Sunday, April 10, 2011

Patiently Waiting

I'm beginning to see lots of tilled gardens around, but very few with anything planted. And that's for good reason. We stopped by to see my grandparents today, and their neighbor had already put out a few tomato plants. They were much bigger than my sproutlings. My grandmother said he bought plants and quickly informed me that the tomatoes had already been "frosted on" twice. As antsy as I am, I am waiting for April 18. I hope to get our raised beds built and filled this weekend and then start hardening off my tomatoes. They're already starting to grow their true tomato leaves!It looks like my basil may not make it. Almost all of the sproutlings have taken a turn for the worse with a potential 2 survivors. We will see how they fare.

On a more positive note, I saw our first farmer's market of the spring today. I didn't know it was starting back up so soon, and it looks to be much more lively than last year as well!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Yesterday I was craving something extra cheesy.

So I decided to make:

Homemade Laundry Soap. Ok, I'm a day late for April Fools, but after I had grated the bar of Fels Naptha soap, I could not help but think of grated cheddar cheese.

Here's the recipe (you can find it about a million other places online).
1 bar Fels Naptha (or zote or ivory)
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate the Fels Naptha. Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Use 1 tablespoon for a regular load and 2 tablespoons for a heavily soiled load.

Now onto the seedlings/sproutlings.
Here are the tomatoes. Jelly Bean hybrids on the left, Romas on the right.
Next year I'll sow my Romas a little more sparingly since I've been reading that you should cut your tomato sproutling down to the one healthiest stem. And here's where my inexperience comes in....should I go ahead and cut them back to one stem now? Or should I wait until I transplant them? I wasn't planning to transplant them until at least 2 more weeks. Are they going to survive in the trays that much longer? Also, I've noticed white fuzz on the soil. After googling, I learned about damping off. Let's hope this isn't going to happen or hasn't already happened!

I've also sprouted a variety of peppers.


After a little more internet searching. I'm afraid I've had insufficient lighting for the tomatoes. I read an article about "leggy" seedlings that keep growing vertically to reach the light without developing the root system sufficiently. So, I've put them under lights as well as by a window and I've put a fan nearby to help with air circulation. We'll see what happens.