Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thawing. . .

I dug these beasts out of the ground today! Tomorrow creamy parsnip and leek soup is on the menu!
The raised beds are starting to thaw (mostly on the top and around the sides where they are exposed to the nice warm air), and there was enough loose soil in some of them to do a little hand tilling. I picked up some horse manure from the pasture yesterday as well that I added to the beds. I will give them a little while to decompose on top, then once the rest of the bed thaws, it'll get mixed in. I was happy to get back into the garden today, though my hips are aching from digging those parsnips- I must be getting old!
Oh- and a nice little suprise I found in the garden today- see if you can find it, like Where's Waldo- I think this might be a tulip or a daphodil- spring is coming! Cheers!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is Coming!

It is absolutely beautiful outside- 65 degrees and sunny! Naturally this weather is making me quite anxious to get started in my garden, so I headed back through the mud and the remaining bits of snow (which should be melting quite soon) to check it out. The soil has settled out over the winter, with the dried leaves rising to the top. They are warm and soft, but the dirt below is still frozen. I took at look at my parsnips, which are still waiting for me in bed "T," and they are iced in yet. I will re-check them in a few days to see if my harvesting chances are improving. Should be soon! I do stand corrected, however, on my dates- the first day of spring is not until March 20th, this Friday.

The seedlings are coming along nicely. The violas and pansies are growing beautifully, most of them have at least 2 sets of leaves. The snapdragons are such teeny tiny little seedlings, but they are coming along wonderfully as well. My artichokes have been a little bit adventurous- my germination rate has only been at about 60-80%, and two of the more mature seedlings just came down with some sort of black slimy fungus, so I had to pluck those two and try two more. The leeks are shooting up very nicely, all about 3 inches tall and ready to have the humidity dome taken off. The only problem with that is my rosemary. I am having a heck of a time getting it to germinate. I've re-planted it twice now, after nothing had germinated after 3 weeks. I came to the conclusion that perhaps my packet of seeds was bad, so I bought another, and planted about 5 seeds per cell. Surely something has to germinate soon. . .

In the other flat, tomato seedlings are sprouting up by the day. Currently the seedling varieites that are up include the Grape, Roma, Brandywine, Big Beef, Earl's Faux, Lemon Boy, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Cherokee Purple. Still no sign of Celebrity, Giant Syrian, and Todd County Amish. It has been a little cold in the office due to brutally cold temperatures outside lately, so I will give them a little more time to think about germinating before re-planting. No peppers or eggplants yet.

So far the set up is going smoothly, and I've only locked the cat in the office once. ;) Soon the cold-weather outdoor planting will begin! Cheers!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Planting Day

Today was the big day- I planted my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. I know it is still kinda early for the tomatoes, but I figure I have a good set up, they could grow to 2 feet and be pretty manageable indoors. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the grow light will help to keep everything short. So here's what I planted (by the number of plants today instead of rows):

2 Celebrity tomato
3 Grape tomato
5 Roma tomato
3 Brandywine tomato
2 Big Beef tomato
2 Giant Syrian tomato
1 Earl's Faux tomato
1 Lemon Boy tomato
1 Kellogg's Breakfast tomato
2 Todd County Amish tomato
3 Cherokee Purple tomato

3 Serrano chilies
2 Big Early Bell pepper (pictured)
5 Chilly Chili hibrid pepper (pictured)

5 Prosperosa eggplant

I decided to grow a few extra of the popular ones since last year my seedlings got pummeled by hail the day after I planted them and I want to have some back ups. I really only need one of each variety, but I like to start seeds for friends and family too, so my mom, mother in law, and friend will all get some plants as well (last year people didn't get too much as I needed the reserves).

Tomorrow daylight savings time begins- YAY! And next Sunday is the first day of spring- it has been in the high 30's and low 4o's this week- absolutely beautiful! I even trekked back to the garden today to check it out and there is still quite a bit of snow on 3 of the beds, but one is completely clear- well, not for long, expecting more snow and ice next week.

Anyhow, we're off and running here in Minnesota- here's to happy growing! Cheers!