Today as I drove home I noticed heavy thunderstorms to the north of us. I knew there was another cold spell coming and figured it was going to be a rock and roll evening. As I write this the wind is blowing and we have had several claps of thunder and more rain.
Before I came in I checked the cold frames, watered the ones that were getting a little dry and covered them knowing it might be a few days before I could get to them again or that the temperature would be warm enough to lift the glass.
I talked to a couple of farmers in the area today and asked them if they had been able to get into their fields. Sadly they haven’t been able to even turn their soil much less fertilize or start to plant. I would think any seed in the ground would rot in this mud. They commended me for starting plants for our spring garden in cold frames. Each said getting this kind of head start will be valuable later.
Readers, don’t think this is a complaint…it isn’t! In fact I am so sure this will be a wonderful spring/summer that I am starting another 100 or so seeds tonight in my mini-greenhouses.
My mini-greenhouses are simply clear plastic shoebox sized containers you buy almost anywhere. Luckily my local Wal-Mart had 6 for $3.00 in a bundle on the clearance rack the other day. I grabbed 2 bundles.
I fill them with a couple of inches of good soil, broadcast seeds in them and cover them with the lids that come with them. These lids do not have to be clear, the white lids or colored lids work just fine. Then I stack them and wait for the seedlings to appear.
When I have a 4 leaf seedling I transplant them into some sort of recycled container. Most of the time that is homemade seed containers made from toilet paper cores, a trick I learned from a friend.
To make those, simply cut the core 1/3 way up to make 4 flaps. Fold in 2 of them from opposite sides to create a bottom. Fold in the other two opposite sides overlapping them and secure them. I use a little TOT stapler. After you get 4-6, staple those together. Once the plant is transplanted into these containers and big enough to go into the garden, the core has been wet for a while and can be torn easily or if you are a true recycler, cut the sides and plant the entire thing. Those cores degrade quickly into the garden.
So, as the wind blows and the temperatures fall outside we gather around and look forward to the spring and what beauty the Lord will give us with a bounty of spring flowers and moisture in the soil to last well into the summer…. It will be here soon enough…