Saturday, March 08, 2014

Spring is in the Air, Ready to Start Gardening

That's not to say Winter is officially over or that it won't frost again, because it could, and probably will.

But today it's a lovely 68*, and sunny, and I took a walk outside and saw three of our trees are covered in lovely pink blooms.

Looking closely in the "lawn" that we (by we, I mean J) mowed earlier in the week, we're already seeing some tiny fleurs.

Tinier than my index finger nail, which is really small, even though it looks ginormous in this picture, ha.

According to SproutRobot this is a good week to start my tomatoes growing indoors. I read to start them about 6 weeks before the last frost. Six weeks from now is April 19th, and I read our latest frost is generally April 10th, so I should be good.
(According to Farmer's Almanac I should have already started them a couple of weeks ago. Oh well. It's been kindly a crazy winter. We may have frost later than they expect.)

The seeds I'm using are pretty old now. Four to five years old. Tomato seeds (I read) generally age better than other seeds, but I don't want to waste a bunch of Peat Pellets if they don't germinate, so I'm going to try the soak/baggy method to see which ones, if any, will sprout before I 'plant' them in peat or potting soil.

First I'm soaking them a bowl of warm water for...awhile. Some people recommended a couple of hours, others said 24 hours. So, sometime tomorrow I guess.

Then I'll wet a coffee filter and wring it out 'til damp and put the seeds on one side it, folding the other side over them. I'll stick them in a baggie and put it somewhere warm.
As the seeds that are going to germinate sprout I can gently pull it off with tweezers and plant it in peat or soil.

The reason my seeds are pretty old is because, for one, I had many envelopes of seeds. I was getting them cheap, buying them as "fillers" when doing my coupon/deal shopping at Walgreens.
Also there were more seeds in the envelopes than I thought I needed to grow at one time, so I only used some at a time, leaving the rest.

This time I'm just using every seed. I don't expect them all the germinate/sprout, but if they do I'll just grow them on up and then give them away to others who might want them.
(I could sell them, but meh. I prefer giving.)

I'm going to attempt to grow a "salsa garden" again this year. It didn't work out well last year because our tomatoes didn't do any good. We got a few, but only a few. Not even enough to can. Hopefully I can figure out how to do better with them this year. I'm thinking about not even putting them in the garden area, but just right up in the middle of the back yard.  That's kind of where we grew them a couple of years ago and they did well. If I remember rightly, we were even in a drought that year (I should keep a Gardening Journal so I can remember/figure out what works and what doesn't in the future).

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