Starting Seeds

02/28:  The last day of February and the forecast is terrific – at least for a couple of days then the rain starts again.  I’ve been a bit under the weather with a fever so I finally got a chance to get out and take a look around this morning.  The rhubarb is starting to peak out of the straw mulch and seems much happier now that it’s protected from the wondering chickens.

The garden of mini greenhouses
The garden of mini greenhouses

No sprouting from the seeds yet, but the chard and spinach seem to have survived the freezing mornings just fine.  The chard under the 2-litre bottle “greenhouses” does seem bigger than those that were not.  I didn’t see as much of a difference in the spinach.  I was able to get some more bottles from the recycling program at school (reuse – then recycle) so I made more for the rest of the chard and one more spinach this morning.  I had enough for everybody, but about half of the labels didn’t come off and had to go off for recycling.

left - no greenhouse    right- greenhouse
left – no greenhouse right- greenhouse

Okay, I’m trying peat pellets again.  I’ve never had good luck with them, but I found a site were the man cut the top of the netting off when he inserted the seeds and then remove the netting completely when they were ready to transplant.  Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all these years.  Anyway, I started 21 Clarinette Lebanese Hybrid Summer Squash (Ed Hume seeds) and 15 Waltham Butternut Squash (Ed Hume seeds).  The summer squash are marked with green toothpick and the butternut squash with plain toothpicks.  For the last 14 pellets, I put in some Pak Choi (Chinese mustard) seeds) (Hume Organic Seeds).  This could be a mistake – the seed package only gives instructions for direct sowing, and the packet is dated 2008 – but what have I got to loose. These pellets have no toothpicks.  I also planted 2 squares of Early Wonder Beet (Ed Hume) seeds in the raised bed behind the kitchen after soaking them all day in a wet towel.

Peat Pots: Maybe they

03/05:  The Pak Choi is sprouting along with one squash seed.  Time to put them under the fluorescent  fixtures in the kitchen.

I started to trim the kiwi vine today.  It’s probably too late as the sap is running, but it’s huge and messy and I have to do something to clean it up.  It’s huge so I’m guessing I won’t actually manage to kill it.  The weather is supposed to be nice again tomorrow and I think we may head out to get our chicks from the feed store.

03/06:  A PEA HAS SPROUTED IN THE MAIN GARDEN!!  I was up there transplanting some spearmint and peppermint into the upper-side bed when I noticed a tiny shoot just breaking the soil.

Joe and I went over to Portland Nursery and got the seed potatoes today:  red thumb (late), Austrian fingerling (early), La ratte (late), Yukon gold (mid), and Calwhite (mid-late).  I’n not ready to plant yet, but last year I waited too long and everyone had sold out.  I also picked up a couple of Martha Washington asparagus crowns to fill out the bed, an Italian parsley and a few lettuce starts to tide us over until it is warm enough here to start it from seed.

The potatoes are waiting to be set out

I’ve heard a rumor that they’re calling for snow in the valley soon.  I hope not, I’m enjoying this early spring.  TIme to check the Weather Channel.  Snow levels down to as low as 1000′ early in the week.  We should be fine but I’ll put my little greenhouses back on the chard.


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