Blog forum: February 2012

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Weedwhacker
Feb 6, 2012 9:29 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Spent some time today planting lettuce in a flower box and micro greens in a smaller rectangular planter to put under the fluorescent lights indoors, as well as re-potting a few house plants and winter-sowing seeds of delphinium, lupine, 4 o'clocks and peony-flowered poppies, in kitty-litter jugs set out in the hoophouse with the old covering, which has many holes and is turning into a covering of nothing but netting. We've had an incredibly mild and snow-free winter this year, February should be our coldest month but so far most days have been above freezing! We could still get lots in the next couple of months, but having such an easy time of it up until now has been wonderful. At any rate, it felt good to get my hands into some dirt, even if it was only potting soil!

Here's a photo of the holes in the HH cover:

Thumb of 2012-02-07/Weedwhacker/833ec0
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
Feb 8, 2012 9:15 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Yesterday I winter-sowed 2 more jugs -- one with Aquilegia, both the native eastern and McKana's Giants, and one with wild lupine. Also put some alfalfa and radish seeds in the Bioset sprouter, and this morning they are already beginning to sprout!
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
Feb 8, 2012 9:29 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
The new USDA zone map puts me in 5a instead of 4b -- not sure I agree with that, but it would be nice!

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
Feb 11, 2012 12:55 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Yesterday (2/9/2012) I winter-sowed asparagus seeds, flat-leaf parsley, winter savory, sage and red-skin dahlia seeds. Today it was blustery and snowy and spent the day indoors, reading about various hoop house constructs.

Here's a link for a movable caterpillar-type tunnel, from Johnny's Seeds:
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Assets/Information/7000MoveCatTun...

I love the idea of the caterpillar tunnels, but don't really see how one would work here once there was a bunch of snow; they seem to be made to access from the sides, and at this time of year, even without much snow, things get pretty well frozen down to the ground. I believe I need to fasten boards to the ends of my hoop houses and put in a door on one end and window on the other, so will plan to do that as soon as possible.
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
Feb 12, 2012 1:27 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Today the weather is back to being sunny and 35 degrees (at 2 pm), much nicer than the past couple of days. Winter sowed a jug with seeds from the tall orange cosmos that grew from a mixed pack of flower seeds last year, still have a ton of those seeds so will probably try direct-seeding some out near the road. Also collected seed from the curled-leaf parsley plant that is in the HH, will plant that in my last jug tomorrow.

The cress that I planted on 2/6 is coming up nicely under the lights and the micro greens are also sprouting, should be salad-ready in another week or so. The lettuce is just beginning to germinate.

Have been reading on All Things Plants that I should get the poppy seedlings out of the jug and into the ground when they have just a couple of leaves, otherwise they apparently don't transplant very well; not sure if my ground will be ready for them at that time, may try some in peat pots to set out later, and will also try direct-seeding some as well. Again, I have lots of these seeds (from Mary Anderson) so can afford to do some experimenting.

I think I want to put tomato and pepper plants out into the HH about 4/1/12, so will need to start those this coming week, as well as starting my onion seeds. That would be considerably earlier than I've put the tomatoes/peppers out in the past, hope it will translate to earlier fruits. When I plant the bush beans in the HH this year I'm going to put a single row on each side, instead of a double row on one side, with lettuce, radishes, etc. planted in front of them.

These are the radish and alfalfa sprouts that were planted on 2/7, ready to use --
Thumb of 2012-02-18/Weedwhacker/a3b5c2
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
Feb 16, 2012 10:36 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Planted 3 flats of onions seeds today, 48 cells per flat, 6-8 seeds per cell. Varieties: Candy, Copra, Red Wing, Ailsa Craig, and Sweet Spanish. Also have some 2010 seeds left that I don't know if will still be viable, so put some of them into the Bioset sprouter and will give them a chance; if they do sprout will plant a few more cell packs.

I'm very glad to have stockpiled a couple of big bags of potting soil to use now; last year I was scrounging around trying to find some for my seed starting!
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association

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