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The Queen of Sheeeba
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May 2013
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The Queen of Sheeeba [userpic]
Planning is usually a lot more fun than doing.

Except for when, while planning, you realize you just do not have the room to do one quarter of what's on your mind.

First off, the peppers. They are doing very well. I've got germination of 2 anchos, one California Bell and one habanero plus germination of two of the three mystery peppers that I started in January and forgot to label.

Here is week 4 for the bigger mystery peppers and week 2 for the just popped up seedlings.

Week 2 and 4

There is room for about 8 to 10 pepper plants in the bed but I've started 3 of each (plus 3 mystery ones) for a total of 12. This is in case of failures. I'm hoping for 2 bells, 2 anchos and one habanero to plant come this spring. And the two mystery ones. They'll be a whole 2 weeks bigger.

I'm also planning 3 tomatoes. They're getting their own bed this year. The smaller square bed. I was going to get starts in late April or May but-- why? I've got seeds and dirt and peat pots. And exactly the tomatoes I want too. One each of Super Sweet 100 cherries for eating off the vine, Romas for sauce and perhaps trying my hand at paste and Supersteaks for salads. I'm thinking of starting 2 of each.

The problem is-- that's about all the room I have with my new (vastly superior from a lighting standpoint) set up. What about the 12 marigolds I wanna have by Mother's Day? If I want 6 Snowballs and 6 Flagstaffs, I need to start, like 24 just to be sure. What to do, what to do?

My solution is to use the seed starter for the Marigolds, put them in the front bay window which faces east and pray the cats don't mess with it. If I start them on April 15th or thereabouts, they'll have an over a month head start as opposed to direct sowing in May.

This could backfire and the tender seedlings will all die, like they did last year. After the seedlings died I bought starts and sowed some directly in the bed. I did get marigolds but the weeds won the battle of the border last summer.

I'm still fighting with myself over where the rhubarb will go. Up against the fence my neighbor put around his backyard or behind the house were Dany killed the grass? At the fence they'll get good sun all day but I don't want them encroaching my neighbor's yard and I understand they grow pretty tall. Behind the house is ideal except for the fact that it's in shade for half of the day. I've read that rhubarb doesn't mind partial shade but shade until noon? That doesn't sound good.

The front yard where I put all the showy flowers? I haven't even begun to think about it. They're all gonna have to be purchased as starts because there is absolutely no room for me to start them from seed.

I need more windows and more yard.


Hello; I hopped on over here from the gardening community, after reading about your rose bush.

There must be local gardening people with whom you can connect and perhaps work out a seedling-growing communal type arrangement? (I know this might not be practical for this year.)

I'm guessing your neighbor's fence is either cyclone/chain-link fencing, or post-and-rail, so that the rhubarb either can be seen from his place or can actually get into the neighbor's yard. If it's post-and-rail, could you sort of contain the rhubarb behind a curtain or shield of something like poultry wire or hardware cloth, attached to a few sturdy stakes, positioned between the rhubarb and the fence between your two properties?

Would it be possible to plant any of your food crop plants among your decorative florals? Tomatoes are sort of obviously what they are, but if your front yard gets enough sun, could the rhubarb not be a backdrop for some of your flowers?
(If you have too much motor vehicle traffic on your street to feel comfortable eating food crops grown in the front yard, I can understand.) From a space utilization viewpoint, though, it can be very practical. For whatever reason, flowering kale is extremely popular around here, tucked in the same bed with folks' begonias or impatiens or between their dwarf arborvitae or yews.

Concerning your space constraints, could you rig a "light cart" in addition to or in place of your table/s? It does mean having fluorescent tubing set-ups above each shelf of a rolling cart of a stationary shelving unit, with the tubes attached to the bottom of the shelf above, and something constructed to suspend them above the top shelf if it's a cart you're using, but that way you do get several trays of seedlings in the space of one. Well, one plus a bit extra around the edges, of course.

Hello, back!

Thank you for taking the time to suggest some great ideas. However, the way we are crammed in here less than a mile from NYC, everything I do impacts everyone on my block.

I'm also trying really, really hard not to spend a lot of money on my little hobby, so those expensive light set-ups are out. I built my little lights myself.


I can relate to being crammed in. I grew up in the most densely populated municipality between Brooklyn, NY, and Chicago, IL, and anything anyone did impacted everyone on their block, too.

Wish I had something better or easier and cheaper to suggest.
Sometimes, it seems, the only thing one can do is wait until next season.

Good success to you!