Monday, March 31, 2014

Chickens In The Garden

Yesterday was a beautiful day (today too, but it's windy). I let the girls out in their grazing pen and Jon and I moved them over to the garden to get to work. They had so much fun digging through the straw, leaves and newspaper from last year. I might not even till this section... might just plant right in it. I want to extend this bed, which will have to be tilled, of course. Also, I want to add composted manure. Hmm... might have to till the existing bed after all... 

The bluebirds are back. Well, actually they never left. This is the female of the pair that made their home in the wall of our three-seasons room last year. She sat there nicely while I took pictures. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

15 Year Tomato Seedlings

Planted 3/10/14
Sprouted 3/18/14

Today 3/23/14 (yes, they are leggy)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Winter Sown Container List

Sown 3/21/14 using Schultz potting mix, all marked with numbers in paint/grease pen

1. 15 year tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/14/14
2. Jaune Flamme tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/14/14
3. San Marzano Bush tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/14/14
4. Red, Orange, Yellow Bell Pepper (3 seeds) - sprouted 4/21/14
5. Red, Orange, Yellow Bell Pepper (3 seeds) - sprouted 4/14/14
6. Paul Roberson tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/21/14
7. Quarter Century tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/21/14
8. Eva Purple Ball tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/21/14
9. Slavic Masterpiece tomato (rare) (4 seeds) (did not sprout) One did sprout at the end of June and was planted!
10. Red Pear Abruzzese tomato (4 seeds) (did not sprout)
11. Black Eye Susan - sprouted 4/21/14
12. Black Krim tomato (4 seeds) - sprouted 4/21/14.
13. Bluebonnets - sprouted 4/11/14
14. Hopi Red Dye Amaranth - sprouted 4/11/14
15. Pink Coneflower - sprouted 4/14/14
16. Gloriosa Daisy - sprouted 4/14/14

Tomatoes opened 5/10/14

3/30/14 -

Lett 1 - Lettuce blend - sprouted 4/08/14, harvested 4/6/14
Spin SH 1 - Spinach (space hybrid) - sprouted 4/11/14, harvested 4/6/14
Spin SS 1 - Spinach (salad select) - sprouted 4/10/14


MY - Yellow Marigolds
MO - Orange Marigolds
Z - Zinnias
L - Lettuce blend
C - Columbine

Thursday, March 13, 2014


It looks like it will be a tomato overload summer if everything works out well... I just started my uncle's 15 year old tomato seeds. I already had Black Krims to start. And now today, I got my free seeds from WinterSown: Red Pear Abruzzese, Jaune Flamme, Slavic Masterpiece (a very rare Russian), Eva's Purple Ball, San Marzano Bush, Quarter Century and Paul Robeson. I guess this means the garden just got a bit bigger. They also sent mixed red/yellow/orange bell peppers (my luck they will all be red) and parsley. Parsley will go in the butterfly garden. 
I also got seeds for Black-eyed Susan, Evening Sun Sunflowers, Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, Pink Coneflower and Gloriosa Daisy. I see a colorful garden in the pasture this year! The sunflowers can also be chicken treats! I'm thinking maybe the section past the bonfire. It has to be in a place where my husband can easily mow around it... hmm... Wherever it goes, it has to be a place where it can be permanent some most, if not all, are perennials.

I am going to attempt to winter-sow the flowers and maybe the peppers. My rough understanding is you put growing medium in milk jugs (water jugs in my case) and put them outside. It makes like a mini-greenhouse and then you can sew directly. I think if I put them on the one side of the chicken coop, it should be protected enough that they won't blow away (I hope!) and get decent sun. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Getting The Garden Started!

A year or so ago, my uncle gave me a film canister (remember those? lol) with tomato seeds from 1999 that he had collected and saved. They are from tomatoes that he had grown for a few years. If I remember correctly, they originally came from seeds a co-worker brought back from Italy. I have to confirm that though. Anyway, these tomatoes were good sized, great flavor and very few seeds.

I have about 50-60 seeds. I soaked 16 overnight in plain water. This afternoon, I put them in a mini greenhouse on top of the freezer. So we'll see how this goes. They are 15 years old after all...

I should also be getting seeds from WinterSown as well. If you send a SASE (follow the directions on the page), you will get free tomato seeds in a few weeks. I mailed mine two weeks ago. Honestly, I don't even remember which ones I put down.

I will have to get another seed starting kit too. I have Black Krim seeds to start in a few weeks. It is still a bit too early to start tomatoes here in zone 5, but from what I've been told, the 15 year seeds might take a month or more to sprout...

If everything goes well with the 15 year seeds and the WinterSown ones, I will be bagging certain tomatoes to try to avoid cross-pollination and saving seeds from those plants.
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