Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Not just yet!" proclaims Old Man Winter

Well the man of the hour, Old Man Winter, has declared loudly that winter is not yet over and my hopeful thoughts a couple of days ago are premature. We woke to the forecasted winter storm this morning and have gotten about 4 inches as of this writing. The snow seems to have subsided and a quick scan of the local radar shows only a few remnants could potentially gift us with more of the fluffy, white stuff.

I took time yesterday to start winter sowing seeds. I know it's later than I'd like to have started them , but we've apparently got enough winter left for a good freeze so I think I made it under the wire. I sowed about 10 jugs of seeds, most of which require stratification to germinate, although I threw a few annuals out there to see how they fare.

I also started a flat of seeds of various perennials. Hollyhocks (biennials), balloon flower, and catmint. I'll work over the next week to sow the rest of my indoor started seeds. I've got a large number of annual seed I bought this past winter in a coop and so my shelves should be full within the week. I've got some work to do in cleaning up my grow room in the basement, as it's been rather negleted over the last 10 months or so. More to follow in the coming days and weeks on gardening. . . I don't care what the Old Man says, Spring IS coming.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Hopeful Days of Winter

The weather is warming up a bit each week; or so it seems. I know we've definitely had some jacketless-days. I did a tour of the yard this past week and life springs forth. I guess that's why they call it Spring. The garlic I planted last fall is coming up. I have a few of each of the four varieties I planted. Snowdrops are blooming now and the daffodils and tulips along the front walk are poking their noses through the mulch. It won't be long now. Did Puxatawney Phil see his shadow this year? I think it's going to be an early one.

Time to start thinking through the veggie garden this year. I need to get Patrick to finish building my three other raised beds. I have the landscape company working on a design to put pea gravel walkways between the four veggie beds. Potatoes and onions need to go in in mid March so I'll start looking for seed potatoes. Onion sets are already ordered from Dixondale Farms and due to ship March 23rd.

I'll start setting up the basement for seed-starting in the next week or two. Tomato, Peppers, and some herbs are needing to get started now so they can be planted out in May and be a good-size. I haven't started any perennial seed this year and failed to do winter-sowing as well. Best laid plans as they say. I just haven't had the itch yet this year but wonder if I might be able to put out some winter-sown seeds still in late February. Guess it's worth a try and wouldn't do any harm but put me out a few seeds.

I also need to get back to working on my gardening journal that I started at It's really a much better tool than I have on DavesGarden, but it's daunting entering all the plant info to get me caught up to present day. Most winters I spend entering data on all the previous growing season's happenings. I make nearly daily notes in a spiral notepad all year long and then transcribe it during the bleek days of winter. I haven't done a lick of 2008's entries as I had been spending winter working on the MyFolia journal. I got away from it in mid-December (the holiday season I guess) and haven't made it back to finishing it up.

Thoughts of pool season keep coming to me each day as I look out over the backyard. I can't wait for June and July. Hope springs eternal.

Here's a shot of Leah's birthday cake we had this past Sunday. We did February birthdays late this year (closer to Ally's birthday) as we were traveling the weekend of Leah's actual day.