Saturday, February 2, 2013

Garden Planning in the Snow

Its lovely outside.  The snow is so dry it crunches and sparkles in the light. But thoughts of spring and gardening are never far from my mind.

I think all of my seeds have arrived.  I am still waiting for some of the ingredients for Eliot Coleman's seedling mix.  Other years when I have started a lot of seeds I spent way too much money on seed starter mix.  And even the organic mix is made with poultry manure that I doubt is from organically fed chickens.

Eliot Coleman's mix includes peat, colloidal phosphate, greensand and compost.  Sounds good to me! Once the seedlings are growing they get moved up to a mix of the above with the addition of blood meal, lime, perlite or sand, and garden soil.

Our spare bedroom has been chosen for the seed starting area.  Its not to cold, has a double window facing south west and, with the addition of lights, should provide enough light for the little seedlings.  I bought another heat mat so I'll have 2 areas for plants that like heat for germination.

I have been having fun playing with this garden planner.  It has helped me figure out how much room I really had to plant.  The area seems big to me, but gardens always feel bigger until you start planting in them.  The program will also give start dates for indoor seed starting and has an option for succession planting.  Its almost time to start the onions.  Its fun to plant in the garden when its snowing outside!

And its time to start thinking about getting the greenhouse set up again.  The garden planner made me figure out where I was going to put it.  And digging out the sluice gate has given me some nice soil to use to build up the soil where the greenhouse will be going.  I ordered new plastic today and some cool clips to hold the plastic to the frame. Last year I had Swiss Chard growing in the greenhouse all winter and I am missing it this year. For now I have a mini hoop house with some overwintering lettuce and chard.  Sure do miss the greenhouse.

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