February, 2016

The last coupld of years we've grown flowers for Mother's Day and to have something to put on our table at the Farmer's Market before produce is ready.  We have started seeds in early January and have been lucky sometimes to have blooming flowers by Mother's Day, but sometimes not. This year we tried a new way of starting them.  We ordered unrooted cuttings the very end of December which arrived january 8.  We trimmed them, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them in 105-cell plug trays.  We covered them with domes, and misted them 3 times a day while they developed roots, then began watering.  In 3 weeks, most were ready to pot up into 48-cell trays and 'pinched' them so they would bush out and not just go straight up. Three weeks later, we upped them to 3 inch pots where they will remain until they are sold or put in to hanging baskets.

Wow - what a difference!

The Lobelia is covered in small blue flowers and is 8 inches high - and it's February 22.  The coleus is at least 6 inches, and needs more space.  The trailing petuntias are trailing and the first few have blossomed.  The Calibrichoa had so many blossoms at transplant that I pinched them for better root development.  This is a win!

January, 2011

We started broccoli and cabbage plants the 9th.  They were up in just 4 days - so we are excited for green things growing.

February, 2011

Just learned that if broccoli roots touch the bottoms of the container they are planted in they think they are as big as they can possible get so the heads they develop will be small.  Better start another batch of plants and put them in deep planting pots, then we can test the accuracy of the information!

Covered the greenhouse on the 5th. 

Covered the majority of the hoophouse on the 12th.

Today, the 17th,  I purchased the potting soil to start lots of plants this weekend.  We'll first finish the wiring in the greenhouse, and tighten the ends on the raised-bed hoophouse.  Our interns will be here so we'll all learn from each other. 

Our interns helped us start 6 trays of various vegetables the 18th.  It really must be spring!  (maybe it's just really wishful thinking!)

We rewired the greenhouse, enclosed the ends of the hoophouse, and planted peas inside the hoophouse on Saturday, the 19th.

Monday, February 21...the starts are beginnning to come up!  Arugula, mesclun mix and broccoli are all up already!

We're keeping the oldest planting of broccoli and cabbage in the greenhouse inside a smaller greenhouse that's pretty easy to heat.  I am learning when to open the door so the plants don't get overheated and how to keep the heat adjusted for really cold nights!  Love the weather changes and challenges...

Friday, February 25.   The interns came back again today - more seeds are committed to soil, and they organized all our seeds! 

Saturday, 2-26.  We built the frame of a second hoophouse over the first two raised beds.  It will help us get a good start on the CSA production, and will also help us extend next fall's harvest of greens. 

We decided to plant the early broccoli starts -  but probably should have held off.  They don't look very good!  It got down to 15 degrees, and they were newly watered, which I think makes them colder!  We'll see how many come out of it!  The next planting is up and getting their first true leaves, so we can fill in if necessary.

Thursday, March 3.  We spoke at the Victory Garden class.  Jim did most of the talking, and I was the most nervous!  The folks had lots of questions, most asked if they could come look when we're really growing things, and they all seemed to enjoy the pie!  I'll be posting the pie crust recipe on this site so they can find it.

Friday, the 4th.  I love our interns!  They planted out the greens, started the peppers, and learned how to make pies - all in 3 hours!  

March 5.  The second hoophouse has it's skin, the two peach trees by the house are pruned, a new compost bin is in place and over 350 tomatoes as well as the flowers for Mother's day are started.  Big day, and it feels good to have this much accomplished.

March 11.  The Habanero peppers are up.  They take a VERY long time to produce, so we started them pretty early.  Candy onions are also up, but the WallaWalla Sweets are not yet.  The peas in the hoop have also begun to show!

15.  Most of the peppers are up now in the shed under lights and on the electric blanket.  Crazy way to start them, but they do well and it extends the available greenhouse space. 

17.  St. Patrick's Day.  I hear potatoes are to be planted today.  It's rained so much this last week, we can't get to the main garden, only to the hoops, and there isn't room in the hoops for potatoes!  I'll buy the seed potatoes today, though, and be ready for when the ground dries enough.

30th.  Still haven't put the seed potatoes in the ground - it's rained at least two days each week - pretty heavily, too.  We have started more greens to keep things coming for longer periods.  Today I got the fruit trees sprayed since they are all pruned now.  Once again, THANKS, INTERNS!

April 1...FINALLY the sun is shining!  70 degrees out side = just over 90 in the greenhouse and hoop houses, and that's with the doors open and side up for ventilation!  We could have wished for more gradual warming, but nature does it's own thing.  This next week, is supposed to be back to cloudy and 50's!     The broccoli and cabbage that nearly froze are very small if they survived, but I thought I'd check out the premise that they would produce smaller heads.  We'll plant the next batch of broccoli and cabbage tomorrow, and I'm willing to bet it will produce before the earlier planting - at least I hope it won't have a set-back like the others did!     The radishes are showing, second planting of peas are also up, and the first are 5 inches tall; the rhubarb is up and the horseradish also.  Weeds are everywhere!

3rd.  Started the last of the tomatoes, planted the broccoli and cabbage.  Have enough sweet peppers started, and will start the hot ones today.  Jim went to a grafting class and learned to graft trees.  He brought home 8, and 3 of them need to be kept at 70 degrees until they leaf out.  Just what we need - to babysit trees!

29!  It's been so busy, I haven't had time to write!  The trees are actually doing fairly well.  The 70 degree apricots are doing the best; all leafed out and green; the apples, plum and peaches are doing very little.  Must be the heat!    Oh - did I mention it's snowing right now?  UGH!  It's been a chilly spring so far, but snow?  I'm sure glad we have the green house and the hoop houses!  The biggest hoop is mostly together now.  Still need to make the other door, and tack down a few corners, but I had the kids dig the first couple of rows for tomatoes - though now that it snowed, I may wait until the sun is shining to actually put them in!  The leaf lettuce has been picked and given to the CSA folks, the head lettuce is looking pretty good, radishes are forming, and the first of the peas have blossoms.  Love the Hoops! 

May 18.  Almost the same weather as 5 weeks ago - a little sun, rain every few days, highs in the 60's, but the lows are closer to 40, so that at least something.  The big hoop is full of the earliest tomatoes, and they are ready to be tied up the first time.  One section of sweet peppers, one of zucchini,  and one of tomatoes are planted out.  Only a few potatoes have come up, though I checked them and they're down there staying warm...  The CSA folks are happy with head lettuces, leaf lettuce, arugula, mizuna, radishes and the first turnips and peas. 

May 20.  Peach trees are looking funny - Jim says we have aphids...going to spray as soon as the wind dies down!  It's been really windy and pretty chilly still.  Got more plants into the soil, sure hope it doesn't snow!

May 31.  I sprayed for rained 2 days later.  On Saturday, the 28th, there was a freeze warning in the afternoon, but it was cancelled later in the evening, the storm that was forcast must have gone another way....Thankfully!  So, we got all the tomatoes planted on Memorial Day -  675 total this year..  Now we'll keep our fingers crossed - it's not overly warm yet, and things are not really  growing well.  I'll probably have to replant all the melons - they are just  shriveling up!  I'll replant some potatoes too  - not a good crop coming up.  Peas are on heavy, so I'll go to the farmer's market for the first time this Saturday.  Hard to believe I didn't go at all in May!  Jim's grafted trees are planted.  I love to see the greenhouse getting emptied!

JULY 1!  June was so busy planting and weeding, I didn't have time to write!  The green house has been empty for three weeks, the garden is finally planted - except for the succession planting things - corn, lettuces, green onions...and things are finally growing.  It's been a cold, fairly wet year so far, and lots of the plants have just shivered in the cold wind and not grown!  The first peppers are blooming and the first potatoes also, the grapes are becoming jungles, and Jim's grafted trees are 6 for 8.  Two grafts didn't take, but 6 did, so I'm impressed!  Just about finished with the peas in the hoop houses, but have some outside that are blossoming.  We're planting the hot peppers in the hoops as we take out the peas, hoping the hot peppers will love the heat and do well.  I did have to replant the melons and some of the squash.  Found squash bugs yesterday...summer must be here!  We now have 4 calves and a goat, also.  REALLY busy!

2012 - It seems as I re-read last year that when things get busy the first thing left undone is the blog!  I'll try to do better this year!

January 21.  Started cabbage, broccoli, Kohlrabi, lettuces, turnips, arugula, Mesclun mix and Mizuna.

January 28.  Most of last weeks plantings are up!  Today we started Artichokes, bunching onions and leeks.

February 4.  The weather has been pretty sunny, warm for this time of year.  The raised beds soil temperature was 48 in the morning, and 52 late afternnon.  We'll proabably plant out some really cold hardy things if it stays this way two more weeks.  So, today we started Lots - spinaches, more onions, kael, radiccio, mache, and a couple of trays of flowers...I've always been of the opinion that if you couldn't eat it, why grow it?  Now I'm beginning to understand the flowers attract the good insects (bees) so we'd have better pollination and more produce!  This old gardener may learn some new tricks after all!    The artichokes are up!  Last time we tried them, we failed completely, so cross your fingers for us!

May 1.  Our CSA folks are taking home spinach, mizuna, arugula, mixed leaf lettuces, kale, radicchio, green onions, radishes, turnips, swiss chard, and the first of the broccoli this week.  They've been coming for two weeks now, so the targeted June 1 start date was exceeded by 7 weeks!  Jim is amazing! The first blossoms are showing on the early tomatoes, and there are blossoms on the summer squash in the hoop also.  Wild flowers are planted across the front of the property, and I'll put more down the driveway under the grapes this week.  The first nasturtium bloomed in the hoop yesterday.

Skip a few lines - and years in this case!  Life brings challenges, and most of mine seem to due with time.  It's 2016...