Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10 Days 'til Spring!

It has been a very strange Winter this year.

Not enough snow has fallen in the mountains to bank up an adequate snowpack to keep the rivers flowing happily come Summer, which theoretically means that a drought is on it's way.

I know that drought is nothing to joke about, but looking at the mud pit that is my bottomland right now... a bit of drought has it's appeal.

At the moment, it's cool but not cold, and wet-but-not-sopping outside - a pretty average day for the second week of March. The thing that keeps throwing a wrench in the works is that it has been still been dipping into the freezing temps overnight.

During the day, I get a wicked case of Spring Fever and want to fiddle in my yard and garden and plant everything in sight. Come nightfall and the steep temperature dip, I find that I'm glad that I didn't.

So far we have only planted out a half bed of peas for fear that the frost will pop back up and clobber them. I have some yellow onion sets that really should have gone in last month, but I'm still apprehensive about putting them out even now, for fear that they will freeze or be gobbled by mice before they have a chance to get themselves established. Oy.

Thankfully, I do have an outlet for my plant-fever in my grow table. We have an unheated back room with a big ol' South-facing sliding glass door that is a near-perfect location for a germination station. This year, I'm really reining myself in by only jump-starting the seeds that truly need the lead time afforded by the seedling heat mats and the grow lights. That means that I only have 4 types of seed started - Ground Cherries, Hyssop, Pimento Peppers and German Chamomile. I have direct-sewn the chamomile in the past with success, the seeds are just so small and light that they make themselves rather hard to distribute evenly, and end up growing in great clumps with large gaps between. This is my attempt at a work around for that little wrinkle.

The seeds were started 4 days ago, and when I checked them this morning, lo and behold, signs of life!

My tea-to-be! 
The Hyssop have also started popping up, and a lone Ground Cherry has sprouted. Nothing from the Pimentos yet.

Our French fry futures :)
Perhaps pushing my luck, I laid my seed potatoes out to sprout today. This year we're growing 3 types of spuds - a short-season variety (Yukon Gold) a mid-season (Purple Majesty) and a late-season variety (Rose Finn Apple fingerlings). If they manage to put on some nice sprouts in the next week or two, I'll next have to chit them and let them cure for a day before biting the bullet and planting the whole lot of them out. 

Pretty please, make up your mind, weather! Farmer Chelle is itching to play in the dirt!

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