Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lots of green here and some mishaps...

It's St. Patrick's Day and I hope everyone is enjoying it!  We've already had our meal of corned beef and cabbage.  Goodness, it's so good!!!!  I let mine cook overnight in the crockpot and it is just effortless!!! Yum!

We have had a few mishaps here.  My first round of seedlings with lettuce and spinach was sabotaged...we have cats.  I brought the tray out from under my lights and upstairs to our main floor.  It was left out overnight and the cats ATE all the spinach.  I think they are really needing some greens, but goodness sakes, leave my plant babies alone, LOL!!!  So that tray was done.  I've been hardening off my cabbages and mustards under the hoophouses outside and they are going gangbusters out there.  I really need to get them into the ground, but I am just so pressed for time.  I've been helping a friend all month with her home daycare because she went on vacation to Australia.  Needless to say, I prefer the plants right now because I am so excited for spring and I have so many new things going on and *sigh*, a gardener just wants to get her hands in the dirt.  But I am really happy for my friend because this home daycare business is A LOT of work and I am exhausted by the time the weekend rolls around.

Here is our green project for the day:  we transplanted 25 tomato seedlings into much bigger pots.  I am going to conduct my own growth and taste tests this year with San Marzano tomatoes vs. Amish Paste.  Does anyone have a preference out there on which one you like to grow/eat???  I've never grown either one before so I am anxious for summer to see the results.  I am super excited to can all the summer goodness as well.  I was so busy canning last summer that I never posted my production results.  I know I canned over 70 jars of jam (we go through a lot of it--plus it's great for gifts).  Hopefully, I can be more on top of it as far as posting what I'm preserving this year.  I will try!

My sweet little helper!

I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick's day and a very blessed Sunday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring is starting to spring!

It's warmed up a bit here.  I've seen the robin for a couple of weeks now.  My irises are coming up.  I guess spring has sprung!  I hope you can feel it, too, wherever you are. Here are my plant babies from the last post.

These are the Japanese Giant Red Mustard.  I started them on February 4th.  They have come along nicely.

My lettuces can seriously be harvested and they haven't been in the ground yet!  I have several tiered starts of seedlings for my lettuces.  They are just so lovely and they really do take away the cabin fever--nothing is alive--will winter ever be done feeling!

These are the cabbages and cauliflowers.  It's only been one month and they are almost ready to go out.  I have covered hoop houses in my backyard so I have been putting them out there in their trays to get acclimated.  We've been in the 50's for daytime temps and the hoop houses are even warmer than that.  I will be transplanting these in bigger containers (probably large paper towel rolls) and then putting them in the ground, depending on how warm it stays (or not).  I've never done anything for spring around here because it's a Russian roulette game as far as weather.  I think it will be a mild spring and I have my hoop houses with a layer of row cover...I'm hoping my gamble pays off!  I also have tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers going.  It's taking the eggplants forever to germinate, but I see they are about to sprout.  I've never started with seeds before for eggplants.  I have lots of new varieties...all heirlooms and I'm hoping I can fit everything in.  How is seedling starting going for you?   I have a simple set up of shoplights set up in my basement.  If you have any questions, please let me know!  I will do my best to answer them.  I will also be doing a tutorial about my chicken tunnel soon.  I have to sit my husband down and get all the measurements again...I wrote them down, but they got up and walked away like most things in this house, LOL!!!  Have a great week everyone!!!  Blessings!!!