Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Helllllooooo Ladies!

The new roses have arrived! I had a nice little package on the stoop when I got home today-it was like Christmas all over again! They were all neatly packed in damp newspaper and arrived in great condition. I'm going to Syracuse later this week where my friend Renee has a freezer full of fish heads and guts that she'll give me to put under the roses. My lovely husband thinks I'm nuts.

I decided to take the plunge with Winter Sowing after some encouraging words from Catherine at gardnerprogress. I read up on how the whole thing works and figured it might not be too late to do a little this year. I got a bunch of milk jugs that I was saving for the Early Tomato Experiment (that's kind of gone by the wayside) and 2 plastic tubs from BigLots. Drilled holes, made labels, got some more soil at HD. I went with Alyssum, Foxgloves, Cosmos, sunflower, chamomile, nigella and coleus. I also finally got the delphinum pots out of the tupperware container in the fridge and put them in a milk jug. Everything is sitting out on the back deck. I wrapped the heck out of everything with tape-we've got psycho squirrels in the neighborhood and I didn't want to give them an easy target. I did all of this on Saturday-by Monday the Alyssum was starting to sprout-CRAZY!

I also started on my trenching project on Saturday. I got a nice flat, square shovel from Bristol's Nursery- it's a Fiskar's "the Best Shovel Ever" or something like that (late Birthday present from DH). I have to say it's quite nifty. The Y shaped handle is very comfortable and there are little treds on the top of the shovel part for me to jump on to get it to go deeper in the soil. I had read somewhere that Victorian Trenches are very labor intensive and not for the faint of heart... blah blah blah. Whoever wrote that was kind of a whiner. It's really not that bad. I did the beds on the West and South side of the house in a few hours. I think the key is to do it when the soil is nice and damp but not frozen. I can't imagine it would be a lot of fun to do in July when the ground is hard as a rock. Or in January when it is hard as a rock for a different reason.

Tomato Update: I think97 is the final count for the tomato plants. I'm sending out emails to friends asking them if they want any. I sent some down to my SIL in MD along with some Grandpa Otts Morning Glories that I started from seed saved from my house in NC and a rose bush that I propagated from a cutting last summer. I need to take it easy with the tomatoes next year.
I saw a tulip this week- woo hoo!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Winter and Spring Battle it out

What a wild week! I had to go to Connecticut last week for work- rumor has it we had beautiful weather here while I was gone. I came back late Thursday night: the lawns had turned green and I saw my first Daffodil on Friday (4/3). Then the winds picked up the temperature dropped and on Saturday we had rain/sleet/snow and back again. Sunday was nice: sunny and in the 50's then the wind picked up and I woke up at 1:30am Monday morning and everything was covered in snow! We got about 2-3 inches, it snowed all day but it warmed up enough that it didn't stick to the roads and it kind of melted. Today it snowed a little bit but everything has melted.

The forsythia is about ready to bloom. Scilla siberica the little blue star-like flowers are blooming on people's lawns. I think they are beautiful- probably my favorite early spring flower. I have one in the side yard. I think he needs some friends! I potted up some more tomato seedlings today. I have 50+ and still potting. I have to take inventory of what I have and who wants what. 10 are going to my pottery instructor. I have his picked out already and put them in their own tray. I need to save some for my nieces and nephews and a coworker or two and my friend Patti in Ithaca. I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest. NOTE TO SELF: Tomatoes have an excellent germination rate- don't plant more than needed next year!

Pretty much everything I have started from seed has sprouted except the 4 o'clocks (old seed, not properly stored) and the cilantro (used seed from my kitchen cabinet-I thought I'd take as stab at it!) and my pepper "Cherneva chuska" or something like that. The pepper seed is new this year I'm not sure what's wrong with it-bad batch I guess. Jury is still out on the Shasta Daisy's (also old, not properly stored seed) and the cucumbers -that is also new seed maybe planted too deep? Not enough time on the heat mat?

I'm looking into winter sowing for next year. I am using every available flat surface and am running out of room. I won't even start about the heat mat and shop light rotation. I've read some forums where the people swear by wintersowing. I still have some more seed to start for this year, I wonder if it's too late to try it this year....
Above picture is Sedum "Autumn Joy" emerging. Picture was taken on 3/28