I am just about to head into the garage and plant my first cell flat - 50 cells. This will include 34 kinds of lettuce (about half of it familiar from seasons passed, the rest new ones to me thanks to my garden pal Jeff)....4 kinds of spinach, Chard Bright Lights, Red Russian Kale and some Asian greens (mustards, mizuna, savoy). The spot in from of the south facing window of my office is all ready to go. Big question - will I need to keep my office door closed, or will our two cats find my cell flats sufficiently "ignorable"?
The task of distributing seeds for the 2012 North American part of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project is nearing completion, which is a big relief - out of my hands and into the gardens of all of the wonderful volunteers.
We continue to pick our large driveway pot Spinach (it is really good!), and I discovered a few patches of lettuce and arugula at the rear of the garden that the deer somehow missed. There is no sign of life in the carrot or radish pots, but it is a bit too soon. With nighttime weather forecast to be in the teens (in a few weeks, according to Accuweather), I will be moving pots in and out of the garage for several nights....not a problem!
The plants that are hibernating in the garage are showing signs of life - some of them never did go dormant. All of the Lantana that I dug up and potted is showing new growth. The few eggplants I rescued look predictably awful; whether they or the hot peppers survive will be touch and go, and I won't know until they go back outside in April and get a severe haircut.
Yesterday was a January gift - mid 60s, bright sun - and an opportunity to get a head start on the gardening season. We actually have a few things out there already - a month or so ago I planted spinach in two big 15 gallon pots, and we've been harvesting it for weeks. About 3 weeks ago, I seeded some arugula and lettuce, and they are also happily up and growing in 10 gallon pots. The greens how have company - I seeded two ten gallon pots with carrots (a baby carrot variety, Little Finger, and Scarlet Nantes...we've not grown carrots in many, many years, and the recycled potting mix from last year's tomato, pepper and eggplant pots is perfect!) - and one 10 gallon pot with Easter Egg radishes.
Today I hope to start the 2012 seeding notebook - though I try to do as much as possible in Excel, there is no replacement for using a notebook to carry with me when I select and plant all of my seeds for the year. It also provides something valuable to look back on, as well as record little observation notes along the way.
Maybe next blog entry I will start to share the various seeds I purchased and will be planting this year.....it is going to be another ambitious, fun, interesting season (weather permitting!).
I've not finished all of the descriptions, but the pepper, eggplant and herb section has been updated. There are some really exciting and interesting new hot and sweet peppers and basil that will be available this season. Keep watching - the updates will be coming often now!
Still packing Dwarf Tomato project seed in preparation for some mass mailings next week. And still hoping to get some hot peppers started soon!
Otherwise....wearing shorts today, seems like tomorrow will be a sweater day - then back to shorts. Weather imitating a yo yo!
I've actually been working on gardening matters for weeks now. The North Hemisphere part of the Dwarf project is going to be very large this year, and I am in the process of packing up seeds to send to as many as 100 volunteers to places as far away as Alaska and Germany! What fun....
I've also started updating the From The Vine page on this website, in preparation for our seedling sales this year. It's been a rather unusual winter - with enough uncharacteristically warm days that it is tempting to get all of the seeds started now. But no - with no greenhouse, it is too risky - still, I will actually be starting hot peppers next week. Time flies!