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Signs of Spring

March 10, 2014

The less you blog, the less you want to…?  Things have been plugging away here on the homestead.  We had a great big ol’ ice storm last week, and while the damage was light as far as trees go, our powerlines were none too happy.  It seems we’ve had more power outages in the past two weeks than we’ve had in several winters combined.  High winds, heavy rain and the ice to top off the weather cake, you name it, and our power was out, back on and then out again.  It’s pretty easy to let blogging go when you don’t have any internet.

Staggerweed - poison larkspur - Delphinium trolliifolium

Staggerweed – poison larkspur – Delphinium trolliifolium

But the harbingers of spring are all around.  Hummingbirds, staggerweed, frog chorusing, and cows shedding mean that winter is gasping its last.  It must be spring, I found myself yesterday afternoon doing some more seeding.

Jane's brush

Jane’s brush

Not much to report except my most recent seeding list:

Pantano Romanesco
New Girl F1
Costoluto Genovese
Astiana (thanks Liv!)
Principe Borghesi
SunSugar F1
Super Sweet 100 F1
Bobcat F1


Red Ruffled Pimiento
Tejas F1
Italian Sweet Relleno
Flavorburst F1
Ace F1
Numex Joe E. Parker

And last but not least celeriac which takes an agonizing long time to amount to anything.

Today thinning is the name of the game on the plants we seeded two weeks ago.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    March 10, 2014 10:28 am

    Ah ha! I know have a name to go with that mysterious plant that has been popping up everywhere in my yard. Staggerweed! Does it have any redeeming qualities other than a pretty purple flower? I see you also call it poison larkspur, so I’m guessing it’s not edible??

    • March 10, 2014 10:38 am

      It’ll kill a cow in nothing flat 😦 Pretty toxic, believe me I know where every plant is here on this place. Lots of poisonous plants around but the cows don’t eat them, this one they will.

  2. Chris permalink
    March 10, 2014 10:29 am

    I now not I know…. 🙂

  3. March 10, 2014 10:33 am

    Just stumbled upon your blog, looking for gardening stuff to read. I may have spring fever! I will be back. Great looking blog.

  4. Chris permalink
    March 10, 2014 2:40 pm

    So it’s poisenous to humans as well? Have you ever lost a cow to eating toxic plants? That would be horrible!

    • March 10, 2014 5:17 pm

      Chris, I suppose if you ate it. There is a homeopathic remedy aconite that is from the same family. Pick your poison 😉

  5. Chris permalink
    March 10, 2014 2:41 pm

    That would be poisonous not poisenous. Where is spellcheck when you need it?

  6. CassieOz permalink
    March 10, 2014 6:50 pm

    Good to see you back Matron, I thought you must have been snowed in or something. Autumn is just beginning here in Aus; leaves just thinking of turning and a quick spurt of growth as the worst of the heat abates.

    You have my sympathy for the thinning job. Good luck.

    • March 11, 2014 7:36 am

      Cassie, thanks! Luckily it’s just a few flats…it’ll get me in shape for thinning in the garden pretty soon! Always a pain!

      Glad you’re going to get some relief from that awful heat!

  7. March 10, 2014 10:33 pm

    You were missed! Sorry it wasn’t because you went on vacation 😉

  8. mumofteenagers permalink
    March 10, 2014 11:21 pm

    I was a bit concerned that something horrible might have happened. Glad you are back. Your seeding list makes me think maybe I should start things off in our small greenhouse but I am still waiting for my broad (fava) beans to push up through the soil. So I may be wise to wait a little. Poor Jane let’s hope you don’t have a cold snap.

    • March 11, 2014 7:34 am

      Mum, thanks so much – it’s cold outside but I see stuff pushing (besides weeds) in the hoophouse 🙂 Time to plant and now time to weed too 😦

  9. March 11, 2014 3:06 am

    I know you have said that you don’t use lights for seedlings. So, are the tomatoes and peppers in one of the unheated high tunnels? If so, do you use extra covers for them to keep them warm? Love reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your advice and experience.

    • March 11, 2014 7:33 am

      Ken, yes they are in the high tunnel but I use heat mats with an additional cover for nighttime. I’ve already moved the first cold hardy flats off the heat but I do cover them at night. The tomatoes and peppers may stay on the heat mats with nighttime covers for some time. It just depends on the temps, sometimes it’s warm and sometimes it’s not. All in all, it costs about $8 – $10 for the season in electricity to do all our starts with the mats and that’s including using that low heat for supplemental heat. It’s freezing this morning but by 10 am I can turn off the mats since it will be warm enough in the high tunnel without the heat even for the flats that aren’t germinated yet.

  10. March 11, 2014 8:59 am

    We’re a little behind you, climate-wise, I think but I posted about the same yesterday.
    I won’t start seeds yet, I always start them too soon in my excitement, and then I forget how much longer I have to wait….

  11. March 11, 2014 11:11 am

    No harbingers here yet but I have started thinking about what I’m planting when the snowdrift disappears.

  12. Ben permalink
    March 11, 2014 11:51 am

    You guys got ice huh? We got about 6″ of snow that turned to rain and now all the bottom land is flooded. Hopefully this sun will start drying things out and get things growin! My over wintered spinach in the hoop house is growing like crazy. Might be selling it next week along with the parsnips that need to be pulled!

    • March 11, 2014 12:31 pm

      Just tilled the greenhouse…the scent of warm soil is forever imprinted on my winter brain – sigh. I’m glad we don’t have any bottom land 🙂

  13. March 14, 2014 9:38 am

    There is actually a perfume company I love and my favorite scents are Dirt, Grass, and Tomato. When I wear them together I smell like my Garden! There is something comforting about the smell of warm soil. It’s life! Enjoy your pre-spring. We are still getting freezing temps at night in South. Love your blog.

    • March 14, 2014 9:46 am

      I know exactly what you mean…we just opened the greenhouse door this morning to sniff the scent of warmish dirt 😀 Heavenly, to say the least. Especially when the rain is blowing sideways, sorry about your crummy winter!

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