Thursday, January 28, 2016

Searching For Color

In an otherwise white, grey and black landscape.  The Sun is shining.  The Sky is blue.  The temperatures are between 35 and 45 degrees and it is not "normal".

I got out my seed box and sorted thru the packages.  I am going to start my onions and shallots. Inside.  But I read about a method for starting perennial and tender perennial seeds--outdoors in empty, recycled semi transparent milk jugs.   You cut them open halfway up the jug, leaving a hinge so the top and bottom halves are still connected.  Then you drill or punch holes in the bottom of the jug.  Fill with a  moistened seed starting potting mix (2 to 4  inches) and plant your seeds (read the packages as some seeds like to be covered and others do not), flip the hinged top over the seed bed, tape with duct tape, leave the bottle cap off  (so air and water can go in and out) and then take the jugs outside and set them on a table or just in the snow.  Somewhere sunny is nice.

Being outside in the "elements" will cold stratify the seeds and when warmer (??) temps arrive the seeds will sprout.  Ready to be planted out in the garden.  I am going to try Lambada Bee Balm, Bread Seed Poppies, Blue Fescue Grass,  Sage, Cottage Pinks. If I had some Lupine seeds I would give them a shot as well. Seed packages should read "sow 4-6 weeks before last frost".  If they say that then it is okay to try this method.  My zinnias will go out in late February/early March along with Calendula.

What is a gardener without a gardening challenge?

I will also set myself up a work station and make toilet paper seed tapes for my carrots and beets. The beets did very well last year but the carrots were a great disappointment.  I also want to put in some parsnips.  Which reminds me that we need to start buying and hauling composted manure from the nearest dairy operation.

Otherwise?  We are still trying to get out of the house once each day to "do something".  G is more successful than I am.  My cold seems to be finished--but wood smoke outdoors is causing my asthma to "react".  It's been a real struggle this winter to breathe without coughing.  Or more likely---wheezing.  I am usually dizzy and awfully tired.  But I try to go out each evening with Riley to look at the stars if the sky is clear.

My Calendula salve project made 10 containers (4 ounces each) and look quite lovely but more of a yellow green than the sunny golden yellow I expected.  It was kind of messy but every project is messy the first time one tries it.


Gretchen said...

The milk carton seed starting project sounds intriguing. I think I would try it if I had outdoor space. I am going to try an aeroponic system though using a fogger instead of a drip system. I miss growing some of my own veggies. I did try a wall garden last spring but it just did not work. The structure wasn't right for my apartment. Let us know how things go if you try the milk jug idea. Oh, and yes, it is good to get out even for a bit everyday. I even went out during the blizzard - didn't venture far from the door but the snow was beautiful.

Life Scraps and Patches said...

Looking forward to hearing about that milk jug seed starting!