Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 3/18/13

The weather is finally warming up in the Charleston, SC area! In fact, it’s been in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s the past few days. Typical Lowcountry spring – we jump right into the warm weather. My garden is loving it, as you can see above in the picture of my Purple Top turnips. Now that it’s warm, it’s a busy time in my Sanctuary Garden.

THE NEW:

Just about all my watermelon radish seedlings (second planting) are up, and I just planted Fordhook Swiss chard seed. My one plant is not enough!

I transplanted my little herb seedlings into pots today and planted more seed to fill out the pots. I have Genovese basil, summer savory, French thyme, dill, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, oregano, and sage (to go along with my rosemary bushes) – all this Italian’s future cooking delight.

MOST CHANGED:

Purple potato ~ 6 weeks post planting

Purple potato ~ 6 weeks post planting

My potatoes in the pots are growing like crazy! If this keeps up, I’ll be covering them with more soil in a week or so.

Unfortunately, the Yukon Gold potatoes in the bed are very small. It was just too cold, and the beds didn’t warm up as quickly as the pots. I’m going to have to pull them up to get ready for the spring planting in a couple of weeks. Sad, but that’s how it goes.

SEEDLINGS:

I was going to put my seedlings out today for the first time, to start hardening them off; but it was very windy. Not a good day to start them off outside. So, they’ll start tomorrow.

Tomatoes ~ 8 weeks post planting

Tomatoes ~ 8 weeks post planting

My tomatoes are rather leggy and extremely sensitive. I used a ceiling fan for “wind,” starting it a couple weeks ago. However, next year I’m going to do something different. I learned that an oscillating fan on low is better, and it should be used as soon as the plants get their secondary leaves.

Peppers & artichoke ~ 8 weeks post planting

Peppers & artichoke ~ 8 weeks post planting

My peppers look great, but their leaves are sensitive. It’s due to the grow room conditions and will be corrected during the hardening off process. The artichokes have slowed down in growth, but I believe it’s because they’ve outgrown the containers!

OUT IN THE GARDEN:

Everything is starting to grow again. Between the warm weather and the 15-0-15 fertilizer I fed the garden a week or so ago, a month of stagnation is over! I actually harvested my first kale and first lettuce this past week, and they’re ready to harvest again. The spinach is close to being ready to harvest, as well.

My snow peas have finally grown enough to grab the fence behind the pot.

Snow peas ~ grabbing the fence

Snow peas ~ grabbing the fence

The carrots are growing well again. I’m hoping they’ll be ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks (before the spring planting).

Scarlet Nantes carrots

Scarlet Nantes carrots

My beets are finally growing, and the turnip roots are “bulbing” up.

Purple Top turnip almost ready to harvest

Purple Top turnip almost ready to harvest

In spite of all the frost we’ve had, I finally got my first asparagus harvest with enough spears for a meal.

Asparagus harvest

Asparagus harvest

On a sad note, my key lime tree lost all its baby limes. It has a few flowers left, but no more coming. I think the tree is either too young to bear fruit or the flowers didn’t get pollinated. Time will tell.

On a happier note, the clover is blooming in my yard, and the bees have arrived to visit them – a sure sign that spring is here. In fact, spring officially starts this week. So, happy gardening, everyone!

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