Ready or not, now it’s time

Yes the seed packets are ready ( don’t think I can reorganize them any more times).

Yes, the potting medium (not really soil as the bags are specially composed for planting) is ready and dampened.

Yes the pots are laid out and ready to receive.

So today is the day, according to the family calendar. One day later than last year, but we were busy recovering from the snow storm yesterday.

With two feel of fresh snow on the ground, I tramp out to the studio where I set up for spring planting, I turn on some inspiring music and I proceed to get dirt under my fingernails.

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The early cherry tomato seedlings – these will be strategically located in containers (available for snacking)

Five types of tomatoes go into the earth (two types of plum or sauce tomatoes, a beefeater and a low seed tomato (one of each is heirloom) and of course the cherry tomatoes for the deck. These last are really for snacking and get shared between me, the neighbours, and the chippies. The dogs and Bill don’t bother with them. I have practiced some restraint this year with the tomato seeds, and only planted three seeds per section, and eight sections of each. I admit I have a problem with culling seedlings and usually have adoptees available by late May.

Only one type of pepper is going in this year, as opposed to last years sweet and hot pepper collections. I had peppers coming out my ears, and far more than I could give away. This year that greenhouse real-estate is dedicated to tropicals. This year’s peppers are small and quasi-ornamental and will grow in containers in the hot sun on the decks.

A cucumber row and some watermelon rows complete the early seeding of edibles except for the herbs. While the first of the packets for  watermelons held only a few seeds (all planted), the second packet was very plentiful – but I resisted and only planted a row – for pollination mostly as the first type are seedless and so require a second type for making watermelons.

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The new trays and the growing ones in the south window

The pumpkins and squash will all be planted directly into warm earth – they don’t like being moved all that much – so they will go in at the same time as the sweet peas and the morning glories.

Of the herbs, I have two types of basil – one of which is purple that I started today. The seeds are tiny, so I didn’t count, just sprinkled a few in each cell. Hopefully they all sprout and live together happily until up-planting. The other herb-like plant that I put in today is a new type of bergamot – lovely for the flowers, and for the bees.

I am happy to share that I moved a number of the flower seeds I started a few weeks ago into larger containers. After working with the egg cartons, I have to admit that I am no a great fan and will go back to plant plugs next year. The damp is too hard to control with the cartons – they are either sopping or growing mould. Nonetheless, I have some nice transplants of spillanthes, poppies, and zinnias. I am afraid that the asters may have to be replanted as I only seed one sprout. Maybe this will change over the next few days.

The moon flowers are doing very well, getting ready to start their second set of leaves. Two of the jasmine are up, and one cathedral bell from last year’s leftover seed. I am waiting for the lemon seeds to surface, and hopeful for more jasmine.

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Moonflower in the foreground and ranunculus in the background

As for plants that wintered over, after a second inspection, it looks like some of the dahlias and begonias may have survived after all, and I will tuck these into soil tomorrow. The hibiscus plants are all showing growth from the roots (hurrah!) and the passion flower vines seem to be doing quite well.

Among the house plants, the hoya is in blossom, and the poinsettia is in need of rescue as the garden cats and youngest dog insist on chewing away at it (nothing ingested, just scattered through the living-room).

Here’s hoping that out final snowstorm of the season is tonight, and we have all mild temperatures moving forward. The good thing about this snow is that it blanketed the sprouting plants from the -20 weather we had. Tomorrow will show what survived.

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