Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sown seeds to tiny transplants...

To see additional photos, plus read text on photos, please see out facebook album Gardening 2010
(Cathy Collins on facebook)
 Friend us while there.

After a wonderful day of transplanting...

Now let's go back to the beginning... from sowed seed (3/8/10) to leggy seedlings (3/28/10). These sweet lil' tranplants need TLC due to our flood, cold basement & too long before transplant. We'll shower them with love & watch most of them grow. Sowing more seeds today. (Lost most all of the lettuce!)

First sowing Mar 8, 2010 with great enthusiasm and care. Then came the Northeast flood (see our facebook photos album 'Milton Underwater') and now... believe it or not we are expecting another heavy rain storm to flood for the next two days! These seedlings should have been cared for more closely: with watering, grow lights, and basement temperature. I finally moved them upstairs and transplanted yesterday (Mar 28, 2010) about a week later than I should have. This resulted in leggier seedlings than I wanted. I buried stems deeply. Lost a full tray of lettuce but surprisingly saved approx 150 plants. Now if even half of them make it I'll be thrilled! I have a small plot at home ~ approx 100 sq ft!  Though I hope to take part in our community VICTORY GARDEN assuming a spot opens for me (lottery). I should know within two weeks. So...I may be giving lots and lots of plants away if I don't get a Victory Garden slot, but no complaints. The joy from grardening, far outweighs the frustrations. And giving plants as gifts pleases me so.

Sowing more seeds today. Have moved my indoor greenhouse from basement (too cold) to living room (haha). Follow along on our blog as we journey thru this wonderful gardening season!

Sneak peek of my plan (hope)...
my apprentice, as shown in photo, suggested we paint our dilapitated metal wheelbarrow hot pink and use as a planter!  I thought why not!!!! Will do so, it will be whimsical and hopefully the entire barrow will be filled with overflowing basil plants. Pkus I can follow the sun around when needed!  I will harvest thruout the entire summer, making pesto as I go. An entire years worth of pesto to be frozen for when needed ... delectable! Follow along on our journey, this is just the beginning.

Trying to post an album of seedlings to date may have to post individually if I can't figure it out. Album is currently posted on my facebook profile CATHY COLLINS. Please friend me on fb as well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grow Potatoes in a Trash Barrel

I've copied this long post from vegetable gardener on fb I didn't want to forgot info posted by the fine gardeners.


Jennifer needs some assistance, "I live in the Pac NW and I am attempting to grow potatoes in a trash can. Has anyone tried this already? What worked best for you? I'm worried that with all the rain it might be too wet for this. Any advice would be great!"Thu at 1:57pm · Comment ·UnlikeLike · View Feedback (15)Hide Feedback (15)You and 2 others like this.

Karen Littrell Long as you have plenty of drainage in the bottom of the can, you should be ok. Put about 6" of organic soil in the bottom and set your seed potato on it. Add just enough soil to cover and water well. When you see it sprouting, keep adding soil, layer by layer as it grows till maybe a few inches below the top. All along that stem you will have some... See More big, healthy tubers growing. To harvest, what I do is just lay a tarp down next to the trash can and dump it all on it then sort thru for the spuds. :-)

Thu at 2:03pm · ReportThomas P Carnes what are you doing to ensure good drainage? Seed potatoes simply rot if they stay wet for any period of time.

Thu at 2:03pm · ReportCathy Collins Please keep us posted, I"d like to do the Boston, supposed to be unusually cold tonite 20 degrees...otherwise looking like spring. ♥ Crocuses are up. ♥

Please friend me on fb, thanks

Thu at 2:05pm · Melaney Dolack Roth Roll it into your garage for a while...haha

Thu at 2:06pm · ReportJada Nicks Edwards And don't try to grow them on the curb...Trashman might just harvest early! :)

Thu at 2:13pm · ReportMary Simpson Dailey Have done this for years, lots of trial and error. Do make sure you have plenty of drainage holes in bottom and a row or so on sides of can (down low). I do the add dirt/peat moss mix, as soon as I see some growth. But when you see green, stop adding more layers. Watch over fertilizing or you will wind up with lots of great foliage and few ... See Morepotatos. Also while it needs sun, full sun heats up a dark can quickly. I finally have a spot where it gets morning till a little afternoon sun and shade then on. It has been the most successful spot so far. Good luck, its fun. Makes harvest easy.

Thu at 3:26pm · ReportVegetable Gardening @Jada: So that's what happened to my missing potatoes :-)

Thu at 3:58pm · ReportTheresa Tyree LOTS of drainage holes so they wont get wet. I've done it in stacked tires also but the water in the tires can get stagnant.

Thu at 4:43pm · ReportJohnson Utility I grew potatoes in old stacked tires. It worked great!

Thu at 8:18pm · ReportVonetta Hubbard If you go to the Do It Yourself website it tells/shows you how to do it step by step in a trash bag

Thu at 8:28pm · ReportMichael Williams I've read that only late season potatoes work this way, early varieties only grow about 6" deep, assuming you are trying to mound up your potatoes. Another way to do this is 4 2x2 posts and attach 1x6 boards on the sides, as the plant grows taller you attach more boards and fill in with dirt. At the end of the season you simple unscrew one side and watch the potatoes fall. This way works a bit better in that your plant will get better sunlight.

Thu at 8:40pm · ReportJennifer Davila Beckwith Thanks, everyone! Great suggestions!

Thu at 11:44pm · Report

Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition) - Vegetable Gardener

Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition) - Vegetable Gardener

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, March 12, 2010

Germination Success, Time for Grow Lights

Planted a tray of mixed lettuce lines (for the first time) we'll see if they transplant well. All began to sprout (germinate) yesterday and I removed plastic had only been 4 days.

Here is a photo of lettuce tray 8 hours after being under grow-lights (my light set up is not yet complete and these haven't been edited):

My other tray of mixed veggies....tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc has begun to sprout today and I just uncovered. The final tray (by tray I mean 72 seed pods or cells) is still sprout but not enough to remove plastic. That has the green beans, melons, corn). Yes I'm being ambitious for my tiny garden but I applied for a plot in our Victory Garden in town...a community garden and I'm hoping to be granted one. If not, well then, I'll be giving LOTS of plants away : ) All is good either way.

I believe my next tray will germinate by Sunday (today is fri)...I will hook up all grow lights tomorrow morning, for now the trays are just sitting uncovered with minimal grow lights.
I'll sow more seeds in another week for succession platning

Oh and did I tell you about the red LOLLO ROSSA lettuce I found when I tilled the soil last week? It was so exciting! The soil is fluffy now and there are small red lettuce leaves just under the surface; they must have germinated on a warm day?

Happy gardening until next time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sowing Seeds, Seed Germination

I am copying another's blog ( b/c I can't find a share button. This is some awesome info I want to remember, and thought you might like it too.

"March 3, 2010
Seed-Starting 101 : Part 3 of 6 : Sowing Practices
seed starting 101 — doug 

Ah, Wednesday again. Time for another lesson, folks. (I used to teach high-school English, so I am getting a kick out of the chance to be all pedagogical again.)

Once your schedule and protected space are set up, it’s time to actually do the deed: stick seeds in dirt, get ‘em wet, and watch ‘em grow. It’s surprisingly easy to succumb to anxiety when the moment arrives: am I burying the seed deeply enough? Too deeply? Is the soil wet enough? Too wet? Did I plant too many tomatoes? Too few?

Step One: RELAX. Take some deep breaths. Until about 100 years ago, nearly every person on the planet came to this moment many times each year. Things often went wrong: for them as they surely will for you. And yet, your presence on the earth today is proof that even when things were done imperfectly they still often worked out. So, approach the task of seed sowing with openness and a sense of adventure: no matter what happens, you’re about to learn a lot about plants, about the natural world, and about your own attitude (I know: not exactly how you wanted to spend your free time, this last.)

Making soil blocks
Step Two: CHOOSE A METHOD AND STICK WITH IT FOR A WHILE. There are countless media and containers–and labels and watering cans and gardening gloves–to consider for sowing time. You can start with a sterile soilless mix made almost entirely of peat moss and vermiculite, or one full of compost and rich microbial activity (I prefer the latter). You can start with plastic trays and cells; with tiny cow-manure compost pots; with leftover mini yogurt containers (with drainage holes punched in the bottom–don’t forget!); or with no containers at all when using soil blocks (each has its pros and cons, but we use soil blocks ourselves for most seed-starting). You can place seeds into soil with a tiny little plastic seed dispenser thingy (it looks like a giant comma with a clear lid), an electric vibrating seed dropper (yikes!), a moistened end of a toothpick, or your pinched fingers (I prefer toothpicks and fingers). The options are seemingly endless.

I suggest, however, that you pick one method and stick with it for a season or two until you’ve mastered it, figured out what you like and dislike about it, and are able to make a conscious decision to try out a different approach. In nearly all cases, problems at the seedling stage are less related to containers, soil media, or sowing method than they are to the conditions in which you are growing the plants (see last week’s post for details on this).

If it’s your first year with a garden, the easiest route is to head to a garden center and pick up one of their seed-starting kits and a bag of organic potting soil specifically labeled for seed starting. The kits are fairly inexpensive and include all you need for successful growing of a small quantity of plants; the organic mix will get your seed off and running with plenty of nutritious compost available to feed the young plants. You’ll probably find that these kits don’t make sense as you transition to a larger garden or more encompassing suite of crops, and at that time I would encourage a bit of googling to research seed-starting methods used by small farms and avid gardeners. (For those looking for this information right now, here are some links to get you started:, newspaper seed-starting containers, seed-starting rays and peat pellets, and lots more. Don’t drown in the information! No single method is perfect!)

No matter which system you choose, do be sure to consider that seedlings require fertile soil: if you start with a soilless mix, transplant the young’uns into good, well-composted soil quickly or provide a liquid organic fertilizer until transplant time. (This added consideration is why I prefer a potting soil with compost; McEnroe Farms makes a great one that is available at garden centers throughout the Hudson Valley.)

Step Three: SOW. Once you’ve picked your set-up and gathered materials, begin. Nearly all common vegetable and flower seeds are best sown at a depth that is approximately two to three times their diameter. It’s pretty easy to eyeball this, and once you get the hang of it you’ll do it intuitively. What it means is that tiny seeds, such as those for carrot, lettuce, basil, and most herbs, need only be covered by one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch of soil–or even just a dusting. Brassicas need one-quarter inch to three-eighths inch depending on the seed size. Beans need a good one-half to three-quarters of an inch. And so on. The drier the conditions, the deeper you should plant, as seeds germinate best when they occupy the magical spot where the soil remains fairly moist but oxygen from above ground is able to reach them. When the ground is dry, the moist layer is lower and the oxygen travels easily through the dry layer on top; wet conditions call for the opposite treatment. Once the seeds are in place, water them in: give them a nice good drink to allow the seed coats to soften and the process of germination to begin. (Note that if the mix you begin with is totally dry it will need to be watered before sowing, as a perfectly dry soilless mix will often not moisten easily once in trays–seeds sown into these conditions will often float off once watered.)

Step Four: OVERSOW. It is all too easy for something to go wrong during the seedling stage. An emergency that takes you unexpectedly away from the house and your seedlings to wither; a power outage that zaps your grow light for several days; a curious cat that mistakes your trays for a litter box: all can spell trouble. The best insurance against things going wrong is to sow many more seeds than you actually need. I learned this lesson the hard way early on, and it’s saved me many times over the past few years.

Ready for seeds.
One important method of oversowing is to re-sow everything (or nearly everything) sown on one date a second time two or three weeks later. This may not work for those with tight space restrictions–it’s even hard for us sometimes–but I can report that on many occasions the later plantings have been a happy blessing. One summer a late-sown round of tomatoes staved off an early blight beautifully (young plants are often able to repel disease more easily than fully mature plants), while another spring our second-round of young celeriac seedlings replaced some that perished when we failed to vent a cold frame on a lazy sunny day. Troubles come, and it’s wise to anticipate them. (I told you gardening is a learning adventure.)

The hard part is at transplant time, when, if all actually goes well, you’ll have plenty of extra seedlings that can’t make it into the limited space of your garden. Give ‘em to friends or family, or sell ‘em on craigslist. There’s always demand at transplant time for veggies that folks didn’t start from seed themselves.

Step Five: PROVIDE WARMTH AND MOISTURE. I’ve taken a slightly laissez-faire attitude here in the past: I never cover sown seeds with plastic wrap or anything like that. I do keep them watered if it looks like they are drying out. And I do provide warmth. The warmth is very important: cool pepper seeds can take weeks to germinate, while those kept above 80 degrees will germinated within about five days, usually. See this link for a great summary of the ideal germination temps for different vegetable types.

Achieving these temps can be tricky in a wintery home, but I’ll soon be posting a couple of DIY-themed addenda to this series with more details on this step: one on building the cold frame pictured in last week’s post, and one on tricking out an old fridge as a germination chamber (an idea I’ve swiped from many wise farmers, including Jay and Polly and Erin and Sam at Four Winds Farm / Second Wind CSA and Linda-Brook at Back to Basics).

Step Six: GET RID OF WARMTH AND MOISTURE. Ack! So crazy, isn’t it? Once you see your first flush of germination in any batch of sown seeds, quickly get them out of the warm and moist environment you’ve provided for germination and get them somewhere a bit cooler and a lot drier. Too much moisture brings on the dreaded damping off and is one of the most common mistakes made by new gardeners. If growing seedlings indoors, take them off the heat mat; if growing in a cold frame, move your seedlings in and let them cope–happily! really!–with the slightly cooler temps and the drier air. (The only real exceptions to this rule are peppers and eggplants, which thrive in continued warmth for much of their young lives–not the mid-80s that make them germinate quickly, but definitely the mid-70s, which keeps ‘em happy but does not allow them to remain too pampered and weak. If you can’t provide just the right conditions, don’t sweat it, and err on the side of room temperatures, or use a carefully watched cold frame from mid-April on.)

Oh, and make sure that the young seedlings get plenty of light. See the last post in this series for details. Don’t hate me, but I must say it again: a sunny windowsill is almost never enough light.

Step Seven. RELAX. AGAIN. Once you go through this process a few times you’ll get the swing of it. Behold the young life unfurling by your own efforts. Be grateful for it. Don’t worry to death over it. Taking part in gardening is all about stepping into sync with natural rhythms, which are in constant motion. Seed sowing is just one part of the process, and it is not a zero sum game. Sow some stuff in the coming week or two; so more the weeks after that; more after that. In fact, once you understand when to sow which varieties, you’ll be sowing eight months of the year, along with transplanting, weeding, and–with any luck–harvesting. You give and you wait to receive. You receive and you feel grateful. You always glance ahead and consider what you can sow now for harvest later. Don’t lose sight of the dance and get trapped in the feeling that it’s all or nothing: there is nearly always something to be sown right now to improve your garden prospects, feed you and your loved ones fresh food, and save on your grocery bill several months down the road."
Thank you Doug from Hudson Valley Seed.

Cold Frames for Seedlings, Zone 6, Boston

I am going to be using a DIY  cold frame that I purchased from Ocean State for only $'s pretty cool. Stands about 5' tall and 3' wide with clear durable plastic, zippered, tent-like cover. I want to utilize it properly as I have never used one before. I'll post snip-its of info I am finding online re: usage. BTW I went back last nite, a month after buying my first one to buy the last one! So excited, I'll post photos of it later.

Pay attention to temperature
While heat and humidity are important for germinating seeds, excessive heat (above 90°F) can damage fragile seedlings. A min/ max thermometer hung on an inside wall of the cold frame is a great way to monitor temperature fluctuations.Give seedlings an early start. Whether you are starting seeds in flats or sowing them directly into the soil, a portable cold frame provides the opportunity to get your plants going a few weeks early, and it eliminates the transplanting shock that many plants face because they will be better acclimated from the outset. If you are seeding in the early spring or fall, focus on cool-season plants, as they tend to have lower temperature thresholds for germination. Keep in mind that seedlings are more susceptible to extreme weather conditions than established plants. If you are sowing directly into a portable cold frame, have it in place two weeks prior to seeding to warm the soil for germination. Whatever method you are using to start your seeds, make sure to keep the seedbed evenly moist. Once seedlings have germinated, the cold frame should be vented more frequently to discourage damping off by increasing air circulation. If you start your seeds in a greenhouse or indoors under lights, you can start them a good six weeks earlier than usual and transplant them to a cold frame you’ve placed in your garden. It helps to have the cold frame in place at least two weeks prior to transplanting to warm the soil. Again, you will need to pay attention to the degree of sunlight, moisture, temperature, and wind. The frame also provides a windbreak while the plants are still small. Because you’re encouraging active growth, you will want to use a transparent cover of plastic or glass. The soil will dry out more quickly inside the cold frame than outside, so be sure to keep the soil moist, especially while the plants are acclimating to their new site. Keep in mind that more plants die of excessive heat and drought in cold frames than from cold damage. Proper ventilation is particularly important for cool-season plants. If you have established transplants, vent the frame when the outside temperature is 40°F or higher. If your plants are closer to the seedling stage, you may want to wait until the outside temperatures are 45°F to 50°F before venting.

Hardening off is simplified
When plants are moved from a warm, sheltered location—such as a greenhouse or indoors—into the garden, they must be gradually acclimated to fluctuations in temperature, sunlight, moisture, and exposure. Generally this is done by carrying the plants outside and back in again for gradually longer periods of time over the course of a week or two. The same effect can be achieved by opening and closing a cold frame over a five- to seven-day period.
The key to a trouble-free hardening-off period is to keep track of the extended weather forecast and plan accordingly. If I am moving out cool-season or young perennial plants from my greenhouse, I will wait for a stretch of weather where the lows don’t fall below 35°F. Even if the temperature drops after this period, plants hardened off and growing in a cold frame will be fine. For warm-season plants, I wait until the temperatures have stabilized and we are within two to three weeks of our last frost date. In general, wait until seedlings have formed multiple sets of true leaves and are well rooted before moving them into cold frames.Once the plants are packed closely into a frame, start venting the frame during the warmest part of the day, gradually increasing the length of time the frame is left open. If you are not able to tend to the frame during the day, try to time the onset of your hardening-off period with cloudy weather, and start by venting the frame just a crack, gradually increasing the open gap each day. As plants acclimate to cooler temperatures, more direct sunlight, and wind exposure, their foliage will often thicken and darken in color. New growth is also a good sign that the transition is going well and your plants are ready for their final move into your garden.  (This info was gathered from 4 ways to use a cold frame) 
This is the key: Pay attention to the temperature. Keep it cool, not hot. Temperatures inside the cold frame should be below 75 degrees for summer plants, and below 60 degrees for plants that grow in spring and fall. Adjust temperatures by opening and closing the lid. A general guide is this: when outdoor temperatures are above 40 degrees, prop open the lid 6 inches; when the outdoor temperatures clear 50 degrees, open it all the way. Close the lid in late afternoon to trap the heat inside for the cool night. You can also buy automatic venting devices in some gardening catalogs. Be watchful for heavy rains and winds that could damage young plants or seedlings.
(Richard E, Palazzo, “The Gardenator,")

Offers Accepted

Spring cleaning at FOOTBRIDGE COVE. We are in the process of logging in terrific new inventory to be listed and would like to clean house, if you will, with pieces currently in our shop.

Feel free to stop by and make us an offer is off the table. We want to clean house; and we will do our best for you. Stop by today. Everything in our shop was reduced before the holidays so there are incredible buys to be had.

We'll call it our 'barn sale'. No we don't have a barn; but always wanted one so what the heck...our 'barn sale' is in progress, all offers welcome!

We'll post some photos of items currently listed you may want to make an offer on...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gardening in Boston

Aaaaahhhhhhhh! The sun is shining, it's 51 DEGREES in Boston at 10:30am! I am starting my seed pods now, music blasting...going to till the soil later today. I CAN'T STOP SMILING

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Facebook | Cathy Collins

We've listed a new photo album of vintage hankies, stop by and beautiful.

Facebook Cathy Collins: "Vintage Hankerchiefs, Handkerchiefs, Hankies
A wonderful selection of authentic vintage hankies that have been gently laundered & pressed. These make beautiful display pieces: vanity tables, doilies under lamps, awesome under plants, framed and hung on wall. Try tieing to a purse! Many unique uses for these splendid pieces of the past. (This is a very small smapling of our collection).

Please inquire directly if interested in any of these as they have not yet been listed.


Facebook | Cathy Collins

Facebook Cathy Collins: "~SPECIAL OF THE DAY~ Splendid staple for your spring and summer wardrobe. Vintage Art Glass Beads our SPECIAL TODAY at just $19. We'll invoice you at special of day rate.

Vintage Pink Art Glass, Beaded Double Strand Necklace, Made in Japan, c1955
The unique shapes and graduated sizes of these glass beads make this double strand art glass necklace so spectacular!From silver, clear, white with a pink hue, light pink, to dark and mottled as well... these gorgeous stones are accentuated with silver"

Discounts for our fans year round, and previews of listings before they go no sale!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Facebook | Cathy Collins

Facebook Cathy Collins:
"Perfect for Saint Patrick's day! Vintage figural Lucky Leprechaun pin.
~SPECIAL OF THE DAY~ Just $12. We'll invoice you at this phenom price.Brooch, Elf Pin, Lucky Leprechaun, Figural Pin, Holiday - Item#866

This little guy is a real whippersnapper. He is obviously well versed in the art form of dance... as noted from his perfectly arched feet & finely pointed toes!Bright gold tone set off with light blue rhinestone eyes and holding a faux pearl... item #866
for additiional discounts become a FAN on our facebook fanpage FOOTBRIDGE COVE.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Facebook Cathy Collins: "New photo album posted on our FAN PAGE. A very small sampling of our vintage clothing collection! Updated photos will be added. Please feel fee to inquire of you see a piece you like. Become a fan at FOOTBRIDGE COVE on facebook. 1st 100 fans will receive discounts!

Vintage Cothing and Accessories
Antique and Vintage Clothing. Bridal, formal, everyday...some business, some whimsical. Something for everyone who wants to preserve the past thru vintage wear. For the person who wants to buy authentic vintage not just the 'look alike vintage' the stores sell! We're proud to bring you authenticity & style.
By:Footbridge Cove

Nelson McCoy Vintage Pottery ~SPECIAL OF THE DAY~

Facebook Cathy Collins: "Are you a McCoy Pottery Collector? If so, you know this is a steal at $14. We are going to reduce further as our SPECIAL OF THE DAY....just $10 today!

PLEASE FAN US ON our new facebook FAN PAGE: FOOTBRIDGE COVEPitcher, McCoy Pottery Brown Drip Kitchenware Line, 1970s, 6 1/2' Water Jug, Marked U.S.A. - 835
This handsome McCoy pottery pitcher is from the late 70s, Brown Drip Kitchenware Line.Brown Drip Glaze pitcherMeasures 6 1/4 h x 3 1/2 w and 7 1/4 from outside handle to edge of spout.Very Nice PieceMarked : U.S.A.Excellent Condition

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


We have created a new FAN  PAGE on facebook FOOTBRIDGE COVE. Our first 100 FANS will recieve a bonus discount on a future order of their choice.

Also watch for our SPECIALS OF THE DAY. We'll significantly reduce the price of an item in our shop for 24 hours and post it on twitter and our FAN PAGE on facebook: FOOTBRIDGE COVE.

Today's SPECIAL OF TE DAY Joan & David Ankle Shoe Boots, authentically vintage...all the style rage again! Only $30. Today only!