Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring is in the air

It may be snowing and blowing outside but in my mind and heart, spring is sprung. After determining what I want for the greenhouse garden and landscaping, including some extra for Stephanie and Kathy, and then planning for some duds, I was ready to soak those little bits of promise and jump start the germination process.

Here they are getting their spa treatment, 21 different plants, 180 seeds, hand counted and placed in water. Later, after their various appropriate soaking times, they will go on to

The damp paper towel phase, where they will be kept damp and warm until they begin to sprout. Here are some of them in their blankets and baggies. I'm keeping them on an outer stone shelf of the fireplace mantle where they can stay warm but not too warm. Each day I will check their progress and plant (carefully, employing tweezers and patience) each one as they are ready.

Once they are in soil, they will go up to our office where we have converted the work table into a grow zone. Lights will be hung directly above the pots and then raised little by little as the plants begin to grow, keeping the light as close as possible.

Tonight I prepared a computer file of labels for the plants. I will print the 180 labels and, using a great idea from Kent, use packing tape and skewers to turn the labels into weather resistant pot markers.

I'm getting very hopeful for this years veggies. I think some of our new techniques will really help make a difference. I've also been hauling extra water to the greenhouse whenever I tend the rabbits and pouring it onto the winter dry beds. We won't be able to turn our hose bib on for a while yet. (I figure we still have 7 weeks during which it can snow at any time.)

I said to Kent as I was working with the seeds that, had botany been properly presented to me as a youth, I could have become quite obsessed. What an amazing miracle that all the information and fertility needed to grow a plant and produce fruit in kind is contained in that tiny, tiny bit of dry kernel. Some of them are so small I don't know exactly how I will maneuver them even with tweezers.

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