Hey everybody! Spent the day outside and you can’t wipe the smiles from our faces! It is amazing how underneath that clean, pristine layer of snow is a dirty, muddy visage complete with 5 months of litter from our busy street! We spent the day getting the yard picked up, taking down outdoor holiday lights, cleaning the garage, and working on an awesome re-purpose project that we will share soon. Most importantly, however, is we planted the first round of seeds to start indoors.
We have done this for a few years now. Early planting allows us the get the most of the the relatively short summers we have up here and get some our garden treats a little earlier. As vegetables grow we transplant them to larger pots and temper them to outside temps at we get closer to outdoor planting time. We are expected to be frost free around May 17th, but there is a 7 foot frost line this year, which is a little scary. There is some fear among farmers and gardeners that the ground temp will not be in a good growing range for a month after that. While we do not use a standard “raised” bed, this year we will be filling the garden with mulch, soil, compost, newspaper, and grass clippings that should help raise the soil temp. We are looking to add about 9 inches to the garden. We will talk much more about this in coming weeks.
Today was about getting a jump on the season and feeding the need to get in some dirt. We use a commercial mini-greenhouse product with a planting medium that is dried to tiny little hockey pucks. After soaking with a few cups water, the soil is reconstituted and seeds are planted. We plant 2-6 seeds per small cylinder of soil and thin two one as they start to grow. The clear top paired up with our southern facing sun room, create a miniature eco-system and great climate for our wee little seedlings.
Today we planted 12 different types of seed. Watermelon and pumpkins are fairly new to us this year. Our intention is to keep these small and controlled, only growing 4-6 of each and limiting their ability to take over a garden. We have both an eggplant (black beauty) and tomatillo for this season also. The eggplants did quite well last year, with one plant producing 16-20 small fruits. We are going to try tomatillos again. These guys require some good heat and were a challenge last season, but we are trying again.
We have four types of pepper planted. Jalapeno, mixed color bells, habanero, and cayenne. All fared well last season and we expect a solid showing again. Finally, we have our tomato varieties, super sweet 100, roma, big boy, and tigerella. We had a ton of success with tomatoes last season and are approaching them the same this season. The super sweets are tiny and we train them up a trellis on a southern exposed garage wall. The other three virtually took over our garden resulting in over 175 pounds of product!
So, that’s where we are today! I am trying to check for sprouts in our starters every hour, guess I need to find another project. Thanks for hanging out!