This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Jun 1, 2009

Seedling Update and more- 6/1/09


This past couple weeks we have had the nicest weather! I’ve had to water both in the morning and evening on some days because it’s been so warm! Last Thursday night, at about 8pm I decided I’d better get the bush bean seedlings in the ground.


Bush beans- Blue Lake 274


I am also happy to report that I caught the pest in action that probably ate my other beans- they are earwigs! I noticed that one of them had some small holes in them- not exactly like what I saw on the other beans where there were holes at first and then the leaf was skeletonized, but the holes were similar. I looked inside the paper pots and there were 2 baby earwigs! After killing those, I’ve had no more trouble. I’m hoping that new ones don’t find the seedlings now that they’re planted before the second set of leaves has a chance to get growing a little more. This week I’ll start my second round of bush beans and hopefully some pole beans as well.

The volunteer squash is no longer a seedling! It is looking really nice.


Volunteer zucchini- variety unknown


The ones I started too early from seed are on either side of it- just now starting to look alright. I may just dig them up and either give them away or plant them somewhere else. I totally forgot to plant my second sowing of zucchini to replace this one once it gets too big- maybe now I won’t have to. It depends on how fast the ones I started catch up :).

I planted out a couple of the morning glory I started- finally they are recovering from the nasty weather we had. I think I will start them a little later next year.


Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue'


I’m hoping they will have a lot more blooms on them this year as I decided to pinch them back over and over again while I was impatiently waiting for the weather to warm up. The lobelia next to it was also started from seed back in January- that was fun keeping those happy all that time :).

I think after this year, I’m done trying to push the season with flowers. Crops are one thing, I generally don’t grow a ton of one kind (unless I’m starting some for family and friends- usually lettuce.). I’m pretty much done fighting the May weather. So next year, with the exception of a few plants, I’m starting things 4-6 weeks before mid-May (which would be the beginning of April). There are a few flowers that take forever to grow- like Lobelia, but I’m still going to start them in the first week of April. Our weather in May can be horrible- this very warm weather we’ve had the last couple weeks is unusual and we really don’t start warming up a lot until June. May is full of wind and pouring rain and every year my plants are ready to go out and the ones that I’ve dared to plant have been torn up quite a bit. The only ones I should be starting early are pansy and maybe snapdragon. The flowers that like it a lot cooler and greens or any crops that I can give really good protection to and can handle the cooler temps.  A lot of my warm weather crops were started after the date suggested on the packets and it was still too soon- I’m throwing out the ‘After last frost’ date and putting my own plan in action! Our last frost date is April 3rd give or take a few weeks- that is all well and good, but even though we don’t have freezing temps at night our days in May are full of torrential downpours, high wind, and sometimes even hail! Yep, It’s time to start my own plan!


Of course, I say this now...when it’s not winter...and I’m not aching to get outside...after months and months of rain and possibly snow...


I’ll leave off with a nice shot of the sweet pea- again started early ;) and the tomato bag experiment!


Sweet Pea 'Early Flowering Mammoth'

Incidentally, this sweet pea is the only one that is this big, and in bloom- remember the one that I didn’t cover when I planted them out? The one that grabbed onto it’s support in an hour or so? This is the same one that is big and blooming- it seems I messed them up trying to protect them! Ah, the wisdom of plants!


Tomato bag- variety 'Gold Nugget'


Be sure to check out what Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions has harvested today!


Happy gardening,



  • Tatyana

    Hi Tessa!Everything is looking good! I didn't plant bush beans this year, but I should have tons of pole beans. I had already enough plants growing or sprouting, when I told my husband to buy a giant pumpkin seedling and just 1 (ONE) pole bean from the farmers market. He brough me 9 (NINE) pole bean plants. Now, I am looking for space in my garden for them. Last time I sent him to buy plants! As for the morning glory, I have bad luck with them, so I stopped planting them, although I love them! Your looks healthy! Have nice June!

  • Joanne

    The squash is doing well, I love sweet peas mine are growing well but no signs of flowers yet.

    The tomato hanging basket looks fun.

  • Daphne

    I think those last frost times are for certain areas of the country. I live in the Boston area with a maritime climate. It might be after my last frost, but it will still be really cool. An hour west of me will get hot weather when it is sunny. I'll get cool weather because of the sea breezes. My last frost for the last two years has been in the middle of April. Usually I plant out my tomatoes the second week of May. I just finished planting out my eggplant and I'm worried it is too early for them. We were in the low 40s last night. Brrrrr. I also think the plants grow a lot faster than the seed packets suggest - at least if you give them good growing conditions. It only hurts them to hold them in a pot too long. Next year I'm starting a lot of things later too.

  • Hocking Hills Gardener

    Tessa your garden is looking so good. I have some sweet peas about like yours only mine are not blooming as yet. That hanging tomato is growing so wonderful. I am keeping and eye on it. Will you need a step ladder to harvest the tomatoes? :-)

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    The plants are going crazy with the sun here. I've been watering a lot too. It seems early in the season to be out there this often. I'm not complaining though!
    I can't wait to see sweet peas here!

  • lynn'sgarden

    Hi Tessa, Yep, I've learned not to start my seeds too early..they always get so leggy..but it's hard when spring comes around and we are anxious to start growing! Your morning glories will take off in no time. I love the pink bloom on your sweet pea...mine are only 4 inches tall!
    I'll be curious to see how that upside-down tomatoe does...

  • Muddy Boot Dreams

    Everything is looking very well. Love that hot pink sweet pea. Oh the scent....


  • Claudia

    I agee whole heartedly waith everything you said. I had to cover my tomatos last night, here in zone 4. We are not supposed to plant 'till after Memorial Day. We all pushit. Winter seems to get longer, and longer. The wind was so strong last night, our lights flickered, and our wires are underground. Go figure.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Tatyana- I wish you luck finding a spot for each of your pole beans! I wish you could send them my way. I've never seen them for sale where I live, and I haven't started mine yet- this time in the greenhouse! Sorry to hear that M. Glories don't do well for you, the variety I grow is such a pretty blue- I'll be sure to post plenty of pics for you ;)- if they do well, that is!

    Joanne- It's the first time I've tried the tomato bag. If it works out I have a few friends that want one for next year :)

    Daphne- Yep, here in Portland there are so many microclimates just in my own yard that it has been a challenge to nail down the last frost date. Taking soil temps has proven to be much more successful for me in recent years. I figure as long as a plant has had proper up-potting and 4-6 weeks of good growth they'd be fine. So, next year that is my plan for most of my plants except for greens, which I grow year round (with protection, if needed)and plants that like cold weather such as pansies.

    Lona- Yeah, being only 5'4" I think I may just need a step ladder! Maybe next year I'll get one of those neat hangers that allows you to pull the plant down when needed for grooming and/or harvesting ;)

    Catherine- I'm sure the sweet peas will be blooming soon! The one plant that is blooming in my yard is quite a bit taller than the rest. I'll know next year that I need to just plant them at let them alone to do their thing ;)

    Lynn- I'll be sure to update on the tomato bag, it seems everyone is interested in knowing how it will do, including me! My seed starting adventure has been back and forth with dates- mine don't get leggy because of the lights and the greenhouse, but keeping them happy for a long time is very taxing on me. It spells burnout for me if I do this, so it's time to just relax and let the plants do the work! I'm thinking of trying the winter sowing idea next year as well.

    Jen- I love the smell too! I wish someone could bottle that smell, all the 'sweet pea' scents I've smelled don't come even close to the real smell!

    Happy gardening everyone, and thanks for stopping by! Looks like there will be no need to water tonight as we just had a downpour...

  • Stephanie

    Hi Tessa, the tomato bag is interesting :-) But, the amount of soil in the bag, is it enough? Sorry, I just would like to know how much soil/pot size does a tomato plants requires (I am a container gardener ;-)).

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Claudia- Wow! Zone 4 :). Well, if I move someday, you'll be getting a lot of questions from me because I will be moving a few zones down!

    Stephanie- This is the first time I've used these plant bags. The holes that are already in them are sized just right for plant plugs instead of plants coming from even a 2" pot. I chose to use a cherry tomato for this experiment as the tomatoes won't get to heavy. I'll try to figure out how much soil it holds for you, but as far as how many plants and how much room they need I don't see that it would be any different that judging how many plants to put in a hanging basket. In a hanging basket, I usually poke some plants in through the bottom of the basket, through the moss, as well as plants in the top. I hope this is helpful. I'll be sure to post more info about these bags if all goes well with them :).

  • Kathleen

    Hi Tessa. I know what you mean about waiting until later to start flower seeds. I've learned that over the years too. If I start mine too early they get spindley/leggy then I'll put them out too early and they get frosted. Now I wait until April and sometimes even May. The warm weather is really the key to getting them to grow. The month of May here can be bad too. I'm glad someone's been having good weather ~ we've been getting your rain!

  • Darla

    Everything is looking great!!!!

  • Brenda Jean

    What pretty sweet peas! Everything looks so good--I haven't even put my tomato plants out yet. You are way ahead of me. I haven't tried the tomato bags yet so it will be good to see how it does for you.

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