Sunday, August 1, 2010

One Months Update

Entering into the second month of this project, I am a little surprised by how fast things moved the first few weeks. With work and other obligations it has been very difficult keeping up with the blogging and reporting on the progress of my garden, I feel like to this point I've always been a few days behind with my posts. Moving forward, I will do my post more frequently and to stay current with my updates. Having said that, this is a good time to check in with each of the seven types of seeds I've planted thus far.

Lets start off with the bad news and get that out of the way. As you might recall a few posts back, Ryan convinced me to grow flowers from seed. At the time I was feeling quite confident with my early successes so I decided to give it a try. Two weeks since planting the powderpuff asters my fears have been realized. Flowers really are a whole other ball game. Except for the tiny spider that's made it its home this pot is devoid of life. According to some of my research, the seeds should have germinated by 10 days, however, its now been 14 days and nothing is happening.

Some further research revealed that I should have kept the seeds moist by placing them in between two wet paper towels and not transferring them to a large pot until the seeds germinated. I guess it's too late for that, so I will continue to wait one more week and see if anything sprouts. If it doesn't then I will move on and try a different type of seed.

The swiss chard and the spinach are more successful than the flowers only in that they've at least managed to sprout some seedlings. However, I am not terribly impressed with either one's progress just yet. As mentioned in a previous posts, I was having problems with the swiss chard. After I started using the watering can the chard seemed to go flat.

Above is the watering can I've been using and yes that is She-ra once again sneaking into the picture (more on her later). There has been some improvement on the chard, but many of the seedlings remain flat despite my careful efforts when watering. They don't appear dead though, so that's a good sign, but at three weeks since seeding I was expecting more progress.

Although it's only been two weeks, the same holds true for the spinach. So far, the few seedlings look very unimpressive. I'm not quite sure what happened to the seeds I planted in the middle of the pot as the only ones that sprouted are on the outside part of the pot closer to the edge. Did I forget to add seeds in the middle? It's possible. I'm still hopeful this produces a good amount of spinach.

After an initial burst of activity, both the the thyme and basil continue to make slow but steady progress. Here is a picture of the thyme, which seems to finally be filling in a bit.

The same is true of the basil plant. I don't have a stand alone picture of the basil, but here is a good side by side comparison of the two herb plants. The thyme is on the left and the basil on the right.

After some initial worrying about the squash, the two seedlings that sprouted have really been growing strong. Each is now about 4 inches in height and seem quite sturdy and strong. I'm still not sure what happened to the rest of the seeds, but I have high hopes that these two will end up producing a good crop of squash.

I used my best photography skills (which isn't saying much) to try and get a shot that captures their size:

I saved the best for last. Although it's only been two weeks since I planted the snow peas, I am simply blown away by how quickly and fully these seeds are sprouting and growing. I was certain I had planted only 10 seeds, however at present moment I can count 15 large seedlings (although, at this point I'm not sure if I can still call them that) neatly growing at what appear to be equal distances in between each of them.

As you can see, this is by far the fastest growing plant in my garden and despite being a week younger, they have surpassed the squash in height. Here are a couple more pictures that better display the quick progress.

Watching my garden grow has been very exciting. As you can see, some of the plants have made much quicker progress than others. The snow peas in particular really caught me by surprise as I was not expecting these results in such a short amount of time. I'm realizing that every plant is vastly different from each other and that some require more attention, water and sun than others. Up to this point I've been keeping all the big pots huddled together in the corner, safely protected from She-ra with a doggy gate wrapped around the pots.

This weekend I decided to try something a little different. If I expect my plants to grow and develop I need to allow them more freedom around my balcony as well as more individual attention. Despite my fears they would fall victims to an attack by a sneaky shiba inu, I went ahead and removed the doggy gate and positioned the pots throughout the balcony moving them around throughout the day to ensure I maximized their exposure to direct sunlight. This quickly brought She-ra out to the balcony to explore. I wasn't sure how she would react so I cautiously watched over her as she approached the thyme.

Turns out she was only interested in sticking her nose in the pots and sniffing the plants. I was very relieved to see that eating or destroying the plants were not in her agenda. The more I allowed her space to roam around the balcony sniffing all the plants the more fascinated and bolder she became. The sniffing became more intense and although she did nibble on the chard for a quick second for the most part she behaved herself. I am however not yet convinced she can be wholly trusted around the plants without my or Ryan's supervision so after a few hours I put the gate back up. Before doing so however, I took this adorable picture of Ryan and She-ra hanging out next to the squash.


  1. I love the last picture! You have your hands full with She-ra.

    Flowers are indeed a pain to grow. My daughter received a gorgeous rose plant when she was born. It has been our intention to keep the roses alive. We were able to sprout some branches and replant them. One plan did not survive as it became infested with mites. The second plant might not make it. Maybe you will have better luck.

    Congratulations on your success. Imagine how hard our ancestors had it :)

  2. Thanks! I love that last picture too.

    Yes, flowers are a you know firsthand. I really don't think i'll any better luck than you did : (

  3. I love snow peas and I don't like squash so I think this is all good news. Because your garden is about me and my interests, of course! Number 1 gardening blog in the universe.