Monday, February 27, 2012

sowing seeds

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These are pictures from Saturday when I planted a couple trays of seeds. I also planted 8 new begonia tubers in pots. (A bag of pink dahlia tubers waiting on my shelves for outdoor planting.) My indoor lettuce is doing well. Time to start thinning it soon!

sowing 004

Saturday, February 25, 2012

seed sowing

My first big day of planting seeds! The local True Value Hardware store had their planting trays in stock - I got 8 trays and 8 6-packs of seed cells. Also some 4-inch and 3-inch pots. And 50 4-cent wooden labels.

I planted 2 full trays of seeds this afternoon. I am a bit late starting my onions. I planted 4 6-packs of white storage onion seeds and one of bunching onions. I started a few seeds of very early tomatoes. Only 3 varieties, 3 seeds each. These will be in big pots before they can be transplanted outside.

My seed list:

Onions, Frontier
Onions, Pontiac
Onions, bunching Guardsman
Tomatoes, cherry Sun Gold
Tomatoes, Pink Beauty
Tomatoes, Mew Girl
Chinese cabbage, Wong Bok
Chinese cabbage, Mini Kisaku 50
Chinese cabbage, Extra Dwarf Bok Choy
Celery, Tango
Mustard, Ruby Streaks
Radicchio, Chiogga Red Preco #1
Lettuce, Oaky Red Splash
Lettuce, Victoria Butterhead
Parsley, Giant of Italy
Broccoli, Diplomat
Caulifower, Little Cloud Hybrid
Endive, Frisee Olesh Tres Fine

- and one of my favorite garden flowers:
Bachelor Button, Boy Blue

spring is coming - willow catkins and daffodil sprouts

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My pussy willows burst open this week. Right on schedule. Last year, they opened on the very same week.

Some other plants are early this year with the balmy weather we have had. Snow drops are in full bloom and the daffodils are an inch high already. From looking back at my old photos, these are a full month early this year.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day

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redtails 2-8 B pairs 039

I keep hearing that Valentine's Day is a made up holiday. As I look around, the birds are pairing off, the squirrels are chasing each other, and coyotes are threatening suburban small pets as they begin their breeding season. And my planting calendar says its 11 weeks before my last frost - time to start planting seeds!!! Of course this celebration of love is based on the season!

There are several online sources to look up Valentine's Day origins and each tells a different story....

In any case, I'll celebrate by planting my first seeds of the season, onions and celeriac. Maybe a couple very early tomatoes too. Yesterday I ordered my seed potatoes. The season is moving ahead fast ....

Happy Valentine's Day!

redtails 2-8 C

Thursday, February 09, 2012

birds from our walk today

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crop list for 2012

I'm starting to make a list of what to plant this year. Time to cut back on the number of things I grow. I pack too much in and things don't do as well as they could. So here's my list:

In order of preference:
summer squash: zucchini and yellow patty pan
butternut squash
sweet potatoes
parsley, cilantro, dill*
cucumbers (max 3 varieties)*
bok choy
escarole and frisee
pumpkins: maximum 3 plants: Jarrahdale and New England Pie


Tomatoes: Try the new color cages (purple?) and grow them with lots of space
*does well in my slightly shady home garden
** does well in my very warm and sheltered cold frame
well maybe 4 pumpkins...

No corn,

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

lettuce seedlings

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Instead of waiting for spring, I planted some lettuce seeds right after I got home from holiday travels - I think it was Jan 5. Little lettuce plants are now growing fast under the lights.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

my 2012 planting calendar

Microsoft PowerPoint - Presentation1

I've been thinking its nearly time to start my onion seeds. So today I made my 2012 planting calendar using an on line program I wrote several years ago. (Here's the link. Its on my side bar too.)

The onions need to be in by Valentine's Day! I will start getting my trays ready.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

indoor flowers

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Let's see, I have a big white paph blooming, and "Trick or Treat", a fluorescent orange Lc. And Ise x Sachi, a delicate white dendrobium. These three orchids have bloomed for me every year for more years than I can count.

I love the way they catch the winter sunlight.

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i am a salmon??

Jeepers, of all the animals one could be.... Although I do love salmon (its our dinner tonight!)

Who does these silly tests anyway - and what does Betty get out of it?

My mom sent me this link, but she didn't tell me what her inner animal is. I will have to ask. (Maybe she will leave a comment???)

I think this link gets you to the quiz.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

my planting zone has changed!

My sister pointed out to me that the USDA has updated the plant zone hardiness map. In many areas, zones have changed reflecting warmer climates. I am just north west of Boston and was in zone 6a. Now I am squarely in zone 6b. This means there has been a 5*F change in minimum average extreme winter temperature. Up from -10* (in the last USDA version released in 1990) to -5* (the average from 1976 to 2005) in the map released a couple days ago.

A couple of links are here:
Plant zone maps at the USDA Agricultural Research Service and
An article at The Salt, NPR