February is almost over and amidst the bathroom renovations we are dreaming and planning our greatest growing season yet! All our seed orders arrived over this past month and that little table of potential is such a balm to our winter weary souls.
Check out these colorful heirloom flowers! They make my (Jennifer's) heart so happy! We love to make our vegetable garden beautiful by peppering flowers in any available space. The pollinators always appreciate the offerings too.
Part of the garden planning includes figuring out this years planting arrangement. We always rotate our vegetables and have the main vegetable garden quartered off so plants of the same family won't grow in the same soil for three to four years. We do this to help minimize pests and to allow the soil time to recuperate from heavy feeding crops. Our garden is 60' x 80' and can house a lot of plants, but we still grow densely to help control the weeds and to make the best use of our space. Last year we removed the winter squash from our garden (due to a desire for more) and underplanted the orchard with them plus more flowers and will probably cover crop it this year. By underplanting the young orchard we continue to whittle down our mowing and improve the tree growing zone by getting that water sucking sod out of there.
Our basement root cellar still houses 4 mesh bags and one large wooden crate of onions. We will easily make it through to onion season again without buying any. Woo hoo!
After listening to this podcast we decided to start our onion seeds a little differently this year. We are starting earlier and put five rows to a standard flat full of seeding starting mix. We sowed the onions thickly, but not too thickly. (About 8-10 seeds per inch.) They will grow in place until we put them in the ground in a couple of months.
We are utilizing our three-tiered grow lights again this year for seed growing, but realize it is quickly becoming undersized. We will make do this year and have a new setup for next year. (Note: I put plastic lids to control moisture on top of these flats until germination.) I have a timer set up to turn the lights on for 14 hours. There's a lot of discussion on the proper amount of time so I just chose something in the middle.
We are all feeling super excited about the return of longer days, increased sunshine and planting season! Bounder is showing off a happy, sun-patch yawn and we hope you are feeling the excitement of pending spring too...