Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weather and seed starting

Forecast for Friday.... 6-12 inches of snow.  Happy April Fools? We did get snow a few days after April first last year.  But this just isn't right.

Oh, almost killed the Cherokee Purple seedling. I moved the stuff around and set up the light shelf and somewhere in that time it wilted. I don't know if i smacked it by mistake or what, but it did look a tiny bit dry so i watered it and in the last 3 hours it has perked up better. Still not sure its ok, but it does look better.

I caved about starting the tomatoes. I went ahead and did it. I still think its too early, but i've been brainwashed by what i have been reading.
I have them indoors and under a double set of lights (two double shop lights = four bulbs) and its in one of the cooler rooms in the house. They don't need the light yet, but the peppers and eggplants are sharing the same shelf and lamps. That is pretty much all i will be starting indoors this year.

I planted:
Sweet Chelsea - large cherry type
Pruden's Purple- Brandywine type
German Orange Strawberry - oxheart type
Banana Legs - yellow paste
San Marzano- red paste

I thought i still had Roma seeds, but didn't find them so i didn't go crazy looking.  Five types are plenty for my garden. I have paste types and salad types so that will work and if one variety goes kaput i have redundancies.

Ok, so hopefully this storm for Friday ends up being a rain storm and not snow. 

gotta go, toddler is trying to eat Playdoh

Some seasonal notes

The angle of the sun is shifting just enough that the grapes at the left side of the fence are just starting to get the rays directly on them.  Its part of my learning curve that the grapes don't get full sun all winter because the shade of the neighbor's house and partly because of the fence itself. When i planted them, the area got most of the sun all day long.  About half of the grapes and two of the blueberries are in the light shortly before noon.  The rest are in shade- though not too deep and so is the Ben Alder.  I'm charging the camera battery so i'll try to get a reference picture as close to noon as i can get.

About 11:50

Right now we have about 37 degrees, so its not warm by a long shot.  I guess we should be in the 40's & 50's for normal years.  Maybe we'll make it today. Its not windy today like it has been for the last 3, so it feels a bit warmer.  According to forecasts this past weekend, we were hopefully going to have 40 degree temps with maybe a rain shower - but they are now saying the rain may end up being snow though they haven't changed the likely temperatures much.

I'm arguing with myself about starting tomatoes this early. I want to do it, but every time i start tomatoes indoors i end up with leggy creatures that gain little time on the season because i have to lay them down and bury them to the top 5 inches. The strength of the seedling light seems to make little difference. I think its the house temperature that is the main factor. The lights give off heat too.
If i do start tomatoes indoors, i'll have to put away the tank and drag out the white plastic shelves.  The tank does not have enough room for 2 plastic trays and with the white shelves the lights can be raised and lowered.  I'll need help with moving the tanks and it will have to be done during a nap time- but those haven't been happening much lately.

I have houseplants that need tending too. I killed my Meyer Lemon. Its really too bad cause it was doing so well.  It was getting big so i repotted it. I had to put it in another room to keep it safe from my toddler who likes to pluck leaves ( you should see my poor grapefruit tree). Well i forgot to water it too long and it is very definitely dead.  I might try one again sometime.
Now or soon, i need to pot up my little fig. Its going to need more than a 5 inch pot soon.  Even my sweet bay could use an upgrade. One of my clove seedlings has been repotted, the other from Horizon Herbs could use it too- though it came in a much larger pot than the eBay one. Its doing fantastic, the eBay one is much smaller.
I'm still waiting on the Hoya flowers to open, the buds are getting noticeably larger each day.

I might go out and try removing some of the snow on the grapes, like i said before- if a nap happens. Once i get the chance to do that, it should warm up quickly since there is a black weed block surrounding them.

After taking a closer look i realized there is too much snow for me to move easily. So that's out.

There is a nap happening now so i'm going to see if i can move those tanks. I move things by sliding them or "walking" them corner pivot to corner- so if i'm lucky i may get it done without too much trouble.