I started my garden today!

WizarDave's Gardening Journal 2019

My 2019 Garden Calendar

Here's the entire calendar

I'm in zone 5 of the USA.
Last Spring Frost Date April 23rd

1 - Sow Outdoors
2 - Sow Indoors
3 - Transplant outdoors

Feb 11-19 DONE

  • Peppers 2 (Moon Feb 11-19)
  • Onions 2 (Moon Feb 11-19)

Growing station


Last year I used bulbs from Walmart. I wasn't really impressed with the results.
I did get some onions to eat, but they weren't very big.
NOTE: We had a major drought last year, but...

This year I checked out several youtubes and web sites about growing onions.
Here's what I found...

  • Onions are biennials. Meaning they form a bit of a bulb the first year and the second year produce flowers and thus seeds. Once they set flowers, you should pick the onion, since it will not grow bigger and put all its energy into producing flowers and seeds.
    • When you buy bulbs, these have been started later in the year and allowed to grow into a 2 inch or so bulb. When you plant these in the spring, they think they are in the second year and should produce flowers and seed.
      • It's better to use sets, as they are still in their first year.
  • But better yet is to plant your own onion seed, to produce sets which you will then transplant to your garden.
    • There is a huge selection of onion seeds to choose from. Much more selection than counting on the big box stores or local nurseries.
      • This is the first year I've ever grown onion from seeds, so wish me luck!
        I will keep you posted.

I've never really had what I would consider great luck growing onions.

  • Perhaps some of the problems has been that I often used those bulbs mentioned above.
  • Perhaps another problem is that I've grown the wrong varieties.
    • After doing some research, I should use either day-neutral or long day onions.

Varieties I chose:
I purchased all my seeds from https://www.edenbrothers.com/

Yellow Sweet Spanish

  • A long day, yellow onion up to 1 pound.
    • An heirloom variety producing large sweet onions.
      Stores well.
      Mild flavor.
      • 110 days to maturity.
        Space 5-6 inches.

Ruby Red

  • A long day, red, medium to large red onion.
    • Good storage of 5-6 months.
      • 120 days to maturity.


  • A bunching onion.
    • Can be overwintered.

I planted these in small aluminum cake pans.

  • I will transplant to the garden April 2nd.


I purchased all my seeds from https://parkseed.com/

  • I purchased a heating mat and 5 LED grow lights through Amazon.
    • Peppers germinate better at a warmer temp is why I'm using the grow mat on them.
  • I purchased a 32 XL cell self-watering seed starting kit from Burpee through Amazon.
  • It is your typical starting kit, but has risers and a felt ??? mat the grow cells sit on. This allows you to fill the bottom with water (I think I put in 12 cups!) which the felt wicks to the bottom of the grow cells which do have a fairly large hole in the bottom, which then allows the soil to wick the water and keep it moist.

Sorry, evidently I can't do a table to make these smaller here on busy.org...
Water storage

Water wick

I planted 2 seeds per cell.

I went with the larger cells to cut down having to transplant to bigger pots a couple of time before finally setting out. These may be big enough to last until transplanted outside, or at most I'll have to upsize only one time...

I will be transplanting these to the garden and a few containers May 7-18.

Varieties planted...
Park's Whopper Jalapenos

  • 2500 Scovilles of heat.
  • Harvests starting 72 days from setting out transplants.
  • Up to 4 inches! 2.6 oz...

Big Bertha PS Hybrid Pepper

  • Green peppers up to 7 inches long!
  • Harvests starting 72 days from setting out transplants.
  • Space 2 feet.

Petite Color Blend Hybrid Peppers

  • Just a few inches long.
  • Harvests starting 65 days from setting out transplants.
  • green, red, yellow, orange, white, cream, purple and black
  • Space 18 inches.

I planted 2 seeds per cell and will plant both plants together if they both germinate.

  • I had 8 cells each of the jalapenos and Big Bertha.
  • I had 16 cells of the petite color blend, with 5 of those being single seeds.

Origami Mix Columbines

I remember columbines growing around the old smoke house as long as I can remember. Meaning my mom's mom, mom and I all grew them there.

  • Termites got the best of it and it's been bulldozed in, so I didn't see any last year. Time to get them started back.
    • The smoke house was originally a home for 13. It was one room with a loft. After they moved, Grandpa and some others moved it about 1/2 mile by horse and buggy to where it sat as long as I can remember.
      • It never was a smoker, but it is where Grandpa salt-cured hams and bacon when they butchered. Mom tells of 4 or 5 families bringing their hogs and spending the whole day butchering. They had a big cauldron long ago lost to some ditch they would render the lard in. She tells of making pork rinds and potato chips while it was cooking.

If I'm lucky and they germinate soon enough, they may bloom this year. (All other varieties only bloom the second year.)

  • The seed packet said to NOT cover them as they need light to germinate, so that's what I did.

What's next on my agenda?

  • Feb 25-Mar 19
    • Radish 1 (Feb 25-Mar 19) (Moon Feb 25-Mar 5)
      We'll have to see about this one. I've never planted radishes this early!!!
  • 3/1
    • Peas 2 in peat pots
      Transplant within 2 weeks

I will also start a few perennials somewhere between now and then...

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I forgot to put in a pic of my garden today...
My Garden Feb 19, 2019

Better get organics from your cuzzz. Now is best time to spread on top

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I still need to find the energy to get started. It's high time I do, but for some reason, I never get to it.
Maybe today I can get myself to put some seeds in water to soften them, hoping I will be in the ood to sow them tomorrow