Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 2/11/13

There’s more green in my sanctuary garden since last week. Inside, my seedlings are growing up and moving out of the nursery; I’ve already transplanted 20 seedlings into larger containers. Outside, we had two inches of much needed rain! But also, I tried something new that I think has contributed to a difference in my plants.

Last week, I applied a foliar spray made with epsom salt to all my outside plants (except my raspberries, strawberries, and asparagus). I can already see a difference in plant vigor and growth. I’m sure the rain had as much to do with it, but I don’t think it was the only factor.

One of the big differences I saw was in my watermelon radishes. Last week, the new leaves were curling and turning brown. I was afraid I was losing my favorite radishes! Even watering wasn’t helping. I’m happy to report they are making a come back. Before spraying, the plants were limp and the leaves totally curled and dry. This looks so much better!

Watermelon radish 36 days post planting

Watermelon radish ~ 36 days post planting

My lettuce is showing a grand improvement, as well. Along with most of my other plants, they are standing taller and firmer (no more weak stems), and the increase in growth is noticeable.

Red Sails lettuce 36 days post planting

Red Sails lettuce ~ 36 days post planting

Tom Thumb lettuce 36 days post planting

Tom Thumb lettuce ~ 36 days post planting

My Black Seeded Simpson lettuce still looks a little too pale green, but it is not as yellow-green as it was.

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce 36 days post planting

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce ~ 36 days post planting

Here are some pics of my other plants this week:

Kale 36 days post planting

Kale ~ 36 days post planting

Giant Noble spinach 36 days post planting

Giant Noble spinach ~ 36 days post planting

Daikon radish 36 days post planting

Daikon radish ~ 36 days post planting

Purple Top turnip 36 days post planting

Purple Top turnip ~ 36 days post planting

My beet stems are sturdier!

Detroit Red beet 34 days post planting

Detroit Red beet ~ 34 days post planting

It looks like I’ll be harvesting Easter Egg radishes very soon.

Easter Egg radish 36 days post planting

Easter Egg radish ~ 36 days post planting

The stems of my Red Creole onions are thickening and turning red. May they be bulbing under the earth!

Red Creole onion 4 months post planting

Red Creole onion ~ 4 months post planting

My garlic are doing a little better, but still not as green as they should be yet. At least the bottom leaves are no longer dying, and the stalks are thickening. Good sign, I think.

Garlic ~ 4 months post planting

Garlic ~ 4 months post planting

I had discovered I should’ve top-dressed them with nitrogen when they first came out of the ground, then again two to three weeks later. Better late than never, I applied nitrogen about three weeks ago. I plan to do it again tomorrow as we are forecast for more rain.

The frost we got earlier this week killed some of the leaves on my pomegranate trees, but more are coming and the tree looks healthy.

Speaking of frost, my asparagus are growing again.

Asparagus

Asparagus

My snow peas are growing. Soon they’ll be large enough to put out tendrils. My fence is ready!

Snow peas ~ 19 days post planting

Snow peas ~ 19 days post planting

Every branch of my key lime tree is covered in blossoms and baby key limes!

Key limes

Key limes

I was supposed to fertilize my key lime tree as soon as the buds appeared, but I didn’t realize that until I had my first baby limes. I searched my local gardening centers, but no one carried organic citrus tree fertilizer. So, I ordered some Espoma Citrus Tone online. My key lime got fed this week. Although I know some fruit drop is normal, I’m hoping I fertilized in time for the majority of the fruit to grow.

My celery is just starting to produce leaves in its center. Look closely:

Celery

Celery

My transplanted seedlings are doing well. Two artichokes have their first set of true leaves.

Artichoke~ 19 days post planting

Artichoke~ 19 days post planting

And one of my fish peppers is just getting its SECOND set of true leaves!

Fish pepper ~ 19 days post planting

Fish pepper ~ 19 days post planting

I’m happy with the direction my garden is going so far. If nothing else, I’m one member of my family not buried under a blizzard’s snow. đŸ™‚

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