Weather: between 30-60. Damp air.
As it seems every good gardening day matches up with days where I am unable to go out into the garden, things might not be progressing as well as I hope. With the weather this weird of late (snow predicted in three days, but before that 70degrees!) I am looking into the idea of starting everything inside. I have one five foot long window still that gets direct sunlight, and has a thick curtain on it that will trick the cats that there is nothing behind it. Unfortunately on cold days that windowsill is cold.
Now I have a hydroponic planter (AreoGarden. a good brand, but I’d suggest staying away from planting lettuce.) that is currently growing snap peas and chili peppers. The cats tend to ignore it, and so far I have managed to get a handful of beans from it. I wonder if I should start my seeds in there and just transplant them when the weather is warmer. I have had no luck with that before with shrubs and flowers. BUT according to the blogger at http://www.indoorgardener.org/2008/08/day-135-day-43-transplanting-aerogarden.html it can be done. I’d suggest going there and finding out how to do it if you are interested. As for me…. well I have plenty of glass jars to start the seeds in. Now I just need some of those little moss pods that look like little paving stones.
While going through my filing cabinet full of all things crafty for homeschooling I discovered a flower press with a packet of wildflower seeds in it. Dated 1993. I have decided to use this in a large planter in the window garden.
Now here is something that might be confusing to all of you who might stumble across this page (Hello!). When I say garden I am not talking about one spot, but five in my yard. I have a 10×20 space, a 10×10 that has four 10ft 8x4s at each corner (one of which is attached to my clothesline and has a few bird feeders attached, a small bricked off area near my window with a broken wheelbarrow that is used to grow things, my front window area next to the front porch and an 3 level iron planter stand near the water spicket in the back that the squirrels use to plant veggies. I have this all planned in my mind as to where things will be going, but to clarify I will now assign names. In order, we have: The edible garden, the Bee & Spider garden, the Garden where the Snakes stay, The Place that MUST LOOK NEAT and the Bribes for the Furry Overlords.
When I first moved in I planted veggies in pots on the front porch. I ended up with very fat squirrels and then a very fat fox. I still have a “tame” one we call Andy. He will come up on the porch and wait for me to put some nuts down for him. I ended up planting a garden just for him and his, so that they would leave my stuff alone. This worked well with the Furry overlords, but the Fluffy Demons from the Deep (or bunnies as others call them) declared war on all of my root veggies and leafy greens. This is why I acquired a metal rack that holds the long planters. Two on each level. Unfortunately, like bookshelves from IKEA, this was not designed to hold more than a token amount of plants. After a season of everything falling out or falling over due to wind, birds, Furry Overlords, and overwatering I gave up and placed it in the back yard by the house where it gets indirect sunlight and sort of forgot about it. To my surprise, tomato plants grow in there along with lettuce and radishes. I say surprised because I had only planted herbs in there. One day I saw Andy and two other smaller ones digging in there. Apparently, they planted food and are fuzzy gardeners now. But as long as something is growing in there, they leave everything else alone.
I have learned not to tempt them too much though. I fully expect them to select a few ears of corn from the bags that Tom the Corn Guy leaves for us every week in the summer and that any nuts and seeds are their’s for the taking no matter how tamper proof the bird feeder is. Oh, did I mention that we have a guy who sells corn on our property every summer? 4 days a week for three months or so Tom will bring his trailer of freshly picked local corn to sell. His family used to live in our house and the one next door and he, and his father before him, have been selling here for 35 years. The traffic is horrible, and it is a pain to pull out of the driveway, but he pays us in free corn. Yummy, sweet corn on the cob. Later on in the season, I will explain what I do with the corn cobs, silk and husks and how this helps my garden.
But back to not tempting the Fuzzy Overlords. A few months ago I read an article about nutshells and sea shells and how they can help your garden, by acting as a weed blocker and a slow compost. If done correctly your garden can look pretty and be practical at the same time. My kid and I go shell hunting on the beach a lot and get a lot of shells. I weeded the garden and lined them over the and around the plants. I then found a restaurant where one of the cooks gave me the used mussel & oyster shells (took a lot of explaining as to why I wanted them) and another who gave me buckets of empty peanut shells. The two of us took an afternoon and artfully lined the plants with the shells. I even spent an hour shelling pistachios and then used them to shore up a few seedlings.
The next morning it looked like a war zone. Shells all over the porch and walkway. Plants dug up. Holes everywhere.
So my advice is this: save your sea shells, and nut shells for use in your indoor plantings or the Fuzzy Overlords will become displeased and you will end up with a big mess.
The more you know.