Monday, April 30, 2012

Indoor Seed Starting

Here are many of my small sized seed packets, somewhat organized. I am not good at keeping seed packets neat, but must try to do better so I know what I'm saving from year to year and use up older seeds first. Fortunately, nothing is older than 2011 at the moment.
I am so late starting seeds this year. Normally, I start them around March 15th and I had been thinking about starting some of the slower peppers a week or two earlier than that. This year, I sowed on April 29th! I know I won't have early harvests, but I think they will still grow and have plenty of time to mature. They should get a quicker start since the basement is warmer this time of year. In fact, the heat mats probably won't even be running much (they have a thermostat). And, I won't be tempted to put seedlings out too early and have the usual concern about cold nights.

Peppers (sweets and hots). I'll probably plant some of these in the hoop house so they have a longer growing season. From past experience, the habs, lemon hots and hole mole peppers will probably need the extra time and warmth.
Eggplants, raab and room for more...
I keep thinking that I should have managed to start the seeds on time despite having a new baby, but it's easy to say that now that I am getting sleep again. With feedings every two hours around the clock, I couldn't manage much else at the time!

I may sow some greens and herbs in the remaining space indoors, but most of my next sowing will be in the prepared pots waiting in the hoop house. Also, I need to do some direct sowing in the hoop house!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hoop House Update

The hoop house easily withstood the only significant snowfall of the season. Here it is pictured on January 22nd.
I was too busy with the end of the pregnancy and then my new baby to do anything with the hoop house, but plants overwintered well even though I ignored them. I never did get a thermometer for it to record highs and lows, but next year I want to try that. Today, Jeff helped me with cleaning up the hoop house to ready it for planting. We left some flowering plants like kale for the honeybees that were happily buzzing around them. There are carrots, beets, Swiss chard, parsley, par-cel, dill, fennel and scallions to eat.
I filled pots with potting soil in preparation for starting winter and summer squash, cukes, pumpkins and zinnias in the hoop house. The trays with the shallow channels will be used to start seeds indoors. I intend to have them sowed and under the grow lights by the end of the weekend. I will be starting my tomatoes, eggplants and peppers very late, but expect they will still do ok with our fairly long growing season. We just won't have them very early like other years. A few of the longer to ripen peppers I'll put in the hoop house so they have a chance to fully develop.
It is exciting to be starting the garden for the season! I think James was interested in all our activities. He was outside with us in his stroller.
Soon, Jeff will till the garden and the peas will go in. Not only will Jeff and I be enjoying the garden produce this year, but James will have homemade baby food from the garden when he starts on solids in addition to breastfeeding.

Monday, April 16, 2012

3 Months!

James is 3 months old today! I keep meaning to update the blog, but am so distracted and busy with taking care of my wonderful little boy.

Labor and delivery went smoothly and James was born alert and healthy, 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19.5 inches long. Here's James at 4 days old wearing a little knitted hat made by volunteers who donate them to the hospital for the newborns.

The sleep deprivation for the first 2 months was hard to say the least, but then James suddenly began to sleep through the middle of the night feeding giving us about 6 hours of solid sleep.

We have been taking him on lots of little trips to see things. He likes going to stores because the sunlight outside is hard on his eyes and baby sunglasses and hats with brims are too big to be much help. He really likes the L. L. Bean store because there is a big fish tank with trout swimming in it and he watches them. I do take him outside in the yard with the dogs and he's been to the beach and a petting zoo on our travels. He was 11 weeks old in this picture.

On Easter, we took James on his first road trip to Maine to visit with grandparents. He wore his little 'road trip with Mommy' vest and I took this picture first thing in the morning. I was explaining to him what a road trip is and he was listening intently! He really enjoyed the big day out.

I'll try to post a little more frequently, but you can see I have my hands full!