Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It still looks like winter in Minnesota!

The highs continue to be 10 degrees below normal. I am so ready for spring. Ugh - more flurries are predicted for today.

Watching my seedlings in the basement grow helps me realize it really is spring and know that this snow won't last forever - even if it feels like it will!

The Red Acres Cabbage has sprouted.

The brocolli and brussells sprouts seedlings are growing taller and stronger.

And the tomatoes are even sprouting up!

The seedlings know and feel that it is spring. I can't wait for that first taste of spring lettuce and rhubarb crisp. Yum Yum!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We have sprouts!

I always get so excited when I see the first sprouts of the season. It is like everything is right with the world, the circle of life continues and warmer weather will be here soon! Like every year, the cool weather plants are sprouting first. The brocolli and brussells sprouts have all sprouted as well as some of the lettuce. I love gardening, I really do! I can't wait until I can taste the goodness these sprouts will turn into.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The start of the 2008 gardening season!

The garden outside might not be ready for planting yet, but it's time to start the seeds indoors.

Here is what my planting area looked like this morning.

First I laid out my peat pots and my jiffy pots and the seed packets to decide what to plant.

Next, I filled the peat pots with compost that I had dug out of my compost bin this summer and was saving for this. I like the idea of using compost to start seeds instead of a sterile planting mix - but it should be interesting to see what I end up with - strange things may sprout from the compost - I may regret doing it this way this year - or it may be the most brillant idea I've had in awhile......

Then I put masking tape along the edges and marked on it what was in each row.

Then I planted the seeds and poured water over them.

Oh no - floaters! That is what happens with the jiffy pellets sometimes before they expand - they float all over and if they don't stay in neat rows, it might be difficult to tell the difference between the cauliflower, brocolli and brussels sprout seedlings - they tend to look very similar since they are all part of the cabbage family.

I solved the problem by putting some masking tape between the rows. I'll remove the tape once the pellets expand - and then they'll stay in place anyway.

Next, I pulled the lights into a timer. I set the timer for the lights to come on at 6am every morning and off at 8pm.

Then I covered the pots with plastic and lowered the lights down close.

And here is what my planting area looks like this afternoon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mom, do you know what these are made of?

This is just too good not to share. Andy was just looking at my gardening stuff - excited that we are going to start plants indoors this weekend and he just came running to me with a peat pot in his hand and asked me if I knew what it was made of.

Now, I know it is made of peat but I wondered what he thought so I asked. He was very proud to tell me that it is made out of cow poop! I asked him how he came to that conclusion and he informed me that he learned it watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe! He always has to say the name of the show like that - it is not just Dirty Jobs, but Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. For those of you not familar with that show, it is on the Discovery Channel.

So, now I wondered if it really was made of peat or not so I did some investigating. The ones I bought are indeed peat pots, but Andy is correct - Mike Rowe did do an episode on some that are made from cow manure. They are called Cowpots. I think I will probably buy the cowpots instead of peat pots next year. I had never heard of them before. There is no convincing Andy however, that the ones we have right now are made of peat.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My little gardener!

Here are a couple of pics of Andy's science fair project. I was so proud of him. His project might not have been the most detailed - but it was all his - and after all, he is only in 2nd grade and he does have autism.