Thursday, January 27, 2011

I May Be Jumping the Gun

Well, I may be jumping the gun, but we are halfway through winter officially! So I direct-sowed a bunch of vegetables today in my raised beds. It was so nice to be out in the cool clean air. There wasn't a lot of sun, but it wasn't raining, and the temp was in the low 50s. The showers return tomorrow, so I figured I'd do what I could. If they don't sprout, I'll try again.

Leeks -- Large American Flag
Cauliflower -- Early Snowball
Broad  Bean -- Windsor
Peas -- Oregon Sugar Pod II
Peas -- Telephone
Snap Peas -- Super Sugar Snap
Lettuce -- Flashy Trout's Back, Mottistone, Speckles, and Drunken Woman

Next week I'll start sowing seeds in my little portable greenhouses, but in the meantime I am also experimenting with starting some seeds a few other ways. I really want more Arum italicum, so I direct sowed the seeds into the bed where I want them, and then covered them with a makeshift cloche, to protect them from the wind and from critters. I made these from plastic recyclable clamshells, that once held a piece of cake from the grocery store. I cut holes in the top and sides to let rain in, and to allow for transpiration. This method worked very well last year for starting poppies, so I'm hoping it will work for Arum.

15 comments:

  1. Good luck with your veggies! What fun to have so many varieties.

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  2. Nah, you're not jumping the gun. The rest of the winter is going to slide by without any fanfare. In fact spring will come early, I predict. One can hope, can't they? :)

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  3. Wow, Alison! You've certainly been busy and I'm so impressed with your cleverly made cloches. What a great idea and I see you've even thought to secure them with little wire hoops firmly staked into the ground on either side. Cutting all those neat little holes must have been quite a feat of patience, too. Now, if you were feeling like being entrepreneurial, you could make them and sell them in batches of 6 and 12! I'm pretty sure there are lots of gardeners in your region who'd find them useful, but who wouldn't necessarily have the idea or skill to make their own :)

    Good luck with all the seed germination. You seem to get such a kick out of being creative and trying different techniques. A truly passionate gardener from grass-roots up! I LOVE gardening, but I'm one of the lazy types in that I buy ready to plant seedlings. Who knows, you'll probably inspire me to try growing from seed now, too ;)

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  4. What a neat method to grow them in winter. Hope the seeds germinate for you.

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  5. Alison, I will keep my fingers crossed that you have nothing but warm weather for your seedlings. I'm living vicariously through you, imagining what it must be like to garden in January.

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  6. What a great idea for mini greenhouses. Good luck with your sowing. Happy gardening.

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  7. Oh wow, I am so jealous that you are direct sowing your seeds already! Lucky! I like your makeshift cloches.

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  8. I didn't know you could sow leeks from seed: I've only ever grown them as starts. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your seedlings, as I'm just not brave enough to start yet after the last two winters we've had. The plastic cloches are a great idea and a nice re-use!

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  9. Hi Allison, You are the winner of our home-saved seeds give-away for "Seed Week". Please mail me your address(diana.demiyah@gmail.com). So we can send it to you.

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  10. this is awesome! If I eat a lot of cake, I can do that when I set the seeds this spring too! better get busy!
    thanksf for the visit the other day! I am glad I popped over...that is a really great idea!

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  11. Yes! See, you *had to* eat cake. It was for the garden. I like this logic. ::g::

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  12. Hahaha...I hope we're not too early, I think A LOT of us will be jumping the gun soon. I just sowed a few perennials seeds this weekend...this milder weather makes it hard to just sit on my hands and wait for spring! I'll cross my fingers for both of us...and you're right, if they don't succeed, we still have time for a second sowing :-)

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  13. Hi Alison,
    I enjoyed this post. I try to get out as early in February as possible to plant my first lettuce, radishes, and spinach. I call it my "gamble garden". Like you, I figure if they don't grow, I can always plant more. Actually, I get a crop 98% of the time, even when it snows on the seedlings.

    I still want to come up with a cold frame. I don't remember if I thanked you for your comment on my herb post. I hope your tarragon comes back up well.

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  14. Hi Alison. What a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and giving the advice on how to put the milk jug halves together. I like the twist tie idea. I did not know you did not need to duct tape them clear around either. I wish I had known that before I made such a mess of mine. LOL! Thank you!

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  15. Alison, I love your little cloches. What a great way to re-use those salad tubs. I'll remember that one. I'll be sowing by the end of the months.~~Dee

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