The hummingbird report puts first sightings at the Virginia/North Carolina line, less than 80 miles from here, so the feeder was filled and placed outdoors to invite the tiny hummers to visit. A second feeder was purchased and filled when we went to buy chicken feed earlier today. Todays spinning challenge word was action, thus the spindle sitting with the feeder. The feeders are at opposite ends of the front porch.
The tomato seedlings were ready for pots, so they were pulled from the hydroponic starter and put in paper pots with seed starter soil mix, but not yet put outdoors, though it is very mild today, we will have several days of very chilly weather and 3 freezing nights. Once they have passed, the seedlings will move out to filtered light during the day and back inside at night until either it is time to put them in the ground or they outgrow the starter pots and have to be moved up to larger clay pots until they can go in the ground. The lettuce starts are getting leggy, but they can’t go in the ground until after the freezing nights. The spinach and Komatsuma were transplanted into the ground greenhouse then rained on yesterday. Some more spinach starts were purchased at the local nursery today and added to the green house and overwintered spinach picked for tonight’s stir fry. The greenhouse will be closed up tonight and left that way each night until it warms back up next week. The pepper seedlings are beginning to get secondary leaves, but aren’t ready to move up to pots yet.
The tomatoes in the pots perked back up by this afternoon, not suffering too much transplant shock.
As soon as the peppers are transplanted, that unit will be scrubbed out, refilled with filtered water and restarted with salad greens. The herb hydroponic was totally out of control, so Genovese sweet basil, Thai basil, chives, and rosemary were pulled and potted, set just inside the dining room doors or kitchen window sill until warm enough to move them to the back deck.
That hydroponic was scrubbed out, refilled with filtered water, given a starter dose of fertilizer and reseeded with 3 sweet basil and 3 Thai basil pods to be transplanted into the vegetable garden when the tomatoes are planted out around Mother’s Day. After that, it will sit idle until autumn when the pods will be replanted with herbs for winter cooking.
Though the original plan only had four tomato plants this year because of the glut still in the freezer, a couple of commercially grown starts or a couple more from seed may be started to added variety, but I am committed to control this year by pruning and training even at the cost of some fruit.
This afternoon, with measuring tape, graph paper, and pencil in hand, the garden was measured and drawn out to scale instead of guesswork and the plan penciled in to a photocopy of it after the margins were inked. The original blank was stored in the binder so it will be available for future years.
While at the nursery, a purchase of more starter pots was made so the cucumbers, huckleberries, a couple more tomatoes, and maybe the first run of beans started soon so they can be planted out at the correct time for our zone. The peas and sugar snap peas can be planted in the ground next week. It is exciting to see it coming together for another year.
And the exciting news for the day is the bee hives are being delivered tomorrow afternoon and the bees will follow in a few weeks. Son 2 and I will have to erect the electric fence around them once they are unpacked and set in place. First a 4×4′ post needs to be purchased to mount the solar charger on.