Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 4/21/14

The weather has still been pretty crazy here for this time of year. The temperatures have been below average, and we even had a couple nights of temperatures in the low 40s this past week! However, I’m slowly plugging away at my spring planting – between rain storms, that is. The rains have brought forth signs of life, however, and I’m happy at how well my transplants are taking to the outside world.

I have all but 3 of my 21 beds planted now. (For pictures of my transplants, see “Spring Planting Progress.”) I’m planning to have those three beds, the front herb garden, and my backyard pots planted by Tuesday. Meanwhile, plants are flowering and seedlings are coming up.

FLOWERING:

I purchased several of my slicing tomato plants, rather than grow them from seed, so they’re a bit larger than my seedlings. The Mortgage Lifter and Cherokee Purple plants are already flowering.

Mortgage Lifter tomato flower

Mortgage Lifter tomato flower

Cherokee Purple tomato buds

Cherokee Purple tomato buds

When I transplanted my bell peppers, I saw that my mini yellow bells had buds on them.

Mini yellow bell pepper buds

Mini yellow bell pepper buds

One of my filius blue peppers started to flower before I transplanted them to the pots beside my front door. A couple days after transplanting, the flower opened fully. It’s stunning!

Filius blue pepper flower

Filius blue pepper flower

The leaves of the plant are beautiful, too.

Filius blue pepper leaves

Filius blue pepper leaves

FRUITING:

Yes, you read that correctly. Fruiting. Believe it or not, I have my very first pepper growing. A filius blue pepper is just starting to grow on these little transplants! The package said they were prolific. I’m already starting to believe it.

First filius blue pepper

First filius blue pepper

My yard is full of Mock Indian Strawberry, and they’re starting to fruit.

Mock Indian strawberry fruiting

Mock Indian strawberry fruiting

SIGNS OF NEW LIFE:

One of my newly transplanted elderberry trees has started to sprout new leaves!

Elderberry tree's first leaves

Elderberry tree’s first leaves

My new Caroline raspberry canes are starting to sprout new leaves, too.

Caroline raspberry cane's first leaves

Caroline raspberry cane’s first leaves

I finally have my first Purple Passion asparagus spear! It’s only one out of the dozen crowns I planted, but it’s a start.

First purple asparagus spear

First purple passion asparagus spear

The Giant Noble spinach I planted among the eggplant are starting to germinate. It’s an experiment to see if they’ll grow into the warmer months under the shade of the eggplant branches.

Giant Noble spinach seedlings ~ 8 days post planting

Giant Noble spinach seedlings ~ 8 days post planting

I have my first glass gem corn seedling!

Glass gem corn seedling ~ 5 days post planting

Glass gem corn seedling ~ 5 days post planting

PROBLEM IN THE GARDEN:

Yesterday morning, I saw lots of dark brown spots on one of my fingerling potato plants. Comparing my plant to pictures online, it looks like this plant contracted early blight. Oh no!

Early blight on fingerling potato plant?

Early blight on fingerling potato plant?

As it was the only plant affected, I pulled the whole plant – to be safe. The good news is, it showed me that I have potatoes growing under the soil on my plants!

Baby fingerling potatoes on plant I had to pull

Baby fingerling potatoes on plant I had to pull

Although it’s been a long time coming, spring is finally here…and this gardener is glad!

What’s growing in your garden?

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