Friday, February 20, 2009

Of Cabbages and Broccoli and Peas

Even after a relatively dry February, my soil still isn't ready for digging in. After scooping up a handful of soil, squeezing it, tossing it in the air about six inches and letting it hit my hand - I still had a hard, cold ball of soil. And as it's supposed to start raining on Saturday night and be a cold, wet March, it'll be quite a while longer before I'll get the peas in. "Patience is a virtue," my father always says. Sigh.

Good thing I can get my planting fix indoors.

My babies! From the left, cabbage Early Jersey Wakefield, broccoli Tendergreen, broccoli Umpquah, and then two rows of mixed lettuces, Red Sails, Salad Bowl, Forellenschluss, and Black-seeded Simpson. Danish Ballhead cabbage is my fall cabbage (duh) so I won't be planting it quite yet.

I took a tip from Laura at (not so) Urban Hennery, and got some different lights for my cheap-o light set-up in the garage. She uses sunlight bulbs. I'm trying one sunlight, and one plant/aquarium bulb to see how it works out. How cheap-o is my light set-up? I use old 2x4s underneath the flat to prop up the plants, then remove them as the plants get bigger. I planted the babies on Feb. 14th, and they were up and running after 3-4 days on the top of the refrigerator. I have high hopes that this year my started plants won't be quite so spindly, and won't get sunburned quite so easily once they're in the garden.

Why do they call it plant husbandry, anyway? Seems like it should be called plant mothery.

Elsewhere in the garden, I finally, with Thing 1's help, yanked out the three miniature rose bushes that always look like H-E-double toothpicks. Tomorrow I'll clean up the area and put in the five azaleas I have waiting to go in their place.

I'm trying to pace myself in the garden this spring. I have a tendency to go all out and put in eight hours in a day, and then not be able to move for a month. So this year, I'm calling it a day after about an hour. That way I can work a little every day, enjoy it more, and strengthen my muscles gradually.

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