There hasn't been a lot going on until recently. The seedlings were being tended, and some started looking a little stressed, leaves yellowing a bit. I started putting them out a little bit at a time, leaving them in the cool of the evening for a while before bringing them back in. I used the floating row cover to shelter them a bit from wind and direct sun. The nights started warming a bit, so they've been living outside full time now for about five days. A couple of days ago, I removed them from their peat pots, which had started molding, and I put them in pots that gave them a little more room for their roots. I added some purchased worm castings to the potting mix to give them a dose of nutrition that I think they were lacking, even with occasional feedings of a fish emulsion solution. In just the couple of days that they've been in their new pots, I think they're already looking so much better. The plants that were getting a bit yellow are greening back up. It was a lot of work for plants that will probably be planted in the ground within the next week, but I want to make sure they're healthy when they go in, and I want the plants I share to be healthy when they go to their new homes. Here's a picture of all my little ones (and some pretty big ones) on the plant stand outside:

plants growing on plant stand waiting to be transplanted

These are all the seedlings I've started, except for the two tomatoes that have been planted and the two tomatoes my dad took home with him last week. It's mostly tomatoes and peppers, with some eggplants, tomatillos, and herbs mixed in. As I plant them, I'll give more details about varieties of each. This post will be long enough without all of that.

Speaking of the tomatillos, they're blooming! The Stupice tomato from my first set of seedlings is also blooming, and I hope to deliver it to a new home this weekend. I'm planning to plant the tomatillos in a flower bed on the side of my house. I've been reading that they grow quite large, and I don't think I have the space for them in my raised beds.

Blooms on tomatillo and tomato plants

The Stupice tomato that I planted out in the garden isn't quite blooming in this picture (taken April 18th), but it is now!

Flower bud on Stupice tomato

I might make my goal of having the first fresh tomato in May. Stay tuned!

Now, let's take a little tour of the bed that stays under wraps most of the time.

Raised bed with peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, etc

On the left, you can see how big the pea plants are getting. I forgot to measure them, but I'm pretty sure the tallest are about two feet now. They're growing well and looking healthy. The white powder on the soil is the diatomaceous earth I'm using to help control slugs and other creepy crawlies that want to eat my veggies. It's been doing it's job fairly well, since the new growth on the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants is nearly damage-free. I removed the large hoops that held the floating row cover, and I'm now using some wire fence pieces (not pictured, will show those later) to support the row cover. It lets the peas get more sun, and allows me to use just one piece of row cover instead of the two required to cover the taller supports. The thyme I moved into the left corner is doing really well, and I'll probably have to prune it a few times over the summer to keep it from taking over that part of the bed.

Next, some detail of the smaller plants in the broccoli bed.

radish plants in garden bed

Above are radishes. I planted some lettuce in this square, too, but it either didn't come up or the slugs got it before I started using the diatomaceous earth.

Moving on to lettuce, that's actually growing.

lettuces in garden bed

The larger lettuce plants in the upper left and right corners of these squares are the survivors of the slug invasion. The little tiny seedlings in the right square are from when I scattered some more seeds from the Rocky Top lettuce mix. Interesting that both times I scattered seeds in this square most of the seedlings that came up were in the bottom part of the square. When I think they seedlings, I'm going to try to transplant some to the less populated areas. The red lettuce in the left square is Cimmaron, a romaine type lettuce. It will probably get much greener as it grows, but the red is so pretty now. I'm going to put some more Cimmaron seeds in this square this weekend. I've also planted some more lettuce seeds in another bed yesterday. I was hoping to harvest baby lettuce leaves by now, but I'll just have to be patient. The little green sprout under the Cimmaron is a carrot.

Spinach!

Spinach and broccoli plants

The three plants in the left square are spinach. They've been growing so slowly, I was wondering if they'd ever amount to anything. I think the two larger ones have tripled in size in the last week. I'll let them get a few more leaves before I start clipping a couple to toss into a salad or put on a sandwich. They seem to like the current weather. I might put a few more seeds in somewhere to see if I can't get a bit more spinach this spring. The lovely plant on the left is the broccoli plant that was most damaged when the cabbageworms came calling. It's recovering nicely and growing pretty new leaves. For the curious the plant in the upper left square is a red cabbage, and the one in the upper right is another broccoli.

And this is how the bed looks now when it's all covered up:

broccoli bed covered with row cover

I think the peas might like having a bit more sun now.

These are the other peas we're growing,

sugar snap and snow peas

Sugar snap peas are closest to the bottom, and the others are snow peas.

Pretty Little Extras

These little tricolor violas (johnny jump ups) are growing in our back yard. There's just one little plant, perhaps a gift from a bird.

wild viloas

This is a pretty bush that was planted by previous owners. After tracking it down on the internet, I'm pretty sure it's a weigela. I think we'll be keeping this one.

weigela bush, pink flowers