Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7, 2009

Well, I didn't get out today.  I had hoped to play some tennis with my niece, but it appears that she is practicing almost every day.  If that's true, and she gets some decent coaching, she doesn't really need my help.  Shucks, I was kinda looking forward to getting some hitting in regularly.  My only trip out in years actually was really good.  Not quite like riding a bike, but close.

So instead, I played with the kids and worked on another round of seedlings.  After thinking about what DoubleD said yesterday, I realized that I can grow enough for two families in my 150 SF.  You see, I didn't actually plant every square foot last year.  I kept several for succession plantings that I didn't need.  In addition, I have 44 more SF of space in my big bed #4 that was corn last year.  So I'm going to give it a go.  Frankly unless one family gets it (they're vegetarians), I really don't expect them to harvest nearly enough for us to sacrifice.  However, I will look into the terms of CSAs that charge $600 before I set a suggested value (I'm thinking priceless myself, hehe).

Anyway, I mentioned that I worked on planting more seeds.  I couldn't do it before it started snowing (yes, snowing!), so I went out in my slippers to get Mel's Mix from the bag.  This was early on.

And that just happens to be the extra 44 SF.  I can't wait to plant it.  Hmm, I think I have to enlist my wife to string a grid out of jute twine here, and restring the other beds.  The downside and upside of jute twine is that it decomposes fast, hehe.

Well, I had a ton of seeds I wanted to plant, so I made up a ton of soil blocks.  Then I proceeded to plant new lettuce, broccoli and replant cauliflower.  I want to plant two SF of each lettuce variety instead of just one now that I have two families to feed.  Unfortunately I ran out of space in my seedling trays with all the cukes in there already germinating.  I did replant the three tomatoes that didn't germinate, hope they will catch up soon.

Note that I used John's idea of filling the divots with vermiculite rather than dirt.  Much easier to keep moist and sprout through (sorry its blurry, not sure what happened).  Anyway, here's a better shot on top of the ice tea maker in the kitchen (the only spot that fits the huge seed trays).

Lastly, I made too many soil blocks.  Actually I should have planted more salad bowl lettuce (only one sprouted, so I filled it's spot here with another one). I won't have enough to fill two SF at this rate.  Maybe I'll direct seed some.  Anyway, I had extra soil blocks.

So I took Granny's idea and froze the extas.  Then I'll keep them in the freezer for a few weeks until I need more soil blocks.  Once they're thawed, they should plant up nicely.  Good idea!

I didn't get out to water the spinach (if it's sprouted) yet, or check to see if any of my overwintered lettuce seedlings have grown.  Hopefully the snow will go away by tomorrow and I'll have a moment to check on the garden.  Busy times.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and thought I would de-lurk to ask you a question about tomatoes. Do you re-pot your plants between the cups and your SWC? I have started my tomatoes in a 32-cell seed tray and they need to be re-potted but I don't know how big a container to put them in. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. More snow, you must be hitting snow records by now. We still have not snow on the ground and its been months since we have had a heavy snow. Lets hope it stays that way.

    You have certainly mastered the art of soil block making, they all look great. I have heard of covering seed with vermiculite or pearlite but have never tried, I should one of these days.

    I think donating a share of your garden is a great idea. I guess the value should be based on what you want to share as I am presuming you would not want to equally share everything. If you just shared excess produce I would image it would be worth a few hundred.

    Happy belated birthday Rich!

  3. I don't want to be a Negative Ned, but I think you need to reconsider your CSA idea. I read your blog thru the entire growing season and thru the Winter. Simply put, you do not produce enough quantity or variety to be supplying another family's produce expectations. Even if you didn't take any for yourself. Consider also your limited production season, and nonexistent storage/keeping facilities. I'm not putting you down, I just think you're making a very well intentioned but misguided gardening choice. I like what you're trying to do but I think your enthusiasm is getting the better of you.

  4. I use vermiculite when I seed in the garden as well. It seems to work wonders for my beet seedlings and carrots. You do have to add a little soil though when they get to be a decent size, otherwise the carrots get green shoulders.