Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The average last frost date in my area falls between April 7 to April 23, with a 50% probability of frost free days after April 6.  Our winter has been cold with lots of snow, so I am using the later date for my LSF (last spring frost) to determine my seed starting schedule.

The soil in raised beds warm up faster then traditional gardens. By adding a hoop house, which is warmed by the sun, I can get a jump start on spring, extending the growing season by 4-6 weeks.

I don't like to rely on just one method for seed starting, just in case something goes wrong.  Instead, I do a combination INDOOR SEED STARTING, WINTER SOWING, and DIRECT SOWING.  

Outside, I have started "WINTER SOWING" of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Lettuce, Spinach, and Onions, and Brussels Sprouts.

Inside, Onions, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Peppers, Radishes

Starting in Mid-March, I will DIRECT SOW most of the above under the HOOP HOUSES and COLD FRAMES, along with PEAS, LEAFY GREENS, and ROOT VEGETABLES.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Spirit Animal DEER

"The deer is gentle, graceful and elegant.  It is an animal that is very alert and sensitive.  Its main quality isunconditional love.  The deer teaches us a quality of determination that is gentle in its approach.  The energy of the deer is present when a person is living from the heart.  The deer offers a quality of inner gentleness, and innocence of a child.  It symbolises intuition and psychic abilities.  The deer invites you to find your peace in silence." 

What is your spirit animal? Meaning of Animal Totems

"I don't have to take a trip around the world or be on a yacht in the Mediterranean to have happiness. I can find it in the little things, like looking out into my backyard and seeing deer in the fields."

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Last year a neighbor was throwing out these storm door inserts.  I figured I could use them to make cold frames on my raised beds. The only problem is that my beds are 4' x 4's, and these pieces are smaller.   
Along the side of the house, I have a 3' x 12' growing area that is not raised.  
Since my goal is to get a jump start on my spring gardening (hopefully by a month), I decided to place the panes of glass up against the side of the house.  This should help to keep the snow and ice off this area, protect it from the wind, and heat the soil up faster.  Once the soil reaches about 50 degrees, I can direct sow a number of early spring veggies.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

In Search of Breakfast!

I looked out the window this morning and found this guy sitting on the fence. He was eyeing something in the bushes.  After a few minutes the squirrel wondered out and began eating on the pizza pan.  I thought for sure the squirrel was a goner!

Monday, February 3, 2014

They're Back!!!! Quack

The groundhog may have seen his shadow, indicating 6 more weeks of winter, but that did not stop this pair!  

Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing (From EXTRA DIRT)

("Extra Dirt is a free e-newsletter full of the latest tips, expert advice, and gardening gear designed to make your green thumb even greener.")

Taken from "Extra Dirt" February 3, 2014

"Over the last decade, bee colonies, particularly honey bees, have been dying en masse, and entomologists and other researchers are working to find out why. 

As gardeners, we know that bees are critical to plant life and food production. But why is this happening and what can you do? 

In a recent TED talk, noted University of Minnesota Professor of Entomology, Marla Spivak, discusses the important role of bees, which pollinate more than one-third of the world's fruits, vegetables and flowering plants. She outlines some of the main reasons scientists believe bees are dying, including parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases and exposure to pesticides and herbicides. 

At the end of her talk, Spivak offers several ways people can help bees—it's surprisingly simple! "

Video: Save the Bees!