, Here I come…

(Update: I bought few more wood planks of untreated cedar and made 2 more bed, Now I have 2 beds (5 ft by 4ft) and one (5 ft by 3 ft). Uj pointed that raised beds should be 2 or 3 ft in width max, I agree, thank you. I got this serious issue of usable space in my garden and I have to make one of the beds 4 ft in width)

I seeded/transplanted this bed very carefully, it is my first time and I was more than excited. Weather is not co-operating for last 2 weeks, we are yet to see sun out. This is making all plants stunted, nothing is growing well in my garden. I should not complain of this never ending rain, clouds and mist – this is typical Northwest. This is how bed looks like right now –


Garden Bed 1 – lettuce and Spinach seeded back in March were transplanted. Beets, Turnip, Onion, Broccoli Raab and Chard were direct seeded. These seedlings never got any fertilizer or growth drink, these look poor and stunted. I think I should make a trip to home depot and buy some fish emulsion.

garden Bed 2 – FIL claimed this bed, he seeded fenugreek and cilantro in half parts. Fenugreek took off and is looking healthy. Cilantro (crushed coriander seeds) will need about 15 days and warmer air to germinate.

Freak Winter Storm in May

I really don’t want 2 posts in a row ranting about cold weather and hail, but I can’t help it. While East coast is enjoying hot summer like weather, we are here stuck in hail and snow showers.  It started yesterday around noon and ended by midnight – high winds, hail, slush, icy rain, thick droplets and more hail…

Slushy Intersection @Sammamish, Hail accumulation in my raised bed


I was going to sow beans and squash seeds yesterday but weather didn’t permit me. I hope it warms up after this freak storm and I can get back to sowing.  I have tiny seedlings and few seeds out in the raised bed, not sure yet about the damage.