to start planting for this year's garden . I'll be getting my shelf
(actually an old table top screwed to the window sill) set up today and
fresh potting soil in the pods from last year this weekend . All the
materials are now on hand for the hot box I plan for the south side of the
house - thanks to a great neighbor who gave me several pieces of leftover
plywood siding . His seedlings will be free ...
The last 2 years have taught me a lot about gardening up here , I have
high hopes for a bountiful harvest . Some changes in what I'll grow , no
sense in growing stuff that's cheap at the store like potatoes and onions .
More focus on the stuff we use a lot of , like tomatoes for sauces and fresh
greens . Another change I want to make is to supplement the light from the
window - I believe part of the reason some of my stuff last year was spindly
is because of the type of glass in the window . It has a "visible
transmittance" of .65 , which I believe means we're only getting 2/3's of
the light thru that glass . Hmm , I need to start looking at/for grow
lights - though I may pull one of the fixtures from my shop for this purpose
, just buy bulbs .
Now if only someone would invent a plant that grows rib steaks ...
To paraphrase Bocephus , "We got the seeds in the ground and the beer on
ice." Today I started this year's planting with all my tomatoes , all my
peppers , and some spices . This year is gonna be so great !
I started my onions and spinach in the greenhouse last weekend. First
shoots showed up yesterday. I don't usually start tomatoes until the
middle of February since last frost here is about the middle of April.
I usually add a week or so to miss the last frost that sneaks in.
Maturity is in mid July.
A couple of years ago DH decided to buy a larger tomato plant and we
set it out at about the same time as the smaller ones I started in
February. They all started producing at the same time.
Check with your extension agent or nursery to find out when your last
frost is. If you jump the gun you may lose your plants. Check my
signature for how to find you local extension office. You can get
lots of information from them. Also keep records yourself of what you
planted and when you set them out and the results. I am a bit
obsessive but I track my tomatoes from the time I plant the first
seeds to the production of each variety for the season. It helps to
know which variety produces best. The other things just get tracked
until first picking.
Good luck. We all need a lot of that.
Last frost here is also about mid-April . Last year I set my tomatoes out
on the 15th . We had a frost that night that set me back several weeks .
Green onions will be from bulbs I'll get at the co-op , spinach is among the
direct-seeded crops , along with the squashes , lettuce , bok choy , etc .
My plan includes using a hot box attached to the house , by planting this
early I hope to begin harvesting by mid June . My plants this year are
(hopefully) going to be a lot bigger than last year , and more acclimated to
the outdoors .
See above , I nearly killed all my tomatoes last year , had I waited just
one more day ... or covered them that night .
I'm not really anal about record keeping , but do track when planted , set
out etc . I've learned from my mistakes - like don't plant pole beans close
enough that they take over the tomato cages , both will suffer . My freezer
and pantry shelves will show how much we got ... and this year I expect to
get enough cukes for pickles . Last year the entire vine crop was at risk
due to a fungus in the ground where I planted them that was aggravated by a
very wet spring/early summer. This year they're going in an area that I had
no problems with year-before-last - and will be treated with fungicide a/n ,
the only chem I use besides a light application of triple 13 .
Every year here has been better than the last , and I'm still learning .
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