Seedlings and Chores

I love reading the gardening chores list on A Way to Garden this time of year because we’re so far ahead of zone 5B.  Being solidly lin zone 7, it means that our last frost is mere weeks away, and March 1st is the time when we’re thinking about turning over our gardens and sowing peas and spinach.

This spring is unusually warm and mild (I still cannot believe that we have daffodils up–DAFFODILS people!), and we’re even considering moving the rain barrel from out back up front so that I have a better water source to utilize for our cold frames.  Even though we did have snow just over a week ago, it’s gone and today was in the mid-60s. Perfection, if you ask me.  So much so that I went ahead and planted my cherry tomatoes and the first batch of marigolds tonight.

The first weekend in March has traditionally been the weekend we get started with our outdoor chores, and this weekend seems to be shaping up to be a great start.  Our (my?) chores list is becoming pretty extensive, but I’m just thrilled to get back into it!

  • Bring up the rain barrel–consider ordering a second one
  • Begin turning over the back garden–work out a plan for the raised beds
  • Sow a few rows of peas
  • Trellis and get netting for the front Kitchen Garden peas
  • Clean out remaining leaves in the front and back garden beds
  • Re-edge the front garden beds
  • Pick up the car port

Starting the Seedlings

I vowed to start earlier this year–no dragging my little feet, making excuses, or just not doing it.  So this past weekend JGL graciously installed my grow lamp in the basement, and after procuring some fresh potting soil I began pulling out my trusty seed starting supplies:  pots, tray, soil, seeds and popsicle sticks.  There are several varieties of tomatoes, jalapenos, and the seeds I saved from the super hot peppers.  We’re about a month and a half ahead of schedule, compared to last year, and I’m really hoping that it will pay off in terms of helping the seedlings get bigger and stronger so we’ll get fruit out of them sooner.


Filling up the Cold Frame

After our weekly trip to WW, we ventured down to our Fabulous Farmer, Seed and Supply Store and picked up seeds to start.  I can’t believe it’s only February 26th and we’re starting seeds, but the weather has been beautiful and it looks like it will continue to be as such for the foreseeable future.  We’ll certainly take it!

We filled up the fabulous cold frame with our reusable seed starting containers we inherited from my family, and filled them up with potting soil.  After that we put in several varieties of tomatoes (Rutgers, Jubilee, Roma and Yellow Pear), a few jalapenos, basil and petunias into about 24 pots.  So here’s to starting early and fingers crossed for a FABULOUS yield!

In the Hot House

I shared a while back how I really wanted to use our old windows to make some mini-greenhouses/cold frames/hot houses to start our seeds.  In trying to figure out how to build these and what materials for the frames we would need to purchase, we heard from our Sister-in-Law that she might have a solution for us.

When her company receives shipments they come on wooden crates that are on hinges, and once disassembled lay flat.  She was incredibly kind as to let us have access to them, and JGL and I are dreaming up all the different ways we can use them for raised beds.  But Sunday JGL put his thinking cap on and built me our first cold frame.  We’re looking forward to filling it full of seedlings soon!

Easter Weekend

Both JGL and I are beat.  We’ve spent most of the day outside, and I’m pretty sure I have a sunburn on my back and tan lines (Forgive me, ELF!  I’ll fix them before your wedding!!).

It feels great 🙂

We took a TON of pictures today, so rather than post them all here, we’ve put them up on Facebook.  You can still access them even if you don’t have a FB account by clicking here to see the public photo album.  I’ve tried to narrate them as we’ve gone along so you all can follow what we’re documenting. 

It’s been a stunning few days, compared to last weekend.  It’s been in the high 70s, low 80s, sunny and beautiful.  JGL cleared out the carport, and we even had dinner out there last night.  More than likely we’ll be out there again tonight 🙂  The week is looking to be the same, but with some rain towards the end of the week, which we’ll need.

But here’s the rundown of what’s been accomplished this weekend thus far:

  • Fencing put up around the vegetable garden (woo hoo!  Take THAT deer!)
  • Lime worked into the soil, “back forty” re-tilled and turned, and as many clumps of grass as we can moved OUT.
  • Salad, bush beans, and two rows of corn put into the ground 🙂
  • Grass seed put on the very bare patches of lawn–watered and hay placed on top
  • Negotiations started with Neighbor about using his truck to procure mulch for the flower beds

The seedlings are looking strong, although they need to be thinned out.  I’m pretty amazed that we haven’t killed any yet, but we’ll take it–fresh tomatoes are going to taste sooo good!

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I think it’s time to get clean, pick up the house, and take a breather–I think Carson and Lucy would like to spend some quality time with us rather than watch us run around.  Happy Easter, everyone!

It's the Easter Lab, Charlie Brown!