Monday, February 25, 2013

sweet potato sprouts

sweet potato sprouts 146 sweet potato sprouts 172 sprouting sweet potatoes 176 I have three sweet potato varieties sprouting: Beauregard, Jewel and Hannah. I am keeping them at 80*F, as they don't seem to grow at all at cooler temperatures. Still, they are growing slowly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

collapsing cold frame

Today I checked my cold frame and saw it is collapsing. :-( The left side of it has bowed out and the top panels are sinking in under a full load of wet snow. (I'll add a photo here tomorrow.)

It had 3 feet of snow fall on it over the weekend - and then we had rain. The frame is a few years old now and was not designed to bear weight. I should have shoveled a path to it and cleared the panels of snow right away - but I told my husband, "no it will be fine". (wrong...)

So, I am looking into new cold frame designs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

tiny new onion sprouts!!

Frontier onion sprout  007 Frontier onion sprout  007 first tray of seedlings-to-be 001 I found a first onion sprout today. Yippee!!

I guess one of the reasons onions and celeriac are planted first is that they sprout slow and they grow slow. I'm wishing I had sowed a few broccolis just to get things going! This evening, I used a toothpick and checked around in the onion pots for sprouts. Since I like to use up my old seed, and onion seed doesn't last long, I often have trays that don't sprout.

The Pontiac onions are sprouting, but apparently not Frontier, Ruby Ring, or leeks. I had an email from Fedco today that my new onion, leek and shallot seeds are on the way. I'll get some pots ready so I can plant this fresh seed as soon as it arrives.

Go sprouts, GO!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

walking in the snow

post blizzard 057 046 post blizzard 028 post blizzard feeder frenzy 011 post blizzard 018 (2) post blizzard - sleeping screech owl 063 post blizzard 081 Today Skippy and I walked our 2 mile route around the big pond (Fresh Pond in Cambridge). Thankfully the path was plowed nicely. It had 4 ft edges and 3 ft of soft snow beyond. Skippy tried to explore off path, but sunk in to his belly. So we stuck to the path. Lots of people and dogs were walking this route too. Skippy met lots of his buddies on this first bright sunny day after the "blizzard of 2013".

The sledding hill at the east side of the Pond was crowded with sledders. Its a perfect sledding slope. Skippy kept loosing track of me as we walked through the crowd milling at the top of the hill, waiting to make another run to break the track speed or distance record (or wipe out midway down the hill). Eventually he would find me as I use hand signals (like frantically waving my arms) to communicate with Skip. Skippy chased 5 or 6 sledders down the hill. His favorite thing to do. Fortunately all seemed OK with a big black dog running after them and barking wildly. Tiny kids sometimes get upset. Skippy had fun, the kids had fun. Me too.

I looked for wildlife that had come out after the storm. At home, the squirrels and sparrows came out about midday. By the pond, I saw a sleeping screech owl, probably hungry and looking forward to nightfall so he could hunt. Also lots of fluffy robins (sitting in trees), and chickadees singing their spring song, "dee de, dee de". I think this song has something to do with Valentines Day coming soon.

Well, quite a storm, and a beautiful day after! A good time to relax and enjoy a cozy fire (and martini).

2013 garden plans

Garden plan 2013
While snowed in, I worked on my Garden Plan for the coming season. Its just a guide for me, and I don't follow it to the letter. The most important parts of the Plan are making sure the locations of the potatoes and roots are rotated. Also, reminding me that there is a limit to the amount of space I have and I shouldn't go too crazy with planting seeds.

A couple things I plan to do differently this year:
- Move the cucumbers to a bed of their own so they don't over run the eggplants.
- Grow only half as many Butternut squash, 5 plants instead of 10.
- Try shell beans (Jacob's Cattle and Cannelloni), since beans do OK in my shadier plots.
- Grow more carrots, beets, and onions.
- Grow a row of heirloom tomatoes in my sunniest spot at home (in my cold frame), and a row of late-blight resistant tomatoes at my community plot.
- Don't plant basil under the tomatoes again in case I want to spray the tomatoes. (I lost my basil last year.) Probably nothing should be under the tomatoes.
- Save more seeds. I want to pick 2 or 3 of my favorite crops and begin saving their seeds.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

snow coming

Looks like my gardens will be buried under 2 feet of snow soon!! We have a Nor'easter coming at us.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

first seeds planted

I planted 5 six-packs of seeds yesterday. Three varieties of onions (Pontiac, Ruby Ring and Frontier), plus leeks and celeriac. Yippee, the season has begun!!!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

indoor gardening

orchid window 090

orchid unnamed phal 037 orchid lc trick or treat  079

orchid cat burana beauty 007 amaryllis red lion 085

orchid den tanida 019 orchid den ise x sachi 070
I brought 3 orchids back with me from Florida earlier this month. I packed them in a travel tube and carried them on the airplane. They made it home fine, only a little crushed. A magenta dendrobium, an orange and red cattleya and a small unnamed pink dendrobium. The red cattleya, burana beauty, is amazing. I have never had an orchid with such a beautiful scent. These new plants have joined my old orchids and a couple amaryllis on the window sill.

Below are some old photos of orchids on my sill that I never posted. They add some more color here.

white orchid white orchid orange orchid