lettuce garden

Last weekend we had some awesomely warm weather (85! in April! in Michigan!) and I transplanted the lettuce seedlings into one of the raised beds.

lettuce in the raised bed

It’s so exciting! My first indoor-started seedlings are out in the garden. Hooray!

lettuce in the raised bed

And here they are a week later. It is visibly clear that they’ve been growing already, especially the Red Velvet Lettuce (there are also Iceberg Lettuce and Rocky Top Lettuce Mix seedlings here).

lettuces in raised bed

You can see on the end here that there’s one Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinach seedling as well. It looked big enough to go out, so I thought I’d try it. So far so good.

The raised beds are looking ready for more stuff to be planted in them. If only it would be a combination of decently warm and decently not-windy, I could get out there and do more planting. (We’re paying for that summer-like day.)

IMG_0018

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more sprouts

The seeds are still starting!

The lettuces are really doing nicely. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to resist these sweet little greens – I may have to sneak a few leaves into a salad pretty soon.

lettuces

This cracked me up – apparently I dropped a seed or two into the bottom of the tray and they’re growing right from there, just in the water and the few grains of soil that spilled in there as well.

a seed escaped and is growing in the bottom of the tray

This Emerald Giant Pepper is the coolest shape! Gorgeous.

Emerald Giant Pepper

The Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinach that sprouted first is getting to look like a real plant. How cool is the contrast between the different types of leaves?

Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinach

I had a bunch of seeds for Bellflower Tussock that I meant to spread around outside directly in the garden last fall, but forgot. So I thought, why not try starting some? It’s sprouting like crazy! Note: these seeds are tiny, so I was pretty liberal in how many I put in each container.

Bellflower Tussock

The Sugar Baby Watermelon is sprouting, too! I wasn’t sure how these would do, but they seem to be doing just fine.

Sugar Baby Watermelon

I sowed more seeds last week, so I’m now using five out of the six trays and all three tiers of the shelving unit. This leaves me one tray left to fill as we get closer to the last frost date, and then I’ll have more room in the tray that currently contains lettuce, when I move that out. Overall I have to say that I’m very pleased with this whole set-up. It is working even better than I had hoped!

seed starting setup aglow -now using all three tiers

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germination nation

More things are sprouting, and the existing sprouts are growing like gangbusters. Woot!

seeds starting

More of the Iceberg Lettuce is coming up:

Iceberg Lettuce

Likewise the Red Velvet Lettuce:

Red Velvet Lettuce

And a Marigold:

Marigold germinating

I’m especially pleased with the Marigold (I fervently hope that’s actually what this tiny thing is) because they were the first ever seeds that I saved, last fall. The marigolds were purchased on clearance at a big box store (six pack for 20 cents!), and I was not sure that the seeds would germinate.

This is some Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach:

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

But wait! This also purports to be spinach:

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

Looking around online, I’m thinking the former one is the impostor.

Despite that, I’m feeling pretty good about this whole project so far.

seeds germinating

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We have germination!

Huzzah, motherfuckers! Some of my very first seeds are germinating RIGHT ON SCHEDULE. I am elated that this whole seed starting thing is actually working. YAY!

Here we have Rocky Top Lettuce mix:

Rocky Top Lettuce

I have a few of these going, but will spare you the other photos as they look pretty much exactly the same.  You can check ’em out on Flickr if you wish.

And here is some Red Velvet Lettuce:

Red Velvet Lettuce

I’m choosing to not worry that it’s green right now instead of red. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

This proud little soldier is Iceberg Lettuce:

Iceberg Lettuce

And this fella (who apparently migrated from his nicely centered planting location) is Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach:

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

I sowed some more veg seeds tonight: Buttercup Squash, Oxheart Tomato, Zucchini ‘Cocozelle’, Calabrese Broccoli, Mule Team Tomato, Chadwick Cherry Tomato, Brandywine Tomato, and Anaheim Pepper (see Folia for more on all those). Fingers crossed that my beginner’s luck continues.

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let’s go swimming, let’s go swimming

That’s what these two eensy-beensy bugs were doing this afternoon in one of the Ivory Peach Bellflower blooms in the front garden:

Ivory Peach Bellflower

They looked like miniature ladybugs – maybe just a very tiny species? We have had several thunderstorms today, and this was between the first and second. These Bellflower plants are really looking great! I had no idea they’d turn out to be quite so tall, but I really dig the look:

Ivory Peach Bellflower

Ivory Peach Bellflower

I’ve also got yet another pair of plants that I know I planted, but can’t remember what they are:

Unidentified plant

And a close-up:

Unidentified plant

It looks vaguely herb-esque, but I’m not sure.

Back in the veg garden, the Golden Sweet Snow Peas are blossoming:

Golden Sweet Snow Peas

Golden Sweet Snow Peas

Golden Sweet Snow Peas

I know I’ve had the lilac/purple blossoms before, but I don’t remember them being such a bright pink. I guess I got a slightly different variety this time? Regardless, they’re stunning.

I’ve also got Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli:

Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli

And some Iceberg Lettuce:

Iceberg Lettuce

And Bloomsdale Long-standing Spinach:

Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach

And here you can see Willow hanging out by the Rocky Top Lettuce Mix:

21/52: Willow in the veg garden

Rocky Top Lettuce Mix

Susan and her hub were visiting on their way out of MI last night so we made dinner (!). Mostly K grilled stuff but we also made a delicious salad from some of this lettuce, some fresh mozzarella from the Canton Farmers Market, and a delicious homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette S’s hub whipped up.

Rocky Top Lettuce Mix salad

Rocky Top Lettuce Mix salad

(These photos are obviously pre-dressing and accoutrements, but they’re pretty.)

More pics on Flickr.

Bonus points to those who recognize the song quoted in the title.

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