Thursday, March 26, 2015

Close Call

Wow, what a day here!  72 degrees on March 26th must have been a record.  Spent the day outside, weeding (man those weeds got a head start here) and when I came inside for some water, I noticed on my weather station, the temperature in the greenhouse was 114 degrees!  911 could not come to soon, so I ran out there, gave all my wilting seedlings plenty of water, and moved them outside the greenhouse while I opened the vents and door.

By 6:00 I was able to move them back in the greenhouse where temps had come down to 80 degrees, closed the vents and door and locked them up for the night.

Everything had perked back up, and disaster was averted.

Check your seedlings folks, they are just like little kids at this stage!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring has sprung...But where was winter?

Wow, if you blinked you missed it.  Winter either didn't come to the Pacific NW, or it went by and I simply didn't notice.

What I did notice, was all the activity around me, birds, squirrels, the hens continuing to lay prodigious amounts of eggs....well, I have been busy.

Weeding, prepping garden beds, and starting seeds in the greenhouse.

I'll be honest, saving seeds...well not my strong suit.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  I can harvest the seed, divide it, prep it, dry it, put it into containers...nope, where I fall down is storage.   I can't find a spot to keep them at a consistent temperature all year long, dark and dry.  As a result, I get inconsistent germination when I do plant seedlings.  So to compensate.  I plant way more than I will ever use, and hope 1 or 2 come up.  Usually way more come up than I thought.  This year, has been hit and miss.
 The first 3 rows are: Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper and Jalepeno Pepper.  Cauliflower did really well and my one lone Broccoli.  Eggplant is the last row and :( not so much as stub showing...
 This is a shot of both beds.  They rest on 1/2 inch insulation, and a heat mat under the tray.  The green house is otherwise unheated, so at night it gets to about 45 F and during the day up to 90 if I don't open the vents.
This is a tray of Tomatoes.  First row Brandywine (only one out of 4) Next is SunGold (also one out of 4) Gills AP (2 of 4) Yellow Pear (2 of 4) and finally Isis Candy (none) and Celery is the last row (also none)

Oh, I'll get by.  I planted 4 of everything in late February and early March.  I planted Brandywine Tomatoes, SunGold Tomatoes, Gil's AP Tomatoes, Isis Candy Tomatoes, and Yellow Pear Tomatoes in Late February (also red and green bell peppers).  Early March was Jalepeno Peppers, Eggplant, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Celery.

Well as of this writing, some of the Tomatoes have sprouted, a few very nicely in fact as you can see from the photo above.  The Cauliflower exceeded my expectations as the seed was almost 4 years old, and all 4 of them sprouted.  The Broccoli though, same age, only one....

Needless to say I think I need to work on a better storage system for these seeds.  What I am considering is a Faux root cellar.  Basically dig a hole in the ground, so the bottom is below the frost line.  Around here, frost line is 3 inches.  So I will dig a foot deep hole.  Some folks then just put a container in, and fill it with sand or straw to keep vegetables.  I am going to build forms, and pour a concrete base and walls.  Then I will keep my seeds in glass spice jars in the hole.  I will then cover it with a plastic Tote Lid, and rocks to keep critters out.  Thats the idea I'm floating here.

As for the girls, well they love their new home.  And my original thought was 3 of them could lay at the same time on the nesting shelf.  Well, at the start, they all wanted to lay on the Left side of the shelf.  Now though for the past week or so, they are also laying on the right side.  So, two can lay at once.  Which was what I had before with the two nesting boxes.  And yes, they do get a bit vocal when one wants to lay, and there is no spot, but thankfully my neighbors understand, and of course free eggs help out there.

As for eggs, we are getting 4 -5 a day! And as I said, no layoff over the supposed winter we had. So we have been giving them out; keeping the neighbors happy :) and getting creative with cooking.

Shameless plug here for a new blog of mine.

My wife challenged me to do a blog a-la Julie and Juliet, using up eggs by making cakes from a specific book we found.  If you like baking, and or music, stop by and see what it's about.

Enough of that.  Just wanted to update this post now before everything explodes and I have zero time for blogging.