Fri. March 8, 2019: Steady Growth

Friday, March 8, 2019
Waxing Moon 1st Quarter in Aries
Mercury Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Ash
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

I completely forgot to post yesterday.

Every morning, I’m absolutely delighted to come downstairs and see how much the scallions, leeks, eggplants, Roma tomatoes, and chocolate cherry tomato seedlings have grown. Still waiting for the peppers to sprout.

Sunday is the next planting day; I’ll be repotting some of the scallions (and maybe leeks). I’ll also start the Gardner’s Delight tomatoes. I may have gone a bit overboard, with six kinds of tomatoes. Plus, I’m planning to buy a six pack of Sun golds when it’s time.

I’m going to need a lot of basil and marigolds to go with them!

But we’ll have a very healthy summer, if even half of the plants are productive!

It’s cold here; not much snow, but cold. When the snow melts and it warms up a bit, I have a lot of work to do to clean up the yard. I got the front in pretty good shape in the fall, but not the back. I’ll pay for it now.

Still, it will be worth it, once it’s done.

Feb. 28, 2019: Indoor Planting Joy

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Thursday, February 28, 2019
Waning Moon, 4th Quarter Sagittarius moving into Capricorn
Celtic Tree Month of Ash
Snowing and cold

I’m pretty thrilled about the way the seeds have germinated. The scallions, the leeks, and the Roma tomatoes are going like gangbusters. The eggplants are starting. I just planted the chocolate cherry tomatoes and the peppers on Monday, so they need a few more days.

It makes me so happy to check on them every day and see their progress.

I’ll have to repot the leeks and scallions soon, separating them and putting them in bigger pots.

I’ll have to invest in some more large pots for the tomatoes, but it will be worth it.

It’s snowing today, so, although the calendar calls it a planting day, I think I’ll wait. I also came across something that stated one shouldn’t plant on the first three days of March. Anyone know the story behind that? Because according to my calendar, the first and the second are planting days. But I can wait until next week — although Mercury goes retrograde next week, and I would much rather just hide under the covers until it goes direct!

How’s your indoor seed starting going?

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Thurs. Feb. 21, 2019: First Shoots

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Waning Moon
Third Quarter Virgo into Libra
No Retrogrades
Celtic Tree Month of Ash
Sleet, rain, warming up

I am so excited! Earlier this week, the leeks and scallions already started to sprout! I can’t believe how many of the seeds actually germinated.

I’ll have to thin them as soon as they are big enough, and replant some of them soon, nursing them. If I can keep them strong and healthy, we will have a good crop this season.

I don’t expect the eggplants to germinate for a few more days.

I planted Italian Roma tomatoes last weekend. This weekend, I’ll plant the seeds for the chocolate cherry tomatoes (the most fragile and fussy of the ones I’m planting this year), and also the peppers from saved seeds. Thanks to Edible Landscapes of Cape Cod for teaching me how to save seeds.

Obviously, all this seed starting is inside, and they’re placed in sunny windows. I hope that, by next year, I can set up shelves and grow lights and be more efficient about the process. But this year, it’s natural light, and lots of fussing and tending.

Even with the snow, the birds I usually hear in spring have started calling. Waking me up early. Not that I know what they are (I’m not much of a birder). But I enjoy hearing them and thinking, “oh, they’re back already.”

Bratty Bird, the nuthatch who teases Tessa all the time, is still wherever nuthatches go for the winter. But I bet he’ll be back and brattier than ever. About a dozen fat winter robins were dancing around on the terraced back area of the yard last week.

The backyard is very much a habitat.

Have you started any of your seeds yet? Which ones?

I’ll post pictures when the plants are larger.

 

Fri. Feb. 15, 2019: Starting the Indoor Planting

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Scallions and leeks, in one of our sunny windows

Even if I’m not good at blogging about it, I AM trying to get a head start on the seeds this year.

I’m determined to expand my vegetable capacity, even though most of it will be in containers. I simply don’t trust the food supply, especially under the current administration. It’s not safe, and I don’t trust them not to try to starve people who disagree with them. Control the food, control the population.

One of my freelance clients warned me about this over a year ago.

So, this year, I thought long and hard about what I like to eat, and what I think I can grow. Because, as we all know, that’s not always the same thing.

I am a cook. I enjoy cooking, and I devour (pun intended) cookbooks the way I do novels. I have a wonderful collection of cookbooks, including several from the Moosewood Collective, Deborah Madison, and Kripalu. Along with all my other Silver Palate, Barefoot Contessa, Patricia Wells, et al.

I’m not worried about growing too much of anything (even zucchini, which used to be a running joke around here), because I can cook it or freeze it or donate it to a food pantry.

Last year, I purchased seeds early and locally from garden centers. Only they were the previous year’s seeds and did not do well. Last year was an awful year for tomatoes — the first bad year we had. Not too great for cucumbers, either.

This year, I ordered directly from the manufacturer.

The seeds in the photo above are the scallions and leeks. The seeds in the photos at the bottom of this post are eggplants. If even half the seeds I planted grow into productive plants, we’ll be doing well.

This weekend, I’m planting the first of the tomato seeds — I bought six kinds of seeds this year, so it will be interesting to see how many productive plants we get.

I bought quite a few pollinator seeds, too, and will invest in small plants, because I want to encourage the bees back into the yard. We don’t use chemicals, so one would think they’d be happy, but we had a wasp problem last year that discouraged them.

Wish me luck! I’ll try to post semi-regularly and keep you up to date on my successes — and failures.

I never forget that I used to live on the Deuce, 42nd St. in NYC, across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and it was nearly impossible to keep any plants alive!
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eggplants, in our other sunniest window

Wed. Febr. 26, 2014: Some make it, some don’t

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
4th Quarter Waning Moon in Capricorn
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Stormy and cold

The pear shoots all died. I’m sad. The apples are doing okay. Both types of eggplant have come up, the leeks and garlic are growing like gangbusters. The radishes shot up, but now aren’t doing well, and I’m not sure what the carrots are doing.

None of the herbs have come up. I think it’s still too cold to start the tomatoes, so I’m waiting.

The potted tulips started coming up in the garage, so we moved them into the house. I have a feeling they will bloom in mid-March, which should be pretty.

Outside, the crocuses are up, and the daffodils just starting to poke up. Very exciting! The lilacs all have huge buds this year — I hope it will be a good year for lilacs, which are my favorite.

I have a lot of clean up to do in the yard, once the storms stop pounding us every few days. We have another one coming in today, and then another one on Monday. Getting a little tired of it, and I usually like winter!

Devon

Wed. Feb. 12: Battling Sticky Webs

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Waxing Moon Second Quarter Cancer
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Sunny and cold

I wanted to post on Saturday, but got injured Friday night, and everything kind of went out the window for the weekend.

Starting Friday, I’ve been battling some weird bug thing attacking my citrus plants. It seems to spin a sticky web below the leaves and then suck all the life out of them. I washed all my plants, leaf by leaf, with ivory soap, rinsed them, and have been keeping a daily eye on them. some branches/leaves were too far gone. Others seem to be recovering. I have a lot of lemons, a tangerine, and a clementine — would hate to lose them.

The garlic plants double in size every day — two out of three came up. The radish plants came up, but not sure if anything’s happening below the surface. How do you check a radish or garlic or carrot without yanking it up? The leeks have started, the carrots have started. One of the pear plants died — I think I need to transplant the other shoots.

None of the herbs have come up yet. I hoped this would be a good year for basil.

A friend started her tomatoes this week. I might start some this week and then some on the Equinox, when I usually start them.

We’re supposed to get slammed by another storm tomorrow. The very thought of it makes me weary.

Think healing thoughts for my citrus plants! I don’t want to use chemicals on them, if I can avoid it.

Devon

Wed. Feb. 5, 2014: Sprouts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Waxing Moon First Quarter Aries
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Snowy and cold

Yup, it’s snowing — again. The second of three snowstorms expected this week.

But, inside, we have some fun stuff going on. The apples, pears, and peppers are doing well. The radishes came up — could this be the year I actually grow an edible radish? Two of the three garlic cloves I planted have come up. One little, tiny carrot shoot has struggled up.

Tessa, my big black cat, is fascinated with the pots of leeks I planted, for some reason. They haven’t sprouted yet, but she sticks her nose right down in the pot a few times a day. I wonder, if to her sensitive nose, the seeds have a particular smell?

I need to buy some soil soon, and some more pots — there are seedlings that need to get replanted into bigger pots, to make room for starting more seedlings.

But I certainly won’t do it today! 😉

Devon