Monday, April 28, 2014

Expecting rain

We are expecting rain today, it has been quite windy all day.  On the way back from the post office I drove by a gold mine of compost material- three bags finely chopped and stacked by the curb.  I scooped up two of them since that is what would fit in my car.  When I got home I drove back to the compost pile and emptied them, some of the loose material blew away to enrich my neighbor's fields. Even something is better than nothing, though. 

 After returning the car to the garage, I found one of my cole plant trays had caught the wind and was scattered across the front yard.  Once again, I scooped up the tiny little plants, put them back in the trays, gave them a watering, and put that tray back in the garage.  I left the other three trays outside, they seemed to have a little more water weighing them down.  When the rain comes it will keep them from blowing away.

We had a power bump a little while ago,  the TV came on upstairs all by itself, the wireless printer made some noises, and the light in the living room came on.  Gave me quite a creepy feeling to go upstairs and find out what the noises were.

On another note, I have been enjoying the Canada geese who seem to be making a nesting area in my pond.  They take turns with the heron who comes and fishes from time to time. 



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Resilience

The cole crops are up in their seed trays and I have been taking them outside most days for hardening off.  Unfortunately earlier this week, I had an unfortunate accident.  I was trying to hurry and place the four trays outside to catch some sun before I left for work, when I made a wrong move and dumped all four trays at once on the ground. 

I was able to pick about two-thirds of them up and scoop the tiny little plants back into the trays.  Unfortunately they all look the same, so I may have mixed up the cauliflower and the Brussels sprouts and the Bok Choi.  It will just be a surprise!  From now on they are staying on the ground, I am not toting them around any more. 

We had a light frost this morning, temperature was 28 degrees, and I did not cover them.  It looks like they are going to be OK anyway.

Last weekend I started four trays of pepper and tomato plants.  The circuit breaker in the garage tripped some time a couple of days ago and the lights and heating mats did not come on.  I noticed the temperature inside my plant stand apparatus was in the 45-degree range.  I won't get much germination at that temperature.  Dear hubby reset the circuit breaker and the timer on the lights, so hopefully everything was caught in time.  Today the temperature is showing 65 degrees.  A few of the seeds had already germinated, but still waiting on most of them.

Today I planted herbs - Sage, basil, oregano and coriander. Have not planted any trays of flowers yet.  Maybe later tonight, maybe next weekend.  

I should really go out and plant some radishes, peas and potatoes. The temperatures are supposed to be in the 50's or higher all week this week.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Epic Fail on old seed

Spring is coming, we've had daytime temperatures above freezing for almost a week now. The spring peepers are peeping in the marshy field next door, and the killdeer have returned and are practicing their decoy flights away from their nests.

 I turned on the lamps and heating pads in the seed starting rack of the unheated garage, and am getting a temp of over 60 degrees, so I am going to start some more seeds.

 Of the 72 cells planted with Liberty Garden cauliflower seed from 2006 and Ferry-Morse Barbados Hybrid broccoli from 2008, I had 2 seedlings germinate.  Not sure if it was because they were intermittently soaked/dried out in the dry forced-air environment of the living room, or if it was just old non-viable seed.

Replanted the same tray with new seed from this year, packed for 2014.
  •  Ferry Morse Early Snowball X Cauliflower
  •  Burpee Sun King Hybrid broccoli. 
Also planted 3 additional trays as follows:
  • Livingston Seeds Pak Choi (2014)
  • Burpee All Seasons cabbage (2014),
  • Livingston seed Dwarf Blue Scotch Curled Kale (2014)
  • New Dimension Seed Green Queen Kohlrabi (2009)
  • Burpee Brussels Sprouts (Brawny) 2014. 
  • Cook's Garden Romanesco Broccoli 2013
  • Lake Valley Seed Broccoli Waltham 29 (2012)
  • Burpree Cabbage Earliana ( 2014)
The package of Brussels Sprouts just planted 24 cells with about 4 seeds left over.  They should be higher quality since there were fewer seeds in the package! 180 mg vs. 6 g of seeds for the Kale. 

My farmgirl friend participating in the seed exchange sent me a nice selection of unusual seeds, purple-pod green beans,  watermelon radish (white on outside and red on inside), birdhouse gourds, Cherokee purple tomato.  I'll have to wait to start those till we can get out and till the garden.

I walked past the compost pile this weekend, since the snow has finally melted.  The two-year-old pile has some very black dirt.  I am anxious to spread it on the garden.  The garden itself has a lot of dried weed straw.  I am wondering if I will be able to burn the weeds/weed seeds with the propane torch before we try to till it.  The ground is very wet right now from the melting snow.  Too soon to till.

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