Thursday, February 7, 2013

Count down til Spring

More days in the 40's & 50's, crocus & witch hazel in bloom and more daffodils coming up are reminders that spring is nearer than far. Fabulous. My winter "greenhouse" of a basement can only provide me with so much green therapy.
Sprouting Purple Broccoli ready for transplanting

Furthest along of the basement seedlings are the Sprouting Purple Broccoli. I've just begun transplanting them into their individual cells. I'm sure I will have some to share. This one has many small heads rather than 1 large central head. I grew it last year, but the heat and drought prevented it from getting very far along. 

 Transplants in progress

It took about 2 weeks for my first pepper seeds to germinate and most still haven't after nearly 4. I won't give up. Even with plenty of moisture, bottom heat and a microclimate around 70 degrees they are still slow. 

Pepper seedlings

Others germinating are a mixed colored Yarrow and Johnny Jump Ups

Johnny Jump Ups- Viola
Notice the many reused containers that are great for starting seedlings, including yogurt cups, tofu tubs, mushroom containers and aluminum trays and bottoms of plastic litter containers for bottom watering.

On warmer or sunnier days I've noticed the Witch Hazel in bloom. It emits a wonderful clove aroma unlike anything else outside at this time of year. I've just started adding Hellebores to the gardens so hopefully I can add to my winter blooming collection. 
Even though it is cloudy with a 90% chance of rain the Witch Hazel is open.
Temp is suppose to be around 60 today.

The turnip seeds I planted have surprised me with germination already.
These are Boule D'or or golden ball/orange jelly turnips. I got the seed from Baker's
Creek after a friend asked me about a yellow "swede" he use to eat & grow as a child. 
Might this be the same one?

On 2 sunny days these were open.

On nicer days I would clean up one bed (row) at a time. Most are ready now.
It looks pretty messy still. 

Latest project: dry stacked brick beds.
I got about 650 bricks for free from a friend wanting to unload them. I put them where my older, first garden was. In this bed I planted today: nigella, larkspur & poppies. In other beds I also planted bachelor buttons. This is an ideal time to plant these as they like to germinate in cooler conditions and bloom late spring/early summer. I have bachelor buttons and nigella that overwintered as seedlings in the big garden too. 

Other seeds started in the basement: parsley, flowers, old tomato seeds, purple coneflowers, old 4 o'clock seed, creeping thyme (up), eggplant, alpine strawberries. (A short list of what I can remember)

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