Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Starting

It's March and it is beautiful! We have been not so patiently waiting for the forecasted last frost (March 23) and doing everything we could think of besides putting seeds in the ground.  Seeding flats in the basement under lights and finishing the amendment of the garden soil.

The garden has received a bit of beautification in the past couple weeks. The compost turned in and the paths are being lined with brick that was found under the deck. The fire pit has a cozy log round to sit on brought home by Katy, who has also acquired a couple rhubarb plants, some flower seed, a few potted herbs and some raspberry plants (yah!).

                                          photo by Stew Sowers

We have a very large basement with a stage in the back that Stew has equipped with a table, made from a door. This set up was concocted for use as an art studio this winter while he was working on his Alaska farm photo encostic pieces. If you have yet to see these wonderful pieces of art you are missing out, they are beautiful. Currently the table is outfitted with four foot grow lights suspended above it for starting flats of vegetables. The flats are about 12 inches by 20 inches with perforated holes in the bottom. You can either fill the flat itself with seeding soil or insert cell packs of four or six which neatly divide the plants for you. The seeds are planted into the soil and kept moist till they germinate which looks like a tiny plant emerging from the soil. We have been keeping the flats on top of our refrigerator for this part and then taking them to the basement once they've sprouted.

                                  Flats under lights  photo by Stew Sowers

                                                      Baby Broccoli  photo by Stew Sowers

 Our first round of seeding produced us a flats worth of chamomile and borage among other things. The chamomile I will harvest for tea and the borage is useful for repelling bugs we don't want on our other plants. Borage is also used medicinally, it is very nutritious, but I prefer to just look at it and eat it's tiny purple flowers that taste like melon. Both these plants will be adorning our front yard beds along with some hollyhock, strawflowers, lupin and nastursium. The colors are going to be wonderful for our plain little house.

                                                        Borage and Chamomile photo by Stew Sowers

 As I was saying before, we are people of little patience and this warm weather has made us bold (hopefully not regrettably so). A few days ago we gave into our urges and put our first plants into the garden. They include kale, broccoli, lettuce, and shallots. We also direct seeded radishes, broccoli raab (or brocolini) and some onion sets. A few days in the ground and they are looking great, hardy and perky.

1 comment:

  1. Jamy and Stew, Great blog fun! I've saved the backyard on my desktop and I hope you'll post progressive full yard shots. It's a little like being there ... which, of course, would be the best.