Thursday, February 28, 2013


I was very amused this morning to read articles in the Washington Post by the two Thursday garden columnists, Adrian Higgins and Barbara Damrosch, which start out respectively:

If you are itching to get into the garden on a mild winter’s day, you might want to grab a good pair of hand pruners and some sharp loppers and go in search of a shrub to prune.


If you’ve got the gardening itch and it’s too early to scratch it, try growing some microgreens.

I think we can agree that everyone is a little itchy, and possibly irritable and testy and skin-crawly and hot under the collar, and if it's not the flu it may be the gardening bug.  I tend to scratch the itch by getting some soilless mix under my fingernails and starting seeds.  Photos soon ETA: photo of some of my baby plants:

Here's the list of what I've started so far.

Greens for demo garden: kale (Lacinato, Lark's Tongue), mustard (Southern Giant Curled and Red Giant), Chinese cabbage, komatsuna, purple pak choi, broccoli raab, collards (Green Glaze), kohlrabi (green and purple), cabbage (Early Jersey Wakefield and Red Acre), and gai lan (Chinese broccoli).  I may be a little early on some of these, but it gets so hot so fast and a lot of them bolt, so better to get them planted early and offer temperature protection if needed.

Peppers (mostly for me): Fish (no luck with germination, but I have just acquired some new seeds), Antioch (an Armenian heirloom, mildly hot), Red Cheese, Sweet Banana, and Romeo (these are to go with Juliet tomatoes, yes I am geeky).  Also some yellow bells and Italian frying peppers that have not germinated.

Other: cardoons (also on second germination try and succeeding this time), sorrel (more old seed, dunno if it'll work but I do want more plants), parsley, celeriac.

I wish I had room for microgreens.  As it is Older Son is going to have to share his room with some seedlings on his visit home.

Some of the many things I need to do outside when we do have a mild day and I have time in it:

Pruning, yes, thank you Adrian.

Setting up the tunnel I got PVC pipe and fastened brackets onto a raised bed for several years ago and have never actually used.  I'm not going to grow anything in the bed, but I do need some outdoor space for hardening off seedlings, and after the demise of my "mini-greenhouse" thing with the shelves and the zippered cover that broke the first year, all I have is a small shelf on the deck and row cover, and that is not enough for the vast number of seedlings in pots that are soon going to be requiring space that currently does not exist.  Existential crisis!  Metaphysics!  Tunnel of intermediate size to the rescue!

Getting over to the community garden plot and making the soil ready for planting.  I can actually direct-seed some hardy things right away once I get that done.  Real soil under the fingernails!

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