Plan B

Although it's snowing off and on this morning, our non-winter has continued.  This past week we had 40 degree temps, though nights are still in the teens.  My low in the hoop since the 15th was 11 degrees, with highs in the 90s.  But, despite some balmy days, my seeds planted February 1st in the hoop have not sprouted, except for a few cilantro. 

So, plan B is a flat of cold-loving greens started indoors. On a heat mat, these sprouted in 3 days--that's more like it!  They won't be babied for long, as soon as they have true leaves they will move out to the hoop. 

I have learned over the years to start my sets later and later--especially for tomatoes. But, it's so very hard to resist planting this time of year.  Starting greens for the hoop (or low tunnels, or cold frames) helps with this craving; as does seeding slow-growing plants such as alliums.  We're about 12 weeks out from our last frost date, so this weekend I also planted three flats of onions and leeks. (I may have gotten a little carried away...but I'm somewhat of a novice still at starting onions and it seems we never have enough.)

I've probably shown this before, but I have a very minimalist set up for lights indoors.  I will add one or two more lights as things begin to sprout.   One reason I'm able to grow a garden full of plants with this small space is that I transitions flats out to a cold frame--and this year, the hoop house!--as soon as the days warm up.  It's somewhat of an effort to shuffle things around, but I find that early in the growing season I don't mind puttering, and having garden chores to do makes me more patient about waiting for the real season to start.  At any rate, there is a huge difference in plants grown in real sunshine, especially when you have such a crappy indoor set up, ha! 

Also to tide us over until spring, we always get a basket of forced bulbs for our anniversary-slash-Valentines day treat.  Every week there are more blooms, today I discovered these beauties hiding in the back.  Next fall I have to remember to squeeze a few bulbs in the hoop for early spring blooms. 

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  1. Happy anniversary! I've succumbed to the lure of tulips this spring, and yesterday to the lure of gardening in the hoop. I won't be starting as many seeds this year, but I am still really tempted by shelves such as yours. Mine has been great, and it was free, but a longer narrow shelf would be easier....

    We got snow overnight but not much. Yesterday it really felt like early spring, and here the sap is running. It can't be long now.

    1. We had snow here too, the day after I saw my first robins and sandhill cranes!

      Free shelves are the perfect choice in my book :)

  2. It's inspiring to see those sweet little sprouts. With the pending move, I've not started any seeds yet. Hope to be a little more settled in a week or so, and get on top of that.

    Cheers~ Brett

    1. Plenty of time left, and you definitely get a pass anyway with all the project you have going!


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