What happened to Spring?

This year I worked really hard to ensure that I planted my cold-weather crops on time. What good is it to plant peas by St. Patrick’s day when April 1st looks like this?

Yesterday, the high was in the low 80’s and today, April 1st, more of the same. Sure, my tomatoes and peppers are doing cartwheels but it looks like another year without peas. Sigh…

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The Long List

Thus far, here’s what I have sowed:

* = germinated, seedling up
TOMATOES:
First Batch
Cherokee Purple *
Pineapple *
Brandywine *
Maskotka *
Arkansas Traveler *
Urbikany *
Amateur’s Dream *
Yellow Pear *
Perestroika *
Black Russian *
Galina *
Market Miracle *
Jubilee *
Red Cherry *
Juliet Hybrid *
Siberian *
Black Krim *
Supersweet 100 VF, Hybrid – has not germinated. packet says up to 21 days!
Polish Linguisa *
Second Batch
Silvery Fir Tree
Otradny
Prairie Fire
De Barrao II
Stupice
Grushkova
Aurora
Moscow
Odessa
Nepal
Kotlas (a.k.a Sprint)
Gregory’s Altai
Big Rainbow *
Abe Lincoln
Box Car Willie *
Great White
To be planted tomorrow
Valencia
Oregon Spring
Zaryanka Sunrise
Sub Artic Plenty
Sungold F1 Hybrid
Tigerella (a.k.a. Mr. Stripey)
Taxi
San Marzano
PEPPERS:
First batch
Sunbright *
Jalapeño Tam *
Jalapeño M *
California Wonder *
Mini Bell mixed *
Hungarian Yellow Wax *
Chiltepin – not up yet. Trying again although I have overwintered last year’s plant
Anaheim *
Red Bell *
Habanero *
Serrano *
Quadrato D’Asti Rosso *
Long Thin Cayenne *
Ancho Magnifico *
Chichimeca *
Early Jalapeño *
Iberian Cayenne – not germinated yet
Second batch
Sweet Chocolate
Grandpa’s Home Pepper
Early Mountain Wonder
I also planted a number of gourds including
Apple small
Tiny Bottle
Corsican
Apple Large
Nest
Long Handle
I see now that it was foolish to start the gourds inside as they are growing quite fast and maybe root bound by the time I can put them outside but the heart wants what the heart wants…
My Spring garden will be planted tomorrow, weather permitting. This year I am trying
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Cabbage
Lettuce
Spinach
Arugula
Onions (bunching)
Chives
Carrots
Radish
Mustard Greens
Potatoes (Yukon Gold, Purple Majesty thus far)
As to where I am going to put all those tomato plants (2 per variety), I am not quite sure yet. I have began a campaign to borrow unused yards but I hope I have enough 5 gallon buckets to accommodate most of them. I will begin building The Cage tomorrow as well.
Stay tuned…

And we’re off!

I have officially began my 2010 growing season! I sowed multiple varieties of tomatoes and peppers inside. This year I am not using peat at all so I have switched to coir (coconut fiber). My local Lowe’s even had starting pots made from bamboo. So I am off to a good start. This is my 2010 plan:

A) Grow stuff.
B) Eat it

Seriously though, I read on the web about Winter Sowing and I thought it was an interesting idea. Winter Sowing is exactly that, sowing your seeds during winter. In a nutshell, you put your seeds in a plastic container like a milk jug or a plastic 2 litter bottle with some growing soil (a mini green house) and set the container outside. The seed will sprout when it is ready and the seedling will be hardened.
So I procured three plastic milk jugs, put soil in them, followed the instructions, put some tomato seeds in the jugs and with a heart full of hope I set them outside for the process to take its place. Ah! but it’s never that simple! Sometime between the process taking place and lunch, a certain destructive puppy jumped the chicken wire fence (she is way bigger this year and I am sure it took her no effort) and ate all three jugs thus ending this Winter Sowing trial. Alas, what is a gardener if not a hardened soul prepared to deal with weather and dogs and whatever else comes? I already have prepared the second set of jugs and will be putting them out at a more secure location but before I do that I need to take pictures of the whole affair.

The other major thing I am planning is to attempt a Spring garden. I tried growing broccoli and cauliflower and carrots and peas before but I started them too late. So this year, I am sowing all that good stuff much earlier –peas no later than St. Patrick’s they tell me. So we’ll see.

I also promise more pictures this year.