Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things that don't belong in my dirty laundry

How did your seed orders go? I just got mine in. Woo!
This was the order I placed with my sister. I wish I had room this year to grow pumpkins!

Garden Clean Up
Last Saturday we had our nicest day so far this year. It was near balmy in the sun at 46*F/8*C and a bit cooler in the shade but a t-shirt and hoody were fine for being outside in. Since the garden experienced a bit of neglect last fall I thought I'd take advantage of the warmish weather and clean up a bit.
A load of dead nasturtiums and weeds to be removed

All done!

I'm pretty sure I'll never have to buy another pack of nasturtium seeds again. Holy cow there were so many seeds in that bed I could open my own seed company. Ha! Glad I like them otherwise they're certainly a vigorous pest.

I also got a chance to clean out the bed that had all the tomatoes in it last year.
It too was a disaster but had some fun surprises in store for us!

For one, an anatomically correct carrot. This would be our second "boy" carrot to date. lol

I forgot to take a picture but I also pulled all the overwintering leeks and we roasted them Saturday night with a pork tenderloin for dinner. Delish! Another surprise came in the form of garlic.
I'd completely forgotten I'd planted a row in-between the tomatoes and lo - they were sheltered so nicely that they've popped up already.

I haven't entirely finished my garden planning, so it's likely I'll "plan" the existing garlic into whatever eventually goes around it. I can't finish planning until I decide what to do with the asparagus bed. I'm dreading dealing with it due to hay that's seeded itself. I can't till it in for green manure due to the asparagus crowns just below the surface. Plus a hubby who's being obstinate and cranky about even the *thought* of me pulling his asparagus out of the garden, never mind it's not done well to date - more on that later... ::La! La! La! I can't hear you!:: covers ears and runs away*

See how nice and pretty it is all cleaned up?
Oh! I guess I'd better do something with those dead starts from last summer still sitting in the cold frame, eh? Whoops!

*Yes, I'm very mature. ;^)

Seed Starting Area
The other thing I began tackling in the cleaning and organizing department this week is the area where I start my seeds. Yes, it's sad but the only spot for this in the whole house is in the basement. So it's lit by shop lights. The thing I really need to do this year is make sure to get some tinfoil or other reflective surface up and around the shelf the seeds are started on. I think some of my past issues have been due to it not getting quite warm enough. Insulating and reflecting that area are on my personal to-do list.

Last year was a little nuts, so not only did the garden see some neglect so did the germination area. Things were tossed all willy-nilly back on the shelf without being cleaned or really put back in any sort of order.

Looking better but not quite there yet.

The top shelf is for paperwork, pens, scissors and some of the clean seed trays and domes. Right now almost all my trays are missing because they need to be washed and there's nothing I dislike more then washing dishes. Heh. The second shelf down is where the seeds are started and since I'm waiting for pay day this coming friday to buy some supplies, it's currently empty. ::pouts a wee bit:: Third shelf stores canning jars. By the end of summer this shelf is usually empty. You can see it's half full now which means we've gone though about half of our canned goods. Though somehow we've completely run out of strawberry freezer jam already. June is too far off! And the bottom shelf is the dehydrator, the liquid compost maker (must get back to that this year) and my new fancy dirt bin.

As you can see I'm trying something new here. Since setting up my seed starting station a few years back, I've always had bags and bags of starting medium laying around usually flumped over into the dirty laundry (the washer and dryer are just opposite the shelves) or half open bags that accidentally get knocked over and spill out on to the floor, etc. SO. To resolve this annoying problem, I went to Ikea and got a recycling bin and put what starting medium I had left over from last year inside. I plan on getting more soon and filling it up so I won't have to worry about it the rest of the year. My only real concern so far is that it might dry out too much since there are some gaps in the lid which allows air to get in. Of course this maybe preferable to the alternative of funky unwanted things growing in my starting medium.
Now all it needs is a scoop!

And one last image to leave off this post with... a beautiful mossy green fungus that's growing off the old apple tree stump in the back yard.


  • START SEEDS: Artichoke, broccoli, cabbage (head), cauliflower, kale, lettuce (head), onion (seeds) and parsley.
  • PRUNE: Apple trees and blueberry bushes.


Alison said...

Your garden is looking good, all cleaned up! Good for you for taking some time to sort it out as well as your seed starting area. I overwintered leeks in my veggie garden too, and just finished using the last of them in some leek and potato soup.

LOL at the boy carrot!

Daphne said...

Two houses ago (and decades) I had my seed starting area in the basement. I liked it in my laundry room in my last house better. The temps were so much warmer. My current basement is freezing and I couldn't imagine growing anything down there. Brrrrr. It obviously leaks air, something we will have to deal with.

Robin said...

Well, it looks like you are ready! I really need to get a container for my starting medium. Like you, my seed starting area is in the basement.

Just Jenn said...

Alison, leek and potato soup is my favorite. I never seem to grow enough of them and always run out too soon!

Daphne, I do notice it's a bit warmer when the dryer is going. I save a laundry day for starting pepper seeds. ;^) Hope you get your leaks fixed.

Robin, I'm really loving the "fancy" new container. I swear it's the little things. Next I want a pretty pewter scoop for my dirt. Sad, I know. Heehee. Do you have any trouble with starting seeds in your basement? Is it all artificial light?