Saturday, March 3, 2012

Seeds are Started!

Seeds started in the bathroom window

Wellllll... It's been a Super-Dry Winter (can't wait to hear the "We're Having a Drought" rantings, later this year). Actually, it's kind of a bummer because we aren't even getting our annual "Two Weeks of Green" - which equates to "Springtime" in my neck o' the woods.

I did "do my part" to try to encourage rain. I uncovered the Tiki Bar (as well as removed the protective bed-sheet from my Plumerias). I figured that would virtually GUARANTEE a rainstorm - but that plan kinda backfired on me. Yes, we did get rain. But it was in the form of an Alaskan Storm-Front with FREEZING temperatures (necessitating a mad-dash, after dark, to re-cover my Plumies!). And the rain that we got was... Well... Paltry!

(I probably shoulda washed my car. *That* would have guaranteed a deluge!)

Of course, it's not too late. March and April can "go either way" - weather-wise. And there *have* been years when it rained clear into June.

I suspect that this is NOT gonna be one of those years, however...

Nevertheless, the weather *is* starting to warm-up a bit. Nighttime temps are still pretty chilly, but daytime temps have been hitting the low 70's (Yay!!!).

So my thoughts really are turning toward springtime and - w00t! - the Summer Garden.

There's a "new" tomato coming out this year: Indigo Rose which is a super-duper dark purple tomato. I've already ordered 3 plants, which should be arriving sometime in April.

I'm also looking forward to the annual Spring Garden Market (aka "Madhouse!") put-on by the Santa Clara Master Gardeners. I've already printed up the list of seedlings they'll have available...

And, undaunted by my past failures, I am - once again - trying to start seeds in the bathroom window!

Actually, I probably should have started the seeds back in late-January, but - "Oh well!" I ploppped the seeds into my Mini-Jiffy-Greenhouses on March 1.

This years' selection of seeds includes:
  • San Marzano Paste Tomato (which was a Freebie from - An organization that deserves support, IMHO)
  • Amish Paste Tomato
  • Coyote Cherry Tomato
  • Cherokee Green Tomato
  • Big White Pink Stripe Tomato
  • Super Snow White Tomato
  • Pruden's Purple Tomato
  • Bidwell Casaba Melon
  • Three different varieties of Honeydew Melon
  • Birdhouse Gourd
  • Long-handled Dipper Gourd
  • Dill's Atlantic Pumpkin
  • Hercules Pumpkin
I've also started separate planters with strawberry seeds, and sweet red bell peppers - all in the house. Yeah, I know, I have a greenhouse but I really like watching my "babies" grow *inside* the house! When they get bigger and need to start "hardening-off," I'll move 'em out to the GH!

And a friend of mine has started some zucchini seeds and has promised to give a plant to me, when they're ready!

Now I absolutely DO NOT HAVE adequate space for ALL of these plants. But, knowing my luck with starting veggies from seed, I really don't have anything to worry about! (And, most likely, I'll be giving my seedlings away to friends and neighbors anyway!).

As far as the "Cool Season" garden goes:

The Kohl Crops that Friend-P gave me are still "hangin' in there" in the Straw-Bale Bed. Haven't harvested a damn thing, but maybe I'll get lucky... The "cut and come-again" salad greens that I planted in the patio planters are doing "okay" (but I never did get any spinach).

The stuff in the raised bed? Well, I see a few onions and/or garlic shoots coming up; I've harvested a few radishes; and I do see some beets (for sure!) and possibly some turnips coming up. The peas didn't do squat (which is a bummer, since they are "nitrogen-fixing" and would have done the soil some good). And the couple-three seedlings of Kohl Crops that did survive the snails are "floundering."

I'm a little worried that the raised-bed veggies might not *do* anything significant. If they don't ripen soon, then I'll probably have to rip them out - in favor of Summer Crops. I think I'm gonna need every square inch of available growing-space. I've heard that you can "double-plant" tomatoes (2 plants, per cage). You still end up with the same quantity of tomatoes, overall (meaning each plant ends-up producing half of what it normally would), but you get a wider "variety" - so I think I'm gonna try that this year.

I do hope that the paste-tomatoes produce well because I'd *love* to do some serious sauce-canning this year.

And I really-really-really hope that at least ONE of the honeydews "makes it." I remember (with great fondness) the year we put the swimming pool in. We had built a make-shift lattice fence in front of the pool equipment and I had planted an "unidentified vine" from one of the local nurseries, right next to it. It turned out to be a honeydew melon and it went positively freaking NUTS on that lattice fence. We must've had 30+ melons that year (and GAWD were they delicious!). I have NEVER been able to duplicate that feat, unfortunately.

Oh, and don't even get me started on gourds and pumpkins. I plant them EVERY year and get NUTHIN'!

Anyway... This doesn't squelch my "optimism" - obviously - because every year, I keep on planting seeds and hoping for the best...

In the meantime, I have purchased two bags of compost, which I'll spread over the raised beds (not even gonna try to keep the Straw-Bale Bed going this summer). And soon it will be time to dust-off the old posts (linked from Finnyknits), and go through the annual Soil-Testing and Amending Ritual. I had phenomenal luck with the veggie beds, last year, and I'm chalking it up to Finny's most-excellent advice.

More to come...........................

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