Monday, March 26, 2007

March 26, 2007

Just over a week since I planted them and more than half of the seeds have sprouted.
Most of the lettuce is up (the two left rows) and the basil (the right row).

The Brussels Sprouts are all up. Just one cauliflower so far. The Red Cabbage in the back have all germinated, but I'm still waiting for the green cabbage. The green cabbage seeds may be just taking longer - or they may be too old. I'll give them a little while before replanting.

The tomatoes are all pretty much up - the 3 middle rows. On the right, one watermelon is up. Off to the left, none of the peppers have germinated yet - but they are always the last to come up.

The weather has been beautiful - unseasonably warm. I spent some of the weekend cleaning up the yard. When I pruned the grapes in the winter, I left the vines laying in the yard - so I got them all bagged up. I would have liked to do more, but I seem to have come down with a cold - the first one in a very long time! Healthy eating keeps me pretty healthy most of the time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And more sprouts

The Brussels Sprouts have now sprouted!

And so has the red cabbage.

It is so much fun to have some sprout right away - I don't know about you, but when I see the first sprouts, I can almost taste them - even though it will be months before I actually do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And we have sprouts!

I get excited about every sign of life this time of year, but nothing beats the excitement of seeing the first sprouts.

Some seeds germinate faster than others. The first to germinate will be the cold weather plants - in this case, these are lettuce seedlings.

After they have sprouted, I remove the plastic from them to keep them from rotting from being too moist.

Lettuce is something that most people wait and just start outdoors, but I am just too impatient. When the ground is finally workable, I will have little plants to put out and they will thrive and I will be eating salads long before anyone else.

I will also direct seed some in the garden later for continued salads.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finally time to start seedlings.

Andy and I have been waiting all winter to start our plants. He is really maturing and showing even more interest in gardening this year.

I have the jiffy pellets all laid out and I put masking tape down to label the rows. The pots in the back are Andy's - he wanted his in pots so he can keep track of what is his!

Then I put one seed in the indent. I use the jiffy pellets #9 which have no outer casing - nothing is left behind in the garden. If I am using old seed from last year, then I plop two seeds in each one.

Then I flood the pan with water so the pellets will expand.

Once the pellets are all expanded, I cover with plastic to keep the moisture in and speed germination. When they sprout I will remove the plastic.

Today I started:
10 Rainbow Hybrid Bell Peppers
4 Garden Salsa Hot Peppers
6 Snow Crown Cauliflower
8 Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts - this is a new variety for me
2 Savory Express Green Cabbage
4 Red Acre Red Cabbage
3 Wisconsin Tomato
6 Opalka Tomato - a new variety for me
3 Wayahead Tomato - a new variety for me
12 Lettuce - a mixture including Salad Bowl, Red Sails, Romaine - both green & red, and Black Seeded Simpson
4 Basil - Italian large leaf
2 Parsley - moss curled
1 Chives
4 Extra Early Sugar Baby Watermelon - new for me.

Andy's big pot has Watermelon and his small pot has pickling cucumbers.

One of the reasons I like to start my own seeds is I can grow as many or as few as I like. I used to hate getting them from the nursery and having to buy 6 of something I only wanted 2 of.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm going back to school (online)

I just got accepted into graduate school - at my age! I'm going for my Masters in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education.

I am so excited. I think this goes right along with my love of organic gardening and natural foods.

I just ordered my books and can't wait to get started. Just the list of books sounds so great - Nourishing Traditions, The Staying Healthy Shopper's Guide, The Nutrient Dense Eating Plan, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods and Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

It should be interesting to see if my choice of plants to grow next year as I progess with this program changes. I can't help but think that I will discover something new that I want to grow.

My life is going to be much busier so I will be that much more grateful for my garden to ground me.

Wish me luck everyone!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring IS coming

One week later and most of the snow is gone. This warm weather does make it feel like spring might be here soon. I am so excited to start gardening again. Andy is excited to help as well - he helped me order seeds and keeps asking every day if today is the day we start the seeds in the basement! We will start them this Saturday (St. Patty's Day).

Happy almost spring everyone!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lots of Snow!

They say spring is coming, but it is hard to tell with all of the snow on the ground. In Minnesota, we have gotten almost 3 feet of snow in the last week. You can't even see my raised bed garden behind my son's fort.