Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Growing Bunnies and Garden NOT Progress

The bunnies are now three days old and beginning to get some white fur. They're still pretty hard to count without disturbing them too much, but we think there are fourteen.
Things to do:

-prepare cage for weanling bunnies
-prepare brooder house for 25 new chicks (coming around June 13th).

About the garden...I started seeds and planted way too early this year. The broccoli is still alive and doing well. The onions seem pretty happy too. The spinach is alive, but not growing at all. The first two baby leaves appeared, and I'm pretty sure what that spinach thought was, "Woa, baby! It's COLD out there! I'm staying right where I am!"
And it is cold out there. The squash is dead (froze to death). The tomatoes, which I had covered with a sheet during the cold nights, are suffering frost is altogether not good.
Well, live and learn, I guess. I'm starting over with almost everything. I started more squash and basil yesterday, in pots of course. I don't know what the trick is to starting seeds in trays. I fail miserably at it! This year I spent money on a little "green house" starting tray with peat pellets to plant in. HORRIBLE! I had to plant things way too early because it was apparent that if they stayed in the tray they would die for sure. Ugh...I'm so glad my serious attempt at gardening began last year. I may not be trying it again if it had been this year! I welcome any and all comments with suggestions, constructive criticism, etc...
I'm going to add some garden photos to this post later. Gotta go!


  1. I've never used those peat pellets to start seedlings in . . . just soil in the little sectioned off trays. (Do you have full-spectrum lights to use over your indoor seedlings?) I have to transplant seedlings to larger holding pots usually two times before they go out into the garden.

    After many years (I'm a slow learner) I found that it's never worth starting any kind of squash inside. They suffer way too much from transplant shock even if they go out when the weather is warm. Planting a seed right next to the started squash plant proves the seed planted directly in the garden will grow stronger, sturdier and faster than the started squash plant.

    When we first moved up here, an old, seasoned gardener told me he NEVER put a seed or plant in the ground until the week after Memorial Day Weekend. He said he'd had it proved to him any earlier efforts were a waste of time. (So is that what I always do? Nope, I just can't resist trying to get a jump on our short season!)

    But this year is a real bummer for gardeners, isn't it?

  2. Thanks, Mama Pea. I really appreciate your information.
    I didn't have full spectrum lights. As soon as the little guys sprouted, I tried to get them outside in the sun on nice days, and kept them evenly moist. I kept them in a sunny window with a fan blowing over them. Only we didn't have much sun, so that really didn't work. I'm sure the lights would be the ticket here. I'm working on those, actually. I would really like to get good at the seed starting if I can. Unless it isn't worth it to do. I know that when I've tried it before they never seem as drought resistant and hardy, even a month after they've been planted.
    Thanks also for the information on transplanting to larger pots. I would be interested to know when to do that.
    Any way, I really appreciate the knowledge you've accumulated over the years you've been gardening up here. I know there are plenty of books to read, but it's more fun this way. SO, thanks bunches! :)

  3. Unless you are sprouting in a closet, I don't think you really need the fan blowing over them. I know books say we need well-circulated air, but I've never worried about not having that just kinda naturally in the area I'm sprouting. (I wonder if you might actually be cooling the air too much?)

    I think starting seeds is TOTALLY worth it. You know you've got good organic seeds that haven't been sprayed or dipped. If you don't count your time, more economical, too. I always start tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, some herbs and most of my flowers. Everything else gets planted right in the garden.

    The things about sharing gardening knowledge with real people is that you learn what works (and doesn't work -- waah!) in your own area. I'm no expert but I'm glad to share any knowledge I might have.

  4. No expert...Hahaa! That's funny! ;) Anyone who can grow and preserve as much fine produce as you do, I consider an expert! :)

  5. I hope you don't get too discouraged. Gardening is a process that takes YEARS. I'm learning all over again after having moved to a very cold climate. Four years later, I'm getting better. I KNOW I can't plant until June 6th-even though THEY SAY memorial day weekend is fine. We ALWAYS have a freeze June 4th-and as cold as this spring is, I can see it happening again.
    I guess the key is doing only a little bit, and try just one or two new things every year. And if something fails---blame the weather, the bugs , the politicians...then bury the stuff in the compost heap, dust yourself off, and try something else. Always remember--you're out there in the fresh air and sunshine and get to listen to the birds sing. And if you end up with a radish or a tomato to boot-hooray!!
    Best of luck to you!

  6. Patty, so sorry this happened to you, but don't despair, we ALL learn from experience! I'm nodding my head in agreement with everything Mama Pea said! No peat pellets, and those peat pots just suck water away from the plants. I save every little annual cell pack, small plastic pot, etc to use. I also have to transplant my tomatoes and such about twice before the go out. I don't start things like squash, beans, cukes and all that, just direct seed, they do really well and like Mama Pea said, they are usually stronger. I know people who start pea plants inside but direct seeded they will sprout when the weather is right for them, and I don't see how enough pea plants could be started inside to give a large enough crop LOL! I've been known to set my flats on top of the washing machine which will vibrate the little stems enough to strengthen them, but I don't worry about air circ either, as they are out in the open. Light height is really important, I use regular cheap shop lights but I do replace the bulbs every 2 years and make sure to have them only about 2 inches above the plants so they won't get leggy. I have to admit I started corn in a flat the other day - normally I laugh at that, but I am only planting a few "clumps" of corn 3 sisters style so I can't afford for the birds to get it, but if I had the space I think that stuff is better direct seeded too. Don't worry, things will happen for you, just bumps in the road!

  7. Thanks, everyone! I WILL persevere! This really isn't unusual weather at all, so I just have to be patient while we build the things we need to make gardening happen here. Like a cold frame to grow sallad greens in! The thing is we have too many plans and not enough time or $...I know, that's pretty pretty much the story of all our lives. :) Happy Sunday, all!

  8. gardening is certainly not for the faint of heart...especially up here. geesh!

  9. Learned my lesson last year not to plant until or after Memorial Day week-end. I lost quite a few flowers to a late frost last year. Didn't want it to happen with the vegetable garden. Especially, since this is my first year with the veggie garden.