Front Porch Preparation

Container asparagus

Today, I finally transplanted the asparagus. It was very root-bound and definitely ready for a larger pot. I planted it in three large grow bags and sowed Zinnias (small mixed, and Giants of California mix) and cosmos (Rubinato and Sensation mix). I also planted one Dahlia tuber each (Top Mix Purple) into two medium pots and surrounded those with Nasturtium (Alaska mixed). Those five containers will go on my front porch, which I plan to revive this year. I put them on plant caddies with casters for easy moving and to prevent the floor boards from being water-logged.

Mid-May Back Porch

African daisy, mint, ginger (from the supermarket, I am very excited about this experiment) and lavender

Nice and sunny and warm today. I took an afternoon break to transplant some Salanova lettuce (4 tiny heads) from their peat cells into their own bigger pot. I planted the Thai pepper (from Neighborhood Farm because my seedlings strangely never set true leaves) with the radishes, and two basil cells (5 to 6 stems each) plus leaf lettuce mix in the large pot with the flat parsley. I also planted two Topmix dwarf dahlias (one purple, one salmon) in the pot with the fading tulips and sowed small mixed Zinnias and Alaska nasturtium in the same pot.

Little Beauty” tulips on April 28
Current herb situation: parsley, cilantro, rosemary, chives and thyme.
Radishes, spinach and Thai pepper
Salad mix, transplanted from the tiniest seedlings on April 19th
Hardening off tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, Thai basil and flowers (night temperatures are now consistently above 50F). The spikes are to deter the birds from digging in the soil 🙂
Hardening off basil, Swiss chard, kale, marigolds, Zinnias; and for the community garden in the cardboard tray to the right: native perennials from City Natives (New York Aster, Goldenrod, Coreopsis, Black-Eyed Susan, Bluestar) plus fat-spike lavender and thyme from Neighborhood Farm

Spring Preparation

I spent three hours this Friday afternoon weeding the plot and spreading manure before replacing the hay. A lot of work, but I am very happy with the result. The peas have been growing well under the fleece tunnel, and since I saw a happy and very fat rabbit hopping around our garden this afternoon, I am glad I decided to protect the pea seedlings. Time to put a trellis up soon. The garlic is big, and the rhubarb and the strawberries are also doing well. Spring.

Re-Potting Zinnias and Kale

Today, I repotted the Zinnias I started on April 19, and the kale. I had sown a handful of Zinnia seeds (three different varieties, Queen Lime Red, Queen Lime Blush, and Giants of California) into three different pots and today just isolated them into separate cells.

Zinnias before …
… and after
Most of my seedlings. Still to come: cucumbers and squash.


Today, I re-potted my tomatoes and the Swiss chard. I have 16 tomato plants total (two each of eight different varieties) and eight cells of rainbow chard, two seedlings each. In other news, my supermarket ginger in the blue-green pot (in the back of the picture) is finally waking up. You can see the big long shoot. And there is another one. I am sooo excited! The Zinnias I sowed three days ago are starting to sprout. And the sun is shining. Spring!

Yesterday, I cleaned my back porch, rearranged furniture and planted some herbs (parsley, chives and cilantro) and flowers (osteospermum and violas) to get the porch ready for spring. The intermediate state before full-time summer use.

Viola “Tiger Eye”

First Fails of the Season

It’s not even April and I already recorded the first fail of the season. All my eggplant and hot pepper seedlings stalled after germination and never set true leaves. The only explanation I have is that I kept them on the heat mat for a few days after germination. Perhaps that was just too hot for the seedlings. I now will have to buy Thai pepper and Asian eggplant seedlings as it is too late to start new plants from seed.

Last Squash

Today, I used up the last butternut squash from the fall. I made a rose harissa-roasted squash salad with greens, toasted pumpkin seeds and blue cheese (because I did not have feta on hand) in a white balsamic vinegar dressing. It turned out pretty spectacular.

My last squash, harvested on October 31, 2023
Looking good for having spent the last five months in my back hall way
Last soft-neck garlic

As for home-grown vegetables from last year, I still have garlic hanging in the pantry and a few beets in the fridge. In the freezer, there is still basil pesto, lemongrass, Thai basil, and Thai peppers. I used some of the lemon grass last week to make this lemongrass chicken dinner. Very good. It is nice to still enjoy some produce from the garden while this year’s harvest is starting its journey in the seedling trays.

Garden Plot 2024

This is my current garden plot diagram. I think it covers everything I want to plant this year. I have garden fleece and just ordered hoops and garden staples today, so I can build tunnels to protect my seedlings from rabbits and birds. Last year, ALL my bean seedlings were eaten by some critters; the plants did not stand a chance. I am planning on a different outcome this year. Fingers crossed.