Starting seeds today... : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

Well, per the Old Farmer's Almanac, today and tomorrow are good days to start plants that grow above the soil. Since I procrastinated on sending out my seed orders they haven't come in yet, so I will be starting some plants from last years seed. On the list for today are tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and lettuce, and maybe spinach tho I find that it often does better direct sown. I have a bunch of chard, radishes, spinach and lettuce glued to towels per Jay's method, ready to be sown as soon as the ground is dry enough. And I may get impatient (who me?) and buy some composted cow manure so that I can just put the squares down on the beds and cover them up with that. On my really bored days, I have thought of getting a 3x3 square of newsprint and gluing lettuce seeds to it in some sort of a pattern, but I usually talk myself out of it - no artistic talent, y'know.

With the grey, drizzley and windy weather today, I don't think that Hubs and I will be getting the greenhouse put up when he gets home from work this afternoon - but that's okay, we need the water in the tank more than I need the greenhouse right now; especially with snow predicted for later this week. I actually have four days in a row off this week - so far! - so hopefully we will get the greenhouse up sooner or later.

With Hubs having more time now that he only works 2 days a week off farm, we are planning to put up even more of our own food than in the past. He has turned into quite an inventive cook, so he has some ideas for things to can/freeze/dry that I haven't done in the past. He recently bottled up 21 bottles of grape wine that turned out very well, so he is planning to make some strawberry wine this summer. He saved me the bottom few inches of wine, so I set it out in a jar with a nylon over the top to see if it turns to vinegar - it smells like vinegar to me, but I haven't had the nerve to taste it yet! I guess if he has a batch of wine go bad, I can always make flavored vinegars from it.

We picked up our 1/2 hog from the locker plant last week - I think I've turned Hubs in to a believer! We paid the farmer $50 for our half; then another $80 for processing (I wouldn't have done it for that!) so $130 for 111 pounds of meat and 15# of lard. Let's see Wally World beat that price! The money stayed in this community, which is another bonus. And so far, the meat has even our local butcher shop beat for flavor and tenderness. Now if I could just talk Hubs into those bottle calves...

Broiler chicks are next on the list - Hubs is working on designing yet another chicken tractor (I think he's trying to figure out a self-propelled one!) I'm trying to decide how many we need for us; plus a friend wants me to raise some for his family as well. I think freezer space is going to be at a premium this year!

Well, sitting here isn't getting anything accomplished, so I reckon I'd better get up and get some things done - maybe I can even rope Pop into helping me with those seeds, ya think?!

Take care, enjoy spring!

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004


You are very industrious! I'm thinking about planting peas and that's about it for now.

I remember you guys talking about gluing those seeds. Do you use Elmer's glue? Full strength? I forget....

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

I use Elmer's washable shcool glue; tho I think Jay just said plain old glue. I'm still on the tiny bottle I bought when I first started doing the seeds this way. I'm scounging around looking for sweet pea seeds today; thinking maybe I could put them in at each end of the clothesline... The soil is still wet and cold in the garden - I stuck my finger in to about the second knuckle and decided that if I was a pea seed, I wouldn't want to be there, so in spite of my almost overwhelming desire to poke seeds into dirt, I think I'll do my planting in the house today!

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

I confiscated (took it by "emminent domain"!!) half of Harry's train table so I could start some seeds this year. I hung a 4 ft. flourescent light, set up a mess of tiny square peat pots in trays and was all set to get home this a.m. from a dental appointment and start planting....BUT my d*** cats (or one in particular) got into the pots and shredded several of them!!!! That's what I get for not closing the door! My fault, I guess. Good thing wally world has lots of peat pots cheap :-)!! Don't know for sure what I'm gonna start for seedlings. As I was taking seed inventory, I discovered my paper towels that I'd glued radish and chard seeds to from LAST year!! I'd forgotten all about them. Do you think they'll germinate now?? said my root canal is doing great. He put the permanent filling in today so that's over with! Whew!!!!

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

I started my seeds the middle of january so we can offer $3 transplants at the market. this week though I will be prepping up 400 square feet of flower bed so that I have plenty of potted arrangements for Mothers Day and grave decoration week.

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

Thanks. We've been getting hard freezes these past coupla days. Still, I'm itching to get out there!

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2004

What are you selling transplants of, Jay? And what size are they for $3? Do you sell any heirlooms? That seems to be the new big craze around here. Darn things don't produce worth a darn for me, but maybe that's just me!

And I'm a bit confused - do you start your plants outside in the beds for Mother's Day and Memorial Day; then transplant them in to containers? Or do you sell cut flowers out of the beds?

I got out and weeded the 12 4x4 beds in the north section of the garden, and two of my biggest L shaped beds in the south section on Tuesday - mostly dandylions and some winter annuals. I got a 2 gallon bucket mostly full of weeds; dropped a couple of dandylions in Bun's hutch and tossed the rest over the fence to the large hens who don't get to forage - they sure seemed to enjoy them!

Got some Bermuda grass trying to sneak in to one bed, but I've got Hubs on weed-wacker and Round-up duty to clear it out outside the beds; then hoping that I can take care of the few sprouts that are trying to sneak in without resorting to chemicals within the beds.

Hubs got the trailing grape vines tied up yesterday, and did some garden clean up for me; still a lot more to do! But, of course, it's raining today; and supposed to continue on through the week-end. But my big water tank in the shed is over half full already, so I'm not going to complain about the rain!

Hubs is heading to town today to pick up a bike to work on; and he's going to stop by Home Despot to exchange a light fixture for me for my plant set up - gotta have it today, as the cabbage is coming up already - woo-hoo!! He's got to stop at Rural King for feed, so he's also going to pick me up a couple of bags of composted cow poo - yup; I'm impatient!! - so I can get that chard and spinach started. And maybe a few onion sets too.....? Wonder if the chicks are in....?

Is it just me or does everything get sappy in the spring?!

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2004

It's getting warmer here. Snow has FINALLY melted. Now Iv'e got MUD. I finally got the second door put in the barn so I can now open it up enough to fit the wheelbarrow. Heck, I can even drive the ATV and trailer through.

I've never been able to successfully start plants indoors. I always forget to water my plants :( Bad of me. My poor houseplants look sickly.

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2004

Heard there's a snowstorm in Ohio and headed east?

So far, I've got the main vegetable garden weeded and cleaned up (I was negligent last fall b/c we got all excited about the E. Washington house project and spent more time over there). The strawberries were a mess, and cleaning up the raspberries wasn't fun either! But I'm glad that's done, as the canes are getting leaves already. I found some spinach plants hiding in the kale. I still have beets, carrots, turnips (as big as bread boxes, I swear!), but they'll end up in the chicken yard at this point. Bunching onions wintered over well. Have some volunteer favas, too!

Got my seeds from Territorial yesterday. I waited until later to get them. I was determined NOT to grow a vegetable garden this year (last year's drought, weekends away in E. Washington, etc.), but I just can't help myself. Started looking in the catalog, and I was sunk. Guess I'm getting all sappy, Polly?

Anyway, I'm going to try 3 corn varieties this year (extend the harvest). Mr. S. tilled up a new bed (I've been composting over it for 3-4 years with barn stuff). Its about 36 x 24, just enough for plenty of corn for us, some friends, and family. Last year, I started out corn transplants and that worked great (our season, heat- wise, just isn't always reliable for 100+ day corn). This year, I'll start them in peat pots and aim for last week in May for getting them in. We'll see what the weather is like.

Mr. S. is going to do 3 kinds of sunflowers. I'm going to try cherry tomatoes (my tomatoes just don't often work, but I'm still going to try!). The rest of the garden is what I usually grow every year. If Mr. S. gets our new chicken tractor rigged up this spring, I'm converting the old hen yard (36 x42) into another vegetable garden. My fall garden and spring garden keep overlapping and running into each other. Maybe this way, I'll be able to rotate beds better?

Stuff is blooming in the flower gardens: primroses, pulmonaria, quince. Lots of wild plum and cherries blossoming in the woods, although my own plants are barely getting started. The crabapple is first. Little green leaves are popping out on the clematis. The heather is blooming.

No lambs, though.

Take care and think spring!

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2004

Well, Sheepish, I tried and tried to think spring today, but with two inches of snow on the ground when I got up this morning my thoughts ran more toward "Mother Nature my ass; Old Bitch Nature, more likely!" Got to admit that the white snow looked kind of pretty clinging to the grey and black tree trunks, and frosting the spruces; even with the heavy grey front line glowering behind them. I admired the view from the clothesline, that I had tromped out through the snow to hang clothes on, in a defiant "Oh yeah?!" to the weather.

Oh hell, it's March and it's Illinois. What else would I expect?!

Hubs and I set the greenhouse frame up the other day, but the wind (Illinois and March again) prevented us from putting plastic on it right away so it ended up sitting there long enough that I decided to turn it into a chicken house instead. Moved it out back between the pine windbreak and the woods, put chicken wire on the bottom, then stacked straw against it until the weather calms. Hubs will pick up a tarp and some taller fence posts in town tomorrow, and maybe we'll be able to get the chickens moved out there by the beginning of next week. Then we'll move the smaller house over by the garden for the guineas - if the dumb critters can find it after we move it! If not, I reckon it will do for the banties. Hubs thinks having chickens running around in the yard decreases the classiness of his motorcycle repair shop, so move they must!

When we got done with the greenhouse, we collected a bunch of rocks we'd cleared out of the fields and that were scattered here and there and made a border for my perennial beds out of them - my arm and shoulder muscles are whining today, but that's what I get for letting myself get so out of shape over the winter. Oh well, at least I can "feel" that I did get something accomplished!

Hubs found a baby snapping turtle out in the yard on it's back a week or so ago, covered with frost and not moving. We warmed it up slowly in tepid water, then put it in a round fish bowl with some sod and a pool of water. He's finally opening his eyes and mouth and moving around a lot more. Darned hard to feel motherly towards something that ugly, but I'm trying! I even brought him in a worm from the garden! The grass and clover in the sod are really starting to grow, and some of the darn ladybugs that overwintered inside have taken up residence as well. Home Sweet Fish Bowl. I keep telling neighbor Mike that I'm going to put Snappy (yes, it has a name - eyeball roll) in his pond when the weather clears...

I've turned down two chances to go to day shift in the past week; the last one this morning. And now, I'm smacking myself upside the head and wondering why I said no. Next week, the weather will clear, and I'll remember why I hate day shift, but today I'm having trouble convincing myself!

I've been out of sorts all day - tried all the tried and true cures but none are working so far. Not chocolate, not happy ending books, not fancy high priced coffee, not napping with the cat. Damnnit, I want to go outside and play in the dirt!! Wah, wah, wah. Sheesh, I'm even getting tired of putting up with myself - no wonder Pop is hiding upstairs and Hubs out in the shed! Guess I'm going to have to kick myself in the butt and get over it! If I wasn't so lazy, I'd drive to town and wander through a garden center...

Well, I'm tired of listening to myself be out of sorts so I reckon I'll go back to my latest book - "Where the Lillies Bloom" by Vera and Bill Carter. A heartwarming, inspiring tale. Yeah, yeah...

Maybe I need a nice murder mystery instead, ya think?!

You folks all take care, hope you're getting some sunshine wherever you are!

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2004

For you folks stuck in the snow and bummed, think of this: At least when you get your warm weather it STAYS! Out here, we have spring for months and months and months....I figure our seasons really look like this:

Winter: Day after Thanksgiving through February 14.

Spring I: February 15 through April 30.

Spring II:May 1 through July 4.

Summer: July 5 through October 1.

Fall: October 2 through Thanksgiving.

Almost 5 months of spring, even though we have a short winter! And it rains most of spring....good thing we have baseball on the radio...

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2004

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