Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 2/9/15

It was a laid back time in the garden this week, mostly because I was busy with other things. I didn’t harvest anything or plant anything. However, the seeds in my grow room are starting to germinate, but still no germination from those Tiny Tim Peas I planted outside last Sunday; I hope to see something from them soon! Yesterday was 72 degrees, so I took advantage of the weather and pruned my apple trees and took some pictures for you.

IN THE GROW ROOM:

As of yesterday, I have seedlings for melons, squash, a couple tomatoes, and eggplant. Yay!

Here are my melon seedlings – the first to come up. I have seedlings for Noir de Carmes melon, Rich Sweetness melon, Ice Cream melon, and Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon (in the back, left). No sign of any of the six golden midget watermelon in this flat yet. Hmmm….

Melon seedlings

Melon seedlings

I planted twelve Wilson Sweet (red) watermelon seeds, hoping to get six to plant outside. All of them have germinated! (Guess I’ll be giving some plants away this year.)

Watermelon seedlings

Watermelon seedlings

I planted twelve Butterbush squash (butternut type), but only three are up so far. I hope the rest germinate soon. None of my twelve Black Futsu squash are up yet.

Squash seedlings

Squash seedlings

I planted twelve each of three kinds of eggplant in this flat. On the top right are two Rosa Bianca eggplant. The bottom two sections are Black Beauty eggplant.

Eggplant seedlings

Eggplant seedlings

I was surprised to find I have a few tomato seedlings already. They’re all Amish Paste tomatoes. No other tomato or any pepper seedlings yet.

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

Okay, this isn’t in the grow room, but it is inside, in my kitchen window. Although the buds I’ve gotten on this Black Krim tomato cutting never opened, the plant is growing. It’s now above the stick I borrowed from my orchid pot. (Click here to see what the cutting looked like the day I transplanted it.)

Black Krim tomato cutting transplanted

Black Krim tomato cutting transplanted

IN THE GARDEN:

Despite the cold and below freezing temperatures we’ve had the past couple of months, my pansies are blooming.

Pansies blooming in February

Pansies blooming in February

I was checking out my plants in the garden, and I noticed that a second brussels sprout plant has identifiable sprouts growing – bigger than just the buds I saw a couple weeks ago. (The other two of my four plants? Nothing yet.)

Brussels sprout buds

Brussels sprout buds

Yesterday, I pruned my apple trees for the first time. I planted them in November 2013, already pruned by the nursery, so this was my first winter after a season of growth. I must admit, I was very nervous holding those pruning shears. I read about what to do, saw a video from the nursery on how to do it, but I still was afraid of messing up. There was no dead wood to remove, and only one or two small branches growing towards the inside of the tree. That was the easy part. I had to then prune the tree for balance, doing the best I could when both trees have one side with no branches at all.

My Granny Smith apple tree didn’t need much pruning. I removed a small branch from the left side and a few from the bottom. You can’t see much difference, but if you look hard, you can see the branch I removed from the left bottom.

Granny Smith apple tree pruning

Granny Smith apple tree pruning

The Pink Lady apple tree needed more pruning. It actually had two branches sprouting from the original trunk so that the “leader” looked like a Y. I had to choose one of the branches to be the leader and cut the other one. Decisions, decisions! I hope I chose correctly. I also pruned branches that were crossing over themselves. I took a lot off, I know. I hope the tree is better for it.

Pink Lady apple tree pruning

Pink Lady apple tree pruning

I kept hearing the admonition to “open up the tree,” so I hope the trees will do well this season because of my pruning. I’m counting on the nursery man’s comment, “It’s better to prune and make some mistakes than not to prune at all.”

What’s happening in your garden this week?

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