sara grows plants, take two.

Posted on February 26, 2012

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Last year I decided to begin learning how to grow my own food. I started 16 tomato plants, 6 zucchini plants, 4 sweet basil plants, and 12 cucumber plants from seeds, potted them up, hardened them off, and raised them to be beautiful budding adolescents until the ugly drought of northern Florida summer took their lives. I admit that I can’t fully blame the weather for  their misfortune; I really had no idea what I was doing.

(pictures coming soon.. )

So this year I decided to try again but with slightly more knowledge, better equipment and my very own backyard to plant them in.

I’ll be growing the following vegetables, herbs and flowers (hopefully):

  • Brandywine Pink Tomatoes (Burpee)
  • De Bourbonne Cucumbers (Baker Creek)
  • Atomic Red Carrots (Baker Creek)
  • Blue Lake Bush Beans (Baker Creek)
  • Sweet Basil (Burpee)
  • True Lavender (Burpee)
  • Rosemary (Burpee)
  • Lemon Balm (Baker Creek)
  • Rudbeckia Ruby Gold (Burpee)
  • Marigolds (Burpee)
  • Mother of Pearl Poppies (Baker Creek)
  • …and most ambitiously Queensland Blue & Jarrahdale Pumpkins (Baker Creek)

Now I’m aware that this is quite a variety for a newbie backyard gardener to take on, but I typically learn best by Baptism of fire. 🙂

Progress thus far…

1x sweet basil, 1x tomato, 1x (I can't remember - it's either rosemary or lavender), 1x marigold in the 2" coco-fiber pots (started approx 1.19.12)... 8x rudbeckia & 2x marigold in the black container (1.12.12)... 1x lavender, 1x rosemary, 1x marigold (2.18.12) under the saran wrap

Last year I used 2 x 2′ 7800K T12 fluorescent grow lights, and this year I purchased a lighting system with one 4′ 6500K T5 fluorescent light. I also added a seedling heat mat.

I realized yesterday that my little plants have developed a purple tinge, so after some research I’ve determined that the light is too close to the plants. (You can’t really tell in the photos.) I adjusted, and I guess we’ll see what happens. They still look a little pale to me.

brandywine pink tomato seedling

rudbeckia & marigold seedlingssweet basil seedlingslavender, rosemary & marigold seedlings

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Posted in: gardening