Sunday, March 31, 2019

winter bed

Whenever we get a couple days with night temperatures above freezing I open up my winter bed. It's not as full as last year since I planted late in the fall, but there are lots of greens coming along. Spinach, lettuce, bok choy, and cabbage. Some overwintered rosemary. I was impressed with my kalettes that didn't mature last year, but look good now.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019


The first day of spring - one of my favorite days!

I have 8 trays of seedlings planted so far. Some are doing very well. A tray of wild flower seeds I collected are taking their time to sprout. No problem. Sometimes these take 30 days or so.

I am working on planting my tomato seeds now. A few days late now for me. I have the pots clean and set in trays.  I’ve pulled out the seed packets I'll plant. Maybe I'll have time to plant tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow I'll pick my up mother at the airport marking the end of her winter in Florida. She's looking forward to returning north. I've planned her vegetable garden and have several new ideas to try out to improve her garden this year. Her biggest challenge is tomatoes. I have an idea that the very high phosphorus level in her soil is affecting these plants. My dad liked to add super phosphate, but it eventually accumulates if you aren't testing the soil as you go. I'm looking forward to the growing season.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

my planting progress

I'm planting way too many varieties of vegetable seeds this year. Last year, I cut back on different varieties and planted only my favorites. This year, the opposite. I'm planting a few plants each of many different varieties. I have a big Excel list to keep track of them all.

So far I have planted:
Feb 5: rosemary and thyme
Feb 23: lots of onion varieties, also celeriac and parsley.
March 4: 11 cabbage varieties, also escarole and endive.
March 10: 4 basil varieties, 5 marigolds, 5 eggplants,
          and 15 varieties of peppers.
March 19: radicchio, broccoli and lots of sweet peas.
March 24: bok choy, 6 varieties of lettuce, and 18 varieties of tomatoes
March 25: ginger, cumin, cilantro, Swiss chard, and nasturtiums

I hope to get my peas planted in the garden soon. As soon as the mud dries up a little more. The next indoor planting is cucumbers around April 10.

I'll add to this list as I continue planting.

And finally, here’s how I keep track of what to plant when: Skippy's Calendar App.
It's a planting calendar for a mobile device. I wrote this app and a friend coded it. I have it on my cell phone and refer to it all the time. You can adapt the calendar to your garden by putting in your last frost date. Please leave us a review! And let me know if you find any bugs. (All of the old bugs people have told us about have been fixed.)


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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

red-winged blackbirds return - a sign of spring

I was surprised to hear a red-winged blackbird today. Everything is snow covered and seems quite wintery still. I looked up when they returned to my yard in previous years:

2015: March 27
2016: March 5
2018: February 25
2019: March 12

I also looked at the site Journey North, a citizen reporting site. These dates fit with their observations. Some springs are late, some early. This looks like a pretty average one based on the blackbirds.